Sabin Muntean

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

This conversation is closed.

What is the next big thing?

In all fields of science we are continously broadening our horizon, we learn more and more about the world and ourselves and use this knowledge to discover, invent and improve.

Inspired by TED 2011's motto "The Rediscovery of Wonder", my question to you is - of all the current developments, which do you think will be the next big thing?

Providing links to TED talks or other sources of information would be very nice.

  • thumb
    Oct 16 2011: Morning Tom,

    I agree with you, that a major block for humanity to understand is that 'conspicuous consumption and opulence' isn't and can't be a key value if we want a peaceful and harmonious future. Or as Thoreau once said,' I am convinced that life can be a pleasure and a pastime if lived simply and wisely. And the cost of anything is the amount of life one must spend in order to acquire it'. Both of those quotes significantly impacted me over 40 years ago when I was in college and continue to run through my consciousness today.

    I see a direct connection between what I consume and what will be left for my grandson. We live on a limited planet with unlimited desire for 'mine'.

    Regarding living in the city or the country, again for me its the yin and yang. Both are essential for the other. Our economic systems often undermine that balance as we are seeing today. Perhaps its all part of the cosmic plan to reduce human populations to a more reasonable number regarding the carrying capacity of this once garden planet.

    I believe we must all understand that unchecked growth leads to cancer whether its the cells in our bodies or our numbers and impacts on this planet. We have reached and surpassed the limits to growth as the report of that name identified over 40 years ago. Perhaps its time we take it seriously.
  • thumb
    Oct 9 2011: I think (I hope) that the next big thing is a political change world wide where 'we the people' steer the countries based on greater compassion and justice. We will find a way to impose a fundamental morality on our governments and corporations.
    • thumb
      Oct 10 2011: I'm thinking economic change. Once people realize money is a social contract, there no reason that people (who are constantly dealing with peer to peer interaction thanks to computers) can't form their own contracts with other people. The main reason we do not have political change is the influence of money. So instead of untangling the two, lets find ways to create symbolic wealth and fix our problems with it.
      • thumb
        Oct 10 2011: I'd like to hear more about his Anthony. Can you expand on it?
        • thumb
          Oct 13 2011: Well giving the technology we have access to, and the discrepancy in wealth we are overdue for a financial revolution. I have noticed an increase in bartering as many people do not have much money, so the idea we need money to meet our needs is slowly being bruised. Bartering though is messy and inconvenient. The reason why money overtook the idea of barter in the first place is that it is easier. Well if people people are starting to barter again what is to stop them from recreating the wheel again.

          the best example I can think of is Ithaca hours http://www.ratical.org/many_worlds/cc/CED.html

          But there are other and I believe more will come especially if we do not find a way to create fairer wealth distribution.
      • thumb
        Oct 16 2011: Thanks for taking the time to answer my question Anthony. I loved the article on Ithaca dollars.
        • thumb
          Oct 16 2011: Glad to share. The only thing holding this idea back as I see it is the lack of awareness.
  • thumb
    Oct 19 2011: Nick,
    I agree with you that the next big thing will be social change. As a matter of fact, I feel that no amount of technological innovation would mean a thing without changing the way we think. As far as the social issues you bring up, I feel that a much broader issue is the roots of those which is that a man should not have power over men.
    • thumb
      Oct 19 2011: Beautiful response, and I fully agree. As Jean Baudrillard said so eloquently in his text "The Agony of Power":

      “Power itself must be abolished—and not solely because of a refusal to be dominated, which as the heart of all traditional struggles—but also, just as violently, in the refusal to dominate. Intelligence cannot, can never be in power because intelligence consists of this double refusal" [p. 47-58 Semiotext(e)]
  • thumb
    Oct 18 2011: The next big thing wont be some giant step forward in technology , no, it will be a new way of looking at the world, at ourself. We are finally seeing that the way we are living now is slowly but steady destroying us. And that needs to chance.
    So the world is gearing itself up for a joy ride they will never forget.

    As an example , the word of freedom is finally breaking through in the middle-east, people don't take it any longer that they were suppressed and are claiming their rights for freedom. And with success look at Libië and Jemen.

