Peek into the future offers glimpse into the past

Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:44am EDT
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Commuting to work will be short and cheap 10 years from now, computers will be ubiquitous but unnoticed and smart refrigerators will help consumers eat healthier foods.

But the future envisioned by could also mean higher unemployment with more people losing jobs to off-shoring and automation technology and an end to school as we know it.

"The lone professor will be replaced by a team of coaches from vastly different fields. Tidy lectures will be supplanted by messy real-world challenges," according to the website. predicts Americans will become more resourceful and resilient about transportation and 75 percent of the world will live in cities. Instead of driving oversized vehicles, electric cars will be more the norm for short trips and diesel vehicles will be the preferred option for longer journeys.

"We will be walking to work more and we will be using our bicycles and we will be walking to and from school, sometimes uphill, in the snow, just like our parents did," said Nicole Perlroth, an editor at Forbes.

"A lot of this is reverting back to how things were 50 years ago," she added in an interview.


Staff at Forbes, who did a similar look into the future 10 years ago with mixed results, contacted professional futurologists to get their take on what 2020 will be like.   Continued...

<p>People visit the 300-metre long exhibition train &ldquo;Expedition Zukunft&rdquo; (expedition future) in Berlin's main railway station April 23, 2009. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch</p>