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What technologies of the next 10 years are most exciting?

  1. May 25, 2016 #1
    Just wanted to get the people of PF's opinion on this. I think we can all agree that we live in a technologically exciting time, and you'd be hard pressed to find a field that won't be revolutionized in some way in the next couple of decades.

    I'm in particular interested in technologies in the coming decade. For instance, I think robotics is going to become bigger and bigger in the coming years (I think that, while the previous generation was the generation of computing, this new generation will be the generation of robotics). I'm also very excited to see better advances in telecommunications, particularly 5G around 2020 and expanding fiber communications to more parts around the country.

    I also think that, within 10 years, we'll be exiting the testing stages of self driving cars and making them an every day reality (there are I believe ~40,000 automobile deaths every year in the USA. That is a crisis that computers can help with).

    I'm interested in what you folks have to say about these subjects, and also what kind of advances in energy are already on their way, as I don't have a strong background in energy technology.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2016 #2

    fresh_42

    Staff: Mentor

    The Chinese storage ring.
     
  4. May 25, 2016 #3

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Theres a convergence going on. I think the smart phone will transition into a medical device and a hub for your wearable tech.

    Kind of like wearing a sewn in network of shoe, arm and leg sensors monitoring and capturing your movements while performing realtime medical readings on heart rate, pulse at various points, perspiration...

    Also your phone will be listening and responding to voice commands or questions alerting you to local changes, calling a ride share...

    Its hard to say how far it will go as people like things simple but bulky clothing with wires, batteries or solar cells, bluetooth or wifi emanating from it may not be as appealing. Also cost vs benefit comes into play once the novelty has worn off.
     
  5. May 26, 2016 #4

    mheslep

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    While their are numerous interesting developments, why would you say that this "time" is particularly exciting, more so than any other, say 100 years ago. See this Thiel-Kasparov interview, where it's pointed out that it took 42 years to go from the Lindberg solo Atlantic flight to the 747, and then 42 years after the advent of the 747 the same airplane is in the air.

    Go to 12:00, Thiel and Kasparov in Columbia robotics lab



    Nor are their any serious development projects underway to revolutionize aviation to the same degree. Antibiotics are a century old. The first moon landing was 42 years ago. The US parked a car on the moon with the keys in it so to speak and nobody has any serious plans underway to attempt a return.

    Why is this case? Kasparov again points to a contrast in the times, noting that the Polio vaccine when introduced gave the disease to maybe a dozen people, an outcome that today would, he thinks, delay the vaccine for decades from saving the millions.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
  6. May 26, 2016 #5

    phinds

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    2016 Award

    Personalized medications
     
  7. May 26, 2016 #6

    russ_watters

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    Flying cars and fusion power.
     
  8. May 26, 2016 #7
    I barely trust people to drive correctly in two dimensions!
     
  9. May 26, 2016 #8

    fresh_42

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    What do you mean by two dimensions?

    12797482129433.jpg
     
  10. May 26, 2016 #9

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Dont worry the flying cars will be controlled by google AI and called Fluuber.
     
  11. May 26, 2016 #10
    Yeah whatever... We've been promised those flying cars for awhile now. At least since the '50s. I'm looking forward to the Webb space telescope (bye bye Hubble, sniff sniff) and more powerful atom-smashing at the LHC. Cool thing is: both these things should be apparent within a couple of years.
     
  12. May 27, 2016 #11
    Propaganda technologies combined with big data bringing unprecedented degrees of opinion control and gerrymandering.
     
  13. May 27, 2016 #12

    TheBlackAdder

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    Mars colonization.
    E-learning integrated with traditional education.
    More automation; meaning more free time for everything but watching tv.
     
  14. May 27, 2016 #13

    phinds

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    2016 Award

    Uh ... that's already here. But yeah, it will get worse. Do you really think that's "exciting"?
     
  15. May 27, 2016 #14
    Same here! :smile:
     
  16. May 27, 2016 #15

    mfb

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    2016 Award

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    • Whatever the LHC experiments discover in the next 10 years. With the first new results probably in August this year.
    • Reusable rockets. A fourth first stage just landed three hours ago, and one of them is expected to fly again within this year. The next rocket is planned to be fully reusable, and I would expect it within 10 years.
    • Self-driving cars
    • CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing
    • (edit) 3D printing
      Well, no one said it was boring 100 years ago.

      Completely different wing shapes, electric aircrafts, flying wing aircrafts - there are some interesting concepts around.

      Various new antibiotics are discovered today, but fighting diseases is not limited to them, there can be better specialized tools available.
      The Chinese want to go there. Elon Musk is looking at more distant destinations...
     
  17. May 27, 2016 #16

    StatGuy2000

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    Education Advisor

    Speculative questions such as these are by its very nature tricky to answer. Consider this -- if the OP's question was asked back in the 1990's or early 2000's about what technologies would be the most exciting in the next 10 years, would you think their answers would reflect the state of technology today?
     
  18. May 28, 2016 #17

    mfb

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    I think in 2000 "internet" and 2006 "smartphones" would have been part of the answer.
     
  19. May 28, 2016 #18
    Quantum computing
    3D printing
    Materials (Photovoltaics and carbon nanotubes)
    Nanobots
    Teleportation
     
  20. May 28, 2016 #19
    I guess you ( no one in particular ) haven't heard of wooden skyscrapers, 80 stories tall.
    http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/26/design/wooden-skyscrapers-timber-trend-catching-fire/index.html
    http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/mar/01/vienna-plans-worlds-tallest-wooden-skyscraper

    When people think of new technology , they think electronics.
    Since the vacuum tube, or around there, most innovations have been the result of miniaturization resulting in more punch in the pack in smaller and smaller spaces, and less power hungry devices.

    Material science, manufacturing techniques, financing, ...

    Age of steel, surpassed by the age of plastics, to be surpassed by the age of composites and laminates.

    Could be we will see preformed bodies of cars, amongst other things, made out of the above mentioned super-strong wood.
     
  21. May 28, 2016 #20

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

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