How will technology impact our lives in the future?

  • We will see the demise of the gas-powered vehicle. Cars will run mostly on electricity but also on solar power and alternative fuels including garbage. [1:pgs 41-47][2:pg 241]
  • We will live in "smart houses" where robotics, nanotechnology and wirelss communications come together to anticipate our needs and wants, from temparature control to meal preparation. The walls themselves will kill germs and repel dust and, with paper thin screen coating, could even change color or wallpaper pattern depending on our whim. [1:pgs 49-54]
  • Doctors will be able to "light up" cancer cells with a liquid material making them easier to detect and treat. [2:pg 239]
  • "Smart dust" in the form of nanorobots could be sprinkled on a baby's clothes killing germs and acting as a perimeter alert if the child climbs out of the crib.[1:pg 36]
  • You may also have "Smart clothes" which monitor your vital signs.[2:pg 242]
  • Glass will have nanocoating converting sunlight to electricity and almost no cost. [1:pg 37]
  • Futurologist Ian Pearson predicted that by 2050 the contents of a persons brain could be downloaded into a computer. [1:pg 27]
  • Motorized limbs will have electrodes which pick up signals from a persons brain to control movement. [1:pg 9]
  • Robotics will be commonplace in surgery giving doctors much more precision control and the ability to avoid webs of sensitive nerves and minimize damage and blood loss. [1:pg 17]
  • You may wear digitial jewelry or pins which will automatically introduce you to people you would like to meet as you pass by them. [1:pg 57]
  • You will record sensations and be able to relive them at your leisure making memories much more intense. [1:pg 57]
  • Nano robots will be injected into our bloodstream to fight disease and repair areas such as the heart and lungs one cell at a time, silently and painlessly. Or stem cell technology could be used to grow new organs. [1:pgs 38-39][2: pg 239]
  • There will be robots crawling across the ocean floor sending live video feeds into classrooms and labs in order to unlock the mysteries of these least explored areas on earth. [2:pg 238]
  • You'll be able to take a vacation in space. [2:pg 238]
  • Activity—Understanding Trends[3]

    1. Piddock, Charles and Lee, Dr. James (consultant) National Geographic Investigates Future Tech, 2009, National Geographic, Washington, D.C.
    2. TIME for Kids Almanac, 2009, Time Inc., New York, NY.
    3. Activity is adapted from Toward Tomorrow—Activities that challenge students to focus on and believe in—the Future, Kelly Riley, Scholastic, 1989.