Technology Review has published a Special Reports on the 10 Emerging Technologies for 2008:

  • Modeling Surprise — Combining massive quantities of data, insights into human psychology, and machine learning can help manage surprising events, says Eric Horvitz.
  • Probabilistic Chips — Krishna Palem thinks a little uncertainty in chips could extend battery life in mobile devices–and maybe the duration of Moore’s Law, too.
  • NanoRadio — Alex Zettl’s tiny radios, built from nanotubes, could improve everything from cell phones to medical diagnostics.
  • Wireless Power — Physicist Marin Soljacic is working toward a world of wireless electricity.
  • Atomic Magnetometers — John Kitching’s tiny magnetic-field sensors will take MRI where it’s never gone before.
  • Offline Web Applications — Adobe’s Kevin Lynch believes that computing applications will become more powerful when they take advantage of the browser and the desktop.
  • Graphene Transistors — A new form of carbon being pioneered by Walter de Heer of Georgia Tech could lead to speedy, compact computer processors.
  • Connectomics — Jeff Lichtman hopes to elucidate brain development and disease with new technologies that illuminate the web of neural circuits.
  • Reality Mining — Sandy Pentland is using data gathered by cell phones to learn about human behavior.
  • Cellulolytic Enzymes — Frances Arnold is designing better enzymes for making biofuels from cellulose.

Two of the emerging technologies listed have direct implications on future mobile software and applications: 1) offline web applications, and 2) Reality Mining.

What they call Reality Mining is an area of great interest to me, as it deals with taking into consideration user’s mobile context (and related behavioral analytics) to bring a better user experience, to bring the right information that matters and when it matters the most, to bring more value to both the end-user and the business-side of the equation:

Reality mining, he says, “is all about paying attention to patterns in life and using that information to help [with] things like setting privacy patterns, sharing things with people, notifying people–basically, to help you live your life.”

See the video on Reality Mining, where Alex (Sandy) Pentland, director of the Human Dynamics Group at MIT, describes “a future in which cell phones log data about their owners’ behavior, data that can be used to strengthen social networks, generate recommendations, help track diseases, and monitor personal health”.

As the tagline for this blog reads: Mobility is (about) People, their Interactions and their Data.