    At the same time people all over the world are demonstrating against corporations and banking establishment .
    After they saw how they got robbed for there own eyes. And also there is success.

    These are just two examples, and there are many more if you look at the newspaper.
    This is happening now and will become an record in history, so my answer to the next big thing: The way people look at the world
  • Oct 17 2011: I think the next big thing would be the potentially great innovations in the years to come. In times where income distribution gap is widening, where global warming is escalating, where energy sources are getting limited, people have adapted to these challenging living conditions to become more resourceful, ingenious, innovative and creative. Sometimes the brightest ideas can be so simple, like how this ingenious guy in the Philippines made electricity so much much more affordable for the people by just using plastic bottles, and how people in some countries made use of people's footsteps to generate electricity in certain parts of the city, and zoos even using elephant poos to bear part of the burden of providing electricity to the zoo...It just amazes me how innovative, intelligent, and ingenious our human minds can be...We just have so much much more in unleashing our potential to recreate and innovate....
  • Oct 16 2011: The grandest triumph of science - the unification of all it's laws into all-encompassinng Theory of Everything.
    Hopefully it happens some day.
    • thumb
      Oct 18 2011: That would be scary.
      • Oct 18 2011: : ) That would be scarier..."with angels and trumpets, and skies will open.."
        • thumb
          Oct 18 2011: ....not if they looked like cartoon characters. :) I don't know what would freak me out more -seeing an angel or that (he/she/it was holding a trumpet...
          Seriously though I do think one day everything will be unified I'm just not sure it will be under the banner of science.
      • Oct 18 2011: Hi, Jacob!
        What if... there will be no science , there will be only science, there will be no art, there will be only art...
        and list can go on and on... otherwise what ''unity'' means ?
        Actually, i took the idea from T.S. Eliot
        "There would be no dance and there is only the dance."
        Did I make myself plain? I am doubting :) It's difficult to describe something I have never seen or experienced,
        and most likely won't.
        • thumb
          Oct 19 2011: Hey Natasha ! Your comment reminded me of a passage from a book I read years ago. It is one of my favorites. I think you will appreciate it. :) Enjoy. http://www.iwise.com/qku9s
      • Oct 19 2011: Thanks, Jacob!
        I do enjoy it, it's what i call the"mythic language of quantum fluctuation", the experience of being not in time!
        Great!
  • thumb
    Oct 16 2011: Why big.....why not small.?
  • thumb
    Oct 15 2011: Extinction... on increasing mass scales are whats next.

    What will the transition from 7 Billion to perhaps 1 Billion look like? We have collectively overshot the carrying capacity of this once garden planet. The return to equilibrium will not be pretty nor pleasant. But it will be.

    Technology isn't the answer, its the problem, as all of the causes and effects are undeniable now. All the unintended consequences of our incomplete analysis are demanding accountability that we continue to deny.

    Hard to say what the tipping points will be, but there is evidence aplenty, if one cares to look with open eyes.

    I am very sorry we have collectively taken this path, as I know my grandson with be left with a future that isn't even close to what I inherited 62 years ago. We have failed miserably and its time to acknowledge it.

    Acknowledging our denial is the first step in recovery, if its even possible now.
  • thumb
    Oct 11 2011: Whenever it might be coming, I too hope that the next big thing will mean that living on earth will mean flatter, more-interconnected, and more learned about ourselves (human beings) with less political game play from the top side. Not only political, but economical and social leaders also should be able to use their influence for creating better well beings for all members of our global societies.

    I really hope that there will be a heroic icon to shake things up to change the world for better.
  • thumb
    Oct 11 2011: Technology is changing the world in both predictable & unfathomable ways.
    Here's my idea of what's next.

    Within 100 years:
    1.World peace is less than a century away.

    2.The successful arrival of several different forms of green energy will spread across the globe & end world hunger.

    3.Supercomputers that can think like humans will cure all but the most staunch diseases.

    4.Beautification. I'm actually writing a law at this very moment that (fingers crossed) will make my part of the world more beautiful. Maybe everyone else will like it?

