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Tech Trendspotting For The Future 59

Posted by Zonk
from the your-average-day-at-slashdot dept.
Dylan Knight Rogers writes to mention a CNN article about an annual 10-year forecast of tech trends. Lots of analysts produce forecasts, but the Institute of the Future goes one step further by crafting artifacts from the future: "mocked-up products claiming to be from, say, 2009. You might go to an IFTF presentation and see baskets of finessed fruit that promise cognitive enhancement. Or you might wake up in the hotel where the IFTF seminar was being held to find your newspaper dated 10 years hence."
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Tech Trendspotting For The Future

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  • Trend #1 (Score:1, Insightful)

    by gowen (141411)
    "Forecasts" to regain letter 'e'.
    Slashdot editors to be trained at basic spelling, punctuation, grammar.
    • Well, Zonk would not care even if it reads 'forge-cast', because forging and casting operations can be applied to future.

      If you dont believe his title sense, read this [slashdot.org] and this.

    • That's crazy talk man.
    • Like Quagmire's "Cross Country Wanna-bang-O" -- "Doesn't country have an 'o' in it?"
    • I think the parent is a bit confused....

      People make forcasts to predict what WILL happen in the future.

      The parent seems to be predicting what WON'T happen in the future.

      Silly gowen...
  • I'm Sorry (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmaUMLAUTil.com minus punct> on Saturday June 10, 2006 @04:39AM (#15508141) Homepage Journal
    I try not to usually respond with such vitrol, but what is the point?

    Forecasting is important and people spend tons of money on forecasting reports only to not read them? So we repackage the forecast in a shiny method claiming to be a product from the future?

    The article doesn't have any real pertinent information. Was this really worth our time?
    • It has some hindsight. It makes clear that prototypes will always beat dull analyses. I guess most of slashdotter already know this as scifi (movies) start your imagination.

      • What I would have been more interested in is a breakdown of the 5 prototypes in the image gallery. Why do people believe these will take off?

        I know drug companies have more lobbyists than there are people in Congress, but do you really think they'll get precription drugs in an apple? What about kids eating them? Or what about the prescription itself? Where would it be sold?

        Last time I checked, the growing trend was for more organic food. Every grocery store in town has added a large organic/health section, and full organic stores like Wild Oats and World Market are popping up all over the place.

        Then we have social movie tickets. Do you really think that people will be fine with a movie theatre knowing exactly where you are at all times with GPS coordinates? Frankly, if I want to see a movie with my friends I call them on my cell phone. I don't divulge my personal data to a movie company to track me.
        • I know drug companies have more lobbyists than there are people in Congress, but do you really think they'll get precription drugs in an apple? What about kids eating them? Or what about the prescription itself? Where would it be sold? Last time I checked, the growing trend was for more organic food. Every grocery store in town has added a large organic/health section, and full organic stores like Wild Oats and World Market are popping up all over the place.

          In the US, Congress might not allow it, but in
        • Not to mention that one of the main points of a pill is that you're getting an exact dose. Lost a bit of the apples juice when taking a bite? Great, the patient's suddenly only had a partial dose of their medicine.
  • lets talk about E3 in 10 yrs time
  • several years hence, I forecast the word 'cognitive' to be more prolificatedly used.

    Just 30 seconds before reading this article, I came out of a meeting about the future of radio - it will be cognitive radio.

    Basically, it means, two radio transceivers that continually and dynamically selects the best channel or frequency they can use to communicate.

    But I didn't expect the word 'cognitive' to be used in such close connectivity to the word 'fruit'.

    Wow, cognitive fruit. *oishiiii*, tasty.
    • That sounds like the technique presently used in RDS FM radio transmissions to follow the best signal as people drive in and out of signal range. RDS is broadcast, but the principle will probably remain the same.
  • by thealsir (927362) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @05:12AM (#15508191) Homepage
    Reputation accounts? "Downloaded song legally from itunes" Nay sire, I do NOT need people knowing each and every "good" thing I've done. It seems more like a thing from an Orwellian science fiction movie than anything else.

    Socially networked movie tickets? Leave me and my friends the hell alone.
    • Sir, the Karma Police would like to speak with you. Seems you've been spreading ill will throughout teh interweb. Please hand over your online ID immediately ;o)


      /wanders off blathering on about how Thom Yorke was correct and humming Karma Police in his head.
  • RFID (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @05:14AM (#15508198) Homepage
    Does anybody know of any products that sell a bunch of RFID chips on stickers so you can affix them to objects in your house, set up a 3 (minimum) wireless scanners and transmit the triangulated data to a computer program displaying the room so you can tell where in the room those objects are? That would be a godsend to us disorganized folks.

