David Landgrebe

LARS Tech Report Number



If one is bothered by the possibility of being wrong perhaps one of the most risky things to do is to attempt to predict future directions of technology. However, in these days of extremely limited resources, good planning for development is essential to get the greatest bang for the buck spent on technology development. Such a plan must be based upon some anticipation of the direction that development will go. Thus, one must attempt to project both the potential for and direction of the future development of a technology. It is important to know at any given time what one's plan for development is, even if that plan must be revised frequently. This then, is our motivation for attempting to visualize and anticipate the results that will be presented at this and future such symposium.

But how do we begin? What can a projection be reasonably based upon? We will use two points of reference. First, we must rely on the fundamentals of the technology because of their invariance. It is unusual and certainly unexpected that events would occur which alter the fundamentals of a technology.

Second, a historical perspective of the development of the technology to this point may suggest indications as to the direction future developments will carry us. Thus, we will begin by examining these two very briefly, beginning with the fundamentals.

Date of this Version

January 1976