Futurist Profile: Nick Kaloterakis

Nick Kaloerakis is an amazing designer with a mind for futuristic development. Very focused on metallic streamlined designs, Nick’s work is indicative of a trend towards envisioning melded technologies: electronics with engineering and elegance. For example, Nick draws a stunning image of hypersonic jets, streamlined to make trips from New York to Tokyo in 2 hours. Check out his work for an insight on how awesome designers are viewing future technologies: http://kollected.com/.

You can find Nick’s work gracing the covers and insides of Popular Science, National Geographic and Discovery Channel.

Data is Power by Nick Kaloterakis


Mars Rover by Nick Kaloterakis

Deus Ex Machina by Nick Kaloterakis


Rad Technologies Projected or Being Developed

23 incredible new technologies you’ll see by 2021

By On October 17, 2011 

Down the cybernetic rabbit hole we go. Photo by Harold Hoyer.

The Maya said we’re due for a shake-up soon. Turns out, they were right.

****This post is brought to you in partnership between Matador and [their] friends at Intel. Join [them] in the conversation on Twitter with #IntelEMP.

WHEN LOOKING AT THE present as an indication of where we’ll stand a year from now–much less a decade–feeling optimistic may not come easy. We look out to the universe and see an infinite, lifeless abyss enfolding upon our own small pocket of civilization, while the people we look to for guidance and information seem to be little more than straight-faced bearers of bad news.

Yet while we can’t predict what the future holds for our unending political discourses, we can look at how far we’ve come with technology in merely the last decade and realize the present we know now will, very soon, find itself memorialized in nostalgia. Here’s some technology emerging down the road that’s poised to change your life on a much greater scale than any outcome of a political debate.


Ultrabooks – The last two years have been all about the tablet. Laptops, with their “untouchable” screens, have yet to match any tablet’s featherweight portability and zippy response times. However, by next year, ultraportable notebooks–Ultrabooks–will finally be available for under $1000, bringing a complete computing experience into areas of life which, until now, have only been partially filled by smaller technologies such as tablets and smartphones. They weigh around three pounds, measure less than an inch thick, and the hard drives are flash-based, which means they’ll have no moving parts, delivering zippy-quick startups and load times.

The Mars Science Laboratory – By August 2012, the next mission to Mars will reach the Martian surface with a new rover named Curiosity focusing on whether Mars could ever have supported life, and whether it might be able to in the future. Curiosity will be more than 5 times larger than the previous Mars rover, and the mission will cost around $2.3 billion — or just about one and a half New Yankee Stadiums.

The Brain Cap, from U of Maryland.

The paralyzed will walk. But, perhaps not in the way that you’d imagine. Using a machine-brain interface, researchers are making it possible for otherwise paralyzed humans to control neuroprostheses–essentially mechanical limbs that respond to human thought–allowing them to walk and regain bodily control. The same systems are also being developed for the military, which one can only assume means this project won’t flounder due to a lack of funding.


The Rise of Electronic Paper – Right now, e-paper is pretty much only used in e-readers like the Kindle, but it’s something researchers everywhere are eager to expand upon. Full-color video integration is the obvious next step, and as tablet prices fall, it’s likely newspapers will soon be fully eradicated from their current form. The good news: less deforestation, and more user control over your sources.

4G will be the new standard in cell phone networks. What this means: your phone will download data about as fast as your home computer can. While you’ve probably seen lots of 4G banter from the big cell providers, it’s not very widely available in most phones. However, both Verizon and the EU intend to do away with 3G entirely by 2013, which will essentially bring broadband-level speeds to wireless devices on cell networks. It won’t do away with standard internet providers, but it will bring “worldwide WiFi” capabilities to anyone with a 4G data plan.

The Eye of Gaia, a billion-pixel telescope will be sent into space this year to begin photographing and mapping the universe on a scale that was recently impossible. With the human eye, one can see several thousand stars on a clear night; Gaia will observe more than a billion over the course of its mission–about 1% of all the stars in the Milky Way. As well, it will look far beyond our own galaxy, even as far as the end of the (observable) universe.


A 1 Terabyte SD Memory Card probably seems like an impossibly unnecessary technological investment. Many computers still don’t come with that much memory, much less SD memory cards that fit in your digital camera. Yet thanks to Moore’s Law we can expect that the 1TB SD card will become commonplace in 2014, and increasingly necessary given the much larger swaths of data and information that we’re constantly exchanging every day (thanks to technologies like memristors and our increasing ever-connectedness). The only disruptive factor here could be the rise of cloud-computing, but as data and transfer speeds continue to rise, it’s inevitable that we’ll need a physical place to store our digital stuff.

