TTM 2014

Download the IEEE TTM 2014 flyer (PDF, 1 MB)


The IEEE Technology Time Machine (TTM) 2014 is the third organized Symposium on future technologies to globally predict the interplay science, technology, society, and economics may have on one another in 2035.

TTM is an event organized by the IEEE Future Directions Committee (FDC), where the FDC is an incubator for emerging technologies.

Multiple future technologies were discussed interactively between attendees and speakers. World renowned experts presented their vision for 2035 for each of the six areas described below.


  • Future of Energy: production, distribution, utilization, policy. Disruptions ahead and geopolitical changes.
  • Future of Fabrication: robotic networks, atoms and bits. Functional 3D printing, bio-inspired manufacturing, sustainable manufacturing, smart materials.
  • Future of Health Care: for the next 6 Billion people. Do it yourself technology enabled, or top down? Genomics and microbots, cyborgs, unlimited life span.
  • Future of Humans: containing cyborgs, trans-humans. Ambient awareness, a sentient world. Enabling connectomics, bio-engineering, brain machine interface, small world math. Sensor based, body area networks, personal area networks.
  • Future of Networks: from infrastructures to fabric. IoT and intelligent objects – the communication fabric. Data as the fabric ingredient, emerging evolving behaviors.
  • Future of Processing: distributed and/or clumped, aware and/or emerging behavior? Cloud and/or fog driven. Approximate, neuromorphic and/or quantum computing? Plasmonics as a CMOS substitute?



Future of Energy – Abstract of Visionary talk – John D. McDonald

Title: Smart Grid and Beyond


The purpose of this talk is to familiarize participants with a vision for the future of energy. First, there will be a discussion of key industry/societal trends in generation, transmission, distribution and the consumer. The “smarter grid” will highlight the intelligence that has already been implemented, and the new intelligence being added now. The Smart Grid technology roadmap will discuss the Smart Grid solutions of Distribution Optimization, Transmission Optimization, Asset Optimization, Demand Optimization, Smart Meters and Communications, and Workforce and Engineering Design Optimization. Three key visionary concepts will be discussed from the points of view of technology, industry standards and policy development. The three concepts are the greater value of the integration of key technology components and the importance of interoperability, the impact of high penetration of rooftop solar PV on the distribution system, and Intelligent Electronic Device (IED) integration and enterprise data management.

Future of Fabrication – Abstract of Visionary talkHenrik Christensen

Title: Digital Manufacturing in a Non-flat World


Over the last few decades we have seen tremendous progress on materials, processes and material handling. At the same time the world is going towards an extreme degree of customization. Already today most cars are available in millions of different configurations. We see electronics that have a product life time of months. The trend is likely to continue and at the same time integrated manufacturing will allow for a highly distributed factory where transport over extended distances will pose a major challenge. We have already started to see this with re-shoring efforts. The future of manufacturing will see tight coupling between design, fabrication, delivery and full life-cycle considerations. In this presentation we will discuss the integration of fabrication across all aspects of the life-cycle.

Future of Health Care – Abstract of Visionary talk – Gregory Kovacs

Title: Opportunities in Smart Medical Devices


Despite a market that seems flooded with flash-in-the-pan consumer health devices there is a tremendous opportunity there. How can that be? Simply put, these devices are generating mountains of crappy data. Meanwhile, true clinical devices, with their attendant FDA regulatory burden, are capable of generating accurate measurements but typically have little penetration into the consumer markets. The opportunity lies in between: consumer–oriented devices, apps and systems that provide meaningful, actionable health and medical insights. In this presentation, I will discuss the continuum health and medical devices, how getting closer to meaning brings one nearer to regulated spaces, analytics and system opportunities, and general concepts for bringing accurate devices into the consumer space.

Future of Humans – Abstract of Visionary talkBrad Allenby

Title:  “You Want the Future?  You Can’t Handle the Future!”


Humans have always adapted to the technologies they have created.  Today, with the accelerating evolution of five core technologies – biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics, information and communication technology, and applied cognitive science – we are rapidly approaching a world where the human itself is a design space, and elements of the human that previous generations have taken to be fixed are now rendered contingent.  The results are unpredictable: possible scenarios range from superwarriors, to integrated techno-human systems of all kinds, to technologically mediated telepathy, to radical life extension.  So far, however, technological advances and the social and psychological changes they promise are outrunning political, institutional, and individual adaptability, with potentially serious implications for our ability to rationally, ethically, and responsibly respond to the challenges of the future we are busy creating.

