Experts at Battelle, a technology organization that annually conducts $3 billion in research, have compiled a list of the 10 most strategic technological trends that will shape business and our world over the next 20 years:
1. Genetic-based medical and healthcare. A wide range of new pharmaceuticals originating from genetic research will come onto the market, leading to treatments, cures and preventive measures for a host of ailments. Genetic research also will lead to cloned human organs that can be used in transplants.
2. High-power energy packages. Developments such as highly advanced batteries, inexpensive fuel cells and micro-generators of electricity will make many of our electronic products and appliances highly mobile.
3. GrinTech (Green Integrated Technology). Global crowding, fears of global climate change and mountains of garbage will thrust environmental concerns to the forefront of consumers and industry around the world. Technology will provide the answers, with new systems that eliminate rather than reduce waste.
4. Omnipresent Computing. We will be in constant contact with very miniature, wireless, highly mobile, powerful and highly personalized computing with network access – as watches or jewelry, embedded in our clothing and possibly implanted under our skin.
5. Nanomachines. Microscopic machines, measured in atoms rather than millimeters, will revolutionize several industries, especially medicine. Nanomachines may find and destroy individual cancer cells, and could be used to deliver drugs to highly localized places in the body, to clean arteries, and to repair organs without surgery.
6. Personalized Public Transportation. An aging population with concerns about safety, convenience and independence will help maintain a high demand for personal vehicles. The challenge is to integrate many individual cars within a coordinated and optimized public transportation network.
7. Designer Foods and Crops. Grocery store shelves will be filled with genetically engineered foods that are environmentally friendly and highly nutritious.
8. Intelligent Goods and Appliances. Smaller, more powerful computers and electronics will add amazing intelligence to basic goods: telephones with extensive phone directories, intelligent food packaging that tells your oven how to cook the food inside, refrigerators that help compile your shopping list and order groceries for you.
9. Worldwide Inexpensive and Safe Water. Technology will answer the challenge of water shortages with advanced filtering, processing and delivery of potable water. Desalination of water and water extraction from the air are two possibilities.
10. Super Senses. Using sensors and electronic or genetic technology, we will be able to implant devices that will allow us to hear better than ever before, see farther or see in the dark.
Show Them The Money
It may not buy happiness, but money tops most employees’ wish lists today, according to a recent survey by OfficeTeam, a national staffing service. Nearly half (48 percent) of workers polled said what they want most at work is a bonus or raise.
Survey respondents were asked,”Which one of the following is at the top of your ‘wish list’ at work?” Their responses:
|A bonus or raise||
|More time off||
|More help at the office, such as an assistant||
|More of your boss’s time||
|Something else/none of the above||
|Don’t know/no answer||
“What the survey may really be telling us is that employees today are feeling undervalued, overworked and spread too thin. For those who have assumed additional responsibilities to make up for personnel shortages, a raise or bonus is a tangible, meaningful reward,” said Diane Domeyer, OfficeTeam executive director.
The Real Dirt On Desks
Having lunch alone at your desk? Not really, according to a new study by University of Arizona germ guru Dr. Charles Gerba. You actually have plenty of bacteria keeping you company. The study, the first of its kind to measure normal bacterial levels inside offices across America, was funded by a grant from The Clorox Company. Telephones came in as the No. 1 home for office germs, followed by desks, water fountain handles, microwave door handles and computer keyboards. Surprisingly, toilet seats consistently had the lowest bacteria levels of the 12 surfaces tested in the study. “We don’t think twice about eating at our desks, even though the average desk has 100 times more bacteria than a kitchen table and 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat,” Gerba said. He also noted that the area where you rest your hand on your desk contains approximately 10 million bacteria. Bon appetit!