Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Top predictions for the future: 1-10
1: Citywide free Wi-Fi ( by the year 2010)
And not just supplied by the local authority.
"A crowdsourced Wi-Fi network would be created if everyone turned off the encryption on their home Wi-Fi." Saul Parker, anthropologist
2: Rapid bioassays (2013)
Studying the effects of drugs on the body gets simpler and quicker, thanks to biosensitive computer chips that can give accurate, instant readings.
3: Care robots (2014)
Not robots with true AI, but helpful machines nonetheless.
4: Life-browsing (2014)
"As more of our lives go digital, we may use a program to sort our data. And it could hook up to software that understands the things people forget." Eric Horvitz, Microsoft Research
5: Intelligent advertising posters (2015)
Advertising gets personal. Posters that adjust to your presence and address you personally become as common as TV ads tailored to your profile.
6: Window power (2017)
Environmentally sustainable buildings aren't just carbon neutral, they will also make a clean contribution to the power grid in the form of solar-powergenerating windows.
7: Intelligent packaging (2017)
Using smart RFID chips, the food packages in your cupboard will talk to each other, then suggest what you can make if you combine them.
8: Energy-efficient buildings (2017)
The architect Norman Foster reflects that "architectural tastes will probably be driven by the global ambition to develop a sustainable way of living," although these new buildings will still have to be "a great place to be".
The problem is that glass and concrete structures are not that energy-efficient. Richard Silberglitt, senior physical scientist at the RAND Corporation, imagines new buildings using lightweight "third-generation solar collectors" instead of glass for windows. An example of this would be the Grätzel cell, which is based on a "nanoparticle of titanium dioxide and a dye that's a solar absorber". Jim Cramer, co-founder of the Design Futures Council, sees most buildings as being energy-neutral in ten to 15 years' time.
9: Teledildonics (2018)
Remote-control sexual stimulation. "There are Japanese scientists who are focusing ultrasound into a pinpoint, creating sound that you can touch in
the air." Violet Blue, sex columnist
10: Active contact lenses (2018)
These will project words and images into the eye. We wil
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