Persistence is a form of resistance when it comes to human evolution. Technological advancements are quintessential for this evolution. Without these advancements, our lives would be stagnant. For instance, harnessing the prowess of such advancements, scientists are planning on colonising Mars. In addition to that, people are having Smartphones, which are considered to be more powerful than what NASA used for their Apollo mission.
To sum up, there is no limit to what Technology can do. In fact, they can take humankind beyond the Planet Earth. That being said, here are nine emerging technologies that will revolutionise the future of mankind.
Post-Classical computer and communications
The computing technology has evolved a lot ever since Charles Babbage invented it. This evolution of classical computing was as a result of a change in his original architecture. Also known as binary computing, classical computing uses binary bits. For making this technology efficient, faster CPUs were invented which resulted in a denser memory and increasing throughput. However, Post-classical computing is built on a whole different architecture. It is closely tied to Quantum computing, which uses qubits.
Even though the hype around this technology is utopian, the technology itself is still in its infancy. But incremental advancements promise for an early rollout. 5G is a major part of this advancement. Being a next-generation cellular standard, 5G is built on a new architecture that includes core slicing and wireless edge. In addition to that, next-generation memory and nanoscale 3D printing are some other technologies that come under this trend.
A human brain consists of 86 billion neurons. These are built into very dense inter-mesh networks that communicate. Each of these neurons computes with the use of electricity. Optogenetics is a growing field of study wherein the activity of nerve cells can be precisely controlled using blue light.
Blue light has a special property of activating neurons that contains an opsin called channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2). Opsins are a special group of proteins that are light-sensitive in nature. This combination of light and genetic engineering is used to discover new things about the brain. Consequently, this would help us in treating psychiatric disorders. Moreover, scientists claim that Optogenetics can aid in giving sight to blind people.
High-speed internet is quintessential for technological advancement given the number of applications being digitised. Many companies such as Facebook and Google raised concerns over the existing Gigabit Ethernet(GbE). GbE transmits Ethernet frames at a rate of 1 billion bits per second. However, Terabit Ethernet is capable of achieving 1000 Gigabit/s Ethernet speeds. To sum up, 1 Terabit Ethernet is equivalent to 1000 Gigabit Ethernet. Despite the growth in wireless technology, Ethernet is still essential for high-capacity bandwidth and performance. Hence to make Ethernet relevant again, Terabit Ethernet is essential.
The emergence of the Internet of Things demanded real-time computing power. For a system to achieve this, it is important to rely on distributed computing topology. Above all, this topology should be at close proximity with those devices which gather data. The search for such a system led to the development of Edge computing. It is a part of this distributed computing topology wherein information processing is located close to the “edge”.
“Edge” is the place where things and people produce or consume this information. In other words, Edge computing helps in bringing the computation and data storage closer to devices where the information is being gathered. Traditionally, computing was done in a central location. By doing so, the real-time data won’t suffer from latency issues. Moreover, localisation of information processing will help companies save money on a cloud-based location.
Data is the wealth and health of this generation. If utilised properly, many problems can be solved within a fraction of a second. Healthcare, in particular, has a stringent requirement for such utilisation. Predictive healthcare helps in achieving this. Data from wearable devices are transformed to predict and diagnose health issues even before people start showing symptoms. The growth of this field is fueled by genomics and Artificial intelligence.
If predictive healthcare is to replace the current system, then we will see a more personalised approach for treatment. Prescription of medicines will also change. A data-driven model would be developed to see which medicine works well for a specific patient. Hence, increasing the recovery rate of a person. Moreover, Predictive Healthcare can help in identifying cancer and other severe health issues, in the early stage.
Extended Reality is a step ahead of Augmented Reality. It collectively encapsulates Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality. Augmented Reality(AR) being the simplest of the three subsets of XR, it ties the physical world to the virtual world. While VR is completely virtual. It uses haptic feedback to immerse users into a completely virtual environment. This virtual environment is akin to an alternate universe, detached from the physical world.
XR becomes complicated when it comes to Mixed Reality(MR). In AR, simulations are limited whereas in the case of VR interaction with the real world is almost non-existent. MR is a hybrid that bridges the gap between AR and VR. In other words, it is an extension of AR that allows for an interactive experience akin to VR. (To know more about AR and its applications, click here)
4D Printing technology is a prudent contender for 3D Printers. An extension of 3D printing, 4D printing technology has an extra dimension. This fourth dimension is time. Or to be specific, the transformation of a printed substrate over time. In other words, 4D Printing uses smart material for producing objects. These smart materials would undergo transformations when subjected to external stimuli. You can read more about 4D Printer here.
Digital Ecosystem is one of the technologies that is expected to take off this year, according to Gartner research. This ecosystem flaunts a more reliable data security model. It promotes decentralisation and hence grants people take control over their own data. To clarify, this ecosystem is actually an interdependent group of enterprises. They share standardised digital platforms for mutually beneficial purposes. These purposes include innovation, commercial gain or common interest. Above all, Digital ecosystems will enable a company to interact with customers, partners, and even their competitors. Since this is still a concept, there isn’t much available regarding its architecture
Augmented Humanity/Human 2.0
Not to be confused with AR, an Augmented Human technology is a concept wherein humans work in harmony with the technology. These technologies include, biochips, augmented intelligence, and immersive workplaces. This would help to expand and enrich our lives. That being said, Augmented Humanity will change the scope of mankind.
In other words, it would adversely impact everything from how we work to how we shop. It changes the time we spend on tedious and repetitive manual jobs. In short, it would entirely upgrade our biology. For starters, this might seem a bit science fictional. But there are companies that are currently working towards it. For instance, Elon Musk’s Neuralink. This company strives to connect the human brain with artificial intelligence. To sum up, if we are capable of harnessing this technology, then we can self heal our body parts! That is how powerful the augmented human technology is!