Writing on WorldHealth.com, Dr. Robert Goldman, M.D., PhD., took a look at some of the big changes facing mankind in the not distant future.
Health: There are pharma companies building a medical device (called the ‘Tricorder’ from Star Trek) that works with your phone. The Tricorder takes your retina scan, your blood sample and a breath sample. It then analyses 54 biomarkers that will identify nearly any disease. It will be cheap, so in a few years everyone on this planet will have access to world class medicine, nearly for free.
3D printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer came down from $18,000 to $400 within 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster. All major shoe companies started 3D printing shoes. Spare airplane parts are already 3D printed in remote airports. The space station now has a 3D printer that eliminates the need for the large amount of spare parts they used to have in the past.
At the end of this year, new smartphones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You can then 3D scan your feet and print your perfect shoe at home. In China, they already 3D printed a complete 6-story office building. By 2027, 10% of everything that’s being produced will be 3D printed.
Business opportunities: If you think of a niche, ask yourself – in the future, do you think we will have that? If the answer is yes, how can you make that happen sooner? If it doesn’t work with your phone, forget the idea. And any idea designed for success in the 20th century is doomed for failure in the 21st century.
Work: 70-80% of jobs will disappear in the next 20 years. There will be a lot of new jobs, but it is not clear if there will be enough new jobs in such a small time frame.
Agriculture: There will be a $100 agricultural robot in the future. Farmers in third world countries can then become managers of their field instead of working all days on their fields. Aeroponics will need much less water. The first petri dish produced veal is now available and will be cheaper than cow produced veal in 2018. Right now, 30% of all agricultural surfaces are used for cows. Imagine if we don’t need that space anymore. There are several startups who will bring insect protein to the market shortly. It contains more protein than meat. It will be labeled as ‘Alternative protein source’ (as most people still reject the idea of eating insects).
Education: The cheapest smart phones are already at $10 in Africa and Asia. By 2020, most humans will own a smartphone or a device that has access to world class education/information. Every child will have access to tools for learning art, engineering, design, languages, science, music, mathematics, etc.
Longevity: Right now, the average life span increases by three months per year. Four years ago, the life span was 79 years, now it’s 80 years. The increase itself is increasing and by 2036, there will be more that one year increase per year. So we all might live for a long long time, probably way more than 100.