The first around-the-world flight by a solar-powered plane will be accomplished by now, bringing truly clean energy to air transportation for the first time. Consumer models are still far down the road, but you don’t need to let your imagination wander too far to figure out that this is definitely a game-changer. Consider this: it took humans quite a few milennia to figure out how to fly; and only a fraction of that time to do it with solar power.

The Solar Impulse, to be flown around the world. Photo by Stephanie Booth

The world’s most advanced polar icebreaker is currently being developed as a part of the EU’s scientific development goals and is scheduled to launch in 2014. As global average temperatures continue to climb, an understanding and diligence to the polar regions will be essential to monitoring the rapidly changing climates–and this icebreaker will be up to the task.

$100 personal DNA sequencing is what’s being promised by a company called BioNanomatrix, which the company founder Han Cao has made possible through his invention of the ‘nanofluidic chip.’ What this means: by being able to cheaply sequence your individual genome, a doctor could biopsy a tumor, sequence the DNA, and use that information to determine a prognosis and prescribe treatment for less than the cost of a modern-day x-ray. And by specifically inspecting the cancer’s DNA, treatment can be applied with far more specific–and effective–accuracy.


The world’s first zero-carbon, sustainable city in the form of Masdar City will be initially completed just outside of Abu Dhabi. The city will derive power solely from solar and other renewable resources, offer homes to more than 50,000 people.

Personal 3D Printing is currently reserved for those with extremely large bank accounts or equally large understandings about 3D printing; but by 2015, printing in three dimensions (essentially personal manufacturing) will become a common practice in the household and in schools. Current affordable solutions include do-it-yourself kits like Makerbot, but in four years it should look more like a compact version of the uPrint. Eventually, this technology could lead to technologies such as nanofabricators and matter replicators–but not for at least a few decades.


Space tourism will hit the mainstream. Well, sorta. Right now it costs around $20-30 million to blast off and chill at the International Space Station, or $200,000 for a sub-orbital spaceflight from Virgin Galactic. But the market is growing faster than most realize: within five years, companies like Space Island, Galactic Suite, and Orbital Technologies may realize their company missions, with space tourism packages ranging from $10,000 up-and-backs to $1 million five-night stays in an orbiting hotel suite.

The sunscreen pill will hit the market, protecting the skin as well as the eyes from UV rays. By reverse-engineering the way coral reefs shield themselves from the sun, scientists are very optimistic about the possibility, much to the dismay of sunscreen producers everywhere.

Back from extinction. Image by JenJeff.

A Wooly Mammoth will be reborn among other now-extinct animals in 2016, assuming all goes according to the current plans of Japan’s Riken Center for Developmental Biology. If they can pull it off, expect long lines at Animal Kingdom.


Portable laser pens that can seal wounds – Imagine you’re hiking fifty miles from the nearest human, and you slip, busting your knee wide open, gushing blood. Today, you might stand a chance of some serious blood loss–but in less than a decade you might be carrying a portable laser pen capable of sealing you back up Wolverine-style.


Light Peak technology, a method of super-high-data-transfer, will enable more than 100 Gigabytes per second–and eventually whole terabytes per second–within everyday consumer electronics. This enables the copying of entire hard drives in a matter of seconds, although by this time the standard hard drive is probably well over 2TB.

Insect-sized robot spies aren’t far off from becoming a reality, with the military currently hard at work to bring Mission Impossible-sized tech to the espionage playground. Secret weapon: immune to bug spray.


The average PC has the power of the human brain. According to Ray Kurzweil, who has a better grip on the future than probably anyone else, the Law of Accelerating Returns will usher in an exponentially greater amount of computing power than every before.

The Web Within Us. Image by Anna Lena Schiller.

Web 3.0 – What will it look like? Is it already here? It’s always difficult to tell just where we stand in terms of technological chronology. But if we assume that Web 1.0 was based only upon hyperlinks, and Web 2.0 is based on the social, person-to-person sharing of links, then Web 3.0 uses a combination of socially-sourced information, curated by a highly refined, personalizable algorithm (“they” call it the Semantic Web). We’re already in the midst of it, but it’s still far from its full potential.

Energy from a fusion reactor has always seemed just out of reach. It’s essentially the process of producing infinite energy from a tiny amount of resources, but it requires a machine that can contain a reaction that occurs at over 125,000,000 degrees. However, right now in southern France, the fusion reactor of the future is being built to power up by 2019, with estimates of full-scale fusion power available by 2030.


