Computing Community Consortium Blog

The goal of the Computing Community Consortium (CCC) is to catalyze the computing research community to debate longer range, more audacious research challenges; to build consensus around research visions; to evolve the most promising visions toward clearly defined initiatives; and to work with the funding organizations to move challenges and visions toward funding initiatives. The purpose of this blog is to provide a more immediate, online mechanism for dissemination of visioning concepts and community discussion/debate about them.

“Ten Disruptive Technologies”

September 30th, 2011 / in research horizons / by Erwin Gianchandani

In this month’s Communications of the ACM:

The next decade will bring 10 technological changes that will transform the world, says Dave Evans, Cisco’s chief futurist. In his opinion, they are:

  • David Evans, Cisco’s chief futurist, stands with a concept dashboard for a fully Internet-connected car [image courtesy Cisco via CACM].The Internet Of Things. Evans predicts the number of Internet-connected “things” will reach 50 billion — more than six devices fore very person on Earth — by 2020.
  • The Zettaflood Is Coming. This year the world is creating 1.2 zettabytes of unique data, mainly as a result of high-definition video. Evans expects 91% of Internet data will be video by 2015.
  • Wisdom Of The Cloud. Evans says that, by 2020, one-third of all data will live in the cloud. “Already, the cloud is powerful enough to help us communicate through real-time language translation,” he notes.
  • The Next Net. Evans describes his home as an example of the speed of network improvements. Today he has 38 always-on connections and more than 50Mbps of bandwidth. By 2021, he expects the speed to his home will increase by 3 million times.
  • The World Is Flat and So Is Your Technology. With always-on connectivity, social networking has the power to change cultures, as with the Egyptian revolution. A smaller world also means information dissemination. “The dissemination and consumption of events are going from ‘near time’ to ‘real time’,” he says.
  • The Power Of Power. Evans believes that solar alone can meet the world’s energy needs. To address today’s global demand for energy, 25 solar super sites — each consisting of 36 square miles — could be erected in just three years.
  • It’s All About You. More items will move from physical to virtual. Today, we download e-books and movies rather than buy books and DVDs. A technology called 3D printing will allow us to instantly manufacture many physical items.
  • The Next Dimension. Virtual humans will be added to the work force. By 2025, says Evans, the robot population will surpass the number of humans in the developed world. By 2035, robots could completely replace humans in the workforce.
  • Another Family Tree. In the next 10 years, Evans believes medical technologies will grow vastly more sophisticated as computing power becomes available in smaller forms. Devices such as nanobots and the ability to grow replacement organs from our own tissues will be the norm.
  • You… Only Better. Taking the medical technology idea  to the next level, healthy humans will be given the tools to augment themselves. While their early use will be to repair unhealthy tissue or fix the consequences of brain injury, eventually designer enhancements will be available.

What do you think? Tell us your 10 disruptive technologies in the next 10 years below.

(Contributed by Erwin Gianchandani, CCC Director)

“Ten Disruptive Technologies”

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