The 15 Emerging Technologies You Must Know
Technology is progressing faster than ever, with groundbreaking new concepts being analyzed every day, from Self-Healing Concrete, Floating Farms to Blockchains and Edge Computing. In this article, we have listed the top arising 15 emerging technologies.
1. Self Healing Concrete
Concrete is one of the most important construction materials used worldwide and is second to water in terms of the most consumed material. Amazingly, twice as much concrete is used in construction as everything else combined; this is equivalent to more than three tons per person each year!
The problem is that even though it’s a tough and durable material, it’s susceptible to wear. It can easily tear and develop cracks and holes that affect its stability in the long term. This means that it needs to be maintained or replaced to avoid disaster, which can be costly.
Researchers have developed a new technology solution for self-healing concrete. An amazing thing happens by adding bacterial spores to the concrete mix and a food source like yeast extract.
When the concrete cracks, the bacteria are exposed to oxygen and water; it begins to consume the food and multiply. Then it produces calcium carbonate or limestone as a byproduct. This, in return, seals the crack again and, if done right, means that you won’t even be able to see where the crack had formed in the first place!
For small openings, the process can be completed in around 14 days, and it’ll prevent them from widening and becoming a greater problem. Soon, it’s expected that virtually all concrete will incorporate technology like this, and the days of potentially dangerous faults will be over!
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2. Floating Farms
As the world’s population continues to grow, one of the biggest problems we face is how to produce enough food to satisfy everyone’s needs and have zero hunger.
This has been set as one of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Yet, amazingly, 30% of the global land surface is dedicated to agriculture. A third of that is used for crops. The remaining two-thirds are used for grazing livestock. This restricts the potential areas for inhabitation and encourages large-scale deforestation and habitat change to create more farmland.
Some companies are looking for alternatives emerging technologies to this. While you may have heard of vertical farms that look to improve the yield for the same size plot of land, others are looking at a far more radical solution, a Floating Farm!
Floating Farms technology can involve building huge complexes that sit on the ocean’s surface. It can be moved to where they’re needed and crucially are temporary. They make use of areas that wouldn’t be used for anything else and turn it into a profitable commodity.
Incredibly, one of these has already been in operation for several years in the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, where a company called belladonna has built a floating platform designed to farm 40 muse rhine isle cows that are all milked by robots.
Producing the product as close to the end consumers as possible reduces transport costs. They plan to install floating farms in regions that have suffered from disasters to get food production up and running far quicker than would otherwise be the possible number.
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3. Hydrogen Fuel Cells
The automotive industry is going through its biggest change in living memory, with virtually every manufacturer trying to develop their own technologies to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels. While electric and battery concepts seem to be the way forward, they certainly aren’t a magic bullet.
There are concerns surrounding the provision of green electricity to all that need it and the fact that our electrical grids simply aren’t designed to handle the loads that will be required. Even if this was sorted, batteries are relatively very heavy for the amount of charge that they can hold. While they may be suitable for cars, they’re not yet at a place where they’re viable for larger trucks, ships, or planes. Another solution is needed, and the most likely candidate is hydrogen fuel.
Hydrogen itself can be produced by various methods such as natural gas, nuclear power, biomass, and even other renewable energies. When hydrogen fuel is used, the only byproduct is water. A concept train has already been fitted with hydrogen cells in the UK, and it’s undergoing tests. Although aircraft manufacturers and car c such as airbus see this as a far more viable target in the near future than full electrification. The technology is approaching the stage where it’s possible across a range of applications, and it’s only a matter of time until it’s commonplace.
4. GPS3 Technology
First beginning in 1973 and completed in 1993, the American GPS satellite network was the first global navigation system. It revolutionized the way that everyone determines their location on earth. At first, the benefits were envisaged for militaries. Still, technology has impacted all of our lives, from how certain electronics work to location-based tracking.
The problem with GPS technology is that the original 24 satellites and further ones that were subsequently added don’t provide a perfect resolution and are only accurate within a few feet. They also don’t provide full coverage worldwide, as anyone who has tried to use location tracking in mountainous areas or dense urban environments will know. In addition, the signals are actually relatively simple to block, which is a constant threat for military use.
There is a massive demand for improving the system, and the technology has already been developed, known as GPS3, developed by Lockheed Martin. The satellites are already being launched and expected to upgrade the network fully within a few years. When the project is complete, the signals will be far more precise than now and eight times stronger so they can’t be blocked, resulting in improved safety signal integrity and far greater accuracy.
5. Spin Launch Technology
In recent years, there’s been a lot of focus on private Space Companies and their quest to develop vehicles that can take paying customers into space. Still, the reality is that these advancements in technology won’t make a difference to people other than billionaires for quite some time and the space pollution caused by the flight creators.
There are, however, lesser-known companies that are making huge strides at making space technologies far cheaper, greener, and easier to access. However, their focus is on satellites and not human travel, known as spin launch.
The concept is relatively simple; although it is extremely complicated to put into practice, the concept is relatively simple. Large companies such as airbus and google are building a kinetic energy launch system to insert satellites into orbit.
