The pads of waterspiders are reverse engineered to create craft that can more easily negate surface friction to travel across water seamlessly. The technology is adapted to submersible craft, and then later considered for adaptation in atmospheric navigation.
"Drones" that are spherical in nature and powered by small jet engines are automatons and delivery devices. Imagine the drones you see today but with a protective barrier of inflatable membrane. It's like an Amazon drone fucked a Google autonomous car. Imagine fans in a beach ball.
The "Internet of Things" will generate a ceaseless stream of data that overwhelms our current network infrastructure. 1 GBPS fiber to the curb will soon be incapable of transmitting grocery and maintenance requests. We will experience Internet brownouts.
America will maintain dominance globally through market manipulation and slowly releasing developments yielded through reverse engineering alien technology recovered after the Roswell incident. A method for harnessing supersonic aircraft pilots to neutralize gforce impacts is discovered.
Russia is butthurt and there is a nuclear incident that threatens all life on this planet for generations to come. China remains a paper tiger pseudo communist state propped up as an American boogeyman. The middle east oddly enough does the same shit it has been doing since the beginning of recorded history.
Radical Christian fundamentalists revive the Knights Templar and terror returns to its dark age roots...
Rich people threaten to never die regardless of how much we want them to, and Mars is colonized.
The Russian thing becomes a colony collapse event and the atmosphere dissolves. No one sees it coming. We all die, the end.