Crash-proof cars have been promised by Volvo, to be made possible by using radar, sonar, and driver alert systems. Considering automobile crashes kill over 30,000 people in the U.S. per year, this is definitely a welcome technology.


So, what should we expect in 2021? Well, 10 years ago, what did you expect to see now? Did you expect the word “Friend” to become a verb? Did you expect your twelve-year-old brother to stay up texting until 2am? Did you expect 140-character messaging systems enabling widespread revolutions against decades-old dictatorial regimes?

The next 10 years will be an era of unprecedented connectivity; this much we know. It will build upon the social networks, both real and virtual, that we’ve all played a role in constructing, bringing ideas together that would have otherwise remained distant, unknown strangers. Without twitter and a steady drip of mainstream media, would we have ever so strongly felt the presence of the Arab Spring? What laughs, gasps, or loves, however fleeting, would have been lost if not for Chatroulette? Keeping in mind that as our connections grow wider and more intimate, so too will the frequency of our connectedness, and as such, your own understanding of just what kinds of relationships are possible will be stretched and revolutionized as much as any piece of hardware.

Truly, the biggest changes we’ll face will not come in the form of any visible technology; the changes that matter most, as they always have, will occur in those places we know best but can never quite see: our own hearts and minds.

Futuristic Reading List

Here is a compilation of the sci-fi, cyberpunk, or futuristic novels I’ve read that I am willing to encourage the masses to read, nay, feast upon. These books are awesome imaginings of post-apocalyptic glory (or horror), enticing technologies and great characters. The writing is good too. Like the generous Samaritan I am, I’ve also provided links to the titles so that with just a few clicks, you can have a book delivered to the doorstep of your house. How’s that for technology? Now, once you’ve looked through the list, maybe ordered a few books, but before you’ve begun reading, let me know the ones I should read that I’ve perhaps forgot about or known nothing of their existence. Thank you.

Note: Authors are not repeated even if other books they’ve written are also fantastic. If they’re on this list, they’re good. You can trust them.

Futuristic Reading List

(in no hierarchical order)

SnowCrash Neal Stephenson

Neuromancer William Gibson

Ender’s Game Orson Scott Card

Dune Frank Herbert

Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (all of them) Douglas Adams
Barefoot in the Head Brian W. Adiss 

1984 George Orwell

Brave New World Aldous Huxley

Not included: (Kenzo Ishiguro‘s Never Let me Go because it’s vision of the future is sensationalistic and stupid. So, some books are omitted for their lack of coolness.)

A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess

The Road Cormac McCarthy

Cat’s Cradle Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

The Sparrow Mary Doria Russel

The Lathe of Heaven Ursula K. LeGuin

Oryx and Crake Margaret Atwood

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick

Ghost in the Shell  Masamune Shirow

Crash JG Ballard

Kamikaze L’amour Richard Kadrey

What about this? A poll on Images of the Future: Green Cityscape

As we grow more earth-conscious in order to save the environment (and ourselves), imaginings of future city-scapes take on a less gloomy look. Could you imagine this as reality? Would you want to live here? How far in the future does this artist rendition of the future seem?

gree city scape sci fiMitchell Joachim’s Eco-City Nick Kaloterakis

Ten emerging technology trends to watch over the next decade

by Andrew Maynard for 2020 Science on December 25, 2009

Ten years ago at the close of the 20th century, people the world over were obsessing about the millennium bug – an unanticipated glitch arising from an earlier technology.  I wonder how clear it was then that, despite this storm in what turned out to be a rather small teacup, the following decade would see unprecedented advances in technology – the mapping of the human genome, social media, nanotechnology, space-tourism, face transplants, hybrid cars, global communications, digital storage, and more.  Looking back, it’s clear that despite a few hiccups, emerging technologies are on a roll – one that’s showing no sign of slowing down.

So what can we expect as we enter the second decade of the twenty first century?  What are the emerging technology trends that are going to be hitting the headlines over the next ten years?

Here’s my list of the top ten technologies I think are worth watching. I’m afraid that, as with all crystal ball gazing, it’s bound to be flawed. Yet as I work on the opportunities and challenges of emerging technologies, these do seem to be areas that are ripe for prime time.


