Necessity is the mother of invention, or so they say. Whether that is a fact or not, one of the fields that have seen a surge in inventions and innovations in the tech industry. First, it is important to understand what tech is: as Jacob Bigelow stoutly described it in 1829, tech is essentially principles or processes that have been advanced with the aid of science and have societal benefits and real-life applications.
The definition may have been watered down from the 19th Century to now, but there are still revolutionary tech ideas and concepts that have a huge impact on the society today. Below is an in-depth expository into the most turnkey tech breakthroughs in 2018 and what that could potentially mean for the world today.
- Three Dimensional Metal Printers
Printing in itself is a huge invention that to the thriving of myriad paper industries such as book printing, newspapers, and the like. As innovation took its course, the world was introduced to 3-D printing. You could now print a model or part of a structure that you wanted using the special plastic material. To date, 3-D printing is rare and expensive, but has proven useful and is the way to go future printing technology.
Recently, an even more awestruck innovation hit the market, 3-D metal printing!
The real-life applications for metal printers range from manufacturers producing more precise material and from the stroke of a keyboard, to companies growing with the use of articulate designs, and in good time too.
Some of the key players and revolutionists in the industry include;
- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who in 2017, announced that they had 3-D printer which they had developed themselves. Furthermore, they cited the created parts would be from stainless steel and would be twice as stronger as through conventional means.
- Markforged, a relatively small startup based in Boston revealed their first metallic 3-D printer, retailing around $100,000
- Desktop Metal, another Boston based startup has revolutionized the tech industry by aiming at metal printing large machines, designed for manufacture.
- Synthetic Embryos
One of the biggest conundrums that have faced man from time immemorial is the question of life itself. However, Cambridge University is edging closer and closer to solving the enigma. This is because recently, they created realistic-looking mouse embryos from nothing more than stem cells.
Stem cells are a great revolution on their own, but with the help of tech, they have been used to create the first steps towards creating life itself. There are, however, fundamental questions that need to be answered, but Cambridge University, alongside the Rockefeller and Michigan Universities, is closer to creating life without the use of either an egg or a sperm.
Smart cities are not exactly revolutionary, more so, most are only feasible on paper and when the actual work begins, they either run to the ground or stall for a long time. Tech could have just worked a way around that.
Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs, in conjunction with the Canadian Government, is embarking on a project to build a smart city will with mostly rely on tech to run. The city is said to have robots as well as autonomous vehicles to run the town, from delivering mail, transportation, to other menial chores. Sidewalk Labs has agreed to open the access to the systems and software creation to other companies.
The project was announced in October 2017 and is slated to begin construction in 2019.
- AI for Everybody
Artificial intelligence has for some time now proven to be a big challenger in the tech industry. However, it has been hogged by major players in the tech business with companies such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Baidu taking the biggest share. There is still a lot everyday companies need to learn about AI’s, as to utilize them to the maximum.
The newest tech innovation is the Cloud-Based Artificial Intelligence that has the ability to learn like a human brain does. Companies like Microsoft, Azure, and Amazon are already in the forefront to developing turnkey AI cloud services, however, whichever company amount son top is still a win for the tech industry.
- Dueling Neural Networks
Artificial Intelligence has moved leaps and bounds to get to where it is today, however, for it to be applied in real life basis, there is a lot more that needs to be done. Google Brain, Nvidia, and DeepMind may just have the solution. Essentially, these companies are using tech to train al and give them somewhat of sense and reliance. These could be used in the transportation industry, where a smart car could learn all it needed to without ever being on the road, which would subsequently increase road safety.
- Pixel Buds
Learning a new language can take time, and often at times, you just need to use a few phrases. You could also be traveling around and have the need to use a different language. Google has created a new tech innovation, the pixel buds, which are real-time translators from one language to another.
The concept is rather simple, one person wears the pixel bud earphones, while another holds the pixel phone. When one person speaks in a foreign language, the buds can pick it up, and the translation will show on the Google Pixel phone, thus helping two people communicate. The Buds currently retail at $159.
- Zero Carbon Natural Gas
Man has always looked for the most efficient way to make electricity. There was a time when steam and coal were the way to go, but they proved tedious, unreliable, exhaustive and above all, unclean.
Natural gas is now one of the most readily available and cheaper ways of making electricity. It accounts for more than a third of US electricity, and around 22 % of the world’s electricity.
However, in the production of electricity from natural gas, a lot of carbon it emits, which is harmful to the environment. However, Net Power, a company formed in the heart of US petroleum and refining industry seeks to change that. The pilot project seeks to create the same or more amount of electricity while capturing all the carbon dioxide.
- Cryptographic Protocol
The internet is a marvel and has led to some of the greatest tech innovations of all time. However, one may sometimes feel insecure when they have to reveal their birthdate to prove they are over a certain age or share their bank details before making a transaction. However, by the aide of Zcash, a cryptographic protocol known as zero-proof knowledge is now available. Essentially, this means you can still enjoy all the perks on the internet while choosing to remain as anonymous as possible.
- Genetic Fortune
What if you could know the diseases and conditions that had the highest likelihood of attacking you through your lifetime, what would you do? What preventative measures would you take?
Thanks to advancements in both tech and studies, that is now possible. Companies like Helix and Broad Institute have used data collected by vast studies to create a probability stake on what could happen to you. The tech may lead to discrimination, but it could also lead to disease eradication.
- Quantum Computers
What if you could turn the sun into liquid fuel? Or use proteins to work instead of drugs? These are possibilities that sound far-fetched, but in a few years, will be a reality Quantum computers are becoming more and more of a reality, and through them, man will be able to create fetes that were only before dreamed of, or seen in science fiction movies. Thanks, to tech companies such as IBM AND Google, quantum computers will be a reality in the next few years.