2020: The future of technology revealed

What the next 10 years holds for us all

Sci-Fi scenarios

It may look great in the movies, but what about in your living room? Virtual think tank TechCast calculates when emerging technologies are likely to be found in at least 30 percent of US households or businesses. Here are its predictions:

2010: Biometric security

In a few years, we'll be using fingerprint, voice, iris or retinal scans to log on to websites and make purchases. Sounds a lot better than storing passwords under your keyboard, doesn't it? But remember: your body is your password, so don't lose it.

2013: Space tourism

Space isn't merely the final frontier; it's also the hot new holiday spot for the mega-rich. Virgin Galactic plans to launch its first sub-orbital space flight in 2009 (at £100,000 per ticket). And Nasa predicts that the first space hotels will appear within 20 years.

2016: The holodeck

The virtual-reality revolution is imminent, thanks to the popularity of 3D movies and Second Life. A future 'holodeck' could be enhanced by scents shot at your nose by a 'smell cannon'. Japanese researchers are working on the device now.

2019: Self-aware computers

Though unlikely to turn murderous, machines driven by artificial intelligence will, within 15 years or so, be handling many routine tasks.

2020: Domestic robots

One technology expert predicts that by 2025, robots will outsell cars worldwide. So how will the ones without cars get to work?

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