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Predicting the future is hard and risky. Predicting the future in the computer industry is even harder and riskier due to dramatic changes in technology and limitless challenges to innovation. Only a small fraction of innovations truly disrupt the state of the art. Some are not practical or cost-effective, some are ahead of their time, and some simply do not have a market. There are numerous examples of superior technologies that were never adopted because others arrived on time or fared better n the market. Therefore this document is only an attempt to better understand where technologies are going. The book Innovators Dilemma and its sequels best describe the process of innovation and disruption.

Nine technical leaders of the IEEE Computer Society joined forces to write a technical report, entitled IEEE CS 2022, symbolically surveying 23 potential technologies that could change the landscape of computer science and industry by the year 2022. In particular, this report focuses on 3D printing, big data and analytics, open intellectual property movement, massively online open courses, security cross-cutting issues, universal memory, 3D integrated circuits, photonics, cloud computing, computational biology and bioinformatics, device and nanotechnology, sustainability, high-performance computing, the Internet of Things, life sciences, machine learning and intelligent systems, natural user interfaces, networking and inter-connectivity, quantum computing, software-defined networks, multicore, and robotics for medical care. Read more »

23 Technologies in 2022

Security Cross-Cutting Issues 1. Security Cross-Cutting Issues
The growth of large data repositories and emergence of data analytics have combined with intrusions by bad actors, governments, and corporations to open a Pandora's box of issues. How can we balance security and privacy in this environment?
Open Intellectual Property Movement 2. Open Intellectual Property Movement
From open source software and standards to open-access publishing, the open IP movement is upon us. What are the implications?
Sustainability technology 3. Sustainability
Can electronic cars, LED lighting, new types of batteries and chips, and increasing use of renewables combat rising energy use and an explosion in the uptake of computing?
Massively Online Open Courses 4. Massively Online Open Courses
MOOCs have the potential to transform the higher-education landscape, siphoning students from traditional universities and altering faculty and student roles. How significant will their impact be?
Quantum Computing 5. Quantum Computing
Constrained only by the laws of physics, quantum computing will potential extend Moore's Law into the next decade. As commercial quantum computing comes within reach, new breakthroughs are occurring at an accelerating pace.
Device and Nanotechnology 6. Device and Nanotechnology
It is clear that MEMS devices, nanoparticles, and their use in applications are here to stay. Nanotechnology has already been useful in manufacturing sunscreen, tires, and medical devices that can be swallowed.
3D Integrated Circuits 7. 3D Integrated Circuits
The transition from printed circuit boards to 3D-ICs is already underway in the mobile arena, and will eventually spread across the entire spectrum of IT products.
Universal Memory 8. Universal Memory
Universal memory replacements for DRAM will cause a tectonic shift in architectures and software.
Multicore 9. Multicore
By 2022, multicore will be everywhere, from wearable systems and smartphones to cameras, games, automobiles, cloud servers, and exa-scale supercomputers.
Photonics 10. Photonics
Silicon photonics will be a fundamental technology to address the bandwidth, latency, and energy challenges in the fabric of high-end systems.
Networking and Interconnectivity 11. Networking and Interconnectivity
Developments at all levels of the network stack will continue to drive research and the Internet economy.
Software-defined Networks 12. Software-defined Networks
OpenFlow and SDN will make networks more secure, transparent, flexible, and functional.
High-performance Computing 13. High-performance Computing
While some governments are focused on reaching exascale, some researchers are intent on moving HPC to the cloud.
Cloud Computing 14. Cloud Computing
By 2022, cloud will be more entrenched and more computing workloads run on the cloud.
The Internet of Things 15. The Internet of Things
From clothes that monitor our movements to smart homes and cities, the Internet of Things knows no bounds, except for our concerns about ensuring privacy amid such convenience.
Natural User Interfaces 16. Natural User Interfaces
The long-held dreams of computers that can interface with us through touch, gesture, and speech are finally coming true, with more radical interfaces on the horizon.
3D Printing 17. 3D Printing
3D printing promises a revolution in fabrication, with many opportunities to produce designs that would have been prohibitively expensive.
Big Data and Analytics 18. Big Data and Analytics
The growing availability of data and demand for its insights holds great potential to improve many data-driven decisions.
Machine Learning and Intelligent Systems 19. Machine Learning and Intelligent Systems
Machine learning plays an increasingly important role in our lives, whether it's ranking search results, recommending products, or building better models of the environment.
Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition 20. Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
Unlocking information in pictures and videos has had a major impact on consumers and more significant advances are in the pipeline.
Life Sciences 21. Life Sciences
Technology has been pivotal in improving human and animal health and addressing threats to the environment.
Computational Biology and Bioinformatics 22. Computational Biology and Bioinformatics
Vast amounts of data are enabling the improvement of human health and unraveling of the mysteries of life.
Medical Robotics 23. Medical Robotics
From autonomous delivery of hospital supplies to telemedicine and advanced prostheses, medical robotics has led to many life-saving innovations.
2022 report

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Rahul Dave @rahuldaveIndia
09/26/2014 17:45 PM
An absolute master-piece. Although we may have a few more technologies to add to the list.
S.M. Claassen
09/27/2014 05:48 AM
A very commendable effort on the part of IEEE CS, harnessing its breadth and depth to compile an engaging predictive narrative with a plausible 8-year horizon.

There is, however, obviously more to be said about the underlying assumptions on which this study is based than a fleeting reference to Clayton Christensen's disruptive innovation. Namely consensus regarding the sustainability of and insight into (the) innovation (process) itself (in economic, environmental and social terms) should arguably stave any viable descriptive future scenario or normative strategy in that direction. Conceivably a concept of sustainable innovation would address among others the status of human creativity and intellectual capital within a holistic anthropological perspective - that is, humanity as measure of technology (as the motto on IEEE's latest logo asserts).

Also the diversity of this vision's interdisciplinarity will need to be spanned by integrative "killer apps" in order to arrive at some point of technological unification and which this study may help to identify and assess.
09/30/2014 10:34 AM
An Ideal World going to  become Real 
10/31/2014 03:36 AM
we are waiting for a big challenge

11/17/2014 14:46 PM
Actually I am so concern about sustainability. Cisco's energywise is good and all the other things you have mention too, but I think we have to increase public awareness. Most of people don't know that if you leave your computer on or standby, or even turned off but plugged in, it still consumes energy. There are these little things that make these big things.
All these technologies will produce such a massive data.
Marguerite Grandjean
11/18/2014 06:31 AM
Hi everyone,
Have you seen the scenario work done last year by the IEEE Ad Hoc Committee on Strategic Planning?
The SWOT analysis on page 122 of the IEEE 2022 report provides similar insights as those gleaned from the scenarios. However, the scenarios also address some of the SWOT diagnosis in a new light. I encourage you to have a look!

04/05/2015 11:06 AM
I find the absence of VR a major omission. It's going to have a major and very noticeable impact on society and will become mainstream just a quick as smart phones.
Aurelio Barbato
11/07/2015 02:53 AM
There is a strong sinergy with the world's mega trends. To find the best solutions is very important in terms of sustainability for the scenarios insights. Thank you vary much Marguerite Grandjean for your interesting suggestions. I will see them.
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