    5.Bigger better economies. Instant transactions over the air as you enter & exit markets.

    6.Poverty will always exist, but opportunities to get out of poverty will increase. It will increase by orders of magnitude as the rest of the countries begin to modernize.

    7.Landfills are gigantic waste of resources... Absolutely everything has a use... even garbage. Someday, some genius will walk up to one & make good use of it. The rest of the world will follow suit.
  • thumb
    Oct 10 2011: The next best thing is to finally understand what went wrong in the past (or present) and try to redetermine needs and solutions under a responsible manner. Otherwise crises (like the ones happening every 10-12 years) will strike again..
    Find where we stand and where we want to go is the most important element.
  • Oct 10 2011: Whatever creates peace. That would be the next big thing.
  • thumb
    Oct 10 2011: Sabin ....I believe in the rediscovery of the human spirit.
  • thumb
    Oct 10 2011: Whatever comes after the iPhone4S
  • thumb
    Oct 9 2011: Curing cancer I believe is on the horizon for our generation, hopefully!
  • Oct 22 2011: The next big thing ? When the first time i see this topic, i just want my mum change her attitude to everything. She is a very powerful woman, whatever she does is right or wrong. She thinks everyone should follow her rule. I really hate that. Hope everyone has a harmony family.
  • Oct 20 2011: The next big thing is cheap space travel and after that it will be that we terraform and populate another planet.
    Of which the first steps are comming closer and closer. My personal guess is that within 50 years we'll have a building up on mars in which a few people can actually live.

    And another big thing is that humans might be able to live a lot (and I mean a LOT) longer than they have in previous generations.
  • thumb
    Oct 19 2011: Learning in the next 20 years how to feed 25% more people with an enforced 50% reduction in hydrocarbon, in a world dependent on industrial agriculture.
  • thumb
    Oct 19 2011: I think the next big thing will be a commonality movement - we will all start to see why we are alike, aided by media, the internet and technology - we will start caring about each other and what happens to our neighbours - then the possibilities are endless...
    • thumb
      Oct 20 2011: Scott, I really think that your other post about internet polling in government could be the next big thing too! Cheers
  • Oct 19 2011: I'm convinced the next Big Thing will be :

    hyper-collaborative structures of organization, based on human networks.

    I hope leading to "networked intelligence and wisdom" and finally "networked participative democracy".
  • thumb
    Oct 19 2011: We'll became completly dependent on artificial information environment (not mentally only, but phisiologically also). That will be big, but not really good thing we'll get.
  • thumb
    Oct 19 2011: Next big thing will not be technology based. It will be all about People!
  • thumb
    Oct 18 2011: Quantum computing, in the last 6 months alone there have been some breakthroughs making it more real everyday.
  • thumb
    Oct 18 2011: Not exactly science but I just came across this and I think its brilliant

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/6425/should_communities_use_interne.html
  • Oct 18 2011: As far as the next big thing is concerned, I think it will involve communication between objects. The CEO of Ford spoke in a TED talk about the future of cars communicating with each other, and we are already seeing the emergence of RFID communication between objects and systems. I think this type of object to object communication is about to enhance our lives greatly. I think this decade will involve replacing almost all of our normal stuff with "smart" stuff. The possibilities are endless.
  • thumb
    Oct 18 2011: haha....enough of theories....may be if something like that could happen in practical :D
    that would be most scarier....
  • thumb
    Oct 17 2011: Natasha, Have you read E.O. Wilson's wonderful book, Concilience (the unity of knowledge) ? I highly recommend it given the direction of your comment.

    He speaks that we are drowning in data while starving for wisdom.

    I couldn't agree more !
    • Oct 18 2011: Craig,
      Sorry for the delay with my response, I haven't seen your comment.
      I'll try to find the book, you recommend, I guess it's true
      " that we are drowning in data while starving for wisdom",
      though I' ve never thought about it that way,
      Thank you!
  • thumb
    Oct 16 2011: Hi Thomas,

    I would just offer the way we frame a problem is critical to how we see a solution. And that is true whether we are talking nano or integrative technologies and science. We can never be fully objective nor should we if we give adequate consciousness to understanding the subjective nature of our questions. Again the yin and the yang.

