Emerging Technologies of 2019
he World Economic Forum launched a report that reveals some of the breakthrough innovations that are expected to impact the global order. A Committee of leading technology experts engaged in an intense process to identify this year’s top ten emerging technologies. The chosen ones must positively disrupt existing order, be attractive to investors and researchers, and expect to achieve considerable scale within the coming 5 years.
After studying a number of proposal and asking other experts around the world they established a top ten.
- Bioplastics for a Circular Economy:
In 2014, industries generated 311 million metric tons of plastics and less than 15% is recycled and rest is incinerated, abandoned or send to landfill. Biodegradable plastics offers a solution; circular economy by using cellulose or lignin (insoluble plant polymers) from plant waste is a breakthrough idea that increases material strength without using crops that could otherwise by used for food production.
Source: World Economic Forum
- Social Robots:
Droid friends and assistants are becoming part of everyday life: they can recognize voices, faces and emotions and also interpret speech patterns and gestures. Social robots are filling an ever-expanding variety of roles. They have a particular appeal for assisting the world’s growing elderly population.
Meanwhile phones, computers and other electronics have grown ever smaller, their optical components have refused to shrink. Advances in physics have led to make smaller and lighter alternatives called metalenses, that consists of a flat surface covered with an array of nanoscale objects as jutting pillars or drilled holes; when an incident light hit these elements some properties change.
- Disordered Proteins as Drug Targets
Scientists have found a way to prevent the shape-shifting, of some proteins that can cause cancer and other diseases, long enough for treatment to take effect, offering new possibilities for patients. They are using rigorous combinations of biophysics computational power and better understanding of the way that intrinsically disorder proteins function to identify compounds that inhibit these proteins
- Smarter Fertilizers
New fertilized use more ecologically friendly sources of nitrogen, and microorganisms that improve take up by plants. Also controlled release fertilizers are part of sustainable approach to agriculture known as a precision farming.
- Collaborative Telepresence
A perfect tool for business people; a mix of augmented reality and virtual reality, 5G networks and advanced sensors while help them to be in different locations and work remotely with patients as though they are in the same room. Microsoft and other companies are already investing in technologies that are expected to underpin a multibillion dollar industry by 2025.
- Advanced Food Tracking and Packaging
Using blockchain technology to monitor every step of a food items progress through the supply chain just takes some minutes, meanwhile sensors in packaging can indicate when food is about to spoil, reducing the need to waste whole batches. The combination of these two technologies could vastly improve food safety.
- Safer Nuclear Reactors
Improved fuels and growth in small reactors could be a big part of a nuclear power rebirth. New fuels are emerging that are much less likely to overheat and if they do, will produce little or no hydrogen, these new configurations can reface existing fuel rods with little modifications.
- DNA Data Storage
The information storage system of life is being adapted to handle massive amounts of information and breakthrough research is using DNA based data storage as a low energy alternative to computer hard drives with huge capacity. One estimate suggests all the world’s data for a year could be stored on a cube of DNA measuring just a square meter.
- Utility-Scale Storage of Renewable Energy
Continuing advances made by experts discover that some batteries can store up to eight hours of energy, long enough to allow solar generated power to meet peak evening demand. A few companies are working on demonstrations and have attracted great expectations, but the idea has yet to take off. Nevertheless energy research firm, Wood Mackenzie, estimates that the market for energy storage will double from 2018 to 2019 and triple from 2019 to 2020.
Jeremy Jurgens, Chief Technology Officer at the World Economic Forum said “this year’s emerging technologies demonstrate the rapid pace of human innovation and offer a glimpse into what a sustainable, inclusive future will look like.”