Instead of relying on chemical rockets to do the task, they have designed a vacuum-sealed centrifuge that will spin objects before releasing them into space at speeds of up to 5000 miles per hour.
Once they reach a sub-orbital height, a traditional rocket booster can take over. This concept significantly decreases the amount of fuel that requires to be burned.
All of the energy used to power the centrifuge is derived from green sources such as solar and wind. These companies have even proved that most traditional satellite components can withstand the 10 000 g’s that they’ll be subjected to.
Even projects that cost less than half a million dollars to send one into space instead of the tens of millions it currently does. With the test version already built and conducting launches, they hope the full-size device will be ready within a few years. This could permanently revolutionize satellite launches.
6. Lithium Metal Battery
There’s a focus right now on moving away from energy that produces emissions. One of the best ways to do this is converting everything we use to run on electricity as long as the electricity comes from green sources. Major strides have been made in the past couple of decades, but one of the biggest limiting factors is the capability of batteries.
Currently, the most reliable and cost-effective design that’s used is a Lithium-Ion battery, but these have limits on how much they can charge and how quickly this can be done as well as some concerns about their safety if they’re damaged. However, a company called Quantum Scape is developing an alternative that, instead of having liquid parts like a Lithium-Ion battery, is solidly known as a Lithium-Metal battery.
The company’s early tests have suggested these technologies could eventually increase the range of an electric vehicle by as much as 80% and can be recharged in just a fraction of the time. The prototypes are too large to be fitted to cars, but they’re expected to become much smaller in the coming years. Quantum Scale has already signed an agreement with VW to start selling electric vehicles with the new batteries from 2025.
7. 3D Printing Technology
3D printing technology has had a varied history since it first started being used in the 1980s and even until recently. It has only been useful for very specific tasks. Essentially feeding liquefied material into a chamber and applying layer upon layer to create a 3D object. It’s a technique mostly known for creating small plastic objects or replacement components for certain devices.
As our understanding of materials has improved, though, 3D printers are increasingly being able to make objects out of different substances and are becoming seen as potentially the future of manufacturing. The possibilities are endless, from clothing and food to medical devices and the ability to rapidly prototype new designs.
But perhaps the most exciting area is how it’ll change large projects! There are already several buildings around the world that have been built from 3D printed parts, and this is going to become even more common. Instead of needing to ship all of the different types of bricks and other parts needed to build a house, all that’s needed is a supply of the basic material and a printer, and everything can be manufactured on-site. It’ll reduce transport needs wastage and increase efficiency and could mean new homes can be built at a fraction of the time they currently take.
8. Graphene Technology
The industry continually looks for new materials to offer stronger and more reliable performance. The next game-changing development is expected to be graphene. It’s a substance that’s long been theorized to exist. StIt’s been complicated that it’s taken until now to become feasible.
Graphite is a three-dimensional structure, but graphene’s exciting thing is that it’s two-dimensional. The carbon is arranged in a hexagonal honeycomb formation that’s only 0.3 nanometers thick. In practice, this new arrangement offers huge benefits.
Graphene technology can conduct electricity far more efficiently than copper. It’s stronger than steel but six times lighter! In addition, it’s also stronger than steel, and it’s impermeable to gases. It can also have chemical components added to the surface.
Researchers see graphene more as a platform that developers will be able to arrange in a way that plays to their needs. For Example, it could revolutionize touch screen technologies to make lighter composite materials and has several uses and electronics. The possibilities are truly endless, and it’s expected to be possible to produce it in commercial quantities within the next decade.
9. GPT-3 : AI Technology
Tech companies around the world are in a race to develop the first full artificial intelligence, but there are steps along the way that arguably are going to be far more impactful on the technology around us and how we live our lives. One of these concepts is the idea of deep learning, whereby computer algorithms can analyze past behavior and automatically find solutions to improve performance.
One of the most interesting forms of this is called GPT-3, developed by OpenAI. It’s the third generation of a language prediction model. Based on self-learning, the idea is that it can write text in the same way as a human does, which is one of the most difficult types of human imitation. Based on initial studies, it’s virtually impossible to differentiate between something written by GPT-3 or an actual person!
Companies like Microsoft have already begun to incorporate it into their products, described recently as being one of the most interesting and important AI systems ever produced GPT-3 will further blur the lines of reality. In the near future, you may well find yourself reading news articles or even novels that haven’t had any human involvement whatsoever!
With our changing climate, wildfires are becoming more common across the planet, and they’re becoming even more challenging to control. For example, in California alone, five times the area is burning each year now compared to what happened in the 1970s; this is only expected to increase. Traditionally the way to extinguish or at least limit the spread of fire would be to use vast quantities of water or foam, but with water shortages happening too and the reluctance to drop chemicals onto the land, an alternative can’t come soon enough.
