Different technological inventions and innovations have different and varying impact and success. There are many emerging technologies and below is a look at six of those technologies which may end up redefining life as we know and understand it. The dynamics of future may be heavily reliant on these highly innovative emerging technologies.
1. Additive Manufacturing
Officially per ASTM definition, Standard F2792, additive manufacturing is defined as the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data. This is usually done layer upon layer, each layer in itself being 2D. Repetitive addition of these over each other eventually yields a 3D model the desired object.
In popular culture, additive manufacturing is known simply as ‘3D Printing’. The principal manufacturing equipment in this process is a 3D printer. It is also one of the most dynamic and most talked about in the array of emerging technologies.
As one of the emerging technologies, additive manufacturing is seen as a signal of the start of third industrial revolution.
Expected Applications of Additive Manufacturing
Additive manufacturing, as one of the prime emerging technologies, is being designed with intent for specific niche usage in fields such as;
Biological and Medical
Using a 3D bio-printer, it will be possible to construct artificially, compatible march organs for patients in need of organ transplant. Organs like ear lobe and heart valves have been successfully produced through the technology and research into printing more complex organs like the heart, liver and kidney is at advanced levels.
Success of additive manufacturing in this field could spell the end to the deadly perennial shortages of donor organs. In turn, this would save thousands of lives of patients who die waiting for marching donors.
Weaponry and Warfare
As a manufacturing technique, 3D printing in warfare will soon become a necessity as it will enable of faster and cheaper production of weapons and armor, even at the battle field. In times of war, this will make re-arming of soldiers out in the battlefield easier and faster as well as minimize possibilities of shortages.
Specialized Parts of Machinery
3D printing is already in use in production of specialized parts of machinery, including airplane parts. The largest passenger plane in the world, Airbus A380, has 3D printed components.
During launch of space crafts and probes, space is of essence. The less bulky the cargo contents on-board, the more the space and all the more better. Some of the equipment on-board are usually bulky and fragile, like lab apparatus.
To increase space and minimize damage during the gruesome space flights, 3D printers could be included on board. The idea is to use the printer to manufacture desired equipment once the spacecraft or probe has arrived at its destination.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence, popularly AI, is a term that was coined in 1956 by MIT’s John McCarthy in reference to the theory of developing intelligent computer based systems with the capacity to execute tasks that would have otherwise required human intellectuality and intelligence. Examples of such tasks include visual perception, speech and decision-making capability.
One of the best depictions of possible real life applicability of AI is in the Jonathan Nolan’s 2011 sci-fi crime drama tv series, Person of Interest. Harold Finch, a reclusive billionaire and software engineering nerd creates ‘The Machine’ for the government.
The Machine is essentially a super computer system that collects information by ubiquitous surveillance. Through AI, the machine uses the collected information and data to predict future terrorist attacks, akin to 9/11.
As portrayed in the series, Artificial Intelligence, as one of the emerging technologies, is not a far off reality; which will ultimately become part of our daily lives.
Possible Applications of AI
Some of the fields that AI is taunted to have huge, unrivaled and revolutionary usage include:
- Security and intel collection
- Space exploration
3. Nanomedicine as a Leader in Healthcare Emerging Technologies
In the simplest of terms, nanomedicine can be expressed as the use of nanotechnology in healthcare to ensure more efficient and optimal means and ways to diagnose, prevent and treat diseases and ailments.
As one of the cutting edge emerging technologies, nanomedicine exploits the engineering of tiny particles through use of nanomaterials, nanoelectric biosensors and molecular nanoparticles for varied medical applications.
What makes nanomedicine a cutting edge technology is because of its potential to deliver desired treatment particles like medicine molecules to the exact desired and specific locations in precisely the desired dosages in the body system. Not only does this make treatment faster, but it also reduces side effects of drugs and other medical treatment procedures, which conventionally expose most of the body, if not all of it, to the procedure in usage.
4. Wearable Technology Gadgets
Wearable technology is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing of the emerging technologies. From smartglases to smartwatches and fitness trackers, the importance of wearable technology cannot be emphasized enough.
There are wearable technology gadgets for fitness, health monitoring, gadget synchronization and communication, transport and navigation and fashion statement.
As one of the emerging technologies whose impact has already been felt far and wide, wearable technology gadgets are changing human lifestyle. They are helping ensure a healthier, fitter and more informed society all across the globe.
A cryptocurrency is a digital medium of exchange used in place of the normal legal tenders as a means of payment for goods and services. A cryptocurrency employs cryptography as a security measure to regulate transaction safety and generation of new currency units.
One distinct trait of a cryptocurrency is that it operates independent of a central bank. In theory therefore, this renders the currency immune to any government manipulation and meddling. This gives the currency a stable non-volatile valuation hence minimal depreciation in value. One such popular cryptocurrency is Bitcoin.
There are cryptocurrencies in excess of 200 which are in existence. As a digital currency, cryptocurrencies make wireless transfer of money less complicated and faster. This increases both trade time and trade volume while rendering trading borderless, making cryptocurrency the most powerful game-changer of the emerging technologies in economic and trading sector.
6. Cloud Computing
By definition, cloud computing can be defined as the use of network of remote servers hosted on the internet as opposed to use of local servers or personal computers. Usually, the remote servers serve the same purpose as the local servers, that is, storage, management and processing of data.
It is important to note that the servers in cloud computing are accessed from a remote location, i.e. not directly and physically connected to the accessing computer. Due to the potential of the information on the remote server being accessed simultaneously by many end users, there is potential of server crash. As a result of this, developers are always looking up to emerging technologies to develop bigger memory capacity and high-speed accessible remote servers. One such technology involves utilization of white spaces.
What Are White Spaces?
In wireless telecommunication, transmission of the signals from the transmitter to the end use makes use of the electromagnetic spectrum, specifically, radio waves. Through a communications licensing authority, companies in the industry, such as radio and television companies, are assigned a certain specific frequency. It is this frequency that the end user tunes to in order to receive a signal from the desired company.
The licensee does not always use all the portions of the spectrum all the time or in certain geographical regions. These unused portions of the radio spectrum are what are referred to as white spaces.
Essential, it is the utilization of these white spaces that has allowed digital transmittance; i.e. different signals like television, radio and internet, bundled in one frequency signal.
The utilization of white spaces has allowed for easier and more efficient means of telecommunication transmission. In addition, it has allowed for much more affordable access of both internet and cable television services; as well as opening up remote and inaccessible areas to these services with minimal physical infrastructure.
One of the best examples of successful exploitation of white space technology is by Google, who have utilized white space database in an endeavor to avail more spectrum bandwidth for broadband access.
Though this technology has evolved in leaps and bounds since inception, new developments surrounding white space technology efficient and optimal utilization makes it still one of the revolutionary emerging technologies.