2016 has witnessed a crackling pace of advancement as far as technological advancement is concerned. This year has been one of the best in terms of technology, that’s no surprise since when it comes to progress, the only way to go, usually, is up. However, this year, we saw a flood of technology that gives us a ray of hope in an otherwise (environmentally speaking) future.
In a recent report published by the World Economic Forum‘s Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies and published in collaboration with Scientific American, top emerging technologies of 2016– from nanosensors to better solar panels – are enlisted.
Let’s see what’s it all about.
- Nanosensors and all things small & efficient
It is being speculated that the internet will comprise of 30 billion devices connecting the humans by the year 2020. However, the nanosensors we’re talking about just aren’t for your device processors. Far from it. These nanosensors have been embed-able in construction material to be circulated in the human body. This is spelling out one word: breakthrough. In all areas from medicines to erecting better buildings, things are surely looking up.
- Better Batteries
This one surely took a long time coming. The state of renewable energy has seen a remarkable turnaround this year through the batteries enabling mini-grids that can provide clean, reliable, round the clock energy sources to entire villages. With sodium, aluminium and zinc based batteries we have come to use energy source which are both environmentally friendly as well as more efficient at their jobs.
Bitcoin has been a very welcome venture that surely helped enable us to make online transactions in a much smoother way. Now, after a heft investment of $1 Million in 2015 alone, we’re looking at a much smoother economy both online and maybe even on the government level in the future.
- 2D Materials
Remember all that hype about grapheme? Well, it might be one of the most hyped-about 2D materials, but it’s by far not the only one. Now, 2D materials are being used to make everything from air and water filters to wearables to even batteries!
- Autonomous Vehicles
No drivers? No problem. This year, we saw transport giant Uber, (somewhat) successfully launch self-driving vehicles; but Uber isn’t the only one supporting the cause. These vehicles will soon be made available commercially to help facilitate the elderly and the disabled and will go on to have a more positive impact on the economy and the environment as well in the very near future.
- Nano Organs
Biotechnology made a significant breakthrough by growing tiny organs, the sizes of microchips, in laboratories. These has helped scientists and doctors make observations about the human body in order to provide better quality of life to many across the globe.
- Perovskite Solar Cells
These solar cells are the stuff of dreams … prettier, smaller, more efficient! These solar cells help generate more energy on the go, because they can be used anywhere imaginable. Say hello to cheaper, cleaner energy.
- A Better AI World
We’ve all seen those sci-fi movies where robots could do everything, right? 2016 has seen enough robots able to understand us so much better that it seems quite possible to say goodbye to the worries of deciding what to have for lunch to how to balance our checkbooks to what to wear in the morning, leaving us to focus on the more meaningful tasks in life.
We’ve been able to use lights to map brain activity for quite a while now. At the end of 2016, now we can penetrate deeper inside the brain tissue to understand the complicated organs’ workings more efficiently; thus, helping us to understand mental diseases more efficiently. Now isn’t that, to speak technically, awesome?
- Metabolic Engineering
We seem to be taking more from the environment without giving a lot back. This is quite a predicament for all of us but where 2016 might have been a tough year overall, it helped us make breakthroughs in metabolic engineering. This means that now we have a shot at using plants to generate fuel instead of fossil fuels. The result? Cheaper, cleaner energy for all of us.
The complete Top 10 Emerging Technologies 2016 list can be accessed here.