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Futurist Jack Uldrich’s 2011 Technology Forecast &

Posted in Nanotechnology


#1: A student educated solely through free online university courses
will take the LSAT or MCAD and receive a test score high enough to be
accepted by a major law school or medical program. The student will,
however, be denied entrance because she doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree
from an accredited four-year institution. The student will sue. The
case will be closely monitored by open-source advocates as well as the
guardians of the traditional four-year college. The case will be the
opening salvo in the battle to define the future of education.

#2: An armed military ground robot will successfully identify and
terminate a top Taliban leader deep inside a cave somewhere in the
mountains of Afghanistan. In response, a U.S. military robot will be
hijacked and used against U.S. forces in a deadly attack. Both events
will spur high-level discussions–and much hand-wringing–about the
ethical uses of robots in warfare but they will also fuel increased
expenditures on military robots by other foreign governments.

#3: Interactive billboards will be coming to a store near you in 2011–
and they will target you. Employing the latest facial recognition
technology and utilizing sophisticated algorithms, these billboards will
detect your age and gender and then, using the time of day and your
location, deliver an advertisement designed for you. Privacy advocates
will decry the event but since the technology only uses generic
information (the technology does not recognize individual faces), most
major retailers will be comfortable employing the technology.

#4: Due to advances in 3-D manufacturing, a leading U.S. automotive
company will announce it is terminating a relationship with a Chinese
supply part manufacturer and instead begin printing those parts at an
assembly plant in Ohio.

#5: Nike and Apple will announce a new partnership to incorporate
Apple’s iPod technology directly into certain Nike apparel, including
hoodies and running jackets. In an unrelated event, Nike will also begin
exploring partnerships with leading healthcare companies to explore how
medical sensors embedded in their products can be used to monitor a
person’s health condition.

#6: Continued advances in GPS and social networking technology will
force a growing number of major car rental businesses into partnerships
with car-sharing companies, such as Zipcar, in order to make car rentals
available in more convenient locations and for shorter lengths of time.

#7: Stem cell researchers will announce a spinal cord patient has
regained partial use of her limbs due to a new treatment involving
embryonic stem cells. There will be only minimal opposition from
conservative organizations regarding this innovative treatment.

#8: Citizens in Tokyo, Silicon Valley and Boston will begin spotting
early tech trend-setters wearing “augmented reality” glasses to navigate
their way around those cities. Meanwhile, the rest of the world will
simply become more used to seeing people hold up their phones next to
restaurants, buildings and advertisements to gather more information
about their external surroundings.

#9: Due to the aging demographics of nurses in the healthcare industry, a
major hospital will experiment with an exoskeleton to help nurses lift
and “turn” patients. The device will allow a 120-pound nurse to flip a
300-pound man without breaking a sweat—or her back.

#10: A private genomics company will announce the development of a
genetic test to better detect heart disease. The event will trigger a
land rush among major pharmaceutical companies to acquire leading
genetic testing companies. Elsewhere in the field of genomics, Monsanto,
Bayer Science and others will announce the creation of new versions of
gentically-modified drought-resistant varieties of corn, wheat, cotton
and barley.

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Futurist Jack Uldrich 2010 Technology Forecast & Predictions

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