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According to various news and scientific reports, we may have at least a few notable items to look forward to within the next six years or so. Such as:
LED lighting looks to steal the thunder away from CFLs (compact fluorescents), even before CFLs have completed their own theft from incandescents.
LEDs do not contain the hazardous mercury of CFLs, plus may literally last the lifetime of the buyer, in some cases. They're also much tougher to break or damage. And they consume less energy than CFLs.
LEDs may be up to 68% cheaper to operate than CFLs, while CFLs are 20%-80% cheaper than incandescents.
-- Energy Efficient Lighting; accessible 5-26-07
-- Affordable Mass Market LED Lights on the Way; accessible 5-26-07
-- Dimwits: Why 'green' lightbulbs aren't the answer to global warming | the Daily Mail by CHRISTOPHER BOOKER; 13th March 2007; dailymail.co.uk
And the cost savings from LEDs above do NOT include the indirect savings stemming from their lower heat emissions to their surroundings, compared to the older technologies. I.e., LED lights won't exude so much heat into the rooms they occupy as their forebears.
Combine LEDs with battery and power generation advances by 2013 as well, and you also get incredible performance and reliability improvements in tools like flashlights.
"His invention gives up to seven hours of light on a daily solar recharge and can last nearly three years between replacements of three AA batteries costing 80 cents."
"The light...has a narrow solar panel on one side that charges the batteries, which can last between 750 and 1,000 nights, and uses the more efficient light-emitting diodes, or L.E.D.s, to cast its light."
"The flashlights usually sell for about $19.95 in American stores, but he has established a BoGo — for Buy One, Give One — program on his Web site, BoGoLight.com, where if you buy one flashlight for $25, he will buy and ship another one to Africa, and donate $1 to one of the aid groups he works with."
-- Solar Flashlight Lets Africa’s Sun Deliver the Luxury of Light to the Poorest Villages - New York Times By WILL CONNORS and RALPH BLUMENTHAL; May 20, 2007
LCD displays have already made good cost/performance progress in recent years. And that trend will continue. But some surprising acceleration in display progress may come from a myriad of directions, all at once. So that by 2013, wall-sized HD images may be available for what 21 inch LCDs cost today.
Home theaters look to become as common as bedrooms, while old-fashioned glass windows may be replaced with new-fangled panes which double as displays-- sometimes showing different imagery for both outdoors and in. Curtains, blinds, and neighborhood theaters of course may all suffer downward trends in sales.
-- A Dutchman Could Jolt the Flat-Panel Biz by Jennifer L. Schenker; May 21, 2007; businessweek.com, represents just a sample of the relevant developments taking place in display technologies today-- and perhaps not even the most important.
There's an automotive revolution going on, which seems likely to encompass the entire world. And that revolution will be cheap new cars. So cheap that major cities lacking other mass transit systems will likely maintain their own fleets for inhabitants to use as needed from A to B, so city-dwellers will have no need for personal ownership or garaging. Visitors to the city will likewise leave their autos behind in parking lots outside city limits.
And when NEW autos are available for $4000, imagine the implications for the USED car market(!)
-- The Race To Build Really Cheap Cars The newest thing on four wheels is sturdy, inexpensive, and probably not made in the U.S. By Gail Edmondson, Ian Rowley, Nandini Lakshman, David Welch, and Dexter Roberts; APRIL 23, 2007; businessweek.com
"The engineers for the Whisper are confident you can drive it off a 25-foot cliff without serious injury to its passengers. They claim this is the safest car ever designed for drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
Initially designed for the Southeast and Western Asian markets, the car will float in an emergency such as a flood or tsunami and can be assembled by any two people of reasonable competence."
-- Inflatable, Affordable Electric Car Announced
"Prices start under $3000.00."
-- The worlds most innovative, affordable, long range alternative vehicles.
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