What Technological Advances Can You Expect to See in 2025?

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Twenty-five years from now, Americans will consider the changes that information technology brought to government in the 1990s as quaint. The technology that will be in use in 2025 will be similar to systems portrayed in science-fiction dramas. But much of it is already under development in research centers and IT shops throughout government: computers that think like humans, sensors woven into clothes that assess a soldier’s wounds and virtual networks that meld federal, state and local agency services into what is a seemingly single entity. Advances in technology, particularly nanotechnology and telecommunications, will shrink the size of government, make it more mobile and reduce the distance between government and the public. Government will be anywhere, anytime. The changes hold such promise that Americans’ view of government could begin to improve as services become more efficient and the public interacts with previously faceless bureaucrats. Meanwhile, advances in technology could change our basic notions of the republic, making it much more direct and involved. Not too far into the 21st century, agencies will begin using embedded chips, electronic sensors and miniaturized hardware to improve the way government works and to make it easier for average Americans to talk to federal workers and find out specific information. In many ways, the computer network will be the face of government. For instance, the Army has begun to develop a uniform that is a networked computer that not only will provide protection from biological and chemical weapons but also will provide a constant stream of information through conductive fibers woven into the uniform’s material. The uniform of the Army’s Soldier 2025 also serves as an antenna for high-data-rate radios and feeds data to a Darth Vader-like helmet, which projects onto the inside of the helmet such images as the position of enemies and provides 360-degree vision. The Marine Corps envisions a future that...
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