I did some analysis on the cost of airline operators, and the largest percentage of the cost in air travel is fuel. You can greatly reduce fuel consumption per mile by flying larger, lighter aircraft at slower speeds. Think of these future airships like cruise ships. They will have more comforts than a the typical packed cross continental flight of today. My guess is, given the choice, passengers will trade off speed for a little price break and more leg room.
3) I am still calling for somebody to make a smart contextual search engine with a brain that weeds through the muck of bad useless commercial content to give you a decent result. It seems every year, intentional or not, Google is muddling their search results into the commercial. It is like the travel magazine that claims the editorial and advertising units are not related, some how the flow of money overrides good intentions. Google is very vulnerable to a mass exodus should somebody pull off a better search engine. Perhaps this search engine would allow the user to filter results from less commercial to more commercial sites?
4) Drones ? Sc#$$ drones, Amazon is not ever going to deliver any consumer package with a drone service. This PR stunt was sucked up by the Media. Yes there will be many uses for unmanned aircraft but not residential delivery
5) Somebody is going to genetically engineer an ant colony to do something useful. Something simple, like fill in pot holes in streets with little pebbles. The Ants in Colorado already pile up mounds of pebbles around their colonies, just got to get them put them in the right place
6) Protein Shakes made out of finely powdered exoskeletons of insects. Not possible? Think of all the by product that goes into something like a hot dog and nobody flinches. If you could harvest a small percent of the trillions of grasshoppers in the world dry them and grind them up you would have an organic protein source without any environmental impact or those dreaded GMOs.
7) Look for more drugs that stop cancer at the cell level by turning off genetic markers.
This is my brothers research ongoing at University of Florida.
8) A diet pill that promotes weight loss without any serious side effects