    • Re:RFID (Score:2, Funny)

      by Monkeys!!! (831558)
      I can just see it now:

      Your date: I had a great time tonight and I..... why do you have stickers on your shirt?
      You: Ummm
      Your Date: And your socks. And shoes. And... I don't want to know.
    • by Vo0k (760020)
      RFID doesn't provide position (other than "present within range") and the readers would crash DDoS'd from more than a few signals at once anyway. The idea isn't bad but nowadays RFID is too crude for that.
      • Hence the fact it's a 9 year prediction, not a 9 month one.
      • Re:RFID (Score:2, Interesting)

        by kfg (145172)
        RFID doesn't provide position

        Hence the need for three scanners to derive position.

        A walkie-talkie doesn't provide position either, but if you're using one my hit team will find you. If I've only got one guy he'll find you anyway, it'll just take him a bit longer since he's working in one dimension and has to walk down the line.

        the readers would crash DDoS'd from more than a few signals at once anyway.

        Like your walkie-talkie crashes from all the signals at once? You should see what radio telescopes have to
        • Re:RFID (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Vo0k (760020)
          > A walkie-talkie doesn't provide position either, but if you're using one my hit team will find you.

          If you have only another walkie-talkie and no directional antenna, you won't find me. Readers can't detect the direction the signal is coming from. No indication of direction, strength, time etc. Cell phones can "ping" the station and triangulate their position because they have means to measure the delay of answer, and the stations are in reasonable distance. Here, ping sent at light speed will return wi
          • by kfg (145172)
            If you have only another walkie-talkie and no directional antenna, you won't find me.

            So, I will provide myself with one. In point of fact I'll get damned close to you without one, since a walkie-talkie antenna is semidirectional. Notice that its shape is not symetrical in three dimensions?

            Have you grown up with only cable TV or something? Get thee hence and acquire a pair of rabbit ears and learn something.

            The signal from the scanners is not directional. . .

            It is if I have constructed them to be. I don't ge
            • by kfg (145172)
              As soon as you start to measure time it takes the radio waves to get to the tag and back. .

              Well understood late 1800s tech. It's available off the shelf or about ten bucks worth of parts from Radio Shack.

              KFG
              • by Vo0k (760020)
                >>If you have only another walkie-talkie and no directional antenna, you won't find me.

                >So, I will provide myself with one.

                Good luck. In the middle of the jungle.
                Patents, industrial secrets, regulations, lack of documentation...

                >> The signal from the scanners is not directional. . .

                >It is if I have constructed them to be. I don't get this argument at all. It's doofey.

                So you want to construct directional RFID scanners. Get sued for constructing RFID scanners and reverse-engineering them. An
                • by kfg (145172)

                  >>>If you have only another walkie-talkie and no directional antenna, you won't find me.

                  >>So, I will provide myself with one.

                  >Good luck. In the middle of the jungle.
                  >Patents, industrial secrets, regulations, lack of documentation...

                  I'd like to say I stopped reading here, but, unfortunately, I didn't.

                  . . .you still need to understand how they work . . .

                  It takes maybe 10 seconds to show a Boy Scout how. Most of them used to be able to put it to practial application in about 15 seconds. It
                  • by Vo0k (760020)
                    >Radio isn't a secret anymo'.

                    Wireless Power is.
                    Tesla tried this. He screwed up a big time, it worked but created far more problems than solved. Few tried it with any success. Only relatively recently TI came up with RFID which works... sometimes.
                    The "radio" part is least of concern. If you could place a fixed transmitter sending a chosen signal continuously, no biggie. That's not even undergraduate project. The problem is RFID is to radio what submarine is to rowboat. And you still try to navigate using
                    • by kfg (145172)
                      Radio iswireless power. If it weren't your antenna wouldn't work.

                      KFG
                    • by Vo0k (760020)

                      radio is wireless.
                      kfg is clueless.

                      Radio is wireless signal with barely enough power to drive minimal, very sensitive part of a circuit through relatively big antenna. It NEEDS local power and amplifiers to work. A radio that does not require external power, able to power up small, weak earphones using only the broadcast waver and at barely audible volume will require 5-10 meters of antenna length. No working unpowered pocket radios, sorry.

                      RFID tag 5 milimeters long needs to be powered up with the pulse from
                    • by kfg (145172)
                      you assumed "more powder=fly higher".

                      No, acutally, I've determined that empirically in my rockets.

                      Wireless power to power up radio transmitters until recently was a taboo.

