What Will They Invent Next? An Engineer's Educated Guess
A future in the technology market will be a dumbing down of increasingly complex technologies and their interfaces. Strong profits wait for those who can turn high tech into an old fashioned interface. There are several examples that I can foresee both customer demand and rapid development for those with the technical talent.
Products waiting for the right engineer to invent them
- Develop a news feed of local and national news customized to an individual's interests but looks like the old fashioned TV news broadcasts. Find niches in the technical, scientific or small political parties that aren't adequately served today.
- Create mobile slide shows of family photos or nature scenes or astronomy views that are selected based on a person's interests and adjust based on a mood-indicating controller. Then set it up to follow the person as they move throughout the house on the nearest screens.
- There are prototypes that turn urine into a power source. A fuel cell that turns human waste into power along with collecting the phosphorus in it that is invaluable to agriculture will earn billions as it is deployed across the developing world.
- Biogas collected from public toilets has started to be used in India to heat water for washing and charging cell phones. More efficient systems that turn porta-potties into power stations or help keep the bathroom clean by generating money to pay an attendant would provide power, jobs and better public health.
- Better methods to recycle rare earth metals from various discarded electronics need to be developed. We especially need ways to remove and recycle rare earth materials from a large volume of mixed trash.
- Invent a simple "iPod" controller for home environment while interfacing with smart thermostats, energy efficiency managers and remote utility reporting tools.
- Instead of someone playing music loudly throughout their entire home or wearing a mobile music player, design a home based theater system that bases music volume on an individual’s preferences and location. As the person moves through the house, turn off the speakers for the room they left and turn them on in the new location. Reduce the volume if they move closer to the speaker or are stop moving while in bed for a long period of time. Volume could be automatically increased by a few decibels of offset the noise when other appliances are turned on.