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Future's So Bright

Find out now how technology will evolve in the coming years.

By Mark Henricks • Aug 1, 2005

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Rather than regarding technology as a monolith, futurists JoelA. Barker and Scott W. Erickson fracture it into a few majorsubsystems and then use them to divine the future of technologicalopportunity. In Five Regions of the Future (Portfolio,$24.95), they identify the biggest region as "SuperTech," which is about being bigger and better, and includesnuclear power plants and SUVs. "Limits Tech" conservesresources by means of, for instance, birth control and recycling."Local Tech" thinks small, with technology appropriate tolocal needs, such as Segway scooters. "Nature Tech"emphasizes natural solutions such as ethanol fuel and spidersilk-based materials. "Human Tech" operates on and inourselves with the likes of gene therapy and, in the world ofbusiness, microlending.

The authors don't judge which technology is best. Instead,they present each's underpinnings, advantages anddisadvantages, and suggest how they will develop over severaldecades. Today's entrepreneurs may be able to use thesepathways to exploit future opportunities. For those who want toknow more, the authors refer readers to numerous experts and gurusassociated with each technology.

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