Technology off the radar

IDC Research have a new report called 'Beyond the Radar Screen: Technologies of the Future'. If you have the patience to register on the site, receive the confirmation email and log in, you then need the patience to view the PowerPoint presentation and listen to the Real Audio file (the poor audio quality does give the impression this is a view of the future from several decades ago). They pinpoint ten fledgling technologies they feel will be bigger in the future than their current limited reputation signifies (Yes/No in brackets indicates whether they think the technology will be in common usage (I guess) in our lifetimes):

From a cockroach with a backpack containing implanted sensors in 1999 to a rat in 2001 to Kevin Warwick's arm-implanted sensors in 2002. (Yes)
Smart Dust
Tiny intelligent sensors, MEMs, RFID. (Yes)
Tiny carbon tubes useful for smart materials, flat panel displays, MEMs, etc. (Yes)
Molecular level machines for drug delivery, probes, etc. Could become self-replicating. (No)
Quantum Computing
Computation taking advantage of quantum mechanics for cryptography, simulation, maths, etc. (No)
Plastic Transistors
Carbon-based semi-conducting materials for flexible displays. (Yes)
Semantic Web
Structured metadata to describe content, for web searching, rights management, collaboration, sharing data. (Yes)
Grid Computing
"Uses disparate independent resources across distances with a single system image." (Yes)
Lily Pads
Interlinked Wi-Fi networks allowing cheap and flexible broadband internet access. (Yes)
Pot Pourri
A selection of other technologies such as LED headlights, heads-up display on a motorcycle helmet and a micro fuel cell for cars.

A nice summary of some technologies. I always find it hard to judge how progressed a technology is, because if you're more involved in it it seems far more real and likely to happen than the perhaps more mysterious technology. (via the always excellent Techdirt)

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