New Online Course–Technology and the Future: Managing Change and Innovation

Originally posted on ShapingTomorrowBlog:

Shaping Tomorrow will hold its second online course taught by Peter von Stackelberg.

Course Description
In this course we will look into the future…specifically the technological changes we can expect to see over the next two to three decades and how those changes will affect us all. This course links the theoretical with the practical. We begin by examining why understanding technological change is critical to us individually, to businesses, and to society as a whole. We will examine how and why technology changes, the life cycle of new technologies, and the factors that determine whether or not new technologies will be widely adopted.

In the last two modules of this course we pull together the different concepts covered and look in detail at the next technological revolution — the Molecular Age — and what it could mean for our futures.

Throughout the course are a series of readings that highlight some…

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NuTronics

dddraeger:

I had been wanting to write publicly about this topic for a couple of years. The MIT breakthrough with ionics was the primary reason I thought now was the right time. It’s implications for health, cleantech, etc. make it very exciting, and I’ll be following their progress with great anticipation.

Originally posted on ShapingTomorrowBlog:

electron

By Dennis D. Draeger, Aiglatson Foresight Research

Electronics exploits the charge of electrons, but experimental scientists are innovating on this idea by focusing instead on other characteristics of electrons such as their spin or entirely different particles such as atoms and ions. If these new fields can be developed for commercial use, they will revolutionize the present applications of electronics.

Implications

The entire electronics industry is approaching a considerable shake up as Moore’s Law nears its inevitable tipping point. However, new ways of processing information are on their way, and these electronics spinoff fields will develop devices with reduced power consumption, increased speed, and greater functionality at reduced costs while enabling a broad range of new applications.

What is changing?

Electronics has produced several spinoff fields of study. An early example is photonics which began in the 1960s by using light to perform the same functions as electronics…

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Can digital scents go primetime?

dddraeger:

A VERY quick look at the potential for digital scent technology in consumer electronics.

Originally posted on ShapingTomorrowBlog:

By Dennis Draeger, Aiglatson Foresight Research

Various scent technologies have been introduced several times to the consumer electronics market with promises of deeper immersion in virtual experiences, but none of the gadgets have shown much success. Recent research points to the eventual development of new devices that could make a deeper impact on the mainstream market with potential for improving the health of end users and optimizing electronic marketing. Is digital scent technology ready for primetime?

Implications

The most commonly known effect of scent is probably for stimulating memory, and studies have indicated that aromatherapy can significantly aid the treatment of dementia patients. In fact, the olfactory nerve is very close to the areas of the brain both for emotions and memories which also makes it a very powerful target for advertisers. Besides the health benefits, incorporating scent into digital interactions—whether on TV, the internet, or phones—would help consumers…

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Opening Space

dddraeger:

My latest trend alert on how the space industry is attracting more consumers as prices slowly but steadily decline.

Originally posted on ShapingTomorrowBlog:

By Dennis Draeger

Space technology is increasingly driven by the private sector, and costs are dropping while opportunities for research and investment open to a broader market. Now, the consumer sector is beginning to emerge in the space industry.

Implications

Previous trend alerts, Satellites to the rescue & New space decade, have focused respectively on the increasing benefit of satellites on the global economy and the new technology driving an expanding space industry. However, citizen scientists, open source engineers, and students are contributing to innovation and significant scientific research, and a consumer grade space industry is not far behind. This consumer sector could help advance the space industry as a whole while making space exploration a more immediate reality for a wider population.

What is changing?

While large corporations are promising space tourism in the very near future, the costs begin at $95,000 and run upwards to $250,000 for…

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Expanding Immersive Experiences

dddraeger:

My latest trend alert is about some of the most likely candidates for mainstream adoption of devices that will immerse users in their digital experiences much more than current technologies.

Originally posted on ShapingTomorrowBlog:

By Dennis Draeger

Virtual reality is back with better graphics, better hardware, and more applications. Several technologies will soon be released to the general market to further immerse mainstream users in their digital experiences while expanding the applications of virtual reality.

What is changing?

Microsoft is releasing a new Xbox with an enhanced Kinect that promises a faster response rate and more precise body tracking—reading fingers, facial expressions, and even the user’s heart rate. Although the Nintendo Wii introduced a mainstream audience to gesture control, Microsoft’s Kinect removed the controllers entirely and ignited more innovations from researchers as far afield as medical diagnostics and telepresence, and the new Kinect will likely enable more innovations through its improvements. Since the Kinect debut, several companies have offered similar devices such as Leap Motion that will allow users to control their PCs or other devices without a mouse, remote, or other controller. These…

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