The entire world is being transformed right before our eyes. Emerging technologies are developing at break-neck speeds, and the global community needs to be prepared for what lies in the horizon. As with anything new or evolving there is benefit versus risk to consider. Most of the up-and-coming technologies that will soon affect the lives of millions have been developing over many years and are now reaching their apex to create a significant impact.
Internet of Things devices are already impacting our daily lives. Low-cost microsensors, microprocessors, wireless antennas and miniscule power sources has brought things we interact with in our everyday into the digital cosmos. Experts predict that energy harvesting device market will reach $26 billion by 2024 as seen in this infographic discovered via Jabil. Nanotechnology is taking us into the Internet of Nano Things (IoNT), and will advance medicine and numerous sectors like nothing we imagined.
Keeping pace with supply and demand is one of the biggest barriers for renewable energy. The newest developments show that using sodium, zinc, and aluminum constructed batteries make the mini-grid a solid possibility. It could potentially provide 24-7, reliable and clean energy to entire small rural towns.
New materials such as Graphene are emerging and are going to change the world forever. Think about the Bronze Age…the Iron Age—these newest materials each contain a single layer of atoms and are two-dimensional. The potential positive impacts of evolving materials are limitless and bound only to the reach of scientists and how far they choose to push.
Self-driving cars are already in the here-and-now, but just how soon will autonomous cars be ubiquitous? Sooner than you think. And the positive implications seem to be outweighing the negative. Helping to improve the lives of handicapped and elderly will change the quality of life for millions. This is but one example of the potential impact fully autonomous cars will have on society as a whole.
The technology behind Bitcoin digital currency is called Blockchain. It is a sophisticated mathematical process based on cryptography and considered to be fool-proof. It is effectively changing the face of how people conduct transactions and trade international currencies. The blockchain has implications far reaching money exchanges. Like the internet, it is finding ways around barriers of traditional dealings and is all but eliminating transaction fees.
By growing tiny versions of human organs on microchips, scientists can study exactly how the organs operate. This is going to catapult medical research into the science fiction age—allowing researchers to witness the workings of human anatomy as never before seen.
This material will improve the efficiency of generating solar power. It has the advantage of affordability and capability to be used most anywhere. Scientists are calling perovskites the “wonder materials” of the future. Manufacturing it is fairly cheap and the liquid batches can be formed into almost any shape without the need for furnaces. The biggest asset is that it is light weight, opposed to its heavy-weight counterpart.
From your own personal robot assistant that can anticipate your every need and perform tasks at your whim, to entire AI environments—this could be affordable to everyone with the emerging availability of Open AI ecosystems. This will interconnect everything around you and collaborate with your personal data to be accessed by your spoken work…artificial intelligence to make your everyday more productive.
Neuroscientists will use recent developments of visible light to treat brain disorders like Parkinson’s. This emerging technology brings new hope where there once was none. Individual neurons can be controlled by turning the on or off as necessary to treat specific disorders. Revolutionary and amazing in its possibilities and prolonging meaningful quality of life.
By CJ Callen