NO. 1 DIRECTYOUR DIGITAL FUTURE
NO. 2 WHERE WILLTHE SELF-DRIVING CAR TAKE US?
NO. 3 DRONES: TOMORROW’S“I”IN THE SKY
NO. 4 MAKERS SHAKE UP MANUFACTURING
NO. 5 BITCOIN’S BLOCKCHAIN: A NEW MODEL FOR TRUST
NO. 6 BLENDING THE BEST OF PEOPLE AND MACHINES
NO. 7 CYBERSECURITY: PROTECTING A HACKABLE WORLD
NO. 8 VIRTUAL REALITY GETS REAL
NO. 9 DIGITAL MEDICINE: HEALING BETTER
NO. 10 ENVELOPED BYAMBIENT INTELLIGENCE
As advances in digital technology accelerate exponentially,
they can outrun our ability to keep up with them. Yet, in the
next decade or so, they will fundamentally redefine the way
we work, live, and play.
We’ve examined 10 of the most powerful trends shaping our
future.These unique insights will help you better understand,
they hold. So you can reimagine your world.
Produced by SAP Marketing
In six years Airbnb
grew to one of world’s
largest hotel companies.
The cost of sequencing
a DNA genome is
outpacing Moore’s Law.
It could be as low as
US$0.01 by 2020.
10M new autonomous
vehicles per year could
bedriving on U.S. roads
In 2000 starting an
nternet company cost
less than US$5,000.
Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar
slashed 65% of
San Francisco taxi rides
in only 15 months.
47% of U.S. employees
are at risk of being
replaced by artificial
Once digitized a thing can be copied infinitely
and perfectly and made instantly available to
everyone. This spurs innovation and, with it,
Next begins a period of deception because this growth appears linear at
first; demonetization, as expensive goods can now be offered almost free;
dematerialization, when existing products disappear into other, digital ones;
and democratization, as costs drop so low enough to be affordable by
DIGITIZATION IS THE CATALYST
Self-driving vehicles will dramatically
change driver/passenger experiences,
increase productivity and safety, and
reduce the need to own vehicles for
personal use. The automobile, insurance,
legal, and transportation industries will all
feel the impact.
Bitcoin threatens to undermine the
traditional roles played by banks and
payment systems by providing a viable
alternative to traditional currency.
3D printing has the potential to render
product complexity essentially free by
bypassing the physical limits of how we
make and ship things. This will funda-
mentally change the manufacturing
and distribution industries.
Digital bio-fabrication and DNA
sequencing will transform healthcare by
greatly extending lifespans and making
ultra-personalized medicine available to
Organizational structure, the nature
of work, and the limits of human
performance will be rethought, as
leadership, management, and education
are transformed to fit our digital age.
Credit: “The Six Ds of Exponentials” (Steven Kotler, February 3, 2015)
The end-result is disruption, when the status quo is suddenly
overwhelmed and a whole new market is created.
your top competitive
advantages and how
could disrupt them.
your top challenges and
how exponential tech-
nologies could help
which products and
services could be digitized
and what opportunities this
creates for you (and your
which technologies are
the most promising, and
begin – today – to assess
TO DIRECT YOUR DIGITAL FUTURE
Direct Your Digital Future
DIRECTYOUR DIGITAL FUTURE
Gordon Moore’s venerable law turns 50, a milestone which
carries a powerful inflection point. We’re now at the knee of
digital technology’s exponential growth curve.
Thirty normal steps take you about 30 meters. Thirty exponential steps (each step twice
the distance as the previous one) covers 1,073,742 kilometers or more than 26 times
around the earth.
Digital Futures No. 01 NEXTPREVIOUSHOME SOURCES
Also read “How To Direct Your Digital Future: 4 Questions.”
WHERE WILLTHE SELF-DRIVING CAR TAKE US?
Automobiles haven’t changed much since the late
1800s. They’re faster and more comfortable, but
they’re still four wheels and an engine with a person
behind the steering wheel. That’s all about to change.
Lidar, radar, cameras, sensors, mapping and navigational software, and all the other
technologies necessary to create an autonomous car already exist. Auto dealers will begin
offering self-driving cars within the next five years. And because they will be safer, more
convenient, and more fuel efficient than today’s cars, they’re likely to become the norm,
if not mandatory, in many places.
WARNING: SHARP CURVES AHEAD
We depend so much on cars and trucks that we
rarely think about them. They’re woven so deeply
into our lives and our culture that we simply take
them for granted. Self-driving vehicles will shake up
most of our assumptions.
Safer, more convenient, and more
fuel efficient, they’ll save a projected
US$1.3 trillion a year in the U.S.
alone – an amount equal to 8% of the
U.S. GDP. This is likely to make them
common, if not mandatory, in much of
Cars that drive themselves will be a profound
shift that touches almost every industry,
geography, and aspect of life:
Cost of adding self-driving
technology to a vehicle:
US$8K−$10K and dropping.
Annual savings in the U.S.
alone: $1.3 trillion –
8% of the U.S. GDP.
The 1.2 billion cars on
the roads are used
just 4% of the time. That’s
8.2 trillion hours
of nonuse per year.
arrive in dealerships.
