Two of the most exciting technologies currently developing on the market is AR (augmented reality) and 3D Printing.
To get a grasp of AR just check out www.metaio.com Not only are these guys very good at the WHAT (hard science part of the technology) but they also get the WHY (the soft science part of the technology) Just check out their IKEA 2013 catalogue to get my meaning. 3D Printing is also ramping up big time and all over the world there are Maker (3D printing) projects going on innovating the difficult out of backyard construction. I was wondering while all the backslapping was going on about a toothbrush fixing the international space station just think how amazing it would have been if the Astronauts just printed the relevant tools up there.
As both of these technologies have now officially been enhanced by the Information Technology Paradigm, where the speed of innovation is exponential because the accessibility of processing power is exponential (thank you WEB), These technologies are bound to explode within the foreseeable future. We are talking 5 years, not 50 years.
What I am really excited about is how these two technologies will combine to create completely new business ventures. Just like the iPhone burst the seams of creativity for web developers to go over to app creation, I reckon AR/3D Printing solutions are going to revolutionize analogue industries at an unprecedented scale. Just think of the doctor that needs to do a hip replacement that can visually examine solutions before they are implemented and then print the relevant hip part to fulfill the operation. Or the Volvo truck driver that needs to replace a critical piece of the engine far in the darkest parts of Africa. Not only will he see what needs to be done he will also be able to create the relevant piece of hardware far from the closest garage. Yes hospitals and trucks need to come standard equipped with a AR viewer and relevant software and a 3D printer.
Any other ideas on this bi-lateral cross collaboration of technologies?