This is my list of 5 technologies that you probably don’t know about yet, and that will go mainstream in less than 5 years. I’d like to check back here in 5 years to see just how right (or wrong) I am.
1. Online rendered games
OTOY delivers server based live rendering. That is a cool thing that can enable live playing of console games that you don’t own. Of course it can also be used more professionally by e.g. architects and film makers.
2. Peer to peer hosting
3. Augmented reality
It will take a bit longer than just software, but the world is advancing fast to a point where we can start using this. Simply glasses with small screens on the inside will work. GPS in your phone and netbook help to render relevant scenes laid over the exact location you are at. “Assisted reality” may be the first step: point your phone to a product and see it’s specifications, price comparison etc directly on your phone’s screen.
4. Flexible displays
This is another one that I envision to arrive on the market soon (a couple of years). You just roll up your e-reader, or roll it out of your netbook. It’s already for sale.
5. Online software development
Sites like topcoder, guru, but especially oDesk will become the trend. But the people you hire will not be unknown to you. Through social networking, virtual presence and web cams they will be much more part of the company then just outsiders. This will require a change in culture though. Currently people are quite ‘scared’ of showing their face to someone on the other side of the Ocean. But just like social networking it will grow quickly.
Things that will go unnoticed
- social networks – ok, they’ve already made it, but they will not change drastically, and you notice a fatigue starting in everyone who has had the facebook rush for a while. The close circle of friends will continue, but 900 friends? C’mon. Facebook/twitter will end up in Google’s or Microsofts hands anyway.
- Google wave – It’s the marriage of IM, picture album, bulletin board and email. I believe it actually will take over as the next version of GMail, but it will not be much more than that.
- Wolfram Alpha – one of the latest hypes. Ultimately just one of the places people may go to to find answers. Will probably be bought by Google anyway.
I had no place for it on the list, and it may take more then 5 years, but solar power will also make it, eventually (within 10 years).