    I also realize our problem is temporary as is our time here. I just wish we had more connection to wisdom and less to data as a species. Unfortunately there is little evidence of it.



    And yes, I know America is the problem when it comes to consumerism and many other issues as well. I struggle with that daily and feel pretty impotent in the face of it. Although I try. I asked the question, what is the carbon footprint of just one day of football in America? Could it be bigger than some third world countries? Its a scary concept indeed.

    Yes, I have a car. I live 65 miles from a major town but only drive about twice a month. I take the bus too.
    • thumb
      Oct 16 2011: Hi Craig,

      I agree, the way we frame a problem is critical to how we see a solution.

      And, as a result of our exchange, I was thinking about "the problem" - essentially energy consumption.

      It seems to me the average person (you, me, Zhang Da Xin, Baridi Awino Oketch ...) will be unwilling to accept a lifestyle that is less than "optimal." On a personal level, we do not seem to be willing to accept even nominal deprivations.

      So the next BIG thing might be to find a way to minimize or eliminate our energy consumption in other areas. Areas that are not so "personal."

      Also, my direct reply to the question, "What is he next big thing?" is: "Simplicity. (I hope.)"

      Perhaps if we could teach ourselves to enjoy a simple life, we could, by example, also teach future generations that fulfillment can be found in simplicity. This would have an impact on our personal (and, obviously, collective) consumption.

      As big as the problem seems to be, I think the first step (to resolve most "problems") is to be happy. Not happy with the "stuff" we have or the status we hold ... just be happy. One could say, happy to be alive.

      -----------
      QUOTE: "I live 65 miles from a major town but only drive about twice a month."

      Why?

      Not why do you drive twice a month, why do you live 65 miles from a town?

      Perhaps you're a farmer?

      If not, you would leave a much smaller footprint in a town or a city.

      It's a thorny problem.

      On the one hand, we can see what needs to be done, on the other hand, we want to live a lifestyle that appeals to us. (And I'm not "picking on you" ... as I say, I share your sentiments. Not only in regards to ecology but also (perhaps) in regards to lifestyle. When I go back to Canada at Christmas time, my wife and I will be looking at a house we might buy. It's about 30 miles from the nearest town.)
  • thumb
    Oct 16 2011: Simplicity.

    (I hope.)
  • thumb
    Oct 15 2011: Thomas,
    David Orr, in Earth in mind says we are losing between 50 and 250 species a day. E.O. Wilson talks is similar numbers.
    The millennium ecosystem assessment (2005) talks about 60% of ecosystems in the world are in decline.

    The legacies of our science, technology and so called "progress" are the direct reasons for these numbers.

    It's our collective denial that is part and parcel to the problems we face. Wake up world.

    As Pogo said 50 years ago, "we have met the enemy and they is US".

    Where is the responsibility, accountability, or liability?
    • thumb
      Oct 15 2011: Hi Craig,

      Nature is self-regulating. We aren't.

      If we do not adapt to our environment it will eliminate us.

      This is only a "problem" from our perspective ... nature doesn't care if we are here or not.

      And if we are gone, neither will we.

      We can talk all we want about it but (and not to be confrontational but to make a point) I'll bet you live in a house or apartment that has heating and air conditioning, you eat meat, buy food that is imported, wear "nice" clothes, take advantage of the amenities in the city or town you live in, travel. You probably have at least one car and probably two. You use electric lights extensively and have many electronic products. You expect your children and grandchildren to live a similar lifestyle and do what you can to make that possible. Perhaps you buy them gifts. You live in a country that has less than 5% of the world's population yet consumes about 40% of its energy. You are probably unwilling to lower your energy consumption by 85% ... or perhaps you are but do not know how. And so on.

      Maybe none of that is true. Perhaps you're a vegetarian who rides a bike and lives off the grid ... but your neighbours aren't, don't and won't.

      Not only that, in China, where I live, there are 1.3 Billion people who want to live a lifestyle just like yours (or just like your neighbours.)

