Posted: July 17, 2014
The futurist: 44 mind-blowing “situational futuring” scenarios
The first 22Thomas Frey
4. Real-Time Healthcare Monitors – Rather than doing the snapshot-in-time testing that doctors do today, analyses will increasing be made in real-time through sensor networks that pull data over an extended period of time from our skin, organs, and even our brain as these tools evolve into hyper-analytical portals into our own metabolism.
5. Wireless Power Will having users linked to wireless power networks in the future be similar to linking to Wi-Fi networks today?
6. Swarmbots – Groups of flying drones that move like flocks of birds, schools of fish, or swarms of bees have become known as swarmbots. How long will it be before we see the newspaper headline that reads: “10,000 tiny flying swarmbots perform flawlessly together?”
7. Cure for Aging Life expectancy is getting longer, but the usefulness of the human body has traditionally maxed out somewhere around 120. Will it someday be possible to find a cure for aging?
8. Driverless Cars How long will it be before we see the first highway in the U.S. to be designated as a “driverless-cars only” highway?
9. Space Colonies In what year will there be an election for the first President of the Moon?
10. Billion-Cam Video Project – What kind of business will be needed to connect 1 billion live video cameras to the Internet? What can a billion-cam network do that a million-cam network can’t?
11. Centralized Law Project – Very few countries have their laws posted in a central repository. In the U.S. the laws, rules, and regulations are so numerous and obscure that few people know what laws are governing them at any given moment. How would that change if all laws were required to be posted on one central online website?
12. Dream Recorder It’s easy to forget our dreams, even before we wake up. Is it possible to create a “hit-play-to-record” device that would allow us to visually or mentally archive our dreams?
13. Reviving the Extinct Species – Should extinct species be brought back to life? If so, where would they live, and who would manage their existence?
14. Self-Cleaning House – This long-time dream of housewives is finally within reach as smart home technology, combined with the Internet of Things, begins to invade our lives. What are the current missing pieces and what technology could be used to fill the gaps?
15. Animal Communicator – With early stage natural language translators already in existence for humans, the next step will be a technology that bridges the communication gap between humans and animals. Will this ever be possible and how would this affect our human-animal relationships?
16. Global Elections When will we see the first global election with over 500 million people voting from at least 50 different countries? Will they be voting for a person, or voting on an issue? If it’s a person, what position will that person be running for? And, if it’s an issue, what issue will be so compelling that everyone wants to vote on it?
17. Human Cloning Science fiction movies often show cloned bodies grown over a long period of time. But 3D printing of replacement bodies will likely be a quicker option. How long will it be before someone 3D prints their own replacement body, and what are the implications of this kind of technology?
18. Space Based Power Stations – The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) recently announced its 25-year plan to build the world’s first 1-gigawatt power plant in space. Is it possible that another country will build one before Japan, and what effect will this have on today’s power industry?
19. Your Future Self How much, and in what ways, should you invest in the person you will become 5-10 years from now? What are some different ways for you to quantify the return on your investment?
20. Future Countries One hundred years from now, will we have more countries in the world or less? Will it someday be possible to create micro-nation states, and how could they be leveraged to influence global thinking?
21. The Age of the Dismantler – Every industry will eventually end, and this requires talented people who know how to scale things back and dismantle things in an orderly fashion. How long will it be before we begin a full-scale effort to dismantle the national power grid?
22. Controlling Weather – Weather control technology is still in its infancy. In what year will we see the first hurricane stopped by human intervention and what is the technology that will be used?
Tomorrow: The other 22
Thomas Frey is the executive director and senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute and currently Google’s top-rated futurist speaker. At the Institute, he has developed original research studies, enabling him to speak on unusual topics, translating trends into unique opportunities. Tom continually pushes the envelope of understanding, creating fascinating images of the world to come. His talks on futurist topics have captivated people ranging from high level of government officials to executives in Fortune 500 companies including NASA, IBM, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Unilever, GE, Blackmont Capital, Lucent Technologies, First Data, Boeing, Ford Motor Company, Qwest, Allied Signal, Hunter Douglas, Direct TV, Capital One, National Association of Federal Credit Unions, STAMATS, Bell Canada, American Chemical Society, Times of India, Leaders in Dubai, and many more. Before launching the DaVinci Institute, Tom spent 15 years at IBM as an engineer and designer where he received over 270 awards, more than any other IBM engineer.