Sensors: The Next Wave in Information Technology

Paul Saffo, Institute for the Future

Seminar on People, Computers, and Design
Stanford University October 30, 1998


Every decade or so a new information technology arrives that fundamentally transforms the IT landscape, overturning our assumptions and creating important new opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs. The 1980s were shaped by the advent of cheap microprocessors, and the ‘90s by cheap lasers. Now it is clear that a new wave of sensor technology will shape the decade to come, with very surprising consequences. This talk will cover what is likely to lie ahead. For more detail see the paper, "Sensors: The next wave of Infotech Innovation."

Paul Saffo is a technology forecaster studying long-term information technology trends and their impact on business, society and culture. His essays appear in a wide range of publications, from highly specialized periodicals to well-known publications, including The Harvard Business Review, Wired Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and Fortune Magazine. A book of Paul¼s essays, Dreams in Silicon Valley, is available in Japan. Paul holds degrees from Harvard College, Cambridge University, and Stanford University. He served as a 1997 McKinsey Judge for the Harvard Business Review. Recently Paul was named one of one hundred "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Econcomic Forum.

IFTF is a 30-year old non-profit foundation that provides strategic planning and forecasting services to major corporations and government agencies.


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