72 Stunning Future Things 1

How many things do we own, that are common today, that didn’t exist 10 years ago? The list is probably longer than you think.

Prior to the iPhone coming out in 2007, we didn’t have smartphones with mobile apps, decent phone cameras for photos/videos, mobile maps, mobile weather, or even mobile shopping.

None of the mobile apps we use today existed 10 years ago: Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat, Uber, Facetime, LinkedIn, Lyft, Whatsapp, Netflix, Pandora, or Pokemon Go.

Several major companies didn’t exist a decade ago. Airbnb, Tinder, Fitbit, Spotify, Dropbox, Quora, Tumblr, Kickstarter, Hulu, Pinterest, Buzzfeed, Indigogo, Udacity, or Jet.com just to name a few.

Ten years ago very few people were talking about crowdfunding, the sharing economy, social media marketing, search engine optimization, app developers, cloud storage, data mining, mobile gaming, gesture controls, chatbots, data analytics, virtual reality, 3D printers, or drone delivery.

At the same time we are seeing the decline of many of the things that were in common use 10-20 years ago. Fax machines, wired phones, taxi drivers, newspapers, desktop computers, video cameras, camera film, VCRs, DVD players, record players, typewriters, yellow pages, video rental shops, and printed maps have all seen their industry peak and are facing dwindling markets.

If we leapfrog ahead ten years and take notice of the radically different lives we will be living, we will notice how a few key technologies paved the way for massive new industries.

Here is a glimpse of a stunningly different future that will come into view over the next decade.

All of these items were replaced with smartphones!
All of these items were replaced with smartphones!

3D Printing

Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing has already begun to enter our lives in major ways. In the future 3D printers will be even more common than paper printers are today.

1.    3D printed makeup for women. Just insert a person’s face and the machine will be programmed to apply the exact makeup pattern requested by the user.

2.    3D printed replacement teeth, printed inside the mouth.

3.    Swarmbot printing systems will be used to produce large buildings and physical structures, working 24/7 until they’re completed.

4.    Scan and print custom designed clothing at retail clothing stores.

5.    Scan and print custom designed shoes at specialty shoe stores.

6.    Expectant mothers will request 3D printed models of their unborn baby.

7.    Police departments will produce 3D printed “mug shots” and “shapies” generated from a person’s DNA.

8.    Trash that is sorted and cleaned and turned into material that can be 3D printed.

How long before you own the next generation VR headset?
How long before you own the next generation VR headset?

Virtual/Augmented Reality

The VR/AR world is set to explode around us as headsets and glasses drop in price so they’re affordable for most consumers. At the same time, game designers and “experience” producers are racing to create the first “killer apps” in this emerging industry.

9.    Theme park rides that mix physical rides with VR experiences.

10. Live broadcasts of major league sports games (football, soccer, hockey, and more) in Virtual Reality.

11. Full-length VR movies.

12. Physical and psychological therapy done through VR.

13. Physical drone racing done through VR headsets.

14. VR speed dating sites.

15. For education and training, we will see a growing number of modules done in both virtual and augmented reality.

16. VR and AR tours will be commonly used in the sale of future real estate.

Flying/Driving Drones

Drones are quickly transitioning from hobbyist toys to sophisticated business tools very quickly. They will touch our lives in thousands of different ways.

17. Fireworks dropped from drones. Our ability to “ignite and drop” fireworks from the sky will dramatically change both how they’re made and the artistry used to display them.

18. Concert swarms that produce a spatial cacophony of sound coming from 1,000 speaker drones simultaneously.

19. Banner-pulling drones. Old school advertising brought closer to earth.

20. Bird frightening drones for crops like sunflowers where birds can destroy an entire field in a matter of hours.

21. Livestock monitoring drones for tracking cows, sheep, geese, and more.

22. Three-dimensional treasure hunts done with drones.

23. Prankster Drones – Send random stuff to random people and video their reactions.

24. Entertainment drones (with projectors) that fly in and perform unusual forms of live comedy and entertainment.

Our driverless future is coming!
Our driverless future is coming!

Driverless Cars/Transportation

Driverless technology will change transportation more significantly than the invention of the automobile itself.

25. Queuing stations for driverless cars as a replacement for a dwindling number of parking lots.

26. Crash-proof cars. Volvo already says their cars will be crash-proof before 2020.

27. Driverless car hailing apps. Much like signaling Uber and Lyft, only without the drivers.

28. Large fleet ownership of driverless cars (some companies will own millions of driverless cars).

29. Electric cars will routinely win major races like the Daytona 500, Monaco Grand Prix, and the Indy 500.

30. In-car work and entertainment systems to keep people busy and entertained as a driverless car takes them to their destination.