Software will make up
as much as
40% of a car’s value.
Seniors who would otherwise
be stuck at home will be able to
summon self-driving transportation
to the doctor, to shops and
restaurants, and to visit friends
1. OUR HOMETOWNS
Self-driving cars could increase
suburban sprawl by making long
commutes more pleasant, but
they could also make urban living
more appealing by reducing traffic,
parking problems, and inefficient
Even when cars can choose their
own routes, they’ll still need manual
overrides and programming
exceptions for things that interfere
with navigation, like bad weather, or
emergencies that require a fast trip
to the nearest ER.
2. CAR CULTURE
Car ownership could increase as
vehicles find the best routes and
parking spaces on their own. Howev-
er, a car-sharing model might prevail
when cars can guide themselves
from one user to the next. Today’s
cars might become collectibles
driven with special licenses.
When the driver isn’t controlling the
ride, manufacturers and software
companies could be responsible for
payments related to an accident.
Their deeper pockets could drive
up awards for damages and change
both the rates and structure of
3. CAR DESIGN
Cars will look different. Steering
wheels, large windows, and even
headlights could be things of the
past. Cars will become highly aero-
dynamic, with interiors designed
solely for the entertainment and
comfort of the occupants.
8. THEAUTO INDUSTRY
Self-driving cars will disrupt the
entire automotive industry, from
manufacturing to ownership.
Software that manages the car will
be close to 40% of the vehicle’s
total value. Cars will generate vast
amounts of data that will have to be
processed, analyzed, and protected.
Once everyone is free to work and
play in their cars, automakers,
OEMs, and content providers will
compete to deliver apps, content,
and user interfaces to make the ride
more entertaining and productive.
Where will the self-driving car take us?Digital Futures No. 02 NEXTPREVIOUSHOME SOURCES
Also read “Self-Driving Cars: Joyride or Wrong Turn?”
DRONES: TOMORROW’S“I”IN THE SKY
The first drones were remote-controlled model planes used in World War I
to surveil battlefields. Today, a drone is any unmanned aerial vehicle that
combines a power source, sensors or cameras, intelligent software, and
a communication link to its operator. But they are much more.
Drones are ideal for taking exponential technologies anywhere we want to send them. What’s
more, they’re getting exponentially simpler, safer, smaller, and more powerful with each turn
of the Moore’s Law crank. We’re hurtling toward a future in which drones are widely available,
increasingly autonomous, and capable of tasks we haven’t begun to imagine.
Drones promise a world where we can capture any imaginable
information from any conceivable location, see and understand places
previously beyond our reach, and affect environments in ways we’re
barely beginning to understand.
On the other hand, drones may have enormous ramifications on
personal security and privacy, creating a world in which everything is
recorded, monitored, and indexed for searching and analysis.
PROJECTING A FLIGHT PATH
TRAJECTING UPWARDS, QUICKLY
The same rules of exponential growth
accelerating other technologies suggest
drones will be a thousand times more
powerful in the next decade. Imagine
when drones are:
Some experts predict drones the size of a
housefly − or even smaller. Think injectable
2. Infinitely versatile
Drones could pollinate flowers, perform
microsurgery, deliver cargo, provide wireless
Internet access, even build using 3D printers.
3. Completely autonomous
They will make their own decisions, within
assigned parameters, about what to seek out,
sense, and transmit.
They’ll work together in swarms, fly in formation,
and share data that helps them avoid obstacles
and choose the most efficient routes.
5. Affordable by anyone
Better materials, batteries, and propulsion will
lower costs to the point where drones can deliver
high performance to organizations or individuals
for just a few dollars each.
DRONES IN ACTION
Today’s drones combine more energy
efficiency, smarter software, and an expanding
array of sensors to augment human
capabilities in a range of commercial industries.
Agriculture: assessing crop health,
monitoring irrigation systems, and
Emergency response: spotting
forest fires, conducting search and
rescue missions, and delivering
food and medical supplies to war
zones and remote villages
Utilities: inspecting wires, towers,
power plants, and pipelines
Scientific research: tracking animal
migrations, reporting on weather
patterns, and finding previously
Real estate: inspecting
construction and improving
News and entertainment: taking
photos and videos from previously
unreachable vantage points
The first GPS receiver
weighed 50 pounds and cost
more than US$100,000.
Today, a 0.3-gram GPS chip
costs less than US$5.
The global market for
commercial drones will rise
from $15.22M in 2014 to
$1.27B in 2020: tripling every
18 months, faster even
than Moore’s Law.
800 million people
worldwide have limited
access to emergency
services due to
Cargo drones could
development in Africa,
where only 16% of
roads are paved.
Solar-powered drones will
provide Internet, Wi-Fi, and
telecom services to people in
remote places on earth.Digital
Drones: Tomorrow’s “I” in the skyDigital Futures No. 03 NEXTPREVIOUSHOME SOURCES
Also read “Drones: Lots of Buzz and a Little Bit of Sting”
MAKERS SHAKE UP MANUFACTURING
Figuring out what customers want can be a fruitless exercise. Traditional
methods often leave companies guessing at real desires, and mass
customization is complex and expensive for many products. But what
would happen if customers could design and produce their own products?
