Are there breaking points, comparable to the invention of the transistor or are we just going to experience inconspicuous innovation as users and linear innovation as “producers”?
Everyone guess is good. Mine is that we are going to perceive a dramatic change as users from “material science” and a disruption in the way of inventing materials and manufacturing objects as “producers”.
ICT is in the backstage, the tool making this possible.
I have been reporting several advances in material science over the last few years. They are now both intensifying and reaching a new level of “quality”. An example in the picture showing molecules (a graphic rendering of course) designed to be hollow and “smooth” so that they can both behave as a liquid and adsorb other molecules as a sponge (in this case the molecules have been designed to adsorb CO2).
The capability to create materials with exactly the desired characteristics and to shape them in any forms will change our perception of artifacts in the next decade. This will also open up tremendous opportunities for individuals, start ups and SMEs. In turns this is likely to disrupt the behemoth of manufacturing. If you don’t believe this to be possible (how could a young students become a stellar manufacturer, look at what happened with mini mills and more recently at the disruptions created by several underdog in the data space).
This evolution in our capabilities to design materials based on the characteristics we want to have will be further enriched, as it happened with the progress of electronics, by the clustering on these materials during the manufacturing process other components that will become part of the material itself bringing wearable electronics to maturity (where wearable fits humans -dresses and skin!-, robots and any kind of object).