Tech Futurism

Predicting Technology's Future

What does the future hold for technology? If Cisco's "Chief Futurist" Dave Evans is correct, it will be the stuff of science fiction. Literally. Everything from unfathomably fast computers to teleportation will crop up in the next few decades. And it's not just technology that will change. Information itself will change, according to Evans. By 2060, he predicts that 95 percent of what we know will have been discovered in the last 50 years. So what we know today will make up only 5 percent of our
Image: Colin Anderson | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

What does the future hold for technology? If Cisco's "Chief Futurist" Dave Evans is correct, it will be the stuff of science fiction. Literally. Everything from unfathomably fast computers to teleportation will crop up in the next few decades.

And it's not just technology that will change. Information itself will change, according to Evans. By 2060, he predicts that 95 percent of what we know will have been discovered in the last 50 years. So what we know today will make up only 5 percent of our knowledge base by 2060.

It's all part of Evans' top 25 technology predictions. Here are 10 of them.

By Constance Parten
Posted: 10, Oct. 2010

Computing Power

Prediction: By 2050, $1,000 worth of computing power will equal the processing power of all human brains on earth. This assumes a global population of 9 billion.By comparison, today's $1,000 personal computer does not have the raw processing power of a single human brain. That isn't expected to occur until about 2020.
Image: Image Source | Getty Images

Prediction: By 2050, $1,000 worth of computing power will equal the processing power of all human brains on earth. This assumes a global population of 9 billion.

By comparison, today's $1,000 personal computer does not have the raw processing power of a single human brain. That isn't expected to occur until about 2020.

Source: Hans Moravec, Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 1998; Cisco IBSG, 2006-2009

Artificial Brain Implants

Prediction: By 2030, artificial implants for the brain will take place. Earlier this year, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh placed two neural implants in the brain of a macaque, allowing it to
Image: D-BASE | Digital Vision | Getty Images

Prediction: By 2030, artificial implants for the brain will take place.

Earlier this year, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh placed two neural implants in the brain of a macaque, allowing it to control a robot arm using only its thoughts.

Source: Cisco IBSG, 2009

Teleportation

Prediction: By 2025, teleportation at the particle level will begin to occur.Oh, yeah. Beam me up, Scotty! Well, not exactly. In early 2009, a U.S. team successfully across their laboratory. Previous "teleportation" attempts were limited to single ions or a photon over very short ranges, so this was fairly big news. One small step for metal ions, one giant leap for teleportation.
Image: Paramount Pictures

Prediction: By 2025, teleportation at the particle level will begin to occur.

Oh, yeah. Beam me up, Scotty! Well, not exactly. In early 2009, a U.S. team successfully teleported a bunch of Ytterbium metal ions across their laboratory. Previous "teleportation" attempts were limited to single ions or a photon over very short ranges, so this was fairly big news. One small step for metal ions, one giant leap for teleportation.

Source: Cisco IBSG, 2009, FastCompany.com

Quantum Computing

Prediction: The first commercial quantum computer will be available by mid-2020.Quantum computing is still in its infancy, but experiments have been carried out in which quantum computational operations were executed on a small number of qubits, or quantum bits. Companies such as . It will make dealing with the growing amount of data on the Internet significantly simpler, among other things.
Image: J Chung | D-Wave

Prediction: The first commercial quantum computer will be available by mid-2020.

Quantum computing is still in its infancy, but experiments have been carried out in which quantum computational operations were executed on a small number of qubits, or quantum bits. Companies such as Bell Labs are investing in quantum computing. It will make dealing with the growing amount of data on the Internet significantly simpler, among other things.

Source: Cisco IBSG, 2009

Universal Language Translation

Prediction: By 2020, universal language-translation will be commonplace on every device.Already, into other languages, smartphone apps can translate speech, Google is and there's a social network that .
Image: David Madison | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

Prediction: By 2020, universal language-translation will be commonplace on every device.

