IFTF + You
Technology Horizons Program
IFTF's Technology Horizons combines a deep understanding of technology and societal forces to identify and evaluate discontinuities and innovations in the next three to ten years. We help organizations develop insights and strategic tools to better position themselves for the future. Our approach to technology forecasting is unique—we put people at the center of our forecasts. Understanding humans as consumers, workers, householders, and community members allows IFTF to help companies look beyond technical feasibility to identify the value in new technologies, forecast adoption and diffusion patterns, and discover new market opportunities and threats.
2017 RESEARCH: AN OVERVIEW
SEARCHABLE MATTER FROM AN INTERNET OF INF ORMATION TO AN INTERNET OF A CTIONS
Ubiquitous networking has transformed cyberspace into a pervasive layer atop our physical reality. Meanwhile, the emerging Internet of Things promises to imbue ambient intelligence into every space and every object, from factories and forests to furniture and food packaging. All the devices around us, and inside us, will be sensors and storytellers, keeping a constant vigil on our world and sharing what they learn with the network. A constant flow of real-time data will enable us to index our physical world with a greater resolution than ever possible. That database will become the backbone of a new kind of human-machine interface: a search engine for reality itself. But to what end?
In the next decade, the web will evolve from an Internet of Information to an Internet of Actions, transforming everything from how we conduct business to our relationship with the material and natural world around us to how we get things done. A simple, spoken language request will trigger a cascade that orchestrates our digital and physical activities and collaborations between people and algorithms to both anticipate and meet our needs. Our workspaces will sense our presence and dynamically pull information and ambient resources to enhance the ways we collaborate. Shopping will be likewise transformed. When we buy a new deck for our house, the network will order the materials, identify and route the best-suited contractors, tightly choreograph the construction, and summon an autonomous truck to deliver the waste to the recycling facility.
The Internet of Actions will get to know us, mining our digital footprints and understanding our intentions. It will anticipate our needs and behave proactively, offering us its services before we even ask. As we move from the Internet of Things to Searchable Matter to an Internet of Actions, we will redefine our relationship with the physical world and the digital intelligence that powers it.
Join Institute for the Future’s Technology Horizons program as we explore a world in which reality has a search engine, and the Internet knows what we want—sometimes even before we do—and just makes things happen. We’ll traverse seven arenas that will be hotbeds of this transformation:
- TECHNOLOGY FOUNDATIONS& THRESHOLDS | Technicalinnovations emerging in the next decade
- LOGISTICS & SUPPLY CHAIN | How we manage and route resources
- WORK & COLLABORATION | How we create value
- INTERACTIONS & EXPERIENCES | How we innovate and generate value
- ADVERTISING & MARKETING | How we capture attention and awareness
- SECURITY & SAFETY | How we promote safety in a world of autonomous objects
- RESEARCH & DISCOVERY | How we uncover new ideas and knowledge