Tuesday, June 18, 2024

These are the Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2020

The way human beings work, communicate, and live has always been changed by technological advances. The world has seen exponential technological advances in all fields over the last two decades, ranging from computers and artificial intelligence to biotechnology and nanotechnology. The planet has been enabled by these developments to overcome some of the most important problems.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) publishes each year with the assistance of experts from around the world, a list of the top ten emerging technologies that have the potential to bring about significant changes in the world. The WEF has also done the same this year and has published a report entitled “Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2020.”

Here are the top 10 of 2020’s new technologies.

1. Microneedles for Painless Injections and Tests

Microneedles, having a diameter identical to human hair, prevent pain by preventing contact with nerve endings.

Microneedles have been approved for the administration of vaccines and are currently being used to treat neuropathic pain, cancer and diabetes in clinical trials.

2. Sun-Powered Chemistry

Fossil fuels, which contribute to carbon dioxide emissions and climate change, are used by producing drugs, detergents, textiles, and fertilizers.

Sun-powered chemistry transforms excess carbon dioxide into molecules using sunlight that serve as raw materials for these common chemical materials.

3. Virtual Patients

To make clinical trials quicker and safer, this technology aims to replace human beings with computer simulations.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently using these simulations to test experimental mammography technologies in place of humans in clinical trials being performed.

4. Spatial Computing

After virtual reality and augmented reality, spatial computing is considered “The Next Big Thing.”

This technology allows digital twins, not just of things, but of individuals and places. To create a digital map of a space, a house, or an area, it uses GPS, LiDAR (light detection and ranging), video, and other geolocation technologies.

Tech companies have invested extensively in spatial computing, including Amazon and Microsoft.

5. Digital Medicine

In 2020, many AI-based applications have been developed that diagnose mental and physical disorders accurately.

These technologies, referred to as “Digital Medicine,” promote patients with restricted access to healthcare facilities along with improving conventional medical care.

The importance of digital medicine has been emphasized by the coronavirus pandemic. As the epidemic unfolded, hundreds of applications were launched to diagnose depression and provide therapy.

6. Electric Aviation

Air travel accounted for 2.5% of global carbon emissions in 2019, a figure which could triple by 2050.

In order to decarbonize air transport, aerospace companies like Airbus, Ampaire, MagniX, and Eviation are focusing on electric aviation.

This technology would remove direct carbon emissions and also reduce the cost of fuel by up to 90%, almost 70% of noise, and up to 50 percent of maintenance.

7. Lower-Carbon Cement

A significant amount of carbon dioxide is emitted from the manufacture of cement, which accounts for 8 percent of the world’s human-produced emissions.

Currently, four billion tonnes of cement are manufactured every year but this figure is expected to rise to five billion tonnes in the next 30 years due to rising urbanization.

Several lower-carbon approaches have been launched this year, lowering cement output emissions by 30 percent.

8. Quantum Sensing

Quantum sensing requires measuring by exploiting the quantum structure of matter to extreme levels of precision. To calculate a physical quantity, it uses the difference between electrons in various energy states as a base unit.

This technology can allow autonomous vehicles that can see around corners, underwater navigation systems, volcanic activity and earthquake early warning systems, and portable scanners that track the brain activity of a person during everyday life.

9. Green Hydrogen

Green hydrogen is created by electrolysis, a process in which machines break water with no other by-products into hydrogen and oxygen.

This technology has the ability to decarbonize areas of the energy market that cannot be electrified by existing renewable technologies such as solar and wind.

Big businesses are making efforts to build electrolyzers that can cheaply generate green hydrogen. Some of them work to incorporate electrolyzers into renewable energy sources, too.

10. Whole-Genome Synthesis

Whole-genome synthesis is an extension of the booming field of synthetic biology, dubbed as the next-level cell technology.

To design genetic sequences that they generate and insert into a microbe, researchers use software to reprogram the microbe to do the desired task, such as creating a new medication.

The ability to synthesize an entire genome enabled researchers in the early days of the pandemic to replicate the coronavirus and begin the production of their vaccine without having to wait for physical samples after the genetic sequence of the virus was uploaded to the genetic databases by Chinese researchers.

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