Eight Technologies on Gartner’s Emerging Trend Radar Screen

Last week Gartner unveiled its emerging trends outlook for technologies at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando.  Unfortunately for me, my company’s department does not have money to send me to these types of events.  Lucky for me, however, is I can usually find out about what was presented by surfing the many blogs that I do.  In this case, I found an article posted over at ZDNet’s blog called Between the Lines

According to the Between the Lines blog post here, Jackie Fenn, an analyst at Gartner, presented a list of emerging technologies to watch…some of them are around today but just haven’t hit prime time.  I was personally interested in their list of emerging technologies that are more than 10 years off.   Here they are…

  • The Real World Web:  Gartner is forecasting that today’s web transforms into a personal agent that basically tells users what they need to know proactively.  Important enabling technologies will be wireless technology, sensors, location and semantic technologies. 
  • Virtual worlds and social software:  Gartner believes that Virtual worlds need to get easier before they become more mainstream.  Integration with social software will be key and visible presence, open communications and personalization will make these technologies keepers. 
  • User interface advancements:  Gartner believes there is a bunch of stuff in the labs yet to come out, but the focus will be towards touch technologies.  Look also for new displays that will offer 3D, be flexible and project over large areas. 
  • Personal manufacturing and fabbing:   Gartner believes there is an emerging mass market for 3D printers not only for business, but for consumers. 
  • Mobile robots:  Gartner believes robots will increasingly be used for lifting and rescue operations, healthcare and human companionship. 
  • Human augmentation:   Look for technology to play an important part in implants, brain interfaces, genetic selection and nerve to prosthesis applications.  Think: bionic man and bionic woman. 
  • Collective intelligence:  Gartner believes corporations will turn to new innovative business models based off of crowdsourcing, open source, prediction markets and user ratings.  . 
  • Extreme meritocracy:   Gartner sees the day when performance metrics, based on peer reviews and feedback, will be available on any company and any person.

Read on each of these here.  Of these, I think the 3D printing and social software are the two technologies that will happen before the rest.  What do you think?