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Emerging Technology Trends

The World Economic Forum‘s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies regularly identifies the most promising technology trends.

Apparently, these can help to deliver growth for decades to come.

Be amazed by this list of the trends they have noted for the past few years… (click the headings below to view their detailed reports) Note that 2016 is the latest report at time of publication.

2016 Technology Trends

  • Nanosensors and the Internet of Nanothings
    Tiny sensors in the human body or in building materials, which can connect to the web!

  • Next Gen Batteries
    Making large-scale power storage possible. Providing clean, reliable, 24/7 energy to entire villages.

  • The Blockchain
    Have you heard of the distributed electronic ledger behind the online currency “Bitcoin”? Blockchain’s potential to change the way markets and governments work is emerging.

  • Two-Dimensional Materials
    New materials made up of a single layer of atoms will change the world. Concrete, stainless steel, and silicon are clumsy and crude by comparison.

  • Autonomous Vehicles
    The potential of self-driving cars for saving lives, cutting pollution, boosting economies, and improving quality-of-life is driving their development.

  • Organs-on-chips
    Miniature models of human organs – the size of a memory stick – allow researchers to see how organs behave.

  • Perovskite Solar Cells
    New photovoltaic material is easier to make, can be used virtually anywhere and generates power more efficiently.

  • Open AI Ecosystem
    Smart digital assistants will know when you’re stressed, tired or hungry.

  • Optogenetics
    Delivering light deeper into brain tissue could lead to better treatment for people with brain disorders.

  • Systems Metabolic Engineering
    Manufacturing chemicals better and more cheaply by using plants rather than fossil fuels.

2015 Technology Trends

  • Fuel cell vehicles
    Zero-emission cars that run on hydrogen.

  • Next-generation robotics
    Advances in robotics are making human-machine collaboration a reality.

  • Recyclable thermoset plastics
    New plastic can cut landfill waste.

  • Precise genetic-engineering techniques
    Better crops with less controversy.

  • Additive manufacturing
    The future of making things, from printable organs to intelligent clothes. Digital templates to build 3D shapes.

  • Emergent artificial intelligence
    What happens when a computer can learn on the job?

  • Distributed manufacturing
    The factory of the future is online – and on your doorstep. Products manufactured close to the final customer.

  • Sense and avoid’ drones
    The next step in drone technology – machines that fly themselves.

  • Neuromorphic technology
    These computer chips can mimic the human brain.

  • Digital genome
    Your genetic code on a USB stick!

2014 Technology Trends

  • Body-adapted Wearable Electronics
    Beyond wearables like wristbands or clip-on devices, these ones can adapt to the human body’s shape.

  • Nanostructured Carbon Composites
    Reducing the weight of new cars. Lighter cars use less fuel, increase the efficiency of moving people and goods, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Mining Metals from Desalination Brine
    No longer is the brine from desalination a waste product. It’s now a resource to be harvested for valuable materials.

  • Grid-scale Electricity Storage
    There are signs that a range of new technologies is getting closer to cracking this challenge.

  • Nanowire Lithium-ion Batteries
    Helping transform the electric car market and allow the storage of solar electricity at the household scale.

  • Screenless display
    Projecting images directly onto a person’s retina! ?

  • Human Microbiome Therapeutics
    Developing new treatments for serious diseases and improving general healthcare outcomes.

  • Brain-computer Interfaces
    The ability to control a computer using only the power of the mind!

2013 Technology Trends

  • Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV)
    Electric vehicles that can be charged while stationary or driving, removing the need to stop at a charging station.

  • 3D Burger?3-D printing and remote manufacturing
    Creating solid structures from a digital computer file. Objects can be printed remotely in the home or office.

  • Self-healing materials
    These have the ability to automatically repair damage caused by mechanical usage over time.

  • Energy-efficient water purification
    New technologies that slash energy usage while purifying water.

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) conversion and use
    Converting unwanted CO2 into liquid fuels or chemicals in low-cost, modular solar converter systems.

  • Enhanced nutrition to drive health at the molecular level
    Pure human dietary proteins aid in muscle development, managing diabetes or reducing obesity.

  • Remote sensing
    Sensors that monitor bodily functions remotely, and trigger a medical response if needed.

Well… some of those sound very interesting!


Well they just freaked me out ?

And you’re not plugging anything into my retinas!!!

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