The maker movement is growing up quickly. Individuals and startups increasingly bypass
traditional industry to produce bespoke goods on their own. As 3D printing technology
accelerates, hackerspaces are democratizing high-end production tools. And with new
crowdfunding and online retail options, control over product development and production
will return to the individual.
business models, and
individual buyer and
Figure out how to manage
IP protection, product
innovation in a highly
Companies must help
or else customers will do
it on their own.
A MANUFACTURING RENAISSANCE
Technological and sociological shifts will turn the
industrial revolution on its head. Today most products
are designed for manufacturers − to make production
easier. In the near future, products will be designed for
and by individuals.
This transformation has already begun. Coca-Cola introduced the Freestyle
fountain, and now soda buyers can create their own concoction from more than
100 flavors. NIKEiD lets people put their personal stamp on sneakers, and Hershey
partnered with 3D Systems to create the CoCoJet 3D printer.
The 3D printing market
will quadruple to
In 2006 the San Francisco
MakerFaire attracted 65,000
enthusiasts. Last year
and another 85,000
attended in New York.
Today, there are 1,100
the world giving people
access to production tools
once available only
site Etsy’s revenue nearly
quadrupled in only 4 years −
from US$525 million in 2011
to US$1.9 billion in 2014.
generated US$11.08 billion
in 2014. The market
will grow to US$93 billion
A MAKER MAINSTREAM
As customization becomes a matter of changing code rather than retooling an
assembly floor, it will become the norm.
Today, innovation is tucked away in R&D departments, funding is provided by
corporate finance, and production takes place a world away.Twenty years from
now, it will take place in your neighborhood.
A LOT SIZE OF ONE.
As 3D printing accelerates and comes down in price, more goods that once
required economies of scale from a centralized factory will be produced at or
near their point of use.
CREATIVITY, CRAFTSMANSHIP, COMMUNITY.
Creative subcultures will flourish as individuals collaborate on ideas, fund-
ing, and production. Some may flock to cities and towns; others will work
IP: THE CORPORATE ASSET.
It will not be that you produce something that delivers value but that you know
how to produce it − and in myriad ways. Instead of designing, manufacturing,
and delivering products, companies will design and deliver IP.
Makers shake up manufacturingDigital Futures No. 04 NEXTPREVIOUSHOME SOURCES
Also read “The Top Reasons Why the Maker Movement Will Be the Next Renaissance”
If you think a digital currency like Bitcoin isn’t relevant to your
business, think again. Bitcoin probably won’t replace the
dollar, pound, euro, or yen, but its underlying technology – the
blockchain – could challenge our assumptions about what
makes commerce secure and trustworthy.
The blockchain model of trust, through massively distributed digital consensus, could have
disruptive potential equal to the Internet in the 1990s. This computer science breakthrough
could reshape commerce across the entire digital economy.
The Bitcoin blockchain — the
digital ledger of transactions
— is growing exponentially
and doubled to 40GB from
August 2014 to August 2015.
As of August 2015, the
Bitcoin blockchain alone
was already solving nearly
400 billion complex
The first worldwide
conference on applying
blockchain technology was
held on May 28, 2015.
Honduras began creating
land titles based on
blockchain technology in
Visa, the world’s largest pay-
ment network, is launching
a blockchain technology
development team to bring
secure digital finance to
The blockchain is a distributed digital
ledger that uses a breakthrough in
computer science to authenticate the
transactions within it.
The blockchain can replace trusted
third parties, like banks, in guaranteeing
transactions and coordinates
agreement among all parties.
It strongly resists interference. Entries
are protected with cryptography
that becomes increasingly secure
as the number of transactions and
TRUST BY DISTRIBUTED DIGITAL CONSENSUS
BLOCKCHAINS WILL KEEP US TOGETHER
Every stage of a transaction is recorded and
authenticated by the blockchain. As a result, its utility
goes beyond currency. In theory, the blockchain
could be used for any transaction that must be
secure and verifiable. For example:
Personal documentation, including
birth certificates, passports, wills, voter
registrations, criminal records, and
Business documentation, such as building
permits, vehicle registrations, health and
safety inspections, business licenses,
leases, and deeds
Establishing ownership and provenance
of all kinds of intellectual property, from
artwork to software code
Managing ownership of and access to
homes, vehicles, safe deposit boxes, and
other physical objects
Legal compliance that verifies the chain
of custody of sensitive data, manages
software and hardware licenses, and
protects patents, copyrights, and
Financial transactions, from stock and
bond trading to the release of funds only
when predetermined conditions are met
Bitcoin’s blockchain: A new model for trustDigital Futures No. 05 NEXTPREVIOUSHOME SOURCES
Also read “Beyond Bitcoin: How the Blockchain Could Disrupt Our Financial System”
BLENDINGTHE BESTOFPEOPLEAND MACHINES
Humans have always been fascinated with robotics, but
legends like Isaac Asimov’s code of robot ethics, James
Cameron’s cyborg assassin, and Marvel Comics’Iron Man
have been the stuff of science fiction. That is about to change.
