Predictions for the Next 110 Years

What’s going to change in the next 110 years?  A lot.  [popularmechanics] have created a comprehensive list that details the top 110 things that are going to be invented that will change the way that we live.

Radiation sickness will be cured by injection. Thanks to interest from the Department of Defense, several treatment options are now vying for FDA approval. In clinical trials, one of them, Ex-Rad, has not only prevented long-term cell damage but also promoted bone marrow recovery.

That car part you need will be sculpted inside a 3D printer. Dentists are already using this modern tech wonder to transform laser scans of your mouth into custom-fit appliances for your teeth. But that’s a fraction of what the machine can do. When a 3D printer costs the same as, say, an HDTV, you will use one of your own to download all sorts of useful things, marveling as it creates each item layer by layer from plastic, rubber, titanium—you name it. Just imagine your future self printing a birthday cake, a Rolex, or a catalytic converter for the car. In time you’ll even be able to download prescription medicine.

Passwords will be obsolete. IBM says it will happen in five years. Who are we to disagree? Apple and Google are designing face-recognition software for cellphones. DARPA is researching the dynamics of keystrokes. Others are looking into retinal scans, voiceprints, and heartbeats. The big question, it seems, is what will you do with all that time you used to spend dreaming up new ways to say JZRulz24/7!

Data will be measured in zettabytes. According to the International Data Corporation, the volume of digital content created on the planet in 2010 exceeded a zettabyte for the first time in history. By the end of this year, the annual figure will have reached 2.7 zettabytes. What exactly does a zettabyte look like? Well, if each byte were a grain of sand, the sum total would allow you to build 400 Hoover Dams.

Supercomputers will be the size of sugar cubes. The trick is to redesign the computer chip. Instead of the standard side-by-side model in use today, IBM researchers believe they can stack and link tomorrow’s chips via droplets of nanoparticle-infused liquid. This would eliminate wires and draw away heat. What it won’t do is help you remember where you left your tiny computer before you went to bed.

An ion engine will reach the stars. If you’re thinking of making the trip to Alpha Centauri, pack plenty of snacks. At 25.8 trillion miles, the voyage requires more than four years of travel at light speed, and you won’t be going nearly that fast. To complete the journey, you’ll have to rely on a scaled-up version of the engine on the Deep Space 1 probe, launched in 1998. Instead of liquid or solid fuel, the craft was propelled by ions of xenon gas accelerated by an electric field.

One of us will celebrate a 150th birthday. Our money’s on Keith Richards. Given recent advances in health, technology, and medicine and the rise of genome science, it’s only a matter of time until someone gets to blow out all those candles—especially if you toss in a breakthrough on the scale of antibiotics, says David Ewing Duncan, author of When I’m 164. What are your odds of living to see our predictions come true? There are more than 300,000 centenarians on the globe already—and one hearty soul has reached the age of 122.

WITHIN 20 YEARS…
Self-driving cars will hit the mainstream market.
Battles will be waged without direct human participation (think robots or unmanned aerial vehicles).
The first fully functional brain-controlled bionic limb will arrive.

WITHIN 30 YEARS…
All-purpose robots will help us with household chores.
Space travel will become as affordable as a round-the-world plane ticket.
Soldiers will use exoskeletons to enhance battlefield performance.

WITHIN 40 YEARS…
Nanobots will perform medical procedures inside our bodies.

WITHIN 50 YEARS…
We will have a colony on Mars.
Doctors will successfully transplant a lab-grown human heart.
We will fly the friendly skies without pilots onboard.
And renewable energy sources will surpass fossil fuels in electricity generation.

WITHIN 60 YEARS…
Digital data (texts, songs, etc.) will be zapped directly into our brains.
We will activate the first fusion power plant.
And we will wage the first battle in space.

WITHIN 100 YEARS…
The last gasoline-powered car will come off the assembly line.

There’s some really sweet looking things going to head our way soon, so try not to throw yourself under a bus any-time soon…