Already, tweets have been automatically converted into other languages, smartphone apps can translate speech, Google is adding translation text to YouTube videos and there's a social network that allows people to use any language to converse.

Source: Cisco IBSG, 2009, SingularityHub.com

Personal Data

Prediction: By 2020, the average person will maintain 130 terabytes of personal data. By comparison, that figure was approximately 128 gigabytes in 2009 — more than 1,000 times less. How will we keep up with all that data?
Image: Getty Images

Prediction: By 2020, the average person will maintain 130 terabytes of personal data.

By comparison, that figure was approximately 128 gigabytes in 2009 — more than 1,000 times less. How will we keep up with all that data?

Source: Cisco IBSG, 2009

Video Calling

Prediction: By 2015, video calling will be pervasive, generating 400 exabytes of data.Large business has been using video technology like Cisco's Telepresence for several years, but smaller businesses have been priced out of such expensive systems in the past. That will likely change rapidly as new technologies emerge — companies like Motorola say they'll soon be adding video calling capability to future phones.As Cisco's Carlos Dominguez says,
Image: Image Source | Getty Images

Prediction: By 2015, video calling will be pervasive, generating 400 exabytes of data.

Large business has been using video technology like Cisco's Telepresence for several years, but smaller businesses have been priced out of such expensive systems in the past. That will likely change rapidly as new technologies emerge — companies like Motorola say they'll soon be adding video calling capability to future phones.

As Cisco's Carlos Dominguez says, "it's all about video."

Source: Cisco IBSG, 2009, HumanProductivityLab, CNBC.com

Google Index

Prediction: By 2015, Google will index approximately 775 billion pages of content.The first Google index in 1998 already had 26 million pages. By 2000, the Google index reached the 1 billion mark. In 2008, Google's when the systems that process links on the Web to find new content hit a milestone: 1 trillion unique URLs on the Web.Google doesn't index all of those pages, however, because some are similar or represent auto-generated content that isn't very helpful.
Image: Karen Bleier |AFP | Getty Images

Prediction: By 2015, Google will index approximately 775 billion pages of content.

The first Google index in 1998 already had 26 million pages. By 2000, the Google index reached the 1 billion mark. In 2008, Google's search engineers were shocked when the systems that process links on the Web to find new content hit a milestone: 1 trillion unique URLs on the Web.

Google doesn't index all of those pages, however, because some are similar or represent auto-generated content that isn't very helpful.

Source: Cisco IBSG, 2009, The Official Google Blog

Computer Displays on Any Surface

Prediction: By 2015, any surface will easily become a display. Instead of being attached to a monitor, mouse and keyboard configuration, computer users will be able to apply multi-touch solutions on walls, tables, monitors and other surfaces.
Image: Displax.com

Prediction: By 2015, any surface will easily become a display.

Instead of being attached to a monitor, mouse and keyboard configuration, computer users will be able to apply multi-touch solutions on walls, tables, monitors and other surfaces.

Source: Cisco IBSG, 2009

Information Creation

Prediction: By 2015, we will create enough information in a year to equate 92.5 million Libraries of Congress.But how big is the Library of Congress? In early 2009, one Library employee estimated on the library's blog that there are 74 terabytes of digitized, free and public content from the Library's collection available online — about 15.3 million digital items. But those digital items don't represent a precise percentage of the Library's physical collection of 142 million items. And it ...
Image: Hugaholic

Prediction: By 2015, we will create enough information in a year to equate 92.5 million Libraries of Congress.

But how big is the Library of Congress? In early 2009, one Library employee estimated on the library's blog that there are 74 terabytes of digitized, free and public content from the Library's collection available online — about 15.3 million digital items. But those digital items don't represent a precise percentage of the Library's physical collection of 142 million items. And it just gets hairier from there...

Source: Cisco IBSG, 2009, HumanProductivityLab.com, Library of Congress Blog

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