2009 was the year that geoengineering moved from the fringe to the mainstream.  The idea of engineering the climate on a global scale has been around for a while. But as the penny has dropped that we may be unable – or unwilling – to curb carbon dioxide emissions sufficiently to manage global warming, geoengineering has risen up the political agenda.  My guess is that the next decade will see the debate over geoengineering intensify.  Research will lead to increasingly plausible and economically feasible ways to tinker with the environment.  At the same time, political and social pressure will grow – both to put plans into action (whether multi- or unilaterally), and to limit the use of geoengineering.  The big question is whether globally-coordinated efforts to develop and use the technology in a socially and politically responsible way emerge, or whether we end up with an ugly – and potentially disastrous – free for all.

Smart grids

It may not be that apparent to the average consumer, but the way that electricity is generated, stored and transmitted is under immense strain.  As demand for electrical power grows, a radical rethink of the power grid is needed if we are to get electricity to where it is needed, when it is needed.  And the solution most likely to emerge as the way forward over the next ten years is the Smart Grid.  Smart grids connect producers of electricity to users through an interconnected “intelligent” network.  They allow centralized power stations to be augmented with – and even replaced by – distributed sources such as small-scale wind farms and domestic solar panels.  They route power from where there is excess being generated to where there is excess demand.  And they allow individuals to become providers as well as consumers – feeding power into the grid from home-installed generators, while drawing from the grid when they can’t meet their own demands.  The result is a vastly more efficient, responsive and resilient way of generating and supplying electricity.  As energy demands and limits on greenhouse gas emissions hit conventional electricity grids over the next decade, expect to see smart grids get increasing attention.

Radical materials

Good as they are, most of the materials we use these days are flawed – they don’t work as well as they could.  And usually, the fault lies in how the materials are structured at the atomic and molecular scale.  The past decade has seen some amazing advances in our ability to engineer materials with increasing precision at this scale.  The result is radical materials – materials that far outperform conventional materials in their strength, lightness, conductivity, ability to transmit heat, and a whole host of other characteristics.  Many of these are still at the research stage.  But as demands for high performance materials continue to increase everywhere from medical devices to advanced microprocessors and safe, efficient cars to space flight, radical materials will become increasingly common.  In particular, watch out for products based on carbon nanotubes.  Commercial use of this unique material has had it’s fair share of challenges over the past decade.  But I’m anticipating many of these will be overcome over the next ten years, allowing the material to achieve at least some of it’s long-anticipated promise.

Synthetic biology

Ten years ago, few people had heard of the term “synthetic biology.”  Now, scientists are able to synthesize the genome of a new organism from scratch, and are on the brink of using it to create a living bacteria.  Synthetic biology is about taking control of DNA – the genetic code of life – and engineering it, much in the same way a computer programmer engineers digital code.  It’s arisen in part as the cost of reading and synthesizing DNA sequences has plummeted.  But it is also being driven by scientists and engineers  who believe that living systems can be engineered in the same way as other systems.  In many ways, synthetic biology represents the digitization of biology.  We can now “upload” genetic sequences into a computer, where they can be manipulated like any other digital data.  But we can also “download” them back into reality when we have finished playing with them – creating new genetic code to be inserted into existing – or entirely new – organisms.  This is still expensive, and not as simple as many people would like to believe – we’re really just scratching the surface of the rules that govern how genetic code works.  But as the cost of DNA sequencing and synthesis continues to fall, expect to see the field advance in huge leaps and bounds over the next decade.  I’m not that optimistic about us cracking how the genetic code works in great detail by 2020 – the more we learn at the moment, the more we realize we don’t know.  However, I have no doubt that what we do learn will be enough to ensure synthetic biology is a hot topic over the next decade.  In particular, look out for synthesis of the first artificial organism, the development and use of “BioBricks” – the biological equivalent of electronic components – and the rise of DIY-biotechnology.

Personal genomics

Closely related to the developments underpinning synthetic biology, personal genomics relies on rapid sequencing and interpretation of an individual’s genetic sequence.  The Human Genome Project – completed in 2001 – cost taxpayers around $2.7 billion dollars, and took 13 years to complete.  In 2007, James Watson’s genome was sequenced in 2 months, at a cost of $2 million.  In 2009, Complete Genomics were sequencing personal genomes at less than $5000 a shot.  $1000 personal genomes are now on the cards for the near future – with the possibility of substantially faster/cheaper services by the end of the decade.  What exactly people are going to do with all these data is anyone’s guess at this point – especially as we still have a long way to go before we can make sense of huge sections of the human genome.  Add to this the complication of epigenetics, where external factors lead to changes in how genetic information is decoded which can pass from generation to generation, and and it’s uncertain how far personal genomics will progress over the next decade.  What aren’t in doubt though are the personal, social and economic driving forces behind generating and using this information. These are likely to underpin a growing market for personal genetic information over the next decade – and a growing number of businesses looking to capitalize on the data.


