Because DSI is an innovative technology company, we don’t just solve today’s problems—we’ve always got a close eye on the future, too. And when it comes to technology, the possibilities in the coming decades are downright fascinating.
Consider, for example, several technology predictions made by George Dvorsky, a Canadian futurist, contributing editor at io9 and Chairman of the Board at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. Dvorsky expects these “fairly disruptive technological innovations” to appear by the 2030s, a timeline that’s by no means foolproof but is somewhat likely.
“But the fog is starting to clear on what we can expect to see within the next 20 years,” writes Dvorsky. “All the technologies I’ve listed below have a better than 50/50 change of being actualized.”
We’ve picked a few of the technological possibilities that we found most intriguing. Ready to take a trip to the future?
Computers have undergone an incredible reduction in size while increasing capability and functionality. What used to fill an entire room can now fit in the palm of your hand—and Dvorsky expects computers to get even smaller, thanks to the ongoing miniaturization revolution. Within several short years, we could be surrounded by invisible computers that could be controlled by tactile feedback or ambient intelligence. Computers embedded in your contact lenses? According to Dvorsky, it could happen!
WiFi on an airplane? Old news. Once someone from Earth reaches Mars, one of the first priorities will likely be an interplanetary Internet connection that will enable communication and information sharing. We can’t wait to see the first selfie from the Red Planet!
Industrial-scale desalination, which could be available by the 2030s, would enable the construction of massive concentrated solar power plants that could use residual heat to strip salt from ocean water, thereby making it potable. This sustainable supply could also help resolve existing freshwater deficits.
Move over, Siri. A smarter personal assistant is likely on the way that can fully respond to natural language. And thanks to ubiquitous computing (as discussed earlier), these personal assistants will be available 24/7. Can you imagine the likely increases in productivity?
“Accordingly, they’ll be our virtual clones,” writes Dvorsky. “In essence, they’ll be our proxy selves, representing us on the Internet and in the real world by taking the form of telepresent holographic avatars. They’ll write emails for us, book appointments, perform menial thought tasks, and even anticipate our needs.”
Watching the seemingly lightning fast emergence of 3D printing technology is downright fascinating. Although two primary factors (cost and a general understanding of capabilities/purpose) are inhibiting the widespread adoption of current 3D printing equipment, these barriers to ownership are likely to dissipate in the coming years, much the same evolution we’ve seen with other forms of technology like DVD players, flat-screen televisions and computers. The result? More households that own a 3D printer, which will give people the technological capability to produce products in their own homes. The caveat? That sort of self-powered manufacturing will demand a larger conversation about rules, ethics and other related concerns.
Now it’s your turn to play futurist. What sort of technological innovation do you think is likely by the 2030s? And what type of development or capability are you most excited to see?
Image: bjornmeansbear via CC