Sharp is 100 years old this week so Humans Invent decided to challenge five of its brightest minds to foretell what the world will look like a century from now. We conducted a series of six workshops at Sharp Laboratories of Europe on topics ranging from health to robotics to assess how these fields will have changed by the year 2112. In this series we discover the possibility of nanorobots swimming through your veins, driverless cars and space hotels, multi-sensory entertainment and virtual reality in the classroom. Though the five scientists disagree at times on what the future may hold, they certainly agree on one thing: the world will be a very different place in 100 years’ time.

1: Health

A nanorobot of the future unblocking a vein.

“If we look back, the 19th century was the century of industrialization, the 20th century the beginning of the information age and I think the 21st Century is going to be the century of health care and biotechnology,” says Research Supervisor, Tom Ford. All 5 scientists believe there will be radical changes in health care from personalized medicine, pre-symptom diagnosis, nanorobots in our blood to ‘lab on a chip’ testing.

Ford believes this ‘lab on a chip’ technology could take the form of a home monitoring device into which you could give a daily sweat or blood sample. From these samples chemicals would be analysed – over time this information would build up a pattern of the person’s health. With this information relayed to your GP, any changes in your body such as cancer growth could be picked up before symptoms even arise.

Research Scientist, Richard Tuley, believes that DNA testing will be become easier and cheaper allowing for people to have their full genome sequenced. Tuley says, “Then you can do various treatments and make drug based decisions on what is most likely to work for you rather than what is most likely to work for the population at large.”

Matthieu Senes, who is a Research Supervisor, envisages nanorobots swimming around our bodies like miniature surgeons fixing damaged parts of the body. Senes says we could have, “Very small robots that go through your veins to unblock them. If we get very tiny robots that are wireless, you can inject them with a syringe and they will be able to do very precise jobs.”

Every day for the next week we will be releasing the next Sharp workshop in the series. Stay tuned tomorrow for Education…

Illustrations exclusively drawn for Humans Invent by Neil Jones.


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  • Izumi3682

    One of the things that annoys me about films set in the future is that they still depict ‘aged’ people. Well before 2112, aging will be stopped in the ‘young’ and reversed in people who ARE ‘aged’. Chronological age will no longer matter as regards youthfullness, health and vitality–not to mention sexual desirability. One of the reasons it’s called the “Singularity” is because, just as comprehension of physics breaks down within the singularity of a black hole, so too the ability of our linear thinking mammalian brain is unable to comprehend what will follow on such universal, unbelievable, and in fact incomprehensible future developments. We may not even BE biological by 2112. But that’s too hard for joe sixpack moviegoer to, well, comprehend…

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