Earlier this year, the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Software and Society polled experts to ask when they expected major new technologies to hit a tipping point, meaning that the technology would pass the point where it would then become a mainstream norm. The list of technological changes that are predicted for the next ten years is astounding. This coming decade is probably going to be considered by historians as the time when mankind moved past the era of the Industrial Revolution into the Computer and Software Age.
We live in a time when it has become routine to expect rapid changes and improvements in the way we do things. But taken altogether, we will hit a tipping point with so many new technologies that lives will be decidedly different a decade from now compared to today. Following are the changes that this group foresees on the immediate horizon along with a prediction of when each of the changes passes the tipping point and becomes part of our daily lives. Note that the tipping points they provided are not the only event that could move a technology into the mainstream, but instead are a good example.
- Implantable Technology – Tipping point when the first implantable mobile phone is commercially available. Expected date: 2023
- Personal Digital Presence – Tipping point when 80% of people in the world have a digital presence on the web. Expected data: 2023
- Vision as the New Interface. Tipping point when 10% of reading glasses connect to the internet. Expected date: 2023
- Wearable Internet – Tipping point when 10% of people wear clothes connected to the Internet. Expected date: 2022.
- Ubiquitous Computing – Tipping point when 90% of the world’s population has access to the Internet. Expected date: 2024.
- A Supercomputer in Your Pocket. Tipping point when 90% of the world population has a smartphone. Expected date: 2023
- Storage for All – Tipping point when 90% of people have unlimited and free (supported by advertising) data storage. Expected date: 2025.
- The Internet of Things – Tipping point when 1 trillion sensors are connected to the Internet. Expected date: 2022.
- The Connected Home – Tipping point when over 50% of broadband to homes is used for appliances and devices. Expected date: 2024.
- Smart Cities – Tipping point when the first city with more than 50,000 people has no traffic lights. Expected date: 2026
- Big Data for Decisions – Tipping point when the first government replaces a census with big data. Expected date: 2023.
- Driverless Cars – Tipping point when driverless cars are 10% of the vehicles on the road. Expected date: 2026.
- Artificial Intelligence and Decision-Making – Tipping point when an AI is on a major corporate Board. Expected date: 2026.
- AI and White Collar Jobs – Tipping point when 30% of corporate audits are done by AI. Expected date: 2025.
- Robotics – Tipping point is the first robotic pharmacist in the US. Expected date: 2021.
- Bitcoin and Blockchain – Tipping point is when 10% of gross domestic product stored on blockchains. Expected date: 2027.
- The Sharing Economy – Tipping point when more global trips are made by car sharing than in private cars. Expected date: 2025.
- Governments and Blockchain – Tipping point when tax is collected for the first time via blockchain. Expected date: 2023.
- Printing and Manufacturing – Tipping point when the first 3D-printed car is in production. Expected date: 2022.
- 3D Printing and Health – Tipping point when first transplant of 3D liver. Expected date: 2024.
- 3D Printing and Consumer Products – Tipping point when 5% of consumer goods printed in 3D. Expected date: 2025.
Even if only a large fraction of these changes happen when predicted it is going to be a very different world a decade from now. This kind of list is almost overwhelming. I am probably going to write future blogs about a few of the changes that I find the most intriguing. One thing is for sure, – hang onto your seats, the whole world is about to enter a new age.