(Note: originally posted on: http://bit.ly/aeTIYZ)
I personally believe there's a subtle difference between "existence" and "usefulness". The latter is generally measured by the level of interest within a group of individuals towards new technologies.
The fact is that, virtually, we have now all the capabilities to come up with any innovation we want from RK's list for 2009. Just give us enough time, budget and an experienced team of engineers. So, in terms of "usefulness", I would not take any of RK's predictions for granted but rather point out that the the vast majority of his predictions either have been already implemented (even as incipient prototypes) or are potentially plausible within a few years, albeit those may slightly vary on the fundamental principles governing them.
But then, it will most probably require some marketing efforts to convince people to actually consume such innovations. We still have to demonstrate what the benefits are for those who eventually would be willing to trying such new inventions and radical changes.
Unfortunately, there is still much room for us to improve socially and politically before we can set up the scenario wherein the different range of plural societies will be able to fully benefit from such technologies. Globalization and economical development would indeed help for that matter. However, this might not be so simple as it seems. We must first solve the conflict of interest which remain among many cultures.
That said, I attribute the small mistakes done by RK in terms of dates (for + or -) to the lack of (or surplus of) interest from all societies on the technologies that we are, without doubt, ultimately and fully capable of manufacturing.
Please, let me know whether this makes any sense for you.
Carlos R. B. Azevedo