Technological trends advisor Charles Ostman discussed both the progress and dangers of nanotechnology and other developments. Nanotech, the ability to manipulate matter at the atomic level, can offer spectacular breakthroughs, but it could also be used as a horrible weapon, he said. For instance, it has the potential to selectively alter materials in a vehicle such as a train, in order to cause harm. The technology could also be utilized to target people with specific genetic markers, he noted.
Yet, the future looks bright with a number of advances heading our way. Here is a timeline of some of the things he sees down the pike:
Within 5-7 years:
- Ubiquitously interconnected smart components within cars, homes etc. that are woven into our daily lives.
- New energy systems that include alternative fuels and solar for the home.
Within 5-10 years:
- An increased ability to enhance the brain's performance and mental faculties through neural physiology.
Within 7-10 years:
- Radical breakthroughs in medicine, with smart diagnostic and therapeutic systems running in the body.
Within 20 years:
- The harnessing of consciousness leading to such things as remote influencing and empathic conductivity. Gadgets and physical contraptions will become less relevant.
First half-hour guest, consumer privacy expert Katherine Albrecht presented an update on microchip implants for humans. She noted that ex-Bush cabinet member, Tommy Thompson has put off being chipped despite his promise that he was going to have it done (more info). Albrecht also warned that the implants are not compatible with MRIs, and that if a chipped person was having the medical procedure, they could be burned from the inside out.