Technologies that I expect to see having a lot of progress in the 2012-2016 timeframe should see each of the technologies enabling more improvement in the other technologies in the 2014-2019 timeframes. The exact timeframes would depend upon how fast leaders in one technological area are able to incorporate advances from other areas.
the whole list of 2012-2016 Technologies
1. Energy Revolution – Mass produced fission, fusion, and maybe cold fusion
2. Memristors and other significant computing and electronic improvements.
4. Urbanization Broad Group skyscrapers, Tata flat packed buildings
6. Supersmartphones, exoskeletons and wearable systems
8. Energy Efficiency – superconductors, thermoelectrics, improved grid
9. Additive manufacturing
10. Not so mundane – neuromorphic chips, quantum computers, photonics
11. Automated transportation (leading to robotic cars and planes)
13. Improve medicine and public health
14. Synthetic biology and recombineering
15. Sensors everywhere
16. Education transformed and accelerated innovation
I would be looking at
4. Urbanization Broad Group skyscrapers
3. Robotics – new wave of factory automation being led by Foxconn
8. Improved engines (for machines like the crane for lifting parts). Superconductors and general engine improvements could boost the power and speed of the cranes used by Broad Group to build their skyscrapers
15. Sensors everywhere – could be used to get more tracking of workflow and to monitor the structural health of the skyscrapers that are built
12. Supermaterials could be used to improve the buildings. This will likely take longer to produce enough supermaterials to matter for skyscraper construction. the supermaterials would have to be improved concrete and steel.
9. Additive manufacturing could start having an impact for some parts of the factory mass produced skyscrapers.
Broad Group has built 15, 30 and even 50 story buildings at a speed of two stories per day. They have built a 6 story building in one day and believe they can build an 8 story building in one day. They believe the high rises can be built at 4 stories per day. A projected 200 story building is planned for 4 months of factory manufacturing followed by 60 days of onsite assembly.
The adoption of Foxconn robotic manufacturing in Broad Group factories and simply scaling to more and larger factories could cut down the factory construction time by 2 to 10 times. Continuing ongoing improvement of onsite assembly and robotic systems and faster and more powerful cranes could speed the onsite assembly.
Besides Broad Group looking like they could achieve something close to their goal of capturing (with their partners) 30% of the world commercial construction market is that competitors will have to aggressively adopt Broad Groups methods and compete with them. The entire construction industry should be transformed before 2020 either by Broad Group or their surviving competitors.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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