Automation and artificial intelligence will affect every aspect of human life. But the
future needn’t be a dystopian one. As robots take over increasingly complex tasks,
new forms of man-machine interaction will emerge and industry and society will
evolve to accommodate a symbiotic relationship.
Converging trends will spur new forms of
robotics – flexible, sensory, tactile, intelligent,
and interactive – with capabilities far beyond
what we envision today.
Robots complement the workforce by crunching numbers, lifting heavy objects,
working in dangerous places, moving with precision, and performing repetitive
tasks.This leads many people to ask if robots might replace us for all endeavors.
But human advantages include creativity, curiosity, empathy, self-motivation,
and the ability to provide multidimensional feedback. Using advanced robotics
technology, we can blend the best of people and machines.
The robotics market will
grow 9.5% per year to
US$66.9B by 2025. Military
and industrial uses will
be 60% of the total.
Commercial and personal
uses will grow even faster.
The number of Internet
of Things sensors will grow
from 14.8B in 2015 to
50B by 2020. There will be
things in 2030.
Image and speech
are advancing quickly
and could soon equal
Tactile technology is
improving rapidly due
to research and
development in robot
The nascent virtual
reality market will grow
to US$30B in the next
five years, while augmented
reality will be a US$120B
business by 2020.
• New York University and the Florida
Institute for Human and Machine
Cognition are developing exoskeletons
for the disabled.
• The U.S. military is developing an “Iron
Man” suit that could include super-
human strength and respond directly
to brain functions.
• A team of researchers at Harvard
University have created a “smart suit”
that makes its wearer faster, stronger,
and more agile.
WE’VE ALREADY BEGUN
Collaboration with robots will spur innovation,growth,and new
ways of working.Rather than fear robot takeovers,it’s better to:
• Digitize processes ripe for automation.Identify those that
benefit from human advantages but might be improved by
• Experiment with robot technologies as they emerge.Consider
pilots in production and supply chains.
• Invite employees to propose new ideas.Be open to entirely
new robot forms and functions.
• Develop future scenarios based on your unique business
model and industry needs.
WORKING WITH THE MACHINES
Advances in speech and image
recognition, analytics, and virtual
reality will spur robot development
along two paths:
• A new class of human-machine units
with defined autonomy, heightened
empathy, and significant artificial
• Artificial human extensions like
stronger arms and legs, night vision,
and other sensory enhancements
The result? Challenges like colonizing
our oceans or space travel will be
realized in ways that we could not
THE UPSIDE OF CO-EVOLUTION
Blending the best of people and machinesDigital Futures No. 06 NEXTPREVIOUSHOME SOURCES
Also read “The Future of Robotics: More Ironman, Less Terminator”
A HACKABLE WORLD
The Internet was created to share data not protect it.But as the
Internet becomes more central to daily life and grows to include
billions of networkable items,guarding it has become a gargantuan
challenge.It’s hard to lock down a system that was deliberately
designed for openness,resilience,and scale.Some say only a
massive global initiative will do.
predict the dangers of
2012: New Internet
Protocol allows 78 octillion
IP addresses – 1 trillion for
every grain of sand on earth.
January 2014: Security
pros uncover a spambot
network of more than
100,000 smart devices,
including a refrigerator.
July 2015: Hackers prove they
can remotely highjack a car.
Researchers find potential
vulnerabilities in 68,000
Security tools and procedures are
complex and costly. Some businesses
fail to implement them because they
don’t understand their risk exposure.
Others understandably choose
to prioritize things with a direct,
tangible effect on the bottom line, like
Traditionally, liability for security breaches has landed not on
companies that have failed to secure their systems but on
the software and hardware companies that make or manage
those systems. This is changing, however. Enterprises can
no longer consider cybersecurity someone else’s problem.
RISING RISKS, INCREASED ATTENTION
Practice basic digital
hygiene by using robust
authentication, and hard-
drive encryption whenever
possible – and by taking
social media privacy
Plan and invest to
secure the data, inter-
actions, transactions, and
identities of customers,
employees, and partners.
Some experts even
honest hackers to expose
vulnerabilities and help
develop stronger defenses.
But these may not be enough.
With today’s cyber criminals
measures as fast as they’re
developed, we may need to
consider a global response –
one with the intensity of the
effort that took humanity to
the moon in 1969.The future
of the Digital Economy could
depend on it.
We finally understand that when everything is networked, anything can be hacked.As organizations
and individuals become increasingly digital, we’re exponentially more vulnerable to cybersecurity
breaches. However, openness is so baked into the fundamental structure of the Internet that re-
engineering it for greater security is an enormous challenge.
The Internet is now too embedded in modern society to avoid. Our only choice is to ensure that this
global network can be trusted with our most critical services and transactions.At a minimum we
must take the following actions:
1 2 3
Cybersecurity: Protecting a hackable worldDigital Futures No. 07 NEXTPREVIOUSHOME SOURCES
Also read “Cyber Insecurity: Trying to Waterproof a Sieve”
Virtual reality (VR), the use of digital technology to create
immersive simulations, was once the stuff of science fiction.
So was augmented reality (AR), which lets users interact
with digital content that’s overlaid on the real world. But thanks
to Moore’s Law, VR and AR are about to go mainstream.
