In the past 5 years I have been involved in the field of technology and business
But strangely I somehow lost touch with developments in science. I did not track ANY developments in Science which forms the bedrock of technology. Being a engineering graduate, I am surprised at myself not doing so.

The book I picked up this week “Probable tomorrows” was an eye opener to the great advances that are due in the coming decade. For a moment I forgot the distinction between Science and Technology. They are fundamentally different

Science – usually involves the development of a hypothesis, the testing of that hypothesis by controlled experimentation or observation, the collection and analysis of data to produce results and the drawing of valid conclusions based on those results.
Technology – usually involves the design and development of a solution to a problem and yields a product, process or environment that serves a real need.

In this fast paced technological world, it is always breakthroughs in science which act as a propeller for product development in this world

The author mentions the following areas where there could fascinating trends in science and technology
1.Digital World:
It’s all going to be digital world: One of my cousins who is a successful entrepreneur had an opinion that software as a field of research is almost over. It has come in to main stream and all it requires is for the risk takers to develop and MARKET the products and services to various industries. As things stand in 2005 , the trends mentioned by a lot of VCs and futurists in the fieldare wifi networking, optical networks, peer to peer software, DNA Computer, RFID etc

2.Transportation:
It is assumed that traffic congestion in US causes 4 weeks of loss in productive time of people. The current status in this category
Magnetic Sensors along high volume routes
Dual Mode Remote Guidance
Cooperative Driving

The future trends of developments include
Hybrid Cars leading to Electric Cars
(http://www.hybridcars.com/terms.html)
Using Hydrogen as a fuel by fusion process
CNG/LPG for fuel
Going back to rail systems (less polluting form of transportation)
Airplanes will be capable of leaping halfway around the world in just few hours

3.Nanotechnology:
Though the author mentions about Molecular manufacturing, I need to get a more thorough understanding of the science behind it. I am planning to read “ The next big thing is really small “ sometime this week . Hopefully I will understand this trend better . To put in authors words, consumer goods will be produces at prices so low the poor of tomorrow could live as well as the rich do today

4.Smart Materials:
Intelligent materials embedded in structures , consumer durables will add a significant value to the end customer. Structures which decide the movement depending on the stress levels etc

5. Space Manufacturing and Services:
Fast Package Delivery
Space Burial
Space Theme Park
Remote Sensing
Communication Satellites
Space travel in tourism industry
Heavy Industries can move in to space , so that Earth can recover from our past environmental follies

6.Medicine:
Dramatic advances in gene aping and organ transplants will extend the healthy human life span well beyond the century mark

7.Environment:
Scientists will have learned to purge the air of pollution, closing up the Antarctica’s ozone hole and ending the threat of global warming

Overall it was a pretty fascinating read about the future impact of the emerging trends in science and technology.

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