Ok. So, you are an IT bloke, and you know that if you wanna succeed, you should at least be up to date. Plus, you need to be able to predict things so that you’re not behind when they happen. What do you?

a) make random guesses
b) go to the closest witch and ask her to look into her crystal ball for you
c) take the red pill and go ask Oracle

Seriously, how often do you think about what the future holds in terms of technology? Our parents have witnessed some of the biggest inventions ever, should we expect something of the same magnitude? According to this BBC article, inventions in the future will have a much smaller impact in our lives than the ones in the past.
The article reminded me of a BT Exact white paper I read some time ago. It’s authors, Ian Pearson and Ian Neild, have compiled a technology timeline (link to pdf) to provide BT researchers and managers a way to foresee what the future holds when they have to make products or services. The document is quite easy to read and doesn’t focus only on technology itself but also in areas like education, demographics, transport and others and deserves a quick browse. It started in 1991 and has been updated every two or three years, learning from it’s own mistakes, and adding new predictions every edition. I’ve emailed Ian Pearson asking if there will be a new version since the latest dates from 2001 and it’s scheduled for next spring. Meanwhile, here are some handpicked predictions for the future from that document.

Loneliness in aged population greatly reduced by network communities 2010
Most software written by machine 2011
Orgasmatron 2012
Space hotel for 350 guests, using recycled Shuttle fuel tanks 2015
Need to book time slots to use some key roads 2020
Computer enhanced dreaming 2020
Deep underground cities in Japan 2020
Emotion control devices 2025
More robots than people in developed countries 2025
Emotion control chips used to control criminals 2030
Use of human hibernation in space travel 2030
Dream link technology 2030
Brain ‘add-ons’ 2033
Moon base the size of small village 2040

And if for some reason you don’t find this enough to make the future sound interesting, try this technology timeline and poke into future millennia. Satisfaction garanteed or your money returned. Maybe.

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