At the 2013 CIO Network Conference, Peter Diamandis discussed 8 technologies to watch for in 2013 and beyond.
Wall Street Journal sponsors the annual conference which brings together a membership organization of the world’s top technology executives from global corporations.
Mr. Diamandis is the CEO and Chairman of the X-Prize Foundation, just one of the non-profit organizations which offer awards, recognition and money to individuals pursuing innovation in specific fields.
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Mr. Diamandis extrapolated that the population will grow over the next ten years, from just under 2 Billion people in 2010 to over 5 Billion people by 2010. These individuals will be more technology immersed, more educated and will longer life spans. His expectation is that will the increased resources available to the next 3 Billion people, that innovation will grow explosively and exponentially.
The 8 technologies he believes will see the greatest innovation are in the areas of:
Medicine – Global communications across multiple time zones and languages has turned medicine from a point-of-service business to an information technology business. People can speak with a doctor anytime, anywhere using the internet and receive a diagnosis and prescription immediately.
Biotechnology – DNA and genetic manipulation in crops has created a new “synthetic biology” that can quickly and cheaply modify living organisms at the microscopic and macroscopic levels. This is nearly reduced to a biological programming language, and Mr. Diamandis expects the next $100 Billion companies to emerge in this field. Biotechnology has recently started to approach a mainstream product for data storage in the computer technology area.
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Computational Systems – These systems provide the ability to model almost anything and to use a vast array of computers to each work on a small piece of a much larger problem. A high data rate internet connecting 10’s, 100’s or 1,000’s of computers together can now attempt what was otherwise impossible due to the raw number of computational cycles involved. With a cloud system, it will be possible to rent time on a network for seconds, minutes, hours or days as needed to solve problems or model systems. This is already prevalent in the animation and film industry for computer graphics and digital renderings.
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Networks and Sensors -With the proliferation of both wired and wireless sensor networks, it is now possible to collect an extremely large amount of information related to a single piece of equipment, and entire facility or a large area of the planet. This can be utilized real-time or stored for later processing and data mining. As part of the next X-Prize categories, Mr. Diamandis is considering earthquake prediction.
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Robotics – This is a huge growth industry with robotics showing up everywhere from the traditional factories and manufacturing, to personal robots to be a physical avatar for remote meetings. It’s conceivable that instead of voice or video conferencing, there will be a tele-presence based on occupying a robot for meetings or conferences.
Digital Manufacturing – This will be on-demand creation of anything and everything. 3D printing is just starting to take hold in the consumer space, with reasonable cost manufacturing units become today what home printers and copiers were 15 years ago. Soon it will be possible to see a toy, piece of artwork or even a table or a dress on a television show and be able to download the 3D print file to your home system to have it ready before the end of the program.
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Artificial Intelligence (AI) – This has already evolved considerably in the last decade and has become so commonplace that we hardly notice it anymore. “Siri” on your iPhone is a prime example. This is also incorporated in every telephone system with voice recognition and has become almost too good at recommending movies, books, restaurants and everything else in our daily lives. “Life-logging” will become the most personal AI in which everything we say is recorded, and snapshots of what we see is captured, and eventually the AI can act as we would.
Nanotechnology – This field encompasses everything from medicine, to environmental, to energy and is of intense interest to researchers today. Mr. Diamandis is also developing an X-Prize award for new developments in nanotechnology. Scientists are already creating nanotechnology which will eliminate open water oil spills, attack viruses in the blood stream and power smart energy cell batteries.
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These 8 technologies to watch for 2013 and the years to come will be the most likely driving forces behind new companies and new products. These will allow developers to create, re-create and re-imagine today’s world into something that may be hardly recognizable in one or two generations.
(Photo Credit – InfoSys)
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