      Nature is self-regulating. We aren't.
      • thumb
        Oct 15 2011: Thomas,

        Don't assume... It makes you look like an (you know what)

        I have studied these issues for over 30 years, the problems with consumption and over use, particularly as it relates to America.

        Personally my consumption is reflected in that awareness and has been for all of my adult life. For example in summer, i never use air conditioning and my total KW use averages under 400 KW which includes my shop.In winter, it averages around 800 KW. Can you say that?

        I am acutely aware of the problems ahead. And that if the world wanted the US standard of living it would take 4 to 5 planets, none of which have been found.

        I strongly support conservation across the board and have all of my life. I am not a typical American.

        So much for assumptions.

        I will end with two quotes from E.O. Wilson who captures my intent.

        " A very Faustian choice is upon us; whether to accept our corrosive and risky behavior as the unavoidable price of population and economic growth, or to take stock of ourselves and search for a new environmental ethic."

        and

        "If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos."

        Tell that to all the polluters and your kids and grand kids.
        .
        • thumb
          Oct 15 2011: Hi Craig,

          I didn't assume you did those things I said I "bet" you do and, if you don't, your neighbours do. (And I would still bet you do, do many of the things I mention, minus the a/c and with moderate consumption when measured against other Americans.)

          However, I do assume this, you probably leave a larger environmental footprint than 80% of the world's population. Whether you want to or not, the system you live in, and support, has, more or less, co-opted you.

          Can I tell you my average power usage? No.

          I live in China. And, for example, when a group of apartments are built, they also build a central boiler that provides heat for the community. It is "turned on" November 1st and turned off sometime around May (where I live in Taiyuan.) In the southern parts of China there is no heat provided.

          Do I own a car? No.

          Do I eat meat? Yes. But not much and only when it is offered. 95% of my diet is vegetarian.

          Do I "turn the lights and the taps off?" Yes.

          I do "my bit" and, believe it or not, I share your sentiments (minus the emotionalism) ... You see, I look at this through "nature's eyes" and when I do that it does not really matter whether we are here or not. If I look at the situation through "human eyes" it's all a REALLY BIG deal. We seem to have a hard time conceiving of things on any scale other than human.

          For instance, E.O. Wilson's quotes are true and meaningful only from the vantage point of a human being. If insects disappear, what would look like chaos to us, would simply be nature adapting. And it would. "Nature" is much bigger than a few sentient beings floating on a mote of dust in a remote part of the universe.

          Do I think we should "conserve energy and be responsible environmental citizens?"

          Yes.

          Do I think we (collectively) will?

          No.

          Do you?

          ------
          Do you own a car?
      • thumb
        Oct 15 2011: You say, "Nature is self-regulating. We aren't."

        There in lies the problem. You see yourself separate from nature and not a part of it.

        The Sioux Indians said,
        "With all beings and all things, we are as relatives"

        Only reverence for nature, as no man apart, can hold the promise of sustainable living.
        • thumb
          Oct 15 2011: Hi Craig,

          Actually, I don't see us as separate from nature. I see as as a part of nature. The fact is, nature is self-regulating and many individual components of nature do not adapt quickly enough to survive and so they are not "selected."

          We may be one of those components. We may not. Nature will survive, whether humans do or not is not as certain.

          Again, this is only a "problem" from our perspective.

          If we don't solve "the problem," nature will.
  • Oct 15 2011: In my opinion, nano-tech and bio-tech would be a great thing to change world in the nearest future. Because we all developers now can synchronize all gadgets let's say techno+techno or bio+bio synchronizations/combinations but bio+techno or nano+techno synchronizations are not discovered properly. Somehow we got a result to mix technology with bio organisms but it did not get the culmination point yet. As a couple of examples I can give that material that makes you invisible after wearing or the display which you cannot hold in your hand. And also Artificial Intelligence, Cloning such kind of stuffs will be big challenged.
  • thumb
    Oct 15 2011: Craig,

    Extinctions aren't what's next; extinctions are the norm. By some estimates, about 99.9% of all species that have ever existed are now extinct.

