Predicting the future might sound like an impossible task, but chief technologists at Cisco said they were up to the challenge back in 2010 when they put forth their list of “10 Technologies That Will Change the World in the Next 10 Years”. Looking at these predictions four years after they were created, it’s interesting to see which we would still agree with and which seem way off to us now. Here are some highlights from the list:
- More connectivity. By 2020, an estimated 50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet – including smartphones, iPads, television devices and computers. That's six devices for each person on Earth.
- Tech-savvy healthcare. As devices get smaller, healthcare IT gets more sophisticated. In the next 10 years, Cisco predicts that we'll see more brain-machine integration, helping patients overcome paralysis and other injuries through technology.
- Life in the cloud. Ten years from now, one-third of all data will either live in or pass through the cloud, improving health and business processes through cloud-based technology platforms, and creating better communication through video, translation tools and personal sensors.
It is important to consider how these predictions were influenced by the technology landscape at the time (for instance IBM’s Watson was making international news appearing on Jeopardy!). It reminds us of the need to be aware of how our current technology landscape is shaping our thoughts and predictions about the future.