Thursday, February 9, 2017

Tech Trends I would like to monitor in the next 5 years

* * All are in various stages of commercial application, but definitely advancing very rapidly in development.
1. Drones- By now everybody knows what drones are.
2. Internet of Things: Machines, appliances, 'talking' (sending data)to each other, and the data can be harvested for use to provide information for increased efficiency. Think your fridge telling your smart phone you are running out of butter for baking
3. Robotics: Robots everywhere from the factory floor to the home, in the air and under the sea. Remote vehicles mining for minerals under the sea-bed. Pilotless fighter aircraft.
4. Financial markets: Algorithmic trading, pattern recognition and high speed trading (think 1000 trades per second) enhanced by Artificial Intelligence
5. Smart wearables- smart watches, smart clothes, maybe smart shoes monitoring your health, sleep, mental state etc
6. Materials science: self-assembling (think Transformers), self-healing (think cars, bridges, buildings which repair themselves) things.
7. Swarm Intelligence: Self-organised superorganism made up of many individuals each of whose local behaviour translates to execution of a global task. Failure of one part does not cause breakdown of entire system. (Think insect swarms, fish schools and bird flocks moving as one superorganism though each member does not know the global task but only follow simple local rules). How about the Army having a Swarm bomb disposal squad.
8. Nano-robots injected into your blood stream for in-body, timed drug delivery.
9. Big data analytics: Sensors everywhere generate mounds of data. Pattern recognition with Artificial Intelligence (Classification, Optimisation, Prediction) to assist in decision-making.
10. Driverless vehicles- Not only cars but can possibly be convoys of mining trucks or a sea-going vessel
11. Electric vehicles- Already well on the way with expected future improvements in travel range and battery life
12. Augmented Reality: Any sort of computer-based system that overlays data on top of your current view of the world, while continuing to let you see the world around you. (think Pokemon)
13. Artificial Intelligence: Deep-learning neural networks: Machine vision, speech-to-text, text-to-speech, translation:For the first time, AI that learns by itself without us teaching them.
14. Renewable Energy: Solar, Wind, Hydropower- self-explanatory
15. Large scale Energy storage: Lithium-Ion battery networks that are capable of storing gigawatts of electricity (think Tesla's Gigafactory in the Nevada desert)
16. Blockchain for financial transactions: Helping to make multi-party financial transactions transparent and fraud-proof by having a central ledger that cannot be altered without the knowledge of all parties. e.g. Letters of Credit for international trade.
17. Biomimicry: Borrowing ideas from Nature's superior designs. Examples: Kingfisher's beak for Shinkansen Bullet Train, A building's ventilation copying how Termite mounds are ventilated, Velcro from seeds with burrs that attach to passing animals etc
18. 3D Printing: Printing out furniture, artificial limbs, toys or even a car?
19. Nanotechnology: Manipulation of Matter at the atomic and molecular level to create or alter materials
20. Quantum computing- When information can be both 1 and 0 at the same time and computing speed goes up by millions of times.

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