Technology advances at an alarming rate and has done so for 100 years already, although it is difficult to tell exactly what the future of something that changes so fast will look like we can guess based on what the population demands from our technology as it is.
What Do People Want?
The first thing we must understand in order to get a glimpse of the future is what do people want from our technology. First people want what they have wanted for the last century. They want things to be convenient. Once that is acomplished people want technology to become smaller, faster, and cheaper. People are always looking for the best deal. After that is achieved for the general populace we start looking for things to be more enviromentally friendly. People wnat things that will last longer in their possession and yet do less damage to the enviroment even when disposed of.
Yeah, things need to be more convinient. I know, "How can we make things more convineint than they already are?" Well that part is simple. Most of the things that will make technologymore convinent are already happening they just need to continue to happen. More children are starting to do their homework using computers rather than using heavy textbooks and massive amounts of printed paper. Teachers can be contacted at any time via email. Phones allow us to get directions from wherever we may be using sattellites and contain many other useful apps that connect us to most of the information we need. Scanners located in stores even allow us to check the prices on items when we are unsure of what they are. Now, let's take that convinience a bit further... Look over at the right hand side of the site and you will see several questions that you can answer when you have finished learning all that you can from this site about the future of technology. These questions are based on a concept of the "Learn This!" button. the learn this button does not currently exist but was thought up by Dr. Maria Anderson in the hopes that one day it would be used as frequently as Facebook's Like This button. the concept is that we can have a database of questions about any topic anywhere and can enhance our knowledge by coming back to some questions about that topic based on our online profile. So therefore it can be seen that some of the convenient technologies of the future are still in their infancy or may not even exist yet. Will these technologies progress or will they fail? We have yet to figure that part out all we have is an indication of how things might be, how we think they should be.
So How Do We Change The Size, Speed, and Cost Of Technology So Continuously Into The Future?
This is probably the most difficult problem that technology faces. Constantly the general population demands for products to be smaller, faster, and cheaper. But how do we provide this and still create a product that gives as much convenience? We have to use completely new materials. Copper and Silicon won't be good enough for long, and it's about time electrons went back to making up molecules instead of being used to conduct our electricity, we need something better and those materials are part of the technology that we will have to create. What if we could have a car that we never had to re-fuel? What if computers became obsolete? Could we even survive today without a computer? Of course we could, phones are already starting to take the place of computers in many aspects of daily life. Who still goes to Mapquest when their cell phone works as a GPS? With the developement of the Cloud personal computers truly are on the edge of extinction.
That's Neat and All But Why is This Important? Why Should We Care?
Because this is the future, my future and your own. This is what we have to look forward to and what we should work towards together. A connected world needs to be connected and most of us already are. With knowledge of what the future may hold we can help it to suceed.
For more information on the future of technology please visit some of these sites.
http://www.allflexinc.com/PDF/Future%20Electronics_IPC.pdf For those who wish to understand more about the materials to be used in the future.
http://www.futurepundit.com/archives/000523.html An interesting topic digging deeper into Martin Hoffert and why 50 years is not actually that much time.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21115669/ns/technology_and_science-space/t/spaceflight-technologys-next-years/ The future of space technology
A good idea as to the future of medicine.