Interactive infographic predicts emerging technologies from now until 2040

Michell Zappa of the tech forecasting firm Envisioning Technologies has compiled a beautiful infographic highlighting the most significant technological innovations that we can expect to see from now until the year 2040. The graph breaks down key tech sectors by category and includes fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, biotech, energy, space, and many more.

Zappa's graphic offers a fascinating glimpse into not just what's coming down the pipes, but also into how the timing timing of these advancements will co-incide with each other.

A PDF of the infographic can be accessed here.

The project, called "Envisioning Emerging Technology For 2012 And Beyond," was meant to provide a visual sense of incoming technologies and to offer a wider context for their potential impact. The infographic itself provides an interactive experience, allowing the user to hover over an item and see a detailed description.

And after a quick glance, it's clear that Zappa has done his homework; his predictions are pretty spot on — and quite exciting. A rundown of some technologies we can expect to see include:

  • 2018: Self-driving cars
  • 2019: Space tourism
  • 2026: Domestic robots
  • 2030: Blood-powered displays embedded into human skin
  • 2033: Remote presence
  • 2035: Human missions to Mars
  • 2035: Thorium reactors
  • 2036: Space elevators
  • 2036: Climate engineering
  • 2037: Anti-aging drugs
  • 2039: Nanotechnology utility fogs
  • 2040: Arcologies (massive cities)
  • The potential impacts of these technologies are indicated by the size of the nodes. Zappa has also provided a timeline of qualitative forecasts, including the prediction that world population will hit 9 billion in 2040.