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Beyond 2012: Predicting the future of tech [Infographic]

-only lifeforms will be a reality by 2025, the importance of self-driving vehicles will outweigh their novelty by 2019, and petabytes of storage will become standard by 2024. That’s according to a set of predictions collated by Michael Zappa and first posted on his site Envisioning Technology.

Zappa backs up the predictions, released in the form of an infographic, saying:

“Understanding where technology is heading is more than guesswork. Looking at emerging trends and research, one can predict and draw conclusions about how the technological sphere is developing, and which technologies should become mainstream in the coming years”.

The infographic, he says, is meant to “facilitate those observations by taking a step back and seeing the wider context.”

The research also predicts that organ printing — basically combining 3D printing technology with human tissue to create new organs –, will become one of the most important technologies across all fields sometime around 2016, although the importance hybrid-assisted limbs and artificial retinas won’t start to outweigh their novelty until the 2030s.

Those harbouring Terminator-esque fantasies will have to wait until 2035 before retinal screens (basically a heads-up display embedded into your eye) become a consumer reality. Scientists have already developed an early prototype of this device, although it is only capable of displaying one pixel.

Terabit internet speeds are also expected to become standard by the 2030s, with programmable matter, a space elevator and climate engineering expected to be realities before 2040 as well. To put that into context, networking giants Cisco and Telia recently made news when they announced plans to run a 120Gbps internet connection at a Swedish tech conference.

None of the predictions are hard and fast of course. According to Wikimedia foundation, they are however important. “By speculating about what lies beyond the horizon, we can make better decisions about what to create today,” it says.

Author | Stuart Thomas

Stuart Thomas
Stuart is the editor-in-chief of Engage Me Online. After pursuing an MA in South African literature, he spent five years reporting on the global technology scene. Intrigued by the intersection of technology and work, he joined Engage Me as the editor-in-chief. He is a passionate runner, and recently ran... More
  • Erik Moeller

    The attribution for this infographic is incorrect. It wasn’t created by or for the Wikimedia Foundation. The author of the infographic is noted in the image itself: Michell Zappa of envisioningtech.com. Because the image is under a compatible Creative Commons license, it’s been posted on Wikipedia, but that’s where the connection begins and ends.

  • 120 Gbps connection! Wow I would be happy to just get the 4Mbps I pay #telkom for, lucky to get 1.5

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