With digitally enhanced realities firmly in the bend of the exponential growth curve,
current uses for VR and AR suggest amazing possibilities for the future. They may
even transform our very definition of reality.
ALREADY IN ACTION
TV weather reports
adopted the first application
of AR on TV in 1975.
The term virtual reality
was first coined in 1989.
The human eye registers
1 ten-trillionth of the
Oculus Rift raised
US$2.5 million on Kickstarter
in August 2012. Facebook
bought the company for
$2 billion 18 months later.
Overall, AR and VR revenues
are predicted to reach
$150 billion by 2020.
By 2020, 103 million
automobiles will contain
VR’s potential for extending
human perceptions beyond our
current abilities could create a
truly mind-bending future:
We might use AR or VR for hyper-
spectral imaging beyond the visible
electromagnetic spectrum to let
us “see” valuable mineral deposits,
hazardous emissions, or even
We might wear clothing that
converts data into tactile sensa-
tions so we can feel an audience
responding on social media as we
deliver a speech or sense aircraft
flight dynamics as immersively as
a bird does.
CEOs might someday wear a
glasses-and-vest combination that
lets them see and feel, in real time,
how different parts of the business
Retailers will let you try on a
dozen outfits in a few minutes
using an avatar customized to
Car dealers will let you sit in VR
simulations of new models.
AR devices will overlay diagnostic
and treatment information on
patients’ bodies in the medical
office or operating room.
VR will let medical students
practice complex procedures safely
using simulated patients.
Anxiety sufferers will learn to
control panic attacks with VR/AR
games they navigate by controlling
Bedridden individuals will enjoy
better quality of life through virtual
experiences of real-world activities
like going for a walk or riding a bike.
WE’LL MOVE BEYOND CREATING DIGITAL INTERPRETATIONS OF REALITY
AND LIVE IN A WORLD WHERE REALITY ITSELF IS BROADER AND RICHER
THAN WE CAN CURRENTLY IMAGINE.
TOMS Shoes shows customers
the impact of their charitable
donations with a four-minute VR
video that visits the residents of
a Peruvian village.
The Los Angeles Philharmonic
immerses you in the middle of
the music with a VR trip into
the orchestra pit and onto the
Lowe’s lets customers re-create
their bathrooms in an AR space,
position new fixtures, and walk
through the simulated renovation.
Researchers have developed VR
experiences that work as well as
the current standard for assessing
cognitive function after a brain injury.
Clinics are testingVR technology as a
safe, private way to distract patients
from chronic pain and help phobia
sufferers overcome their fears.
ALREADY IN ACTION
Vitrual reality gets realDigital Futures No. 08 NEXTPREVIOUSHOME SOURCES
Also read “Virtual Reality Finally Gets Real”
The human body is difficult to understand and predict. X does
not necessarily lead to Y. Disease has multiple causal components.
That complexity is one reason healthcare has remained largely
immune to the transformative potential of technology.
However, several converging trends could change this. Access to an abundance of genetic,
phenotypic, and clinical data; real-time and in-memory computing for advanced analytics;
and a digitized, connected patient population could make possible a better understanding
of the intricacies of human health.
Healthcare invests more in
treatment than prevention;
approximately 86% of
U.S. healthcare spending is
for chronic conditions.
Remote patient monitoring
for conditions like heart
could save more than
Telehealth options (estimated
to be a $25 billion market
in 2015) for routine and
psychological care could
save $100 billion.
The global medical
technology market is
estimated to reach
$513.5 billion by 2020,from
$363.8 billion in 2013.
In 2015,the U.S.Food
approved the first
TREATING THE INDIVIDUAL
VITAL SIGNS OF CHANGE
It’s possible to gather more health-related data than ever. But the
digital medical revolution will go far beyond wireless tracking devices
that monitor how we perform against fitness goals. Researchers and
enterprises are developing devices to collect ever-more detailed health
information from individuals and relay it to healthcare providers.
Pharmacogenomics and predictive
biomarkers will match patients with
the best drugs or treatments.
Advanced analytic engines and
algorithms will enable doctors to
tailor treatment plans in real time.
3D printers will produce living tissue,
organs, prosthetics, and implants
customized for individuals.
Robots and drones will enable more
exacting surgical interventions.
Low-cost gene-editing solutions will
go from laboratory to doctor’s office.
Data sharing between companies and customers lowers costs and improves quality in a range of
industries and could do the same for healthcare. Rapidly improving data collection and analytics
are enabling a pluralistic approach to care that will finally shift focus from treating the sick to
Rapidly advancing technologies will
enable much better patient care.
THE UPSIDE OF COMPLEXITY
Big data alone will not cure what ails healthcare. But today’s reactive,
one-size-fits-all system will move to proactive, individualized delivery
of health management and disease prevention – if the industry
chooses to manage complexity rather than work around it.
WE CAN GET THERE FROM HERE
THE INDUSTRY MUST EMBRACE NEW PROCESSES
CENTERED ON OUTCOMES AND CONSUMER CONTROLS.
THERE SHOULD BE DEBATES OVER THE ETHICS OF
PREDICTIVE MEDICINE AND DNA-BASED CARE.
