Age of Networked Matter Map
A map reflecting 3 time horizons
Today, we live in a highly networked world. An astounding array of everyday objects—from food to furniture, buildings to bodies, cars to cities—are becoming connected and interconnected across scales. But imagine moving beyond even the most grandiose visions of an "Internet of Things” toward a tapestry of networked matter: systems of networks that communicate seamlessly, from connected microbes inside our bodies to an internet that stretches across planets.
Technology Horizons' is pleased to release the Age of Networked Matter map to the public. Use this map as a guide to how the network will take shape over the coming decade. Use it to shift your perspective and aid your search for leverage points to catalyze change across scales.
In the Age of Networked Matter, robots will form their own social networks, chairs are digitally-rights managed, microbes talk to kitchens, and every object is six degrees away from the rest of the world. In 2013, the IFTF Technology Horizons team focused their research on forecasting the emerging technologies driving this Age and their potential to reshape our companies, cities, and communities.
To help us see the potential of this wild and woolly future, we enlisted science-fiction’s most visionary provocateurs—Cory Doctorow, Warren Ellis, Rudy Rucker, Bruce Sterling, Ramez Naam, and Madeline Ashby—to explore the superheroic capabilities and messy social dilemmas we might face in the next decade and beyond. These creative storytellers have painted high-resolution views through six original stories commissioned in the collection An Aura of Familiarity: Visions From the Coming Age of Networked Matter. But these stories aren’t final. We will continue to get inside these scenarios, build on their ideas, and design real products and services to address some of humanity’s biggest challenges.
The Technology Horizons team presented this map and the corresponding research at the 2013 Technology Horizons research exchange on May 16-17, 2013.