Even though President Bush the U.S. economy is teetering on hard times. Looking back on history, however, the good times often start to roll again with the help of technology innovation--or at least they sometimes coincide with it. The rise of the Web, for example, followed the economic slump of the early 1990s.
So what's next? A group of faculty and researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have predicted the technologies they believe will instigate the next economic boom. We've highlighted a few of their "" prognostications here.
Household robots to help the elderly
Rodney Brooks, , is predicting a future relative of his own work.
Brooks, whose iRobot is the maker of the , argues that robots will transform our lives in the next 25 years, especially as baby boomers get older and need help around the house.
"Fortunately, robots are just now maturing to the point where they can help with real productivity at practical prices. From virtually no mobile robots deployed anywhere in the world six years ago, we now have thousands on active duty in the U.S. military and millions cleaning the floors of American homes. This is the lead-up to a classic hockey-stick growth curve."
To the left is , which is essentially a voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, phone that can both see and travel around a room.