Predicting the Future is Hard.
Not only do you have to imagine what problems we’ll be trying to solve; you have to imagine which still-uninvented products or future technology will help solve them.
The Institute for the Future, a research organization devoted to providing foresight about the world ahead, thinks it’s up to the task.
Tech Insider spoke with Mark Frauenfelder, one of the IFTF’s top research directors, to get a sense of the kinds of products people will use in 2026 that we can’t imagine yet.
Predicting Future Technology – Brain Implants for Couples
By 2026, couples could have the option to get brain implants that allow them to read one another’s minds. Rather than rely on self-reports about emotional states and well-being, they can just know.
The IFTF imagines that the company supplying this service will be called Amethyst.
“One little device lets you truly be together, even when you’re apart,” the IFTF states in a 2015 report. “You can think and move as one, without words, or even thoughts.”
Predicting Future Technology – Edublocks
Similar to Bitcoin, Edublocks might serve as a new virtual currency exclusive to online education.
If you watch a three-minute guitar lesson on YouTube or an hour-long physics lecture on MIT OpenCourseWare, you’d receive a set quantity of Edublocks to match the time you invested.
“The lessons are recorded on an immutable database that other people can access to see what you’ve learned,” Frauenfelder says. “And you can use these education skills to buy more training.”
Predicting Future Technology – Winning Friends
Public speaking could get a whole lot easier with Winning Friends, augmented-reality software that would give you real-time updates about your audience and tips to make your presentation the best it can be.
“Whether you’re talking to a single person or a whole stadium, Winning Friends is your guide to mastering persuasion,” an IFTF report states. Read more…