Quantifying Some General Predictions

Futurismic has some of Karl Schroeder twittered short predictions of likely surprises for 2009.

eBook Readers become as common as iPods.

So ebook sales to track which part of the iPod quarterly sales jumps ?

240,000 kindle sales first half of 2008

Estimated 2008 Kindle sales are 500,000

So iPod like sales tracking would be about the 2004 ipod sales number for 2009 with the big jump going into 2010 that matches iPod going to 5-6 million per quarter. There are other eBooks besides Amazon Kindle’s but the Kindle is currently the eBook leader.

Karl Schroeder: Desktop printer / rapid prototyping manufacturing is about a 1 billion a year industry.

Rapid manufacturing in 2007

The low end of the market is getting more introductions.

The $4995 3d Desktop printer will be available in 2008 2009 as well. The 3D desktop printer takes up 25 x 20 x 20-inch space, and weighs about 90-pounds, while the maximum size of printed objects is 5 x 5 x 5-inches, and Desktop Factory says per-cubic-inch printing costs will hover somewhere around $1. The Desktop Factory 3D printer builds robust, composite plastic parts that can be sanded and painted when desired. Their goal by 2011 is to have their 3D printer below $1000.

Desktop Factory the maker of the $4995 3d Desktop printer.

Dimension Printing released a 3D desktop printer for $14,900 Feb, 2009

Karl Schroeder: Breakeven Fusion in 2009

This site tracks nuclear fusion projects closely.

By breakeven : In nuclear fusion research, the term breakeven refers to a fusion energy gain factor equal to unity, this is also known as the Lawson criterion.

In terms of breakeven nuclear fusion:

* The National Ignition Facility is planning to achieve fusion breakeven but it is ten years or more and lot of money and work away from commercializing this system.

* If the EMC2 group was funded by the Navy to build a 1.5 meter 100 MW device that could achieve breakeven. It seems laete 2009 is the earliest that could be funded at it would take about 2 years to build.

* General Fusion is to raise $50 million for a net energy gain device with a target date of 2013 if the second/third phase are roughly on schedule.

* If the Lawrenceville Plasma Physics research is successful then 2010 could see mroe energy produced than is fed into the plasma. Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Inc., a small research and development company based in West Orange, NJ, has announced the initiation of a two-year-long experimental project to test the scientific feasibility of Focus Fusion, controlled nuclear fusion using the dense plasma focus (DPF) device and hydrogen-boron fuel. Hydrogen-boron fuel produces almost no neutrons and allows the direct conversion of energy into electricity. The goals of the experiment are first, to confirm the achievement the high temperatures first observed in previous experiments at Texas A&M University; second, to greatly increase the efficiency of energy transfer into the tiny plasmoid where the fusion reactions take place; third, to achieve the high magnetic fields needed for the quantum magnetic field effect which will reduce cooling of the plasma by X-ray emission; and finally, to use hydrogen-boron fuel to demonstrate greater fusion energy production than energy fed into the plasma (positive net energy production).

Karl Schroeder: Batteries and Ultracapacitors converge in 2009 into something commercializable.

This site reported on the Ultrabattery back in January 2008. A combination ultracapacitor and lead acid battery from Australia which has low cost and long endurance. There is a lot of activity with reports of improved batteries and ultracapacitors practically every day.