Results 1 to 28 of 28

Thread: What technologies will be game changers?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    503

    What technologies will be game changers?

    What upcoming, or theoretical, technologies have the potential to actually shake up the world and change things as we know it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    3,285
    Quote Originally Posted by cjackson View Post
    What upcoming, or theoretical, technologies have the potential to actually shake up the world and change things as we know it?
    Batteries and photovoltaic cells. Microbiology.
    The moment an instant lasted forever, we were destined for the leading edge of eternity.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    14,408
    I think that room-temperature superconductors would be a big deal. Spintronics could be a big thing too. Artificial photosynthesis would be something major. And then also, cell reprogramming (we're on our way, but there are still issues).
    As above, so below

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Depew, NY
    Posts
    12,191
    Jet packs, but probably no sooner than 2070.
    Solfe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    The Great NorthWet
    Posts
    15,937
    Flying Cars! Not!

    Seriously, probably something we don't expect. When cell phones were first developed I don't think anyone anticipated what they would become.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    19,208
    Small scale automated manufacturing like improved 3-D printing, but not just 3-D printing. A lot of things wonít need to be manufactured in big factories anymore and more custom designs will be possible.

    Trends weíre seeing now but will increase: As automated delivery vehicles become common youíll be able to request most things you canít make at home to be delivered in an hour. It will almost be like having Star Trek replicators. The number of walk-in stores will decrease dramatically, and will mostly for stuff you want to look at and try in person before buying. Why drive to buy commodity items?

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    19,208
    Something weíre discussing elsewhere on the board: Much less expensive space travel. Orbital microgravity manufacturing that will probably impact medicine, specialized high strength materials, micromaterials and microelectronics and other things we canít foresee. Vacations to orbit and to the Moon. Probably will still cost a lot compared to air travel but wonít just be for the super rich.

    One Iím hoping for but wouldnít bet on: Better ways to deal with viral epidemics and pandemics quickly. Iím concerned that when Covid-19 is resolved, interest will drop, but perhaps it will provide an impetus to have a large, long term research budget to develop advanced methods for rapid control.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    536
    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Something we’re discussing elsewhere on the board: Much less expensive space travel.
    Which could, given enough time enable large scale economy off planet including resource extraction and manufacturing on a scale enabling something close to a "post-scarcity" era. But that, if it happens, would be quite a ways off in the future, would take a long time to evolve and would involve many technologies, and so probably doesn't meet the OP's criteria.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    3,285
    Sticks and stones.
    The moment an instant lasted forever, we were destined for the leading edge of eternity.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    The beautiful north coast (Ohio)
    Posts
    49,972
    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Seriously, probably something we don't expect. When cell phones were first developed I don't think anyone anticipated what they would become.
    I think this is a very important point and one I strongly agree with. Frankly, humans don't seem really great at predicting big-impact future inventions and discoveries. Look at science fiction from the 40s to 60s: lots of spaceships and fusion power, robots walking around, but computers were massive boxes with tape drives. The only thing from "2001 A Space Odyssey" we actually got was the video-phone.

    I vaguely recall a science fiction story, probably from the 70s or early 80s, where the premise was that a few things we thought were going to be easy were actually very hard (like cheap space travel and fusion power), and some things that seemed intractable, like the workings of human thought and psychology, had some major and unexpected breakthroughs, and the results radically changed the future from what we expected.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

    All moderation in purple - The rules

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3,629
    Indeed. If we could predict what was going to change the game then big investors would be all over it already.
    Game-changers are game-changers because the big guys didn't see it coming.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3,629
    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    ... some things that seemed intractable, like the workings of human thought and psychology, had some major and unexpected breakthroughs, and the results radically changed the future from what we expected.
    ST:TNG explored this a few times - civilizations that had primitive chemical rockets with lasers, but their bio-medicine was fabulously advanced, and took the Enterprise crew for quite a spin.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    2,008
    This list might give you some inspiration:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...g_technologies
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    5,651
    I think cultured meat could be a major game changer. The shift of agriculture from rural to urban areas would completely alter our social structure.
    "Occam" is the name of the alien race that will enslave us all eventually. And they've got razors for hands. I don't know if that's true but it seems like the simplest answer."

    Stephen Colbert.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Depew, NY
    Posts
    12,191
    I have hi-def TV from the early 90s. I won a pair of them. They are nearly square. Then Hi-Def went on a hiatus for decades. One of them completely broke down and couldn't be fixed, while the second needs a new speaker. It's rather odd because they have hi-def screens, but single speaker audio (mono extreme?). I guess audio wasn't the point, but they could be patched together to provide two sync'ed images and stereo sound.

    That was pretty epic when connected to a NES. People thought it was the game system and not the displays that looked amazing.

