Look around you at all the new technology.  Everyone has cell phones and I-pods seem to be the 'in thing' to have.  Are we moving away from gasoline engines for our cars and moving toward using...

Look around you at all the new technology.  Everyone has cell phones and I-pods seem to be the 'in thing' to have. 

Are we moving away from gasoline engines for our cars and moving toward using liquid hydrogen (from water), electricity or ethanol made form vegetable waste or corn?

Where is all this new technology leading us?

What do you see in technology in the next 10 years, 20 years, 50 years? 

Where is all this new technology going?

Asked on by ironstrike

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The major problem with answering this question is that there are many different types of technologies that can all be going in different directions.  Just in this question, you mention a couple of different kinds of electronics, car engine technology, and different kinds of fuel.  There are many other kinds of technology as well.  This means that various technologies can change in different ways with different effects.  In this answer, I will make a few generalized statements about where I think technology is going.  However, it is of course possible that my thoughts will turn out to be completely wrong.

On the one hand, I think that electronic and computer technology will continue to become smaller and more ubiquitous.  For example, even if Google Glass does not really become a hit, I believe that there will come to be more and more computing technology that can be extremely portable.  I believe that this will tend to make things more convenient for us, but will also tend to reduce the level of privacy that we enjoy.  We will be able to get things like ad offers that come about because the Internet “knows” where we are.  But we will also be much more trackable and our habits will become much more visible to advertisers and others.

With regard to other types of technology, I do think that there will be a great deal of demand for new “green” technology.  It is, however, hard to know if this sort of technology will become widely available in the next few decades.  I tend to be a little skeptical.  People may want green technology, but the benefits of this sort of technology are not as obvious and immediate as the benefits of miniaturized electronics.  This may mean that it will be impossible for companies to profitably make such technology in the near future.

My feeling, then, is that new technologies will continue to transform our society, but that they will have a harder time transforming our energy use and environmental impact.

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