PRIVACYAND SECURITY ISSUES WILL BE PARAMOUNT;
HACKING IS EVEN MORE OMINOUS IN THE HEALTHCARE
SETTING, FROM THE BREACH OF PERSONAL MEDICAL DATA
TO THE THREAT OF MALWARE IN MEDICAL DEVICES.
However, other industries have addressed similar security, privacy,
and change management issues required for digital transformation.
Healthcare can follow suit. The resulting transformation would not only
save resources but also lives.
Digital medicine: Healing betterDigital Futures No. 09 NEXTPREVIOUSHOME SOURCES
Also read “Digital Medicine: Healing Better in a Complex System”
The logical evolution of the Internet of Things is a world
where everything around us is instrumented, interconnected,
and intelligent. We will move through a world in which our
surroundings are smart enough to react to our voices and
gestures – or respond to us automatically, proactively,
And that shift is coming sooner than you might expect.
Integrate information flow across devices,
manufacturers, data types, and technologies
Analyze and manage objects and low-level
events to detect signals and predict impact
Orchestrate simple events and objects to fulfill
complex events and end-to-end processes
End-to-end security and monitoring across
devices, connections, and information exchange
Credit: Deloitte Consulting, 2015
Powerful emerging technologies will
overlap and intersect:
As sensors and devices become smaller, smarter,
and more integrated, they will fade into the
background, melding into a digital infrastructure
that responds proactively to the environment and
the people in it.
At a minimum, the infrastructure must achieve
THE INTERNET OF NOT THINGS
1 trillion sensors will be
connected to the Internet
Appliances and home
automation will account for
more than half of household
Internet traffic by 2024.
The first “smart city” with
and utilities will emerge
Fabrics that can charge
electronics – or incorporate
them – already exist.
Over 8 billion ambient
intelligence smartphone apps
will be downloaded in 2020.
Sensors and actuators, including
implantables and wearables, which
will capture and act on data from
vastly more objects and places
Interfaces powered by vision and/
or gesture, which will create a highly
Ubiquitous computing and
hyperconnectivity, which will
exponentially increase interaction
Virtual and augmented reality, which
will extend and enhance our senses
The differences between
drones, robots, and
are already blurring.
Nanotechnology and nanomaterials,
which will enable highly complex
devices at a microscopic scale
Artificial intelligence, which
lets machines learn from their
environment and each other
Blockchain technology, which
automatically secures and verifies
TRYING IT ON, NOW
To prepare for this world, we need to think about
what it means to be surrounded by largely invisible
systems that can sense, reason, act, and interact
with and for us.
AMBIENT INTELLIGENCE WILL CREATE VALUE IN
WAYS WE HAVE YET TO IMAGINE, WHILE RAISING
PROFOUND QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT IT MEANS
TO BE HUMAN.
Artificial intelligence is already good enough at
pattern matching to learn and make complex
decisions without human intervention.
Home automation makes it possible for lights, air
conditioners, security systems, entertainment
systems, and appliances to run independently.
Cities like Barcelona and Singapore are launching
“smart city” initiatives to test automated services.
Enveloped by ambient intelligenceDigital Futures No. 10 NEXTPREVIOUSHOME SOURCES
Also read “Ambient Intelligence: Always On, Always There, Everywhere”
Issue 01: Direct Your Digital Future
In six yearsAirbnb grew to one of world’s largest hotel companies.Without owning any
hotels.“Airbnb Catching Chains in Bookings,”accommnews,January 21,2015,http://
The cost of sequencing a DNAgenome is outpacing Moore’s Law.It could be as low as
US$0.01 by 2020Antonio Regalado,“EmTech: Illumina Says 228,000 Human Genomes
Will Be SequencedThisYear,”MITTechnology Review,September 24,2014,http://www.
James Bannon,“Heading for $100:The Declining Costs of Genome Sequencing & the
ArtWuster,“Is It Cheaper to Re-sequence a GenomeThan to Save It in Computer
Memory? Seqonomics,December 9,2011,http://seqonomics.blogspot.com/2011/12/
10M autonomous new vehicles per year could be driving on U.S.roads by 2030.“Half of
NewVehicles Shipping in NorthAmerica to Have Driverless,Robotic Capabilities by 2032”
(press release), ABI Research,August 27,2013,https://www.abiresearch.com/press/
In 2000 starting an Internet company cost US$5M.Today it’s less than US$5,000.Peter
Diamandis,“Evidence ofAbundance #16: 1,000Times Cheaper to Launch a Startup,
2014,”Huffington Post,October 30,2014,http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-
Uber,Lyft,and Sidecar slashed 65% of San Francisco taxi rides in only 15 months.Jessica
Kwong,“Report Says SFTaxis Suffering Greatly,”The Examiner,September 16,2014,
47% of U.S.employees are at risk of being replaced by artificial intelligence within 10
years.Carl Benedikt Frey and MichaelA.Osborne,The Future of Employment: How
SusceptibleAreJobs to Computerisation? (Oxford: University of Oxford,2013),http://
Issue 02: Where Will the Self-Driving Car Take Us?
The cost of adding self-driving technology to a vehicle: US$8K−$10K and dropping.
