I know I’m going to get flack for this… And I probably deserve it…
I think the “Next Revolution/Evolution” of tools is going to be in a Human Prosthetic. Something that replaces a human body part, and is capable of enhanced tasks within the tool use user space. Although I can’t predict what will come first, I CAN tell you for certain that it will start with someone using their own, old-fashioned, prosthetic in a way that is unexpected or unintended. It will then lead to an actual design addition to the original that makes it all-new, and dedicated as a tool for use in the trades.
Maybe it will be a Wood or Metal Worker, perhaps a Machinist, whatever the trade it originates as, it’s going to come out of anger and frustration. Then, we’ll look back ten years later, and wonder how we ever lived without the plethora of Enhanced Prosthetic Devices that we’ve developed. Glass Eyes? Try Thermal Vision Camera, linked to a Google Glasses style device that feeds the data overlay to the other eye. Or, the old robot joke, where there’s a hex driver under a fingertip, and the user can command the finger to spin the driver.
Yes, there’s the idea of lift-enhancing motorized exoskeletons, but I genuinely believe we’re far enough along the trend of Home-Prototyping, that thermoplastics, Arduino/Raspbery Pi programmed devices, and whole-home Semi-AI control devices may well be a path we’re headed toward augmenting OURSELVES as tools, rather than having the tools becoming increasingly automated outside ourselves.
And this is the point where I should shut up before people start thinking I’m crazy, or paranoid. And, for the record, I’d agree with that assessment. But, I don’t mean any of this as a threat or danger to any of us, or our trades. I’m talking about people who have survived injuries being the people who come up with ways to go BACK to the work they did, with augmented prosthetic devices to empower them to do so. With just Human Will driving it all, Trades people just refusing to be benched due to accidents, then using all this tech around us to make their injuries work for them again. Yes, to the crazy and paranoid… but No to them being part of what I’m seeing the trend to be. The corporate sales divisions will step in after a few years, buying up home prototyping companies, like Makerbot, and all the 3D printing/Laser Cutting device manufacturers, and releasing them under their own names, so what comes out of them carries their brands, and their technology.
“The New DeWALT GyroFinger Driver! Just turn your hand in the direction you want the finger to spin!”
Shutting up now. Probably going to get yelled at now.