Future of Networks – Abstract of Visionary talkHenning Schulzrinne

Title: Internet 2035 – Necessary Utility or Fundamentally New Technology?


The evolution of networks is increasingly no longer just a matter of technology, but driven by economics and national regulatory policies. For residential access networks, the bandwidth spread” in the US appears like to widen, as some neighborhoods see Gigabit fiber being deployed, while others will have to make do with DSL offering less than 3 Mb/s or satellite. This is partially driven by available technology, but also by the economics of network upgrades. Non-traditional network providers, such as electric utilities, will play a larger role, but ensuring competition and investment will remain challenging, often driven by unrelated technology deployment decisions made in the analog era. For wireless networks, approaching the Shannon limit will push networks towards versions of directional transmission, such as MIMO. As most spectrum below 5 GHz will have been either assigned or already be in use for applications such as radar, predictable and scalable spectrum sharing, along with denser networks of base stations and selective use of higher frequencies, is likely to offer the most promising direction for making additional wireless bandwidth available at reasonable cost. Thus, providers of wireless and wireline networks will be increasingly intertwined. The Internet of Things is more likely to call for reduced system complexity and RF interface cost, or leverage commodity BlueTooth, Zigbee and Wi-Fi technologies, rather than significantly add to the overall bandwidth consumption. Offering security and privacy to users will require re-thinking models of device addressing and trust, while maintaining an open, general-purpose Internet with low barriers to entry for new applications and services will be both a policy and engineering challenge.

Future of Processing – Abstract of Visionary talkWilfried Haensch

Title: Technology for a Pluralistic World of Computation


In the coming decades we will witness the migration of the traditional scaling driven semiconductor industry into the commodity space. Honing manufacturing skills to produce the highest yield at the lowest cost will be the distinguishing factor between the remaining hardware manufactures. The emerging application space of personal wearable devices might drive the development of an ultra low power technology with moderate performance requirements at extremely low cost. Technology innovation for the classical high performance space will not seek brute force improvements in device related computational power but rather focus on moving data more efficiently between system components and make a smarter choice of how to use and build memory. Both aspects are most likely interdependent. Data flow can be reduced if part of the computation is moved into memory on one hand or data flow can be enhanced if memory is closely integrated into the logic on the other hand. It is conceivable that a highly integrated logic/memory system will need much less administrative oversight from the operating system and can therefore have a much better use of the computational resources which will give a net performance gain. However, even in the case of infinite memory and zero latency traditional CMOS technology will have only limited performance gains. Looking at the emerging workloads it is questionable if traditional CMOS is the best platform for the computational effort. It becomes increasingly important to find structure in big datasets to identify useful information. Typical application spaces will include financial markets, environmental and agricultural forecasting, security evaluations and more. These applications either require model mapping or even model creating from unstructured data to provide predictive projections. Neuromorphic computation is inspired by the brain and it is believed that it should perform these new tasks much more efficient than traditional CMOS. At this point it is not clear what the native devices are that could be the backbone of such a technology. Another class of applications is expected to benefit from quantum computing: cryptology, database search, and quantum simulations for material and drug design. Quantum computation takes advantage of the vast configuration space produced by entangled qubits compared to the deterministic states in classical computation. Both neuromorphic and quantum computation will supplement the steadily improving CMOS technology. We will see distinctive heterogeneous systems with components that will do some of the tasks much better than CMOS ever can and some other tasks for that the available CMOS is just right. Providing the suitable technologies and system architectures, there has to be a congruent innovation in programming models to take full advantage of the resources for best computational efficiency.


Who Should Attend

The areas chosen for TTM cover a wide synergistic range of business, social, political, and educational areas. This event is geared towards industry leaders, government officials, scientific innovators, economists, and social policy makers. A body of attendees comprising these leaders along with IEEE technical experts, students performing research in these areas, and cutting edge journalists are the ingredients for a memorable TTM. We look forward to seeing you at TTM 2014.


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