What would be the effect on both businesses and consumers if any of the technology-related predictions (in the link below) for the next 5-10 years will actually come true?
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Of course, there are many predictions on this site and different predictions would have very different impacts.
One prediction that might have the most impact on consumers and businesses is the prediction for 2015 saying that everyday people will be able to afford 3-D printers. If this happens, the impact on business would be tremendous. With such technology, the demand for consumer goods at actual retail outlets would decline dramatically. People would simply print things for themselves at home. This would lead to savings for consumers. It would also be a boon to those who sell the raw materials that would be used to print the objects at home. Finally, it would help any business that could find a way to sell instructions for how to print desirable items. Firms would have to figure out ways to sell these instructions without losing revenue to piracy the way that music and film companies now do.
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