10 – DIGITAL LIBRARIES
You might want to check out Google Book Search, its a very good example. There will come a point in time when any factual based question can be answered online.
9 – GENE THERAPY AND / OR STEM CELLS
A lot of deseases involve inherited conditions – as they are pass through your genes. Good news, scientists are working to change those genes and trick defective cells into growing correctly.
8 – PERVASIVE WIRELESS INTERNET
That implies the possibility of full connectivity between any two random devices. Want to check your burglar alarm from your cell phone? It’ll be easy.
7 – MOBILE ROBOTS
We may see convoys of robot trucks on the highways. Admittedly, they’ll probably have more initial acceptance in warehouses, handling pick-and-pull chores.
6 – BETTER CHEAPER SOLAR CELLS
In less than ten years the cost of solar energy could be at parity with the cost of electricity from the grid, and solar cells could be standard features in new residential construction.
5 – LOCATION BASED COMPUTING
Instead of clicking an icon on a browser screen, you can walk outside, point your cell phone at an actual three-dimensional thing (presumably, a building that houses a business), click the phone, and get information about (or jump to the Web site of) whatever you were pointing at. As well as servers with Internet address, there will be servers with geographic coordinates.
4 – DESKTOP 3-D PRINTING
Instead of going to the store for your next gadget, you might download a design of your choosing and generate it in your desktop 3-D printer. The next step will be to design your own gadgets, post the designs, and sell them, etc. Toys, kitchenware, and decorative household items should be fair game, at least. Cottage industry, here we come!
3 – MOORE’S LAW UPHELD
The law, stated by Intel cofounder Gordon Moore in 1965, implies that available computer power can be expected to double every other year. For at least two decades pundits have been pointing out barriers to the law’s fulfillment, and the chip industry has been smashing those barriers. Currently they can’t agree if the law has a couple of more decades of life left, or 600 years. Either way, in terms of available computing power, it’s clear that we ain’t seen nothing yet.
2 – THERAPEUTIC CLONING
Forget the stories about generating identical copies of a particular sheep or person. The whole idea behind cloning all along has been to grow replacement organs or tissue in a vat, which the body would see no reason to reject. Cancerous or damaged organs could be replaced by new, disease-free clones of themselves.
1 – THE HYDROGEN ECONOMY
Instead of guzzling imported oil (and being at the mercy of oil suppliers) we could turn water into hydrogen and burn that (or use to charge fuel cells.) Meanwhile, the only byproduct of the combustion of hydrogen is … more water! However, hydrogen storage remains a thorny issue, due to its low density, and hydrogen may end up being only one of many interlocking components that replace the current oil economy.