How Will Technology Change Our World? Here’s 5 Scenarios Unfolding Now

Here’s 5 major industries under threat from emerging technology.

Manufacturing

Manufacturing faces a real challenge and will suffer a real contraction.

The threat: 3D printing.

The U.S. lost it’s manufacturing capacity and all those jobs to China, but with 3D printing, it’s already cheaper to make stuff in the U.S. and Europe than in China.

The question now becomes how will China deal with such a potentially serious downturn in manufacturing?

The good news is that manufacturing is once again becoming localized, for example the other day instructions for a special spanner were sent off to to the International Space Station and the 3D printer got to work and “created” the item needed to repair a printer.

Finance

Another huge change is coming to the finance industry, witness the advent of BITCOIN and CROWDFUNDING.

Imagine being able to raise loans for everything through crowdfunding, by-passing banks and skirting around the veil of protectionism cloaking the finance industry.

Healthcare

Over the last 15 years, the cost of human genome sequencing has dropped from the billions to about a thousand dollars. At the rate at which prices are dropping, the cost of sequencing will be close to zero in a few years, and we will all have our genomes sequenced. When you combine these data with the medical-sensor data that the tech companies are collecting on their cloud platforms, we will have a medical revolution. We won’t need doctors for day-to-day medical advice anymore. Robotic surgeons will also do the most sophisticated surgeries. We’re going to disrupt the entire healthcare system.

Even today, Apple wants to store data from wearable sensors to monitor blood pressure, blood oxygenation, heart rhythms, temperature, activity levels, and other symptoms.

Energy

Fracking has allowed America to become energy independent, and will soon make it an energy exporter. Then there is the solar power industry where prices have dropped about 97 percent over the past 35 years.

In the U.S., by the end of this decade, it will be cheaper to produce energy at home on solar cells than to buy it from utilities. If solar keeps advancing in the way it is, it will eclipse the fossil-fuel industry, and it’s not the only new technology threatening the energy industry.

With unlimited energy, we get unlimited clean water, because we can simply boil as much ocean water as we want.

We can afford to grow food locally in vertical farms.

This can be 100 percent organic, because we won’t need insecticides in sealed farm buildings.

Imagine also being able to 3D print meat and not having to slaughter animals.

This will transform and disrupt agriculture and the entire food-production industry.

Communications

Already the landline business has evaporated, replaced by mobile, and that’s getting swamped by data.

With open Wi-Fi networks spreading everywhere, phone calls are already free via Skype and suchlike.

From Vivek Wadhwa 

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