    I thought Hi-Def was right around the corner for a couple of decades. I couldn't have predicted two decades until implementation.
    Solfe

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3,629
    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    I think cultured meat could be a major game changer. The shift of agriculture from rural to urban areas would completely alter our social structure.
    I'm curious. How? For one, I don't see why production would move to urban areas.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,978
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    I'm curious. How? For one, I don't see why production would move to urban areas.
    Culturing meat would require a heavier infrastructure to support it, and more personnel, than ranching. It would be more convenient to have these factories in an urban area.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    3,285
    Masks!
    The moment an instant lasted forever, we were destined for the leading edge of eternity.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    14,408
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Culturing meat would require a heavier infrastructure to support it, and more personnel, than ranching. It would be more convenient to have these factories in an urban area.
    I don't think that is necessarily true. It's certainly true that it would make it possible to bring agriculture into urban areas, but a lot of high-tech factories even today are in rural areas, where the rent is cheaper, for example. See here for example.
    As above, so below

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,978
    A lot of technologies with game-changing, life-changing, and world-changing potentials are being developed right now. Predicting which ones will become the most significant and which will go undeveloped might take a crystal ball... or a magic 8-ball!
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Depew, NY
    Posts
    12,191
    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Culturing meat would require a heavier infrastructure to support it, and more personnel, than ranching. It would be more convenient to have these factories in an urban area.
    I don't know if that would be a big shift, because it's happened before. Slaughterhouses used to be an industrial process in big cities. Everyone has this picture of cows out on the prairies, which isn't entirely true. They were only there to be bred and fed. Once they were big enough they were moved to urban areas for either shipment, slaughter or both. There are parts of NYC that you can't do real basic forensics because you'll always detect dead animal matter. This is contamination from animal slaughter.

    Personally, I would think the very opposite would be the case - in the wilderness would best. Like any number of data centers. Cheap land, zero infrastructure, no zoning. You have the extreme cost of building your own infrastructure and keeping up on environmental issues, but on the other hand you aren't trying to build a green structure in the middle of city or town. It removes the onus of conforming to whatever they were doing in the past. Conforming to pre-existing infrastructure can be a pain in the pat-toot. Here in Buffalo, Conrail maintains electrical lines long their tracks. It was a part of the deal to get the land. Maintain is funny word, because they aren't upgrading, merely keeping the lines as is. If you touch anything near their lines, you have to deal with antiquated situations.

    It occurs to me that "game changer" might be a loaded description. I would think that a true game changer (like printed meat) is something that you invent and control, where as something that merely is a change is perhaps not "a game changer" even though it seems to be all pervasive and has effects on society. Facebook is sometimes called "a game changer". It has a lot of effects on us, it changes a lot of how stuff is presented, but it remains to be seen if it has any meaning. AOL-Time Warner is only 20 years old... and no one strings those words together any more. Depending on how you count, Facebook is about 14-16 years into that cycle. A lot can happen in 4-6 years.

    We've gotten very good at data collection. Data processing seems to be a good frontier for "a game changer". There is a marked difference between what tech companies collect and what scientists do. I would have never predicted The Event Horizon Telescope from what I see corporations do with data collection. Now if only they ability to collect and correlate could be focused on something terrestrial, that could be a game changer.

    (...And excuse me. My dog is telling me my blood sugar tanked. My pardon if I have been rough and tumble here. It looks ok but sometimes that isn't the case. My apologies, I'll be back soon.)
    Solfe

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    5
    This looks as if it might be a suitable place to ask a question about spectacle lenses. Is it possible to make a lens with the centre - i.e. the spot to provide greatest help, towards the right-hand side, almost by the side of the frame? I realise it would be a one-off and might cost a lot, but it might be worth trying if it is at all possible. It would be to enhance just a bit peripheral short sight.
    I am still learning to navigate this forum, so I apologise in advance if I fail to respond quikly to any ideas and information supplied.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,978
    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Doris View Post
    This looks as if it might be a suitable place to ask a question about spectacle lenses. Is it possible to make a lens with the centre - i.e. the spot to provide greatest help, towards the right-hand side, almost by the side of the frame? I realise it would be a one-off and might cost a lot, but it might be worth trying if it is at all possible. It would be to enhance just a bit peripheral short sight.
    I am still learning to navigate this forum, so I apologise in advance if I fail to respond quikly to any ideas and information supplied.
    How do you think this would be a game changer?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    14,408
    Quote Originally Posted by Susan Doris View Post
    This looks as if it might be a suitable place to ask a question about spectacle lenses. Is it possible to make a lens with the centre - i.e. the spot to provide greatest help, towards the right-hand side, almost by the side of the frame? I realise it would be a one-off and might cost a lot, but it might be worth trying if it is at all possible. It would be to enhance just a bit peripheral short sight.
    I am still learning to navigate this forum, so I apologise in advance if I fail to respond quikly to any ideas and information supplied.
    Certainly I think it's possible, just not sure how useful it would be (we don't actually focus with peripheral vision, I believe, but rather build an image based on rough data and memory; in fact, we cannot see color in our peripheral vision but reconstruct the color from what we know). I'm not sure that you really meant to ask the question in this thread, though. It's easy to make a new thread, just go to the proper forum and hit the create new topic button.
    As above, so below

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    5
    I'm afraid I didn't think it would be a 'game changer'! I thought the question might slot in here and be responded to, because I don't expect I can start new topics yet? Apologies for tangent.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    5
    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Certainly I think it's possible, just not sure how useful it would be (we don't actually focus with peripheral vision, I believe, but rather build an image based on rough data and memory; in fact, we cannot see color in our peripheral vision but reconstruct the color from what we know). I'm not sure that you really meant to ask the question in this thread, though. It's easy to make a new thread, just go to the proper forum and hit the create new topic button.
    Thank you for your reply. I think I might pursue the idea and see if I can find out about anyone who might be able to make such a lens. It would not be to enhance colour - that I have learnt about over the years and I am certainly limited there - it is more to sharpen up the periphery.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    11,945
    A reduction in battery manufacturing costs might be the best news to come from this year.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Nowhere (middle)
    Posts
    37,978
    Building large scale long-term power storage infrastructure such as uphill pumping reservoirs would make on-grid wind and solar more practical.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •