7 Top Futurists Make Some Pretty Surprising Predictions About What The Next Decade Will Bring

From smartphone apps that can do seemingly everything to driverless cars and eerily humanlike robots, the past decade has seen dramatic advances in science and technology. What amazing advances are we likely to see in the next 10 years?

To find out we’ve reached out to seven top futurists — and they gave us some pretty surprising predictions. Keep reading to learn more.

Dr. Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York and author of “The Future of the Mind:”

“In the next 10 years, we will see the gradual transition from an Internet to a brain-net, in which thoughts, emotions, feelings, and memories might be transmitted instantly across the planet.

Scientists can now hook the brain to a computer and begin to decode some of our memories and thoughts. This might eventually revolutionize communication and even entertainment. The movies of the future will be able to convey emotions and feelings, not just images on a silver screen. (Teenagers will go crazy on social media, sending memories and sensations from their senior prom, their first date, etc.). Historians and writers will be able to record events not just digitally, but also emotionally as well.

Perhaps even tensions between people will diminish, as people begin to feel and experience the pain of others.”

Dr. Ray Kurzweil, inventor, pioneering computer scientist, and director of engineering at Google:

“By 2025, 3D printers will print clothing at very low cost. There will be many free open source designs, but people will still spend money to download clothing files from the latest hot designer just as people spend money today for eBooks, music and movies despite all of the free material available. 3D printers will print human organs using modified stem cells with the patient’s own DNA providing an inexhaustible supply of organs and no rejection issues. We will be also able to repair damaged organs with reprogrammed stem cells, for example a heart damaged from a heart attack. 3D printers will print inexpensive modules to snap together a house or an office building, Lego style.

We will spend considerable time in virtual and augmented realities allowing us to visit with each other even if hundreds of miles apart. We’ll even be able to touch each other. Some of the ‘people’ we visit with in these new realities will be avatars. They will be compelling but not quite human level by 2025 — that will take to the 2030s. We will be able to reprogram human biology away from many diseases and aging processes, for example deactivating cancer stem cells that are the true source of cancer, or retard the progression of atherosclerosis, the cause of heart disease.

We will be able to create avatars of people who have passed away from all of the information they have left behind (their emails and other documents, images, videos, interviews with people who remember them). These will be compelling but not fully realistic, not until the mid 2030s, so some people will find this ‘replicant’ technology to be in the ‘uncanny valley,’ that is, disconcerting.”

Dr. Anne Lise Kjaer, founder of London-based trend forecasting agency Kjaer Global:

“The World Health Organization predicts that chronic diseases will account for almost three-quarters of all deaths worldwide by 2020, so the evolution of M-Health (mobile diagnostics, bio-feedback and personal monitoring) is set to revolutionize treatment of conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Apps designed by medical professionals will provide efficient real-time feedback, tackle chronic conditions at a much earlier stage, and help to improve the lifestyles and life outcomes of communities in the developed and developing world.

This improvement to our physical well-being is exciting, but what excites me even more is the parallel development of apps that meet our under-served mental health needs.”

Dr. James Canton, CEO of the San Francisco-based Institute for Global Futures and author of “Future Smart: Managing the Game-Changing Trends that will Transform Your World:”

“Wearable mobile devices will blanket the world. By 2025, there will be a massive Internet of everyone and everything linking every nation, community, company and person to all of the world’s knowledge. This will accelerate real-time access to education, health care, jobs, entertainment and commerce…

Artificial intelligence becomes both as smart as and smarter than humans. AI will be embedded in autos, robots, homes and hospitals will create the AI economy. Humans and robots merge, digitally and physically, to treat patients who may be around the world. Robo-surgeons will operate remotely on patients. RoboDocs will deliver babies and treat you over the cell phone.

Predictive medicine transforms health care. Early diagnosis of disease with medical devices that sniff our breath, and free DNA sequencing that predicts our future health will be common. Personalized genetic medicine will prevent disease, saving lives and billions in lost productivity… The next generation Bitcoin will replace traditional hard money, creating a new paradigm for digital commerce and business that will create a legitimate new economy.”

Jason Silva, host of National Geographic Channel’s “Brain Games:”

“The on-demand revolution will become the on-demand world, where biological software upgrades, personalized medicine, artificially intelligent assistants will increasingly transform healthcare and well-being. Additionally, increased automation will continue to make our day-to-day lives infinitely richer. Self-driving cars will be ubiquitous, transportation itself will be automatic, clean, and cheap. We will move into a world in which access trumps ownership and the world is at our fingertips.”

Dr. Amy Zalman, CEO & president of the World Future Society:

“Researchers now have at their disposal increasingly acute ways of looking into our brains and bodies to understand our attitudes and behaviour. A few years ago, Harvard researchers showed that leaders actually have less stress, not more, than non-leaders… At Ben-Gurion University, a study of judges showed that they handed out stricter judgements before lunch — when they were hungriest.

I find the potential application of these kinds of insights awe-inspiring. A more accurate understanding of how we humans function — how we trust, cooperate and learn but also fight and hate — is a tool that public policy-makers and we citizens can use to build better governance and better futures.”

Mark Stevenson, author of “An Optimist’s Tour of the Future:”

“The technologies aren’t the most important bit — although they are super cool. It’s what society does with them, and right now it’s institutional change that’s the sticking point…. What you really want to look at, in my opinion, is new ways of organizing ourselves. So, my next book covers, for instance, the renewables revolution in a small Austrian town, open source drug discovery in India, patient networks like PatientsLikeMe and schools that are throwing out the curriculum in order to get on with some actual learning.”


 

Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author Jacqueline Howard

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Virtual reality as sharp as the human eye can see?

Finnish start-up Varjo has developed a prototype virtual reality (VR) headset that its makers claim gives an image 50 times sharper than most other headsets currently on the market.

When I tested the prototype – looking round the virtual cockpit of a passenger plane – the level of detail in the small central area of vision was certainly impressive – as close to the real thing as I’ve come across.

Image quality outside this area, simulating standard VR headsets, was noticeably fuzzier.
Founder and chief executive Urho Konttori says the firm has managed to achieve this by mimicking how the eye sees.

“The human eye only focuses on a thumbnail-sized area of vision – the brain fills in the rest,” he says. “Our peripheral vision is less detailed, at a much lower resolution.”

So Varjo’s headset provides very high definition images only of the objects our eyes are focusing on at any particular moment, the rest of the scene is at lower resolution. It uses eye-tracking technology to tell which parts of the image it needs to render in high definition.

This technique is known as foveated rendering within the industry – chipmaker Nvidia has been working on it for a few years.

This selective approach uses a lot less computing power, says Mr Kontorri – roughly 25% less than current VR headsets.

But this level of detail doesn’t come cheap – headsets will cost between €5,000 and €10,000 (£4,350 and £8,700) – so the Helsinki-based firm is targeting corporate customers, such as aircraft manufacturers, carmakers, architects, construction firms and the entertainment industry.

“VR visualisation – looking at designs of cars, buildings, cityscapes in high-definition 3D – will become a key part of the design process for business,” says Brian Blau, VR analyst for research firm Gartner.

Mr Kontorri, who used to work for Microsoft and Nokia, is hoping that simulator training for aircraft pilots and other professionals could be made a lot cheaper using VR in addition to training on traditional full-scale simulators.

“Fully functional cockpit simulators can cost around €10m so there aren’t many around, and access to them is limited,” he says. “Using our system could bring the total cost of training to around €100,000.”

Carmakers BMW, Audi and Volkswagen have all asked for early access to the technology so they can help develop the prototype, says Mr Kontorri. And aerospace firms Saab and Airbus have also expressed interest. Game development platforms Unreal and Unity are technical partners.

But of course, a prototype is not the same as a final product.
Varjo, which has attracted more than $15m (£11m) in funding so far, is aiming to bring a final version to market by the end of 2018.

And rivals are exploring a similar approach.

Chipmaker Qualcomm, for example, has teamed up with eye-tracking firm Tobii to develop headsets that concentrate graphical processing power to where the user is looking.
The image quality of the peripheral vision is reduced without the user noticing.

New headsets like this HTC Vive Pro could bridge the gap between consumers and business
“There is definitely a market for high-end virtual reality,” thinks Tom Mainelli, an VR specialist at market intelligence firm IDC.

“In fact, we’re seeing an increasing demand from commercial entities that want higher-resolution hardware to drive more immersive experiences in everything from employee training to product design to manufacturing.”

But so far, it’s fair to say VR has had an image problem – in more ways than one.
Picture quality on most consumer headsets has suffered by comparison with today’s high-resolution smartphone and TV screens, while slow frame rates have often contributed to feelings of nausea among users watching fast-moving content.

This is also caused by latency – when you move your head and the image lags behind slightly.

“This causes your eyes, inner ear, and brain to get out of sync,” says Mr Mainelli.
Faster graphics chips can help address this issue, he says, “but the content must address it, too. If a VR experience has lots of jump cuts outside the control of the user it can also cause discomfort, regardless of the frame rate or low latency.”

Tailoring content to suit the environment will be crucial for airlines looking to offer more immersive entertainment for their passengers, says Moritz Engler, co-founder of Munich-based start-up Inflight VR.

“On a plane you can’t have people making sudden head movements and potentially hitting other passengers,” he says. “You have to make sure the content is appropriate.”

This means avoiding content involving roller-coaster rides or fighter plane dogfights.
“The last thing we want is for passengers to get sick,” he says.

Inflight VR has developed a platform to manage and distribute suitable content for airlines and has been trialling its service with Spanish carrier Iberia, amongst others. Airlines could offer commercial services as well as entertainment, Mr Engler believes.

“Say you’re flying to the Maldives, you could watch a film about scuba diving and then book a course, or you could go virtual shopping during the flight,” he says.

Another obvious drawback with VR is the inconvenience of having to put on a clunky headset that can become uncomfortable after prolonged use.

VR headset makers are beginning to address all these issues.

For example, HTC is releasing its Vive Pro headset in April, which features a much higher-resolution screen, high-performance headphones with noise cancellation facility, and a more comfortable strap. It will cost £799.

Users will also be able to unplug the headset from the computer and move freely thanks to a wireless dongle accessory.

Pimax has even produced a headset with ultra high-definition 8K image resolution and a 200 degree field of view (humans can see 220 degrees without having to move our heads).
Cheaper headsets – think Samsung’s Gear – use your smartphone as the screen, but new products such as Facebook’s Oculus Go and Lenovo’s Mirage Solo will “eliminate the need for a phone or PC altogether,” says Mr Mainelli.

“These products will drive a much different experience and will ship in notable volumes this year.”

So VR for business has a long way to go if it’s to catch up with the consumer gaming market. About 20 million headsets were sold in 2017, says Mr Blau, but the business sector accounted for less than 5% of that.

“The problem with VR is that people think they’re going to get a movie-quality experience, but the technology can’t match that yet.”

It seems that higher-definition images, faster chips and lighter headsets can’t come fast enough.


 

Here at Dollar Destruction, we endeavour to bring to you the latest, most important news from around the globe. We scan the web looking for the most valuable content and dish it right up for you! The content of this article was provided by the source referenced. Dollar Destruction does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. As always, we encourage you to perform your own research!

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Author Matthew Wall

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