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“Future tech will increase older people's independence and help relieve the health services” - top engineer predicts how engineering will impact our lives in 2050

11 November 2015


3D-printed houses filled with intelligent gadgets that automatically guide and direct older people around their houses are just part of our exciting future according to the new President of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

Naomi Climer, the first female President in the IET’s 144-year history, will make the predictions when she gives her inaugural President’s Address today (11 November).

She will fast forward to the year 2050, when, as a woman in her 80s, she will live independently in a 3D-printed smart home which can give her much of the support that used to burden the health services in the early part of the 21st century.

Her other top predictions for what she will be doing in 2050 include:

  • Being woken up in her intelligent house by the curtains that automatically open when they detect that she’s in her lightest sleep phase
  • Taking 3D-printed medicine personally created for her containing all of the drugs needed for the day
  • Wearing ‘chainmail-like fabric’ that allows her complete mobility without a wheelchair
  • Using holographic technology to beam family members into her home
  • Travelling in a fully autonomous vehicle available on demand
  • Having sensors around her home and local environment which accurately track her position and guide her, allowing her to live independently
  • Reading about the early settlers on Mars
  • Enjoying a world where information, education and remote healthcare are available to everyone on the planet

Naomi Climer, IET President, said: “Engineering and technology has improved our quality of life beyond recognition. The future is set to be just as exciting and transformational.

“At my President’s Address I will be taking a look into the future to the year 2050 and making some predictions on how technology will continue to develop and improve our lives.

“The future is likely to involve the next generation of 3D-printing with 3D-printed houses, medicines and even body parts, which will be personally created to suit individual needs.

“Artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things will be a natural part of many things – our devices and appliances will all be connected and behaving in ways that understand who we are and what we’re likely to want to do. This is not just your smartphone or computer, but things like your fridge, house and car. Having all this tech making life more efficient – maybe we can finally start living more and working less!

“By 2050, the world of engineering and technology will be even more critical to daily life than ever, so there really is no better time for young people to start a career in these areas.”

Visitors to the President’s Address will also be able to watch the premiere of a brand-new online engineering programme produced by ITN Productions in partnership with the IET. Introduced by Natasha Kaplinsky, the programme features the many different faces of engineering in the 21st century – demonstrating how important engineering and technology are to society and to economic growth. For more information, visit www.theiet.org/itn.

Media enquiries to:

Hannah Kellett
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7738 602426
Email: HKellett@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

  • For more information on the President’s Address, visit http://conferences.theiet.org/presidents-address/
  • Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.
  • The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with over 163,000 members in 127 countries. It is also the most interdisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.
  • The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers.
  • We want to build the profile of engineering and change outdated perceptions about engineering in order to tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.
  • For more information, visit www.theiet.org
  • Follow the IET on Twitter.