    Your grandson, and his grandsons, will adapt to whatever happens ... and then some day, there will be no more grandsons.

    We have now. Regardless of what the future holds.
  • thumb
    Oct 15 2011: .
    One sector that seems to be speeding up tremendously is that of low-cost space access.

    Private companies are building space vehicles that are much less expensive, more reusable and more reliable than those coming from government-run initiatives.

    The context allowing this revolution:

    -new materials are becoming available ever more quickly and at ever lower costs
    -new engineering techniques, like simulation and prototyping are becoming much lower in cost
    -venture capital is seeing the potential whereas governments need this development, so they stimulate and create the market

    SpaceX, for example, will build rockets by the hundreds in an industrial assembly-line, as if they're building automobiles.

    I think in the next 20 years we'll see an exponential growth in space exploration and space tourism, driven by private companies' technologies.
  • Oct 15 2011: A large-scale cosmological discovery.
  • Oct 15 2011: From a geopolitical point of view the next big thing will surely be an allied war against Iran.
    Being a follower of contemporary medical research I think that we are on the verge of interesting discoveries on the nano field of medicine. Cyborg humans aren't a sci-fi phenomenon only anymore.
  • Oct 14 2011: I think all the technology and science developments are just entertainment for our curiosity and to keep our brains and well being in check as civilization. For me, when people with influence towards others are able to find out about their true calling and take action on it;we will find out what the next good and big thing really is! We will be walking towards the human kind evolution, nothing can be bigger than that
  • thumb
    Oct 14 2011: I think paper money is going to be phased out, especially in the developed world, within the next 10 years at the latest.
    • thumb
      Oct 15 2011: I'm not so sure about that. Mainly for the reasons that there are too many black markets.
      • thumb
        Oct 15 2011: I do mean the mainstream, and if it happens there, it would be interesting to see how black markets respond. Even black markets are eager to get rid of the issue of counterfeit bills and getting legitimate payments. How would they adapt knowing that there is a much smaller circulation of bills? Would bank loopholes be created to mask paper trails of transactions? In Japan, for customers there are ID-less debit cards that you just fill up prepaid, so that will increase and may be a way for individuals to give each other money, without it being necessarily tied to a transaction.
        • thumb
          Oct 15 2011: Good point I think the bit coin fit s this profile as well. It allows the user to make transactions without paper while staying anonymous. I think the only reason we still have paper money is because it allows us to be discrete, once we figure out how to hide our transactions digitally I'm sure we will make the transition.
  • Oct 14 2011: It is already happening and in fact at an exponential rate. It's called invention....the quest of the imaginative mind of homo sapiens. Look at what has been accomplished in 100 years with limited education and access to information over that time frame and compare it to today and the next 100 years.
  • Oct 13 2011: Next big ting will be equilibrium getting established between developing and developed world ...and it will involve mass movement of people, resources etc . So be ready for change everybody
  • thumb
    Oct 13 2011: Hi Sabin, The Next thing is instantaneous movement of objects. By sound.
  • Oct 13 2011: I think there's going to be a big shift to working from home offices. It reduces traffic, need for giant office buildings, and overall costs for companies. Granted I'm only pointing out some positives, but I do feel were going to see more and more of this in the coming years.
  • Oct 13 2011: The next big thing can be many but the mazor big is the threat of human reach to everywhere (controlling human mind).
  • thumb
    Oct 12 2011: The next big thing is using light energy to prevent diseases and infection through the process of photo-oxidation.
    • thumb
      Oct 12 2011: I know that you are really excited and convinced by your discovery Kevin and I have in truth ignored your postings until now. I do have to say, though, that as a person who works in the field of infection prevention, the fact that your technology generates hydrogen peroxide makes it far more likely to be effective. I do not think that TED is the place for self or product promotion but having said that, I think that you should be affirmed in your belief and that you should take it to people who can actually help you.
  • thumb
    Oct 12 2011: I believe the next big thing is the final merger of the real world and the digital world, where the internet and all knowledge therein will become a natural extension of everyones mind.