31. In-car advertising. This will be a delicate balance between offsetting the cost of operation and being too annoying for the passengers.

32. Electric car charging in less than 5 minutes.

Internet of Things

The Internet of things is the network of physical devices, vehicles, and buildings embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and actuators designed to communicate with users as well as other devices. We are currently experiencing exponential growth in IoT devices as billions of new ones come online every year.

33. Smart chairs, smart beds, and smart pillows that will self-adjust to minimize pressure points and optimize comfort.

34. Sensor-laced clothing.

35. “Print and Pin” payment systems that uses a biometric mark (fingerprint) plus a pin number.

36. Smart plates, bowls and cups to keep track of what we eat and drink.

37. Smart trashcan that will signal for a trash truck when they’re full.

38. Ownership networks. As we learn to track the location of everything we own, we will also track the changing value of each item to create a complete ownership network.

39. Self-retrieving shoes where you call them by name, through your smartphone, and your shoes will come to you.

40. Smart mailboxes that let you know when mail has arrived and how important it is.

Full-body physical health scanner!
Full-body physical health scanner!

Health Tech

Even though healthcare is a bloated and bureaucratic industry, innovative entrepreneurs are on the verge of disrupting this entire industry.

41. Hyper-personalized precision-based pharmaceuticals produced by 3D pill printers.

42. Ingestible data collectors, filled with sensors, to give a daily internal health scan and report.

43. Prosthetic limbs controlled by AI.

44. Real-time blood scanners.

45. Peer-to-peer health insurance.

46. Facetime-like checkups without needing a doctor’s appointment.

47. Full-body physical health scanners offering instant AI medical diagnosis, located in most pharmacies

48. Intraoral cameras for smartphones for DYI dental checkups.

The future of computers is the mind!
The future of computers is the mind!

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Much like hot and cold running water, we will soon be able to “pipe-in” artificial intelligence to any existing digital system.

49. Best selling biographies written by artificial intelligence.

50. Legal documents written by artificial intelligence.

51. AI-menu selection, based on diet, for both restaurants and at home.

52. Full body pet scanners with instant AI medical diagnosis.

53. AI selection of movies and television shows based on moods, ratings, and personal preferences.

54. Much like the last item, AI music selection will be based on moods, ratings, and musical tastes.

55. AI sleep-optimizers will control all of the environmental factors – heat, light, sound, oxygen levels, smells, positioning, vibration levels, and more.

56. AI hackers. Sooner or later someone will figure out how to use even our best AI technology for all the wrong purposes.

Unmanned aviation is coming!
Unmanned aviation is coming!


Future transportation will come in many forms ranging from locomotion on an individual level to ultra high-speed tube transportation on a far grander scale.

57. Unmanned aviation – personal drone transportation.

58. 360-degree video transportation monitoring cameras at most intersections in major cities throughout the world.

59. Everywhere wireless. With highflying solar powered drones, CubeSats, and Google’s Project Loon, wireless Internet connections will soon be everywhere.

60. Black boxes for drones to record information in the event of an accident.

61. Air-breathing hypersonic propulsion for commercial aircraft. Fast is never fast enough.

62. Robotic follow-behind-you luggage, to make airline travel easier.

63. Robotic dog walkers and robotic people walkers.

64. Ultra high-speed tube transportation. As we look closely at the advances over the past couple decades, it’s easy to see that we are on the precipices of a dramatic breakthrough in ultra high-speed transportation. Businesses are demanding it. People are demanding it. And the only thing lacking is a few people capable of mustering the political will to make it happen.


As I began assembling this list, a number of items didn’t fit well in other categories.

65. Bitcoin loans for houses, cars, business equipment and more.

66. Self-filling water bottles with built-in atmospheric water harvesters.

67. Reputation networks. With the proliferation of personal information on websites and in databases throughout the Internet, reputation networks will be designed to monitor, alert, and repair individual reputations.

68. Atmospheric energy harvesters. Our atmosphere is filled with both ambient and concentrated forms of energy ranging from sunlight to lightning bolts that can be both collected and stored.

69. Pet education centers, such as boarding schools for dogs and horses, to improve an animal’s IQ.

70. Robotic bricklayers. With several early prototypes already operational, these will become common over the next decade.

71. Privacy bill of rights. Privacy has become an increasingly complicated topic, but one that is foundational to our existence on planet earth.

