Lisa: I love a good prediction as much as anyone, and trying to figure out which technologies are going to make a difference in the next 12 months is something I wouldn’t even hazard a guess at. But someone has, and here’s the list of the 10 emerging technologies of 2008 according to the Technology Review
1.Modelling surprise. This combines data mining and machine learning to help people do a better job of anticipating and coping with unusual events.
2.Probabalistic chips.PCMOS is a microchip design technology that allows engineers to trade a small degree of accuracy in computation for substantial energy savings.
3.Nano radio. A nanoradio is a carbon nanotube anchored to an electrode, with a second electrode just beyond its free end. A single molecule which can receive radio signals.
4.Wireless power. Technology to transmit electricity to devices without the use of cables.
5.Atomic magnetometers. Miniaturized atomic magnetometers the size of a grain of rice require little power and are sensitive to very weak magnetic fields which could be used in cheap, portable MRI devices.
6.Offline Web applications. Apps developed using Web technologies such as HTML and Flash, can take advantage of the resources of a user’s computer as well as those of the Internet to quickly and cheaply build desktop applications.
7.Graphene transistors, a carbon material one atom thick, could have extraordinary electronic properties and applications in computer processing chips.
8.Connectomics. This latest addition to the ‘omics’ aims to map all synaptic connections between neurons in the mammalian brain. The hope is the wiring diagrams being generated should lead to better understanding of diseases as well as provide insight into learning and other cognitive functions.
9.Reality mining. Personal reality mining infers human relationships and behavior by applying data-mining algorithms to information collected by cell-phone sensors that can measure location, physical activity, and more.
10.Cellulolytic enzymes. These enzymes break down the cellulose found in biomass so it can be used as a feedstock for biofuels. Perhaps we’ll have to look back next January and see how accurate they were!