As you know, each year the Institute for Global Futures identifies and forecasts what the coming year’s most impactful technology trends will be. This year we will see an explosion of innovations in advanced technology that will create both disruptions and opportunities as never before. These Top Ten Extreme Tech Trends will offer wealth-creating competitive advantages for the agile company or individual that is quick to adapt.
Advances in quantum computing, geo-engineering, green tech, nano-medical devices, wireless Internet, stem cell organs, and personal robots top the list. We see cheap, fast, connected, green and smart technology invading every industry from real estate, to retail, to financial services. Vast new power tools will accelerate global innovation creating entirely new industries in 2008. As a result, every business and every customer will be influenced by these trends.
The coming year’s top technology trends are as follows:
1. Practical Quantum Computing – This year will see breakthroughs in quantum computing that will provide useful applications in encryption and data mining that will move into the mainstream marketplace. Even Wall Street traders will be able to better predict the future outcome of financial markets by using quantum tools.
2. Geo-Engineering – Pollution problems threatening the environment will require huge investments in sophisticated tech fixes to engineer climate, water and soil. Large scale, planetary scale engineering plans are in the works now to meet this challenge.
3. Green Tech – The green and clean trend is just starting and will affect every product, consumer and company in 2008. New advances in green technology that will not harm, but help the planet, will emerge and be in demand in 2008. From fuels, to clothes, to hybrid cars—green tech will offer new alternatives to consumers and business alike. Every business must have a Green Tech strategy in 2008 to thrive.
4. Nano-Medical Devices – Nano-technology is no longer hype, but a reality in 2008 for medical devices that will dispense drugs and even help restore organs and reduce cancers. Look for nano-telemedicine and nano-tele-surgery in 2008.
5. Reality Mashups – This year the convergence of technology that connects people, from RFID to Wi-Fi, the Internet, cell phones and to cars will bring two billion people together over wireless global networks. When you combine geographic information with voice, video and search, you have one global dynamic trading and Connectivity Cloud.
6. Personal Robots – Get ready for personal robots that protect, clean and entertain in 2008. The next generation of smart robots is coming to a shopping mall soon at cheaper prices all can afford.
7. Stem Cell Organs On-Demand – Now that any cells can be used to develop stem cells, we will see organs created to prolong life and health starting in 2008. This will lead to an avalanche of new solutions for medicine that will drive life extension.
8. iHealth – New wearable devices and information applications will empower consumers with real-time information customized to monitor and track the health status of individuals, measuring risks and downloading customized personal health info.
9. CyberJacks – A new breed of rogue for-profit apolitical hackers will prey on banks, consumers and business, hacking into databases and stealing identities for the highest bidder in online identity trade marts. More networks get connected the more at risk.
10. Immersive Web – The next generation of the web will be shaped by immersive technology that delivers sensation, experience and emotion in rich online worlds.