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Seven Technologies to Disrupt the Next Decade


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augmented city

City streets, buildings and even people are about to be painted with a vibrant array of virtual information and advertising.

Credit: The Image Bank / Getty

Among the most significant technologies expected to appear in the next decade is augmented reality effected by eyewear and cameras that can add an informational overlay to the wearer's point of view, radically transforming the cityscape and disrupting shopping, advertising, and possibly social interaction. Another technology projected to emerge is telepresence robots, which will enable people to remotely interact across great distances, significantly impacting social rules, the workplace, health care, and travel. Meanwhile, brain-machine interfaces may progress beyond mere thought control of computers and other machines, perhaps enhancing memory and other mental functions and challenging long-cherished concepts about identity, culpability, and the acceptable thresholds of human enhancement.

Software that can automatically evolve technology to create inventions will disrupt research and development and inventing. Experts say evolved inventions are already having a substantial cumulative impact in the acceleration of innovation.

Forecasting will likely take a big leap forward with the advent of text-mining applications that tap the vast corpus of data available online to identify trends and make projections, with significant implications for marketing and government policy.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2011 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


 

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