Blurring the boundaries between individuals and machines has long held our fascination. Whether it’s building human-machine hybrids, engineering high performance body parts or interfacing directly with computers, bio-interfaces are the stuff of our wildest dreams and worst nightmares.  Fortunately, we’re still a world away from some of the more extreme imaginings of science fiction – we won’t be constructing the prototype of Star Trek Voyager’s Seven of Nine anytime soon.  But the sophistication with which we can interface with the human body is fast reaching the point where rapid developments should be anticipated.  As a hint of things to come, check out the Luke Arm from Deka (founded by Dean Kamen).  Or Honda’s work on Brain Machine Interfaces.  Over the next decade, the convergence of technologies like Information Technology, nanoscale engineering, biotechnology and neurotechnology are likely to lead to highly sophisticated bio-interfaces.  Expect to see advances in sensors that plug into the brain, prosthetic limbs that are controlled from the brain, and even implants that directly interface with the brain.  My guess is that some of the more radical developments in bio-interfaces will probably occur after 2020.  But a lot of the groundwork will be laid over the next ten years.

Data interfaces

The amount of information available through the internet has exploded over the past decade.  Advances in data storage, transmission and processing have transformed the internet from a geek’s paradise to a supporting pillar of 21st century society.  But while the last ten years have been about access to information, I suspect that the next ten will be dominated by how to make sense of it all.  Without the means to find what we want in this vast sea of information, we are quite literally drowning in data.  And useful as search engines like Google are, they still struggle to separate the meaningful from the meaningless.  As a result, my sense is that over the next decade we will see some significant changes in how we interact with the internet.  We’re already seeing the beginnings of this in websites like Wolfram Alpha that “computes” answers to queries rather than simply returning search hits,  or Microsoft’s Bing, which helps take some of the guesswork out of searches.  Then we have ideas like The Sixth Sense project at the MIT Media Lab, which uses an interactive interface to tap into context-relevant web information.  As devices like phones, cameras, projectors, TV’s, computers, cars, shopping trolleys, you name it, become increasingly integrated and connected, be prepared to see rapid and radical changes in how we interface with and make sense of the web.

Solar power

Is the next decade going to be the one where solar power fulfills its promise?  Quite possibly.  Apart from increased political and social pressure to move towards sustainable energy sources, there are a couple of solar technologies that could well deliver over the next few years.  The first of these is printable solar cells.  They won’t be significantly more efficient than conventional solar cells.  But if the technology can be scaled up and some teething difficulties resolved, they could lead to the cost of solar power plummeting.  The technology is simple in concept – using relatively conventional printing processes and special inks, solar cells could be printed onto cheap, flexible substrates; roll to roll solar panels at a fraction of the cost of conventional silicon-based units.  And this opens the door to widespread use.  The second technology to watch is solar-assisted reactors.  Combining mirror-concentrated solar radiation with some nifty catalysts, it is becoming increasingly feasible to convert sunlight into other forms of energy at extremely high efficiencies.  Imagine being able to split water into hydrogen and oxygen using sunlight and an appropriate catalyst for instance, then recombine them to reclaim the energy on-demand – all at minimal energy loss.  Both of these solar technologies are poised to make a big impact over the next decade.


Drugs that enhance mental ability – increasingly referred to as nootropics – are not new.  But their use patterns are.  Drugs like ritalin, donepezil and modafinil are increasingly being used by students, academics and others to give them a mental edge.  What is startling though is a general sense that this is acceptable practice.  Back in June I ran a straw poll on 2020 Science to gauge attitudes to using nootropics.  Out of 207 respondents, 153 people (74%) either used nootropics, or would consider using them on a regular or occasional basis.  In April 2009, an article in the New Yorker reported on the growing use of “neuroenhancing drugs” to enhance performance. And in an informal poll run by Nature in April 2008, 1 in 5 respondents claimed “they had used drugs for non-medical reasons to stimulate their focus, concentration or memory.” Unlike physical performance-enhancing drugs, it seems that the social rules for nootropics are different.  There are even some who suggest that it is perhaps unethical not to take them – that operating to the best of our mental ability is a personal social obligation.  Of course this leads to a potentially explosive social/technological mix, that won’t be diffused easily.  Over the next ten years, I expect the issue of nootropics will become huge.  There will be questions on whether people should be free to take these drugs, whether the social advantages outweigh the personal advantages, and whether they confer an unfair advantage to users by leading to higher grades, better jobs, more money.  But there’s also the issue of drugs development.  If a strong market for nootropics emerges, there is every chance that new, more effective drugs will follow.  Then the question arises – who gets the “good” stuff, and who suffers as a result?  Whichever way you look at it, the 2010′s are set to be an interesting decade for mind-enhancing substances.


