This iCub humanoid robot reaching for a cup, at IDSIA's robotics lab in Switzerland.

This iCub humanoid robot reaching for a cup, at IDSIA's robotics lab in Switzerland.

Moore's Law – which is loosely the idea that computing power will double in power and half in price every 18 months or so – has held for a long, long time… leading to exponentially amazing technological progress. [UPDATE 3 September 2015: Moore's Law may well no longer be holding. Note that it was always descriptive and speculative, rather than some sort of immutable law of nature.] But that over time it became reported that way.] It's making the world better, worse, more complicated, and more connected.

We, and the world around us – our things, our homes, our cars, our lives – are more connected than ever. In 2005, there were 2.5 billion connected devices. In 2008, there were more connected devices on the planet than people. By 2013, there were 13 billion. By 2020, there will be 50 billion connected devices (sources: Gartner, Cisco, and Patrick Tucker, The Naked Future: What Happens In a World That Anticipates Your Every Move? (London: Current, 2014). That will include phones, chips, sensors, implants, and, as internet of things expect Patrick Tucker says “devices of which we have not yet conceived”.

Wearable technology – aka “wearables” such as the Apple Watch, Google Glass, FitBit Zip, and Jawbone Up – are changing how we control our health. Their retail equivalents, “nearables”, are set to change retail too. 

Here are the key things we're excited about when it comes to the future of technology: 

Things we’re thinking and excited about for the future of tech and society at The Future is Here:  

  1. Internet of Things
  2. AgTech — especially how chips and IoT is making life easier and more pleasant for cows, and more productive for farmers
  3. AI (artificial intelligence)
  4. gaming
  5. VR & AR
  6. big data — and if anyone can make sense of it
  7. the delivery-on-demand economy
  8. drones
  9. robots
  10. privacy — though we think this is a media-driven folk devil
  11. design thinking 
  12. synthetic bio