                      Ok, now I can stop reading.

                      KFG
                    • by Vo0k (760020)
                      You understood?
                    • by kfg (145172)
                      The second you posted:

                      >Good luck. In the middle of the jungle.
                      >Patents, industrial secrets, regulations, lack of documentation...

                      KFG
    • Re:RFID (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rolfwind (528248)
      Can't be done the way you describe, the same basic result can be accomplished by having a reader at every doorway inside the house. Provided that the item is registered in a database, it'll tell you what room an item is in. Okay, it won't pinpoint the exact location, but is it that much of a bother to search in your bedroom if you knew it was there. It'll also tell you whether or not it's in the house period.

      Plus, the doorway option is better for many places to get a definite read as well. My 802.11G br
    • Re:RFID (Score:3, Informative)

      by smallfries (601545)
      What you are after isn't RFID. There are indoor ultrasonic positioning systems that do what you are asking for. The transmitters are about RFID tag size. The batteries don't last forever but the time between recharges is getting better all the time and for an application like this they could have a really long sleep cycle between pulses.
  • Worthless (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Umbral Blot (737704) on Saturday June 10, 2006 @06:08AM (#15508271) Homepage
    Experience tells me that such predictions are more wrong than they are right. It's part of the nature of advancement to take us places that we didn't even know existed before (ex: computers). As a company it would seem to be more prudent to pay for real research on real products than to worry about what may or may not come about. You really only need to be looking about a year into the future to roll with the punches, and you can to that by reading academic journals (so that you know what areas are expecting breakthroughs).
    • From GK Chesterton's Napoleon of Notting Hill:

      THE human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. And one of the games to which it is most attached is called, "Keep to-morrow dark," and which is also named (by the rustics in Shropshire, I have no doubt) "Cheat the Prophet." The players listen very carefully and respectfully to all that the clever men have
    • Experience tells me that such predictions are more wrong than they are right.

      Depends on who making the prediction...

      If it is lone column writer on some newspaper claiming that we will have Fusion power by 2015 because he saw a science fiction movie then chances are it won't happen.

      If it is a small group of scientists with PHDs in nuclear science saying we will have fusion power by 2015 because they have done computer models then it is more likley to happen.

      If it is a larger group of government officials, wo
  • Ahhh crap, someone kill me please...
  • Accurate (Score:4, Informative)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmaUMLAUTil.com minus punct> on Saturday June 10, 2006 @06:49AM (#15508337) Homepage Journal
    I find it funny that companies that are paid big money to forecast the future are so often wrong.

    However, there are virtual stock markets where people predict the future in regards to news, sports, movies, etc. More often than not, these are correct.

    http://www.ideosphere.com/ [ideosphere.com]
    http://www.hsx.com/ [hsx.com]
    http://blogshares.com/ [blogshares.com]
    http://us.newsfutures.com/ [newsfutures.com]
  • Past Predictions (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chatmag (646500) <editor@chatmag.com> on Saturday June 10, 2006 @08:01AM (#15508490) Homepage Journal
    First, no old jokes.

    I remember the NY Worlds Fair from 1964 and the technological exhibits that showed us the world of the future. And what about EPCOT? Another prediction of how we'll all live in the future. Most of the predictions didn't come true, yet it did cause us to think of what was possible.

    Edison said every failed project taught him what did not work, in order to find those projects that did work.

    Just one example of what may work. The fruit laced with drugs. That may work in countries where a particular drug would have to be refrigerated, but cannot due to the lack of infrastructure. Perhaps the drug would be able to be administered without losing its effectivness via a native fruit which needs no refrigeration.
  • Some PR company hired by one or more of the featured products to be included in that list. Happens all the time with hot software trends. Rarely are feature pieces like that written by real journalists. Most of the time it's some industry or PR writer.

    Don't feel bad, half the national stories you see on local news were shot by an industry trade group and in more than a couple cases, our very own government propaganda ministry.

  • How about a hyperlink that just links to more information? The pop-up photo gallery didn't work for me, beyond the first product displayed. I don't care about the technical reasons why I couldn't use the "next" and "previous" buttons (but, FYI, I use IE6, and lots of pop-ups and javascript thingies work for me). I care about the fact that it's unnecessarily complicated. Just put the info in these newfangled thingies called "web pages" and let users browse them with these other newfangled thingies called
  • "Greetings, my friends. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember, my friends, future events such as these will affect you in the future."

    The Amazing Criswell

It is impossible to enjoy idling thoroughly unless one has plenty of work to do. -- Jerome Klapka Jerome

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