In December 2006, Microsoft founder Bill Gates wrote an article that was published in Scientific American about a new technology that would change the world...
If you think he's talking about smartphones or nanotechnology or fracking, think again.
This is something science fiction writers have been writing about for decades.
Gates says this technology will be so life-altering, one will be found in every home soon — and it could put Microsoft out of business. He even went so far as to start an entire division dedicated to this technology at Microsoft.
Keep in mind, this is the same individual often found at the top of the World's Richest People list...
He didn't get there without good reason.
Now, I'm going to repost the first paragraph of Gates' article below.
Read it with an open mind, and try to guess what he's talking about (resist the urge to Google it!)...
Imagine being present at the birth of a new industry. It is an industry based on groundbreaking new technologies, wherein a handful of well-established corporations sell highly specialized devices for business use and a fast-growing number of start-up companies produce innovative toys, gadgets for hobbyists and other interesting niche products.
But it is also a highly fragmented industry with few common standards or platforms. Projects are complex, progress is slow, and practical applications are relatively rare.
In fact, for all the excitement and promise, no one can say with any certainty when — or even if — this industry will achieve critical mass.
If it does, though, it may well change the world.
This paragraph could’ve been written when the radio was invented.
It's entirely applicable for the advent of the telephone or television...
Or the early 1980s, when Apple and Microsoft were getting off the ground...
Or the mid-1990s, when the “World Wide Web” was used solely to download Playboy pictures.
And it would be accurate.
All of those technologies did change the world, each building upon the innovation and success of the previous.
But this next groundbreaking technology could be the game-changer futurists (and Bill Gates) have been anticipating for years...
I’m talking about robots.
Now, I’m sure you’re familiar with iRobot’s Roomba, the small disc-like robotic vacuum cleaner. It’s been around for years. But quite frankly, it’s more of a novelty.
And maybe you've heard about Intuitive Surgical’s da Vinci surgical robots, which have been operating in hospitals since 2000.
But the robot trend Bill Gates talked about in 2006 is so much more. And it's already under way...
Corporate America is spending a lot of capital on R&D on robotic technology.
And this isn't pie-in-the-sky technology that’ll take years to pan out — it’s happening right now.
I'll give you an example: Last year Amazon spent nearly $775 million to acquire Kiva Systems. Kiva Systems makes robots that move things around in warehouses.
It's also why Gates started the Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio a few years ago.
But this is just a drop in the bucket...
In the weeks and months ahead, Wealth Daily will be presenting a series of reports about the massive impact robots will have on everyday life.
This will literally touch every aspect of our daily lives. And it will usher in an explosion of wealth.
In March of 2001, scientist Ray Kurzweil gave us a glimpse of what to expect:
An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense “intuitive linear” view. So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate). The “returns,” such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. There’s even exponential growth in the rate of exponential growth.
Within a few decades, machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, leading to The Singularity — technological change so rapid and profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history.
The implications include the merger of biological and nonbiological intelligence, immortal software-based humans, and ultra-high levels of intelligence that expand outward in the universe at the speed of light.
Kurzweil's prediction is that this technology acceleration will create $40 trillion in new wealth.
And that was in 2001 dollars.
Stay tuned for more...
Brian is a founding member and President of Angel Publishing and investment director for the income and dividend newsletter The Wealth Advisory. He writes about general investment strategies for Wealth Daily and Energy & Capital. Known as the "original bull on America," Brian is also the author of the 2008 book, Profit from the Peak: The End of Oil and the Greatest Investment Event of the Century. In addition to writing about the economy, investments and politics, Brian is also a frequent guest on CNBC, Bloomberg, Fox and countless radio shows. For more on Brian, take a look at his editor's page.