Cosmetics and pharmaceuticals inhabit very different worlds at the moment.  Pharmaceuticals typically treat or prevent disease, while cosmetics simply make you look better.  But why keep the two separate?  Why not develop products that make you look good by working with your body, rather than simply covering it?  The answer is largely due to regulation – drugs have to be put through a far more stringent set of checks and balances that cosmetics before entering the market, and rightly so.  But beyond this, there is enormous commercial potential in combining the two, especially as new science is paving the way for externally applied substances to do more than just beautify.  Products that blur the line are already available – in the US for instance, sunscreens and anti dandruff shampoos are considered drugs.  And the cosmetics industry regularly use the term “cosmeceutical” to describe products with medicinal or drug-like properties.  Yet with advances in synthetic chemistry and nanoscale engineering, it’s becoming increasingly possible to develop products that do more than just lead to “cosmetic” changes.  Imagine products that make you look younger, fresher, more beautiful, by changing your body rather than just covering up flaws and imperfections.  It’s a cosmetics company’s dream – one shared by many of their customers I suspect.  The dam that’s preventing many such products at the moment is regulation.  But if the pressure becomes too great – and there’s a fair chance it will over the next ten years – this dam is likely to burst.  And when it does, cosmeceuticals are going to hit the scene big-time.

So those are my ten emerging technology trends to watch over the next decade.  But what happened to nanotechnology, and what other technologies were on my shortlist?

Nanotech has been a dominant emerging technology over the past ten years.  But in many ways, it’s a fake.  Advances in the science of understanding and manipulating matter at the nanoscale are indisputable, as are the early technology outcomes of this science.  But nanotechnology is really just a convenient shorthand for a whole raft of emerging technologies that span semiconductors to sunscreens, and often share nothing more than an engineered structure that is somewhere between 1 – 100 nanometers in scale.  So rather than focus on nanotech, I decided to look at specific technologies which I think will make a significant impact over the next decade.  Perhaps not surprisingly though, many of them depend in some way on working with matter at nanometer scales.

In terms of the emerging technologies shortlist, it was tough to whittle this down to ten trends. My initial list included batteries, decentralized computing, biofuels, stem cells, cloning, artificial intelligence, robotics, low earth orbit flights, clean tech, neuroscience and memristors – there are many others that no doubt could and should have been on it.  Some of these I felt were likely to reach their prime sometime after the next decade.  Others I felt didn’t have as much potential to shake things up and make headlines as the ones I chose.  But this was a highly subjective and personal process.  I’m sure if someone else were writing this, the top ten list would be different.

And one final word.  Many of the technologies I’ve highlighted reflect an overarching trend: convergence.  Although not a technology in itself, synergistic convergence between different areas of knowledge and expertise will likely dominate emerging technology trends over the next decade.  Which means that confident as I am in my predictions, the chances of something completely different, unusual and amazing happening are…  pretty high!

Update, 12/27/09  Something’s been bugging me, and I’ve just realized what it is – in my original list of ten, I had smart drugs, but in the editing process they somehow got left by the wayside!  As I don’t want to go back and change the ten emerging technology trends I ended up posting, they will have to be a bonus.  As it is, drug delivery timelines are so long that I’m not sure how many smart drugs will hit the market before 2020.  But when they do, they will surely mark a turning point in therapeutics.  These are drugs that are programmed to behave in various ways.  The simplest are designed to accumulate around disease sites, then destroy the disease on command – gold shell nanoparticles fit the bill here, preferentially accumulating around tumors then destroying them by heating up when irradiated with infrared radiation.  More sophisticated smart drugs are in the pipeline though that are designed to seek out diseased cells, provide local diagnostics, then release therapeutic agents on demand.  The result is targeted disease treatment that leads to significantly greater efficacy at substantially lower doses.  Whether or not these make a significant impact over the next decade, they are definitely a technology to watch.
Read more: http://2020science.org/2009/12/25/ten-emerging-technology-trends-to-watch/#ixzz1tjlo4qEP