Here's my current list of technologies I believe most likely to burgeon:
- 3D-printer-manufactured products. 3D printers are even being used to build buildings!
- Sensors--medical, homeland security, radio frequency identification devices (RFID), and 3D sensors, which could be used, for example, to mass-customize clothing.
- Safer nuclear power, for example, thorium or WAMSR. Even current new-generation nuclear plants are deemed much safer than Fukushima's and are being built.
- Artificial intelligence-aided diagnosis: medical, tech, customer service.
- Non-automotive robotics, for example, in packaging and smart bin-picking. Alas, that will cause many warehouse jobs to disappear.
- Next-gen smartphones: the ultimate manifestation of convergence: merging, for example, medical monitoring, household control, GPS, and replacement of the PC thanks to fold-out screens and laser keyboards that project a keyboard onto any nearby flat surface.
- Next-generation hybrid engines. Electric cars (as well as solar and wind energy) will--as I have predicted---fail because of physics delimitations. Toyota has opined that EVs will never be more than a bit player and is putting most of its resources into improving hybrid-powered vehicles.