Alex Davies,“Turns Out the Hardware in Self-Driving Cars Is Pretty Cheap,”WIRED.
Average savings in the U.S.alone: $1.3 trillion – 8% of the U.S.GDP.Autonomous Cars:
Self-Driving the New Auto Industry Paradigm,Morgan Stanley Research,November 6,
The 1.2 billion cars on the roads are used just 4% of the time.That’s 8.2 trillion hours of
nonuse per year.Andrew Simonetti,“The Futurist – Uber,Take theWheel,”The Daily,
2020: fully autonomous cars arrive in dealerships.“EveryoneWill Have Self-Driving
Car By 2026,Analyst Says,”The Huffington Post –Tech,February 28,2014,http://
Software will make up as much as 40% of a car’s value.Autonomous Cars: Self-
Driving the New Auto Industry Paradigm, Morgan Stanley Research,November 6,
Issue 03: Drones: Tomorrow’s“I”in the Sky
The first GPS receiver weighed 50 pounds and cost more than US$100,000.Today,
a 0.3-gram GPS chip costs less than US$5.Peter Diamandis,“Top 10 Reasons
DronesAre Disruptive,”Forbes.com,August 11,2014,http://www.forbes.com/sites/
The global market for commercial drones will rise from US$15.22M in 2014 to US$1.27B
in 2020. This is a tripling every 18 months – faster than even Moore’s Law.UAV Drone
Market for Commercial Worth $1.27 Billion by 2020,MarketsandMarkets,February,2015,
800 million people worldwide have limited access to emergency services due to
weak transportation infrastructure.J.M.Ledgard and Scott MacMillan,“Drones for
Development,”Project Syndicate,June 5,2015,http://www.project-syndicate.org/
Cargo drones could turbocharge economic development inAfrica,where only 16% of
roads are paved.J.M.Ledgard,“Better Use of the Lower Sky in a Sharing Economy,”
Solar-powered drones will provide Internet,Wi-Fi,and telecom services to people in
remote places on earth.Thomas Frey,“Engineering the Secret Engines of Off-Grid Living,”
Futurist Speaker,June 24,2015,http://www.futuristspeaker.com/2015/06/engineering-
Issue 04: Makers Shake Up Manufacturing
The 3D printing market will quadruple to US$12 billion by 2025.“3D Printing Market to
Quadruple to $12 Billion in 2025”[press release],Lux Research,April 29,2014,http://
In 2006 the San Francisco MakerFaire attracted 65,000 enthusiasts.Last year 130,000
attended,and another 85,000 attended in NewYork.Maker Faire:ABit of History,”
“Media Kit & Press Resources,”MakerFaire.com,accessedAugust 11,2015,http://
Today,there are 1,100 hackerspaces around the world giving people access to production
tools once available only to corporations.“List of Hacker Spaces,”hackerpaces.org,
Peer-to-peer e-commerce site Etsy’s revenue nearly quadrupled in only 4 years − from
US$525 million in 2011 to US$1.9 billion in 2014.Ruth Reader,“Etsy StartsTrading on the
Nasdaq at $31 per Share — Nearly Double Its Original Price,”VentureBeat,April 16,2015,
Crowdfunding campaigns generated US$11.08 billion in 2014.The market will grow to
US$93 billion by 2025.Katie Kuehner-Hebert,“CrowdfundingVolumes Grow to $16B”,
Crowdfunding’s Potential for the DevelopingWorld (Washington,DC: infoDev,Finance
and Private Sector Development Department,TheWorld Bank,2013),http://www.
Issue 05: Bitcoin’s Blockchain – A New Model For Trust
The Bitcoin blockchain — the digital ledger of transactions — is growing exponentially,
and doubled to 40GB fromAugust 2014 toAugust 2015.Blockchain.info,Blockchain Size
As ofAugust 2015,the Bitcoin blockchain was already solving nearly 400 billion complex
mathematical equations per second.Blockchain.info,Hash Rate graph,https://
The first worldwide conference on applying blockchain technology was held on May 28,
2015.The Block Chain Summit,http://www.blockchainsummit.io/
Honduras began creating land titles based on blockchain technology in May 2015.
Gertrude Chavez-Freyfuss,“Honduras to build land title registry using bitcoin technology”,
Visa,the world’s largest payment network,is launching a blockchain technology
development team to bring secure digital finance to unbanked consumers.Giulio Prisco,
“Visa to Deploy Blockchain ResearchTeam in Bangalore,India”,Bitcoin Magazine,August
Issue 06: Blending the Best of People and Machines
The robotics market will grow 9.5% per year to US$66.9B by 2025.Military and industrial
uses will be 60% of the total ($US41B).Commercial and personal uses will grow even
faster.Alison Sander and MeldonWolfgang,“The Rise of Robotics”,bcg.perspectives,
The number of Internet ofThings sensors will grow from 14.8B in 2015 to 50B by 2020.
