Technology Predictions from the Past

Schermafbeelding 2015-02-23 om 10.21.34The Institute for the Future is known for their yearly 10-year forecast that tries to answer how the world could change over the next decade.

Naturally we tend to look into the future with their help, but today I wanted to share their predictions from a decade ago. Predicting the future is not that easy of course. So to find out how wrong we are about what our world will look like in 10 years, let’s look back at how wrong we (they) were 10 years ago.

Here’s a infographic that shows IFTF’s predictions for 2005 (click to zoom).

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Were they all wrong? No.

They were spot on about what they call “collective intelligence” tools. Since 2005 the social web boomed, containing all types of social software, web- and photoblogs. IFTF also is on point when it comes to how the consumerization of technology will lead to citizen researchers that use mobile tech to track pollution and crime in cities. This crowdsourcing of information is only getting better using apps that allow users to alert the community and local government about potholes to mobile air pollution sensors that upload data into crowdsourced apps. DIY technology like Arduino is really contributing to this field.

When it comes to technology predictions the researchers were both on track and to ambitious. Things like ubiquitous smart phones, “wearable data”, sharing economies, and the rise of DIY radio and TV were right on the mark. A lot of their predicted technology trends are, 10 years later, still in early stages of development. Think of embedded brain chips, smart roads (although we have one in the Netherlands) and human exoskeletons.

Check out the full report here and here’s the research agenda for 2015.

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