The first half of 2012 has solidification of what will be big impacts on day to day life for many people in the world over the period of 2013 to 2020.
I have made and track a list of technologies in what I call the Mundane Singularity. At the end of 2011, I had indicated what I thought the impact would be up to the end of 2016. I also projected a general outline out for 30 years.
Robotics will be a lot more capable and more common
There has also been the parallel use of many cheap camera sensors to form multi-gigapixel images. This is currently high cost. However, at the cost/resolution sweet spots for different camera sensors, we will be able to scale up resolution with linear cost increases. For example, if a megapixel sensor was available for $1 and the integration electronics could be added for $100. Then a gigapixel would cost $1100. A 100 megapixels would be about $200. The cost benefit sweet spot might shift to 5 megapixels for $1.50. Then a gigapixel would cost $400 (including the $100 electronics) and 100 megapixels would cost $130.
The availability of cheaper higher resolution cameras will increase the workspace volumes of Leap Motion. 50 gigapixels has four times the resolution of normal human vision.
Robots will be able use high resolution cameras and Leap Motion to gain detailed awareness of a large area around them at a very affordable price.
This will be great for affordable robotic cars. The current electronics for robotic cars costs $50,000 or more.
The improved affordable sensors and cameras will make it easier for artificial intelligence to gain more benefit from pattern recognition.
There was also the advance made by Google to use a neural network to classify unidentified images without human assistance.
Sky City and Robotic Cars and economic impact
The other big development is the continued rise of factory mass produced skyscrapers. This will have an impact on cities and economic efficiency and productivity. Broad Group appears on track to their goal of 30% of world commercial construction by 2020. This would be 8 billion square feet of building which is equal to 700 of the 200 floor buildings.