I also think context is critical when considering innovation. Let's compare road to mountain bikes.
Road bikes have certainly evolved as discussed earlier. Lighter weights, improved shifting systems, stiffer frames. That's certainly true. However, when folks decided to take their bikes off road, innovations absolutely exploded.
If you look at mountain biking now, you see completely new contexts that grew simultaneously with the technology. As suspension, braking systems, and geometry evolved, mountain bikes moved off trails, to downhill runs, and now to massive jump parks and elevated mega-drops in the freeride realm. The techology and the riding evolved hand in hand in much the same way that bees and flowering plants evolved together in the Cretaceous.
I believe this is also happening in backpacking. As gear improves and gets lighter, folks are doing different things on the trail- the context is changing. As 10 mile days became 30 or even 50 mile days, the scope of what's possible has become very different. From my experience, my SUL kit only matters because I now put together weekend trips that before would only be idiotic pipe dreams. And with the lighter gear and more dynamic, expansive trips, I look further into what's next. Of course, the what is different for each of us, but as the technology comes into place (and of course this is driven by the desire to take actual backpacking to a new level), our sport will take its course, whatever that is.
As the technology and innovations come into play, so will the winter, canyoneering, UL mountaineering, family SUL trips, and alpine-style through-hikes.