We live in the age of information technology, in which everyone can live out their lives online and communicate in unprecedented ways. We also live in a time when scientific advances in many fields are changing our culture and the way we live our day to day lives. These ten technologies in the list are emerging from the labs and beginning to have practical implementations in our lives. There is, however, still much to learn and develop before they become commonplace.
The imposition of information harvested digitally from the internet and then place over the world around us is something that is beginning to trickle through to consumers. Modern smartphones can be harnessed be developers who can produce software that uses their GPS, Wi-Fi and 3G connections in unison with their built-in cameras to provide consumers with information about services and products just by pointing the viewfinder at them. Expect to see advertising and information provided in this way in the future.
Simulating thought and rationality within machines has always been a dream of science fiction, but increasingly complex programming has been able to come up with a variety of AI techniques over the years. Until recently there has been a lack of interest in AI research and as a result a lack of funding, but the stigma attached to its lofty pretentions is slowly disappearing.
Scientists have developed the ability to gain biological control over a living brain using what is described as a genetically engineered light switch. With control over neurons, it is possible to turn portions of the brain on or off and could help control mental disorders including depression.
There are several nanotechnologies in development, of which this is just one. It will allow for microscopic fibers to mesh together, closing wounds and reducing the risk of brain damage in severe injuries.
Recognizing and analyzing the virtually imperceptible differences between distinct cells within humans would allow for improved media treatments and potentially a cure for diseases such as cancer.
Solar power is expensive and inefficient, but with the nanocharging advances afforded by quantum dot technology, cheap and powerful devices that draw energy from the sun could cut carbon emissions.
The increasing strain that is put on internet connections by high quality video streaming looks like it will only get worse, but experts believe improvements in peer to peer networking will be the answer.
DVDs and even Blu Ray discs offer moderately high capacities, but new advances in laser technology could allow a single disc to hold hundreds of feature-length films in the near future.
Each year sees increasing advances in the field of robotics and scientists are constantly working on techniques to improve movement and generate intelligence that could allow for consumer grade robots to exist.
Giving medical patients the ability to monitor their own conditions and administer the correct help using individual computers which can scan brainwaves and track heartbeats will help to personalize medicine according to experts.
All of these technologies are bound to converge and we are seeing current generations smartphones available as part of O2 deals bring together technologies into a single package.