Technology innovation timeline

Draft only

-5 years


+5 to 7 years

+10 to 20 years

1. Sensors

First ‘organ on a chip’ developed for drug testing.
Nest releases fist WiFi learning thermostat.

Zero-power ‘sensors’ placed on bees.
Sensors beginning to get paired with internet connections.

Low power active sensors.
Low power radios embedded with sensors.
Mass deployment of sensors deployed across hundreds of smart cities globally.
Early development of nano sensors.

Ingestible sensors in the home medicine cabinet.
Personalised ‘organ on a chip’ can be used to design patient specific drugs.
Retail packaging includes sensors that confirm provenance of goods.
Many building and manufacturing materials produced with sensing capabilities inherently ‘baked in’.

2. Share, exchange and analyse

Bitcoin just invented, sparking much interest in blockchain techniques.
Snapchat released.
Airbnb takes-off – hits 1 million nights booked.
Uber launched; hype around platform businesses.

Blockchain starting to be trialled in other application areas such as agricptural markets.
Uber hits 60 million rides per month and completes two billion total rides.
Airbnb controversy about ‘sharing economy’ / displacing locals.
Deep Learning is used to beat a professional human player at the complex game of Go.

Blockchain used for decentralised services ‘by defapt’ in some select market segments.
Co-ops compete with Uber and Airbnb – promote ‘authentic sharing economy’ (i.e. driver owned ridesharing).
Streaming analytics techniques allow real time access to live big data insights.

Decentralised (ownerless, but trusted) services disrupt and displace some large online monopolies.
Hyper-localised sourcing of materials for self-manufacturing.

3. Store and process

iCloud launched.

iCloud has 800million users.
Researchers build first reprogrammable quantum computer.

Personal clouds on the rise.
Graphics chips used in everyday computing devices for non-graphics applications.

Distinction between ‘cloud’ and ‘device’ almost totally disappears for users.
Quantum Computing.

4. User interface

iPad just released.
Siri voice commands begin.
Touch screen smartphones becoming commonplace.

Smartphones in nearly every pocket.
Amazon Echo, Google Home bring first ‘Star Trek like’ conversational interfaces to the home.

Voice interaction commonplace at home and work.
Augmented Reality (AR) glasses becoming commonplace as a display platform for everyday computing.
Computing systems can identify most objects in the world around the user.
Arbitrary (free space and on-skin) gestures perceived and understood by everyday computing devices.

Augmented Reality with haptic (sense of touch) interaction.
Personal computing becomes collaborative computing.
Interaction with shape changing robots, including wearables.
Natural interfaces allow reprogramming of computing systems directly.
Computing systems can understand most objects in the world around the user.

5. Machine/ robotics

Roomba in some homes.
Google has begun researching autonomous cars.

Google’s autonomous cars have travelled two million miles.
Consumer flying drones widely available, including limited autonomy.

Autonomous (but supervised) freight vehicles begin on Australian highways, and most highways globally.
First wave of job automation takes off, impacting transportation and logistics occupations, office and admin support, and production occupations.
Flying drones used make deliveries within local areas.
Most new cars sold include autonomous capabilities.

Most cars on the road can drive autonomously.
44% of today’s current jobs done by robots/AI.
Second wave of job automation takes off – jobs relying on finger dexterity, observation, feedback, or working in cramped spaces.

6. Internet infrastructure

ADSL2 across most of Australian poppation.
Some fibre optic coverage.
First release sites of NBN.
3G commonplace.

NBN construction hits peak phase – approx. 25% of Australia premises have access.
4G commonplace.

NBN concludes – 93% coverage of Australian premises.
5G begins – enables autonomous systems to operate accurately in complex environments.
50 billion internet connected devices.
Fixed-line Internet connections available at 10Gbps (download).

Fixed-line Internet connections available at 100Gbps to 1Tbps (download).
Wifi logins are no longer in use. Basic router setups include ‘secure guest access’ mode by defapt. Bandwidth is so cheap that internet connectivity is logistically as easy as (or easier than) plugging into electricity wherever you are.
5G commonplace although devices dip over to 5G only when not near fixed infrastructure (regardless of ownership).