“Connections Counter:The Internet of Everything in Motion,”The Network,July 29,2013,
There will be 200B Internet-connected things in 2030.“AGuide to the Internet ofThings”,
Intel Corp.,accessed September 3,2015, http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/
Image,speech,and voice recognition are advancing quickly and may soon
surpass human abilities.John Markoff,“ResearchersAnnounceAdvance in Image-
Recognition Software,”The NewYorkTimes,November 17,2014,http://www.nytimes.
“The RevolutionaryTechniqueThat Quietly Changed MachineVision Forever,”
MITTechnology Review,September 9,2014,http://www.technologyreview.com/
Robert McMillan,“Speech Recognition Gets Conversational”,Wall StreetJournal – Digits,
Tactile technology is improving rapidly due to research and development in robot-
assisted medicine.Charm Labs – Collaborative Haptics and Robotics in Medicine,List of
2015 Publications, http://charm.stanford.edu/Main/Publications
Issue 07: Cybersecurity: Protecting a Hackable World
The following sources were cited in SAP Digital Futures Issue 07 Cybersecurity:
Protecting a HackableWorld 1999:“White hat”hackers predict the dangers of ubiquitous
2012: New Internet Protocol allows 78 octillion Internet addresses—1 trillion for every
grain of sand on earth.Kai Ryssdal,“We Have Some Catching Up to Do on Cyber-
January 2014: Security pros uncover a spambot network of more than 100,000 smart
devices,including a refrigerator.Michelle Starr,“Fridge Caught Sending Spam Emails in
July 2015: Hackers prove they can remotely highjack a car.Andy Greenberg,“Hackers
Remotely Kill aJeep on the Highway—with Me in It,”Wired,July 21,2015,http://www.
September 2015: Researchers find potential vulnerabilities in 68,000 medical devices.
“Medical DevicesVulnerable to Hackers,”BBC News,September 29,2015,http://www.
Issue 08: Virtual Reality Gets Real
was first coined in 1989.KiranVoleti,“50 Facts and Figures ofAugmented Reality,”Real@
The human eye only registers one ten-trillionth of the electromagnetic spectrum.
David Eagleman,“Can we create new senses for humans?”TED2015,filmed March
Oculus Rift raised $2.5 million on Kickstarter inAugust 2012.Facebook bought the
company for $2 billion 18 months later.Peter Diamandis,“From $2M to $2B in 18 Months:
What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From OculusVR,”Huffington Post,April 14,2014,http://
Overall,AR/VR revenues are predicted to reach $150 billion by 2020.Tim Merel,
“AugmentedAndVirtual RealityTo Hit $150 Billion,Disrupting Mobile By 2020,”
By 2020,103 million automobiles could containAR technology.“Augmented Reality:
Envision a More IntelligentWorld,”Semico Research & Consulting,October 2012,http://
Issue 09: Digital Medicine: Healing Better
Healthcare invests more in treatment than prevention; approximately 86 percent of U.S.
health care spending is for chronic conditions.Chronic Diseases:The Leading Causes
of Death and Disability in the United States,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
Remote patient monitoring for conditions like heart disease,asthma,and diabetes
could save more than $200 billion.“The Digital Revolution Comes to US Healthcare,“
Goldman Sachs Global Investment,2015,http://www.wageningenur.nl/upload_mm/0/
Telehealth options (estimated to be a $25 billion market in 2015) for routine and
psychological care could save $100 billion. “eVisits:The 21st Century Housecall,“WSJ.
The global medical technology market is estimated to reach $513.5 billion by 2020,from
$363.8 billion in 2013.“Deloitte 2015 Global life sciences outlook,”2015,https://www2.
In 2015,the U.S.Food and DrugAdministration approved the first 3D printed drug.
“First 3D-printed drug approved by FDA,“ CNN.com,August 4,2015,http://money.cnn.
Issue 10: The Internet? You’re Swimming In It
The cost of adding self-driving technology to a vehicle: US$8K−$10K and dropping.1
trillion sensors could be connected to the Internet by 2022,and 45 trillion in 20 years.
Deep Shift:TechnologyTipping Points and Societal Impact,World Economic Forum,
Survey Report,September 2015 http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GAC15_
Dr.Janusz Bryzsek,“Trillion Sensors Movement in Support ofAbundance and Internet of
Everything”,SensorsCon 2014,Santa Clara,CA,March 6,2014 https://cseweb.ucsd.edu/
Appliances and home automation will account for more than half of household Internet
traffic by 2024.“Deep Shift:TechnologyTipping Points and Societal Impact”,World
Economic Forum,Survey Report,September 2015 http://www3.weforum.org/docs/
The first“smart city”with Internet-connected,automated roads,services,and utilities
will emerge by 2026. Deep Shift:TechnologyTipping Points and Societal Impact,World
Economic Forum,Survey Report,September 2015 http://www3.weforum.org/docs/
Fabrics that can charge electronics — or incorporate them — already exist.Blaine
Friedlander,“Nanotech transforms cotton fibers into modern marvel,”Cornell Chronicle,
Over 8 billion ambient intelligence smartphone apps will be downloaded in 2020.
“Location-basedAmbient Intelligence Is the Next Big Leap in ConsumerApplications,“
ABI Research,March 4,2015,https://www.abiresearch.com/analyst-insider/archive/111/
SourcesDigital Futures NEXTPREVIOUSHOME