Right now we are in the middle of prediction season. Everybody under the sun is scrambling to put to paper their opinions on what the future will bring us in terms of trends and technology now that we have moved into a new year.
Pretty much everyone agrees on a few commonalities - in 2015 mobile will continue its meteoric rise, wearable tech will take off (although most underestimate the time required to create the app ecosystems to support it), social media will continue to fragment, and everything will become a lot more complex. What they don’t tend to do as much is get too deep into anything past 2016, predicting the longer term societal shifts on the horizon.
Contagious Magazine as part of their tenth anniversary edition (you can download it for free online) have cobbled together an amazing timeline of far reaching predictions based on a number of deep thinking sources including BBC Future, Cisco, Elon Musk, Erik Eckholm, Fututetimeline.net, IBM, IHS Janes’s, NASA, NBC News, Princeton University, Ray Kurzweil, Thomson Reuters, and the Touro Law Review. I have added these to the post below for quick reference.
- Facebook buys WhatsApp for $19bn and Oculus Rift for $2bn.
- Alibaba floatation raises $25bn in IPO.
- Airbnb valued at $10bn.
- Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch.
- China overtakes the US as the world’s largest economy. Adjusted for purchasing power, China’s GDP overtakes US GDP by 0.2%.
- Excessive heat from devices is recycled.
- Electric car ownership reaches 1 million worldwide.
- Personal biometric scanners for online banking.
- Sea levels will have risen by one foot since 1986.
- Spaceship Juno finally arrives on Jupiter.
- Spaceship Dragon V2 takes astronauts to International Space Station.
- Facebook dies out completely.
- Smartphones have a sense of smell.
- Personal devices allow you to touch and feel virtual objects.
- Digital tastebud implants encourage healthy eating.
- Nearly 1 million minutes of video content cross global IP networks every second.
- The number of devices connected to IP networks is nearly as high as the global population.
- Robot insect spies are used in military use.
- Drug created to prevent obesity.
- High-resolution bionic eyes on sales, customizable by size and color to suit every face.
- The total power of all computers equals the total brainpower of the human race.
- Glasses for the deaf convert words into text, and music into images.
- The first human-robot couples emerge as simulated personalities become more lifelike.
- A $1,000 computer will have the same processing power as a human brain.
- Humans wear devices that record and file all their conversations.
- There are 50 billion connected objects.
- Military drone market worth $82bn.
- Downloadable 3D printable fashion designs are commonplace.
- Copyright on Mickey Mouse expires.
- People regularly upload their brain to a computer.
- First manned mission to Mars is launched.
- Teleportation enters testing phase.
- Solar is the primary source of energy.
- Electric air transportation takes off.
- DNA mapping at birth allows diseases to be identified.
There are some very interesting predictions in here. Are you ready for the next decade of technology innovation?