72. Hot new buzzword, “Megaprojects.”

72 Stunning Future Things 9
The safer we feel, the more risks we take!

Final Thoughts

There’s a phenomenon called the Peltzman Effect, named after Dr. Sam Peltzman, a renowned professor of economics from the University of Chicago Business School, who studied auto accidents.

He found that when you introduce more safety features like seat belts into cars, the number of fatalities and injuries doesn’t drop. The reason is that people compensate for it. When we have a safety net in place, people will take more risks.

That probably is true with other areas as well.

As life becomes easier, we take risks with our time. As our financial worries are met, we begin thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, inventor, or artist. When life becomes too routine, we search for ways to introduce chaos.

Even though we see reports that billions of jobs will disappear over the coming decades, we will never run out of work.

As humans, we were never meant to live cushy lives of luxury. Without risk and chaos as part of our daily struggle our lives seem unfulfilled. While we work hard to eliminate it, we always manage to find new ways to bring it back.

Yes, we’re working towards a better world ahead, but only marginally better. That’s where we do our best work.

By Futurist Thomas Frey

Author of Epiphany Z – 8 Radical Visions Transforming Your Future

32 Responses to “72 stunning things in the future that will be common ten years from now that don’t exist today”

Comments List

  1. Adolph III

    We can probably add some in the fields of education, banking, leisure, the military, a couple specifics in the manufacturing industry, and of course a whole lot under the internet of things (IoT). I do hope we get the full functionality of holograms by then and make them useful in many ways, especially in entertainment. Actually, with technology, the only limit is our imagination.
  2. stephanie willetts

    It is a shame we consider the world 'our world'. All the large mammals will disappear except in zoos and dna data bases. Species of birds will be anhialated. Didnt read far enough to see if we get nuclear fusion yet to power everything....plus as everything will be done by drones or other robots how can he say there will always be work? More 3d rubbish to clutter up the planet...all very depressing :(
  3. <a href='http://www.21stcentech.com' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Len Rosen (@lenrosen4)</a>

    In ten years time we will see the first commercial hotel in space. We will see commercial space operations harvesting resources from Near-Earth asteroids and the Moon. And we will have sent a preparatory robotic mission to Mars to establish human presence there.
    • <a href='http://milieux.com' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Azyre</a>

      As a space enthusiast growing up in the 60's, I had thought that we'd have all those things by now.
  4. Mark Turner

    I love a bit of future gazing as much as anyone (except self retrieving shoes - that's nonsense for the man that only has four pairs) but what would be really impressive is the article from 10 years ago predicting all those things that are commonplace now that didn't exist then. That would be a real credential.
  5. <a href='http://www.cloudalize.com' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Daan Moreels</a>

    Missing an important IT evolution here; Very powerful computers from the cloud that can be "projected" wherever you need them (making local physical devices unnecessary).
  6. Clive Doubell

    What about brain aumentation. You can have a brian implant that can e.g. communicate with a comms network. All the functions that is done by a smartphone resident in your head, including apps. Or a brain implant that connects you with a super AI computer that answers any questions if you just think about it. An instantaneous wikipedia. Or one that increases your IQ and make everybody able to do nuclear physics. A brain implant that can make blind people see.
  7. Norbert

    "9. Theme park rides that mix physical rides with VR experiences." - it does already exist and is in fact quite popular. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_roller_coasters_with_virtual_reality_extensions_(VR_Coaster)
  8. Nem Chandra Singhal

    A very thoughtful summery of the things to come in future. Enhancing further, please suggest the companies which will benefit from these future events. Thanks.
  9. <a href='http://www.timecapsulesdna.com' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>brianasitgoeson</a>

    1) Quantum computers. Who benefits? [us] 2) 3D printed organs - kidneys, livers, hearts etc. from a patient's own cell sample. [no rejection, no waiting for a donor] 3) Cheaper, smaller, faster drone fighters, submarines and surface warships [more-bang-for-the-buck] 4) School teachers at all levels delivering webinar lessons 24/7 freely to millions of students worldwide. [sponsored perhaps by Microsoft] 5) Regeneration of recently extinct animals from retrieved DNA. [possible future theme parks ?] 6) Microsoft's future use of their current research into encoding vast amounts of data onto a single strand of human DNA. [super intelligent future humans ]
  10. Torrizos D Thomas

    73. Vertical cities such as sky city 1000 with roads for car 74. 3d printed car custom frames with electric power train 75. Biological sexbots with lab grown tissue and sex organs
  11. Coen Bijlsma

