The Top 10 Technology Game Changers for the Next Decade
This content was produced by GOOD with the support of Intel
How close to reality are some of our most futuristic fantasies? Consider that going to the moon was once a giant step for mankind, but in the near future you’ll be able to purchase a two week vacation to the International Space Station (if you've got a few million bucks to spare, of course). Here’s our list of ten incredible technological innovations that are poised to change our lives within the next decade.
Microscopic nanorobots placed inside the human body to fight disease from within will make enormous strides in the next ten years. Eventually, we’ll eliminate the need for invasive surgery and chemotherapy. The cancer cure we're seeking might not come as a magic pill, but rather a technological advancement enabling us to repair from within using microchips one-billionth of a meter in size. The future is now at Cyberdyne, a Japanese electronics firm manufacturing Hybrid Assisted Limbs for Parkinson’s patients and miniaturizing from there.
In the next decade, the simple act of pulling out a smartphone to take photos and record videos will seem clunky and outmoded. What if you could simply touch a button on your sunglasses and instantly record your surroundings exactly as you see them? The design team behind YouGen.tv is hoping to do just that. Their Epiphany Eyewear glasses will incorporate “magic glass”—chromatic shifting conductive glass—to power their instant on-off recording feature. The data captured from a first person’s perspective can be streamed to social networks, and has untold implications for learning, as you'll literally be able to see through someone else’s eyes. “We believe this will raise the overall level of human empathy across the world,” said Erick Miller, founder of YouGen.tv.
The building blocks of the human body may contain clues to unlock underlying causes of diseases. Life Technologies is producing a genome sequencing map to explore an individual’s DNA within 24 hours, potentially preventing future diseases. Cost is expected to plummet to $1,000 by the end of the year. Expect a more targeted treatment of cancer and other life-threatening diseases based on a unique genetic blueprint.
Bring the factory to your desk. 3-D printing is a profound technological change which seems to have endless potential uses. Need a replacement part for a kitchen appliance, your guitar or an architectural model? Pull it up, print it out and you're ready to go. Yes, we’re starting small, but imagine planes, cars, houses and skyscrapers built this way. In the next ten years, we’ll create bone and dental implants, hearing aids, arterial stents, even surgical tools. San Francisco-based Bespoke Innovations Inc prints customized artificial limb coverings. Inexpensive complete prosthetic limbs, dishwasher-safe, are next.
Visual Learning Robotics
Imagine an Internet that thinks and sees like humans. Diffbot, which recently raised $2 million in seed funding, uses visual learning robots to extract and analyze content on the web the same way that people do. “Diffibot’s mission is to teach software robots to understand webpages, so that we can extract meaningful information and build a database of freely accessible human knowledge,” says founder Mike Tung. Diffbot is already being used by AOL to pull relevant content from the web and organize stories for its iPad magazine.
Internet Data Expansion
Forget megabytes and gigabytes. Bandwidth will multiply three million times through the next ten years, surpassing terabytes, petabytes and exabytes to reach zettabytes. Internet data will be high definition video living in a real-time cloud. Always-on connectivity will be standard across 15 billion devices worldwide. “We’re trying to prove you can do interesting things with brain waves,” said Intel researcher Dean Pomerleau in an interview with CNET. “Imagine being able to surf the Web with the power of your thoughts.”