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Remember the Jetsons? That Can be Us in 2025

Christina Medici Scolaro
Big Data Download
Remember the Jetsons? That Can be Us in 2025

The world as we know it continues to evolve every day, and many technologies are on the verge of shoving drastic changes in our faces. McKinsey Global Institute identified 12 “disruptive” technologies that have the potential to alter the way people live and work, rearrange value pools and impact the global economy between now and 2025.

The institute looked for disruptive characteristics, such as those that are rapidly advancing or experiencing breakthroughs and have a substantial potential to shift the status quo. The economic impact of the evolving technologies stands between $14 trillion and $33 trillion per year in 2025.

More than 1 billion people already use the technology with the greatest potential economic impact, it’s the mobile Internet. Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices continue to inspire personal and business apps that make life more convenient and businesses more productive. The institute estimates the mobile Internet could generate an annual economic impact of $3.7 trillion to $10.8 trillion globally by 2025.

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Robots could make it possible to substitute machines for human labor in the armed forces, hospitals, factories and even households. Repetitive stress injuries caused by piecemeal work at factories can be eliminated while work can be done more efficiently; surgeries can be performed with less invasiveness (laparoscopic surgery is already being performed in some cases) and domestic service robots will become more common, such as the robotic vacuum.

The institute estimates that the application of advanced robotics across health care, manufacturing and services could amount to an economic impact of $1.7 trillion to $4.5 trillion per year by 2025, including more than $800 billion to $2.6 trillion in value from health care uses.

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Airplanes, tankers and cargo ships are highly automated, and now a revolution in automobiles may be on its way. The institute says self-driving cars will reduce deaths from auto accidents, reduce CO2 emissions and create faster travel, as caravans of tightly packed, self-driving cars can speed down highways with little space between them. The potential annual impact is $200 billion to $1.9 trillion by 2025. There is a roadblock though to making self-driving cars mainstream and it’s not the technology. What’s more likely to slow adoption is establishing the regulatory frameworks and winning public support.

The top 12 disruptors in order of potential economic impact:

Mobile Internet

Automation of knowledge


Internet (technology using artificial intelligence)

Advanced robotics

Next-generation genomics

Autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles

Energy storage

3D printing

Advanced materials

Advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery

Renewable energy

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