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Nanotechnology Applications Of The Future

Updated on May 27, 2012

A Nano Conveyor Belt Rising To The Future

photo by berkeleylab on Flickr
photo by berkeleylab on Flickr

Future Nanotechnology Is A Revolutionary Force

Every so many years, a truly incredible series of scientific discoveries, technological improvements, and human consciousness interact in such a way to synthesize what can be known as a revolutionary force. Such advancements lead to a massive increases in wealth and have the potential to change the topology of the world, pushing prepared societies into the forefront and leaving slow-adopting civilizations further behind. Such revolutionary forces seem to appear about twice every century or twice a lifetime if one maintains good health for long enough. Will nanotechnology applications of the future prove to be more negative or positive in impact? Of course, only time can truly tell the answer to that question, but if we are to look at the past revolutionary forces that have occurred before, then the evidence reveals that nanotechnology of the future is likely to have enormous positive impacts with a lesser series of negative consequences that must be dealt with as they arise.

The closing of the 18th century saw great improvement in the revolutionary force of textiles. The textile revolution had a major effect on the world as it allowed cloths and fabrics to be mass produced and made available to large swaths of the population. The mechanization of the weaving process and other textile production methods made a great deal of wealth for those able to capitalize on the scene, and it changed life permanently. This particular revolutionary force lasted until about 1853 where it began to taper off as the end of the rapid growth period arrived. That is a primary feature of revolutionary forces. There is a short introduction period as the technology is first developed and the society begins to acclimate to the new phenomena. Then there is widespread adoption and a rapid incline in use and change. Finally, the revolutionary phase is followed by a return to normal progress during the closing act. Certainly, textiles are still becoming more and more innovative everyday, but the change is not as rapid as it once was. Nanotechnology of the future is even making an impact on the textile industry nowadays. The invention of nanomaterials doped with metallic nanoparticles is allowing textiles to be produces with improved resistance to water, stains, bacteria or fungi, and even wrinkles.

Chugging on into the 19th century, railroads were to become the next revolutionary force. The sudden ability to move goods and people quicker and cheaper led to the widespread adoption of the rail transport industry. It was the great revolutionary force until it was followed by the automobile which allowed even greater freedom and individual mobility. Now all of the three aforementioned revolutionary forces had their beginning well before the birth of many of us living today, although there might be a few exceptions to that generalization. The first revolutionary force that occurred during many of our lifetimes is the computer. The widespread adoption phase of the computer is still taking place as more and more people continue to get personal computers and wired to the internet. However, that phase is nearing an end and some projections show that the curve will start to level off around 2025. At that time, the next revolutionary force will emerge to take its place and many futurists would agree that the nanotechnology of the future will, in fact, be that force. Remember that these revolutionary forces only occur twice a lifetime and for most of use this will be the second. From 2025 into say 2085 or even the next century and 2100, nanotechnology will likely be undergoing the widespread adoption phase. A great site is Kurzweil's Accelerating Intelligence page.

A Leading Mind Talks Nanotechnology - Creating Anything

Of course, there will be detrimental effects just as auto accidents and cyber crime have followed in the shadows of the previous revolutions. The nanotechnology of the future has its own set of harmful potential uses such as nanoweapons and nanoviruses. But the improvements in areas such as nanomedicine and nanoelectronics will probably make the unwanted consequences bearable as the world pushes on into the future. Then it is on to femtoechnology and beyond. That future is probably better than you could ever imagine.


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