5×5: Five technologies for the next five years

5×5: Five technologies for the next five years

April 26, 2008 (16y ago)

Envisioning 🚀

v. imagine as a future possibility; visualize:

Envisioning began as a slide deck in 2008.

I had been invited to spend a Saturday afternoon sharing professional experience and personal interests with a group of friends and bloggers in São Paulo. My job was as web designer for trendwatching.com, but the host persuaded me into talking about something I'm passionate about. The proposed talk '5×5: five technologies for the next five years' was an attempt to accurately represent technological trends with a dose of speculation.

The forecast gambled on ubiquitous computing, 3D printing, personal gene sequencing, geolocation and space tourism. Despite the latter’s failure to materialize, the following years proved the speculation mostly right. The exercise of blending research and prediction left me stimulated, and I eventually decided to update the deck with more domains and educated guesses.

Slides Link

Working with slides quickly became unwieldy, prompting an exploration of alternative methods to represent the research. Infographics and data visualization seemed an appropriate solution for representing the interdependent and rapidly accelerating technological ecosystem.

Envisioning the near future of technology (2011) displays over one hundred different emerging developments across a dozen domains. The concentric diagram represents the time period at which each technology might reach mainstream adoption. Circle size represents relative impact. Sourcing the data is challenging, as it fuses my insight from hundreds of books, articles and papers. The work is subjective, speculative and designed to stimulate conversation.