Sunday, January 01, 2006

Looking back

One year ago, I made several technology predictions for 2005. Let's see how they panned out.

Huygens successfully lands on Titan, and sends back proof of complex organic molecules

This one was spot-on.

computers will advance to the point where they have more processing capability than humans

This was, again, a pretty safe bet. Blue Gene/L achieved a speed of 280.6 teraflops, so with an estimated processing capacity of the human brain of 100 teraflops (which is Hans Moravec's estimate) we have at least one computer with almost three times the processing power of our own minds.

fully functional "butler robots" will start being sold, with voice recognition, facial recognition, and the ability to cook, clean, repair stuff, etc.

Not yet, unfortunately. While we did get the new version of the Roomba, the average bipedal robot is still little more than a toy. Show me ASIMO with a vacuum cleaner and I might reconsider.

holographic projectors will start becoming mainstream

I wish, hah.

the space tourism industry will begin to grow exponentially

Hardly exponential, but another tourist went up to the ISS this past year. We need a couple more years still for the X-Prize stuff to really start coming into it's own. '07 or '08 and you'll be taking trips into orbit for $200,000 on privately built and operated spacecraft.

quantum computers will surpass the speed of regular computers

Nope. There were a few advances in things that might eventually be used in quantum computers, but that's about it.

a functioning nanobot will be constructed that can run simple programs, move around, and pick up and drop different types of atoms

No, but they did build a nanocar. Getting closer!

brain implants will become advanced enough to create a "Matrix" of sorts

Patented by Sony. Though they're a little fuzzy as to the actual workings of a brain interface device.

optical storage will be developed that will allow over 2 terabytes of storage on a single disc

Okay, well, it's only 200 gigs, and it was actually announced in '04, but if I were an astrophysicist then getting it right to within an order of magnitude is "close enough".

the final merger of cell phones, PDAs, mp3 players, digital cameras, projectors, camcorders, and handheld gaming systems will take place

If only, ha. Instead we got the PSP and the ROKR; duct tape them together and you might get something interesting.


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