We asked a number of TEDsters the following question: “What do you think is the most interesting thing happening in technology right now?” Below is a sample of the answers we got back, featuring a range of responses as diverse as the contributors they came from. What do you think is the most interesting technology trend today? Let us know in the comments.
Di Winkler, CEO of Summer Foundation — Tools and innovations that help people with disabilities do things they otherwise wouldn’t be able to and even in some ways to become superhuman.
Jane Wulf, TED scribe — Open data. As transparency increases in government, the supply chain and elsewhere, we have so much more access to information and are able to use it in so many ways.
Rod Beckstrom, CEO of ICANN — The explosion of smartphones in the developing world, increasing education and community organizing there. Also, the movement to keep the Internet unified, not Balkanized and forked by different countries’ interests.
Andrew Bird, musician — Philosophy is more interesting than technology. Mashable: What do you think about tools that bring music creation to aspiring artists more cheaply? Andrew: I think live performance has become even more valuable because it allows for improvisation and unexpectedness, in contrast to tools that can allow too much perfection in the studio.
Lakshmi Pratury, founder and co-host of TED India — How technology is being used to further the human mind. We’ve finally gone beyond tech for tech’s sake and are using technology to make a difference in the world.
Perry Chen, CEO and co-founder of Kickstarter — Mark Roth’s work on suspended animation. Also Microsoft Pivot, for starting to bring whole new ways of browsing the web.
Juliana Machado Ferreira, biologist at Sao Paulo University and TED senior fellow — Whole genome sequencing.
Dean Guida, CEO of Infragistics — Cloud computing and collaborative software that allows distributed teams to work together across place and time.
Julianne Wurm, founder of R-cubed educational consultancy — Microsoft Surface and touchscreens in general; MIT Media Lab’s Siftables; and the iPad. I’m in education, and I think these kinds of tools are going to be incredibly important there.
Ralph Simon, CEO of Mobilium and chairman emeritus of Mobile Entertainment Forum — The emergence of smartphone components in entry-level phones in the developing world, which is accelerating Internet access for so many people who wouldn’t otherwise have it. Also augmented reality, mobile health applications, and mobile money for the unbanked.
Virginia Miracle, SVP of digital strategy at Ogilvy — The collision of our online and offline identities and the concept of an open universal identity.
Farhad Mohit, founder and CEO of Dotspots — Tim Berners-Lee’s concept of an open web of linked data. We’re enabling a kind of “information militia” that can make better, more informed decisions. Information is power and when people have power, everything changes.
Rachel Pike, Ph.D. and atmospheric chemist at the University of Cambridge — Personal and scientific data sharing, and the crowd-sourcing of science making more vital data publicly available.
Kimberly De Los Santos, associate vice president, Arizona State University — Social media. Not any specific platforms per se, but the connections across cultures they enable.
Donald Samuels, managing partner at Pictorial Offset Corporation — QR codes. They’ll become ubiquitous and all our devices will read them and take us directly to information.
Jenny Lam, co-founder of Jackson Fish Market software company — Threadless, Blurb and other tools that let artists create something physical and get it out to the public on-demand and at high quality.
Hillel Cooperman, co-founder of Jackson Fish Market — The falling cost of creating software, and new devices that have commerce built in so that customers can get payments to software developers, are both contributing to a renaissance in software development.
Debra Silver, international board member of Save a Child’s Heart — Touchscreens. I’m a sculptor so I love to see computers getting more tactile!
Peter Knights, executive director of WildAid — Work on cold fusion. Energy solutions are the most important thing right now. And the Nexus One Google just gave me is pretty cool too!
Todd Grant, creative director of Switzerland West — The disappearance of technology as it becomes a natural and intuitive part of our daily lives, so much so that we don’t always notice it.
David Wish, founder of Little Kids Rock — Gift economies and the impact that the web is having on economics overall.
Sunny Bates, partner at Icarus Talks — Microsoft Pivot, Bing Maps and real-life photo integrations, and all the new ways of visualizing information coming online.
Stephen Petranek, editor-in-chief at Weider History Group magazines — Applications made possible by putting genetic code onto discs. Imagine taking your DNA sequence on a chip to the supermarket and having it tell you what foods you should be eating.