Luckily a solution was first revealed in 2015 and has continued in development to the point where it’ll soon be deployed on a large scale. First designed to put out small fires in kitchens, the acoustic extinguisher uses sound waves to push oxygen away from the source of a fire and spread it over a wider area. This cuts off the fuel of the fire and, if maintained for long enough, will cause it to fizzle out. There have been attempts to do this before, but now that the optimal frequencies and techniques have been figured out, it’s very likely that this will become one of the main fire control methods in the coming decades!
As the cost of launching satellites into orbit reduces and with the improvement in component design and the potential uses of space technology, several big tech companies are now exploring the feasibility of creating their own satellite constellations.
The idea of a network of satellites performing a role isn’t exactly new. After all, there are already six different navigational satellite constellations like GPS and many one-way and two-way communication satellite constellations. But these have traditionally only used a few dozen nodes to operate. Recently, SpaceX has been creating a constellation of its own called Starlink, which will provide internet access across most of the planet when it’s completed.
Amazingly this involves positioning as many as twelve thousand in orbit to give optimal coverage, and while the company may be paving the way, it’s not the only organization looking at doing this. Boeing OneWeb and Amazon are also looking to develop their own constellations to provide internet access, and this is just scratching the surface of what they can be used for. If you look up when it’s dark, you might be able to see some of these satellites already, and if progress continues at the current rate, the night sky may soon be full of them.
Throughout history, inventions have helped us save time on basic tasks so we can dedicate ourselves to more complicated ones, and this progression is continuing into the 21st century. While the concept of connected homes isn’t in itself a new one, the increasing presence of the internet of things and technological advancements means that it’s going to become far more commonplace reliable, and functional in the coming years.
In 2013 the market in the u.s alone was worth almost 6 billion dollars. It’s estimated that 37% of households in the US have a smart device in their home. Right now, these are usually in the form of doorbells, heating light bulbs, speakers, and voice-activated assistance. But, there are so many different ways technology can be incorporated that things will look very different in a few years.
From connected fridges to power sockets, bathroom appliances, and even furniture. Virtually everything that’s electrically operated could potentially have a chip installed, making it operate from a smart device or simply by your voice. furthermore, with so much of it is automated, our homes will take care of themselves and allow us to focus more on our interests and our families
The way we use computers has changed significantly in the past few decades, and so has the way technology is designed to give us the best service. At first, everything was done on a singular device in our homes. We mainly use cloud computing, whereby most activities, from our emails to documents and virtually everything else, are held online. Our devices are essentially windows that grant us access to this.
The problem with cloud computing is that most companies rely on the infrastructure of just a few cloud providers: Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and IBM. With Amazon alone accounting for 47 of the market. So, these giant companies have done everything that can be moved onto the cloud, and there’s very little room to grow in this field. Therefore, others have been looking at the so-called Edge of the Cloud.
The Edge of the Cloud means bringing the cloud’s processing and storage geographically closer to the users physically to improve the experience rather than just relying on a few data centers. So more work is done locally, and the idea is to significantly reduce latency and improve privacy and security. The Edge technology will help reduce the bandwidth so the infrastructure doesn’t buckle under the pressure of increased usage.
In many ways, it may seem as if it’s going back on the idea of cloud computing, but it’s really harnessing it to fuller effect. For example, suppose fingerprint or facial authorization is dealt with directly by your smartphone rather than waiting for a server to reply. In that case, you’ll be able to access your online content much easier. Similarly, self-driving cars are currently the best example of edge computing. Rather than waiting for a server’s response, they can function independently. But, at the same time, it needs to be centrally controlled so it’s automatically updated and the algorithms can be improved.
There are two main reactions when people hear of blockchain; either they start telling you about the best new cryptocurrencies to invest in, or they switch off from boredom. Though while blockchain technology does underpin the operation of these new decentralized currencies, this is just the beginning of how useful and integrated into our lives it will become. Simply a blockchain is a list of information linked together by a cryptographic technique. Once a block has been added, it can’t be changed and acts as a permanent record.
This was used to prove who owns a particular coin of currency or pieces of digital art, NFTs, but some companies are exploring how much wider the uses are. There are already examples of how blockchain is being used to enable energy trading and various other transactions, but perhaps the most important use is that it can track the history of individual products. The food industry can benefit hugely from this by proving exactly where and when ingredients were harvested or cooked. Brands will also be able to use blockchain technology to prove whether an item is an original or a forgery.
We all rely on classical computers for everyday tasks, but there’s a point at which, no matter how many powerful chips you connect together, they become impractical to perform highly complicated roles. Computer scientists from around the world have since the 1980s been pursuing the subsequent extensive development of the creation of a quantum computer, and they’re now closer than ever.
Essentially a quantum computer is different from a classical one in the way that it stores and handles information. In a classical computer, you’ll be familiar with bits that can either be a one or zero, but in a quantum computer, they use qubits that can be in a one or a zero quantum state or a superposition of both. This means that a quantum computer is able to solve any problem a classical one can and vice versa, and in some situations, we’ll be far more efficient in doing so. One of the more interesting things about quantum computers is that they won’t always be the better choice.
Researchers are still exploring the situations when they will offer an advantage. But the biggest hurdle right now is building one that’s large and stable enough to see how well it can perform.
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