    The first game changer here is Augmented Reality, where you overlay digital information onto the real world. At the moment anyone can use the technology on their iPhone, iPad or Android phone, but I believe it will get its major breakthrough when AR enabled glasses or lenses becomes cheap enough for the everyday consumer. Imagine being able to bring up any digital information in your real life vision, everything from map overlays to 3D objects.

    Some Augmented Reality TED talks + videos:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/blaise_aguera.html
    http://www.ted.com/talks/pranav_mistry_the_thrilling_potential_of_sixthsense_technology.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HW9gU_4AUCA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7i1NYVaYv8g

    The other game changer technology is Brain-Computer Interfaces, where you can control hardware and software with your thoughts only. When you think about it, using a keyboard and mouse, or even a touch screen, to input information into a computer is similar to going through a middle man. Everything you input with a mouse and keyboard is first created as a thought, so with BCI technology you can cut out the middle man and input information directly from the source. The group of people that will see the greatest benefits initially with this technology is disabled people. This technology is already today used by disabled people to control their wheelchair and to communicate through a computer.

    Brain-Computer Interface TED talks + videos:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/tan_le_a_headset_that_reads_your_brainwaves.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hHRDyeV0TQ

    These technologies have a long way to go before they'll become mainstream, but when they do they'll change every aspect of our lives, from education to healthcare to our social lives.
  • Oct 12 2011: I think the pursuit of knowledge (availability of information) is one of the more universal driving forces behind tech in general and mobile computing is going to be the focus of a large percentage of the market for years to come. Whomever can create the least intrusive way to integrate our lives with computers allowing the individual to paint their world with desirable information most likely through wearable devices like SixthSense and other augmented reality accessories will corner the market as the new standard platform from which the applications will be limited only by imagination. I am a firm believer that if the individual is empowered to customize the way they perceive and interact with the world around them they will be less likely to force their will upon it and develop a more symbiotic relationship with others.
  • Oct 12 2011: In my opinion the thing about the next big thing is that you cannot predict it. It will be born in a kreative mind and it's very possible nobody will accept it at first.
  • thumb
    Oct 12 2011: Being able to Enhance and Control our Conscious/Subconscious Mind Duality.
  • thumb
    Oct 11 2011: Next? How much in time or space....we can't predict the next hour....whats next?
    for me is dance in the next 30 minutes...I don't know whats next.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W00DTmau1BU
  • Oct 10 2011: the next big thing should be a revived relationship with nature. for too long humanity has viewed itself as a separate thing from the earth and this needs to change (more earth friendly technology). that being said i feel that this means the death of consumer culture.
  • Oct 10 2011: open wifi p2p network architecture free to join buy a phone open it set your preference and there you go scalable internetwork based on wifi devices uncensored owned by the people and for the people . free internetwork for life
    if you can tolerate the speed ( the more there are devices the more speed you get as there are more "paths" )

    when ? ... well i don't know its still all in my head ...

    of course our society will probably crumble before that ...
  • thumb
    Oct 10 2011: Commercial space flights, some for leisure, others for combined research.
  • thumb
    Oct 10 2011: Some very good ideas here, and even though it may take a while until it's reality, I'd also put safe, cheap, clean energy on the list, something like fusion reactors.
  • thumb
    Oct 10 2011: I think the day Stem Cells come into common use will be a monumental moment in our history. The potential that Stem Cells have is mind boggling.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem_cell
  • thumb
    Oct 9 2011: Maybe something to avoid aging.
  • thumb
    Oct 9 2011: The next big thing? I sure hope that someone makes nano tech tattoo ink that can be instantly erased when required! (No I don't have a tattoo, but I am a registered nurse and I am seeing some pretty awful tatoos on older people!) In the next 50 years I think a computer interface will be will be implanted directly into the brain and controlled via thought, check your mail, turn on the lights, watch 3D….. etc
  • thumb
    Oct 8 2011: The convergence of social networking, mobile communications, and personal tracking (health, activities, etc). Hardware getting smaller, cheaper, faster, more powerful, and it's only a matter of time before we have our automated social networking, phone, applications and health trackers available in something very small, lightweight (possibly worn on the wrist for convenience), and all that.