    76. Custom made 3D printing to replace (parts of) busted knees 77. The globalisation of viruses/pests in a warmer world will be fought with bioengineered natural products 78. Your DNA will tell the doctor what chemotherapty will (not) work for you 79. Your washingmachine will tell you when it needs (just in time) maintenance 80. Your freezer will time its use of electricity based on the spot price of electricity
  12. <a href='http://www.leunig.net.au' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Andrew Leunig</a>

    Great list. I'd add a section on agriculture. We'll see dramatic changes here. * Each plant optimally maintained by bots * Extended use of companion planting like Milpa * Weed killing bots will disrupt the farm chemical business *Robot processing (accelerated composting) of human waste will disrupt fertilizer business
  13. jimmy sasson

    What about robotic implants in humans like ID and drivers license chips, implants of cell phones under the skin and so on. The list is shy and could go further.
  14. Vincent Bakker

    Funny how a lot of these developments were already 'predicted' in movies throughout the 80's or sometimes even much much earlier. The truly stunning things are not in these kind of lists but in our minds...
  15. Roxane

    It is a shame we do not spend more time, money, interest and energy on human relations. Can you image how good at it we would be? Things are evolving... i am not sure if the human race is...
  16. Erik Terenius

    Another thing to get used to will probably be insurance companies demanding information from your DNA. "Sorry, you will most likely die within 7 years so we won't give you any life insurance". If not in ten years so in twenty, I expect smartphones to disappear. Who wants a a puny 5 inch screen when you can display whatever viewing angle you want from your spectacles. Also better and smarter voice communications will reduce the need to look at a screen all the time. We will probably see a reduced need to communicate things explicitly. With more information integrated and the use of AI, we won't need to order (driver-less :-) taxes etc, they will be there on time waiting for us when we need them. One of Internets main uses today is sex. When will it be possible and common to have virtual sex with a celebrity of your choosing, or some you know in real life, including tactile components?
  17. <a href='http://reputation.cloud' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Adrian Taciulescu</a>

    Well, at least #67 is already reality, ReputationCloud (http://reputation.cloud) provides exactly this service.
  18. <a href='https://online-sportsbooks.top/' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Dan</a>

    I am excited by the opportunities for innovation with drones, however have you heard one flying over your house on a Sunday afternoon? They are incredibly loud and VERY annoying as a sound intrusion on private property and quality of life.
  19. Elizabeth

    Perhaps people will become obsolete. With everything mechanized -- done by computers, robots, artificial intelligence -- what purpose will people have to even exist? And yet there are more and more of us everyday... we could event our own worst nightmare with such a future on the horizon. And all the other creatures on the earth become even less valuable and unnecessary -- simply curiosities for zoos -- nothing more. No place for nature and the natural order if everything is so controlled. Seems rather sad & scary, actually...
  20. Robert

    I'm afraid we, nor anyone else, will see these wonders. Fiscal and social irresponsibility will throttle creativity and enterprise. It's unfortunate, but those in power will harness resources to maintain their power. As history proves, this inevitably results in dull inefficiency earmarked by bureaucratic control, and eventual remorse by those very souls that ultimately enabled it.
  21. Blatan Ivanovic

    In ten years from now we'll have an AI journalist that writes an article about all the things that human journalists predicted 10 years ago that never happened.
  22. Albert

    I cant wait for the this robotic future. The concept of drones are quite simple, they are flying robots equipped with varied capacities to perform different functions up there in the current and future air space. unmanned airplanes are super drones built to lift and transport the weight of humans and goods. The future will be simply amazing with AI and IoT which will enable us to implant all knowledge into the human brain, super artificial IQ levels. This further means that humans will be implanted with robotic features. It will be an era where the relationship between humans and robots will be super enhanced.
  23. Max

    Look, I don't want books and paper to go away, but teleportation to devices might replace bags, and without privacy, it would be a bad future.
  24. Michael Cushman

    I think cancer is cured. Either by modified T-Cells or nano-bots that turn on a self-destruct genetic switch. Along the same lines, K-Cells will be modifiable to accept grown or donated organs, without anti-rejection drugs. (It is the weakened immune system that these drugs promote that cause other health issues and premature death for recipients. )
  25. <a href='http://learnimplementshare.com' rel='external nofollow' class='url'>Richard Andrew</a>

    As someone who constantly uses technology, very few of these excite me. And why is there no inclusion of tech/machines which 'eat' atmospheric carbon? Not much point of all these 'wonderfui' developments if we are dealing with 'Category 9+' hurricanes, wild fires and massive floods. Oh, and rising sea levels.

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