Scientists have been working for years on the development of technologies that would prove to be beneficial for humankind. Discoveries have been made, and inventions and innovations have been made for developing tech that would make the lives of people easier. Here are the top 10 emerging technologies that have the potential to change the course of mankind.
Here is the list of the top 10 Emerging Technologies to look out for in 2024
1. Flexible Batteries
From rollable computer screens to ‘smart’ clothes, the future of electronics seems to be increasingly elastic. The instantaneous development of wearable gadgets, flexible hardware, and bendable screens demands energy sources that correspond to the agility of these systems. Traditional rigid batteries may soon be outdated as slim, elastic batteries – made of light materials that can be effortlessly twisted, bent, or lengthened– capture the market. Several types of flexible batteries are presently available. These batteries are rechargeable and include lithium-ion or zinc-carbon systems positioned on conductive polymer current receivers.
In some circumstances, additives improve conductivity and flexibility. The electrodes of new batteries can be covered with – or even printed onto – flexible substrates, including carbon-based substances like graphene, carbon fibers, or fabric. Flexible batteries have uses in a growing number of fields, including wearable medical instruments and biomedical detectors, flexible screens, and smartwatches. Health-related applications powered by these batteries could transfer data wirelessly to healthcare providers, enabling distant patient monitoring. Also, flexible batteries that can be incorporated into the cloth of jackets, shirts, or other clothing will be needed to power emerging textile-based electronics with abilities ranging from built-in heating systems to health monitoring.
2. Generative Artificial intelligence
Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is an assertive type of AI that can make new and authentic content by understanding patterns in data, and utilizing complicated algorithms and ways of understanding inspired by the human brain. While generative AI is still presently concentrated on creating text, computer programming, images, and audio, this technology could be used for a range of purposes, including drug design, architecture, and engineering.
For example, at the time of this writing, initial work has been published on developing candidate drug molecules targeting certain circumstances, and on producing pictures of fictional structures or on developing interior design. NASA engineers are now working towards AI systems that can make lightweight spaceflight instruments, achieving a 10-fold reduction in development time while simultaneously enhancing structural performance. Generative AI technologies may even affect the food industry and the structure of everyday things, from furnishings to machines. In scientific analysis, generative models could enable breakthroughs by improving practical design, determining connections between data elements, and creating new theories.
3. Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF)
Aviation accounts for 2-3% of world carbon dioxide emissions yearly, While the usage of electric vehicles for land transportation is rapidly rising, the aviation sector has floundered with decarbonization because energy-viscous fuels are needed for long-distance flights. Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)is a solution that does not require large-scale changes to current aviation infrastructure and equipment, produced from biological (e.g. biomass) and non-biological (e.g. CO2) resources. Integrated with other decarbonization approaches, including system-wide operational efficiencies, new technologies, and carbon balances, SAF should move the airline industry towards reaching net-zero carbon emissions in the coming decades.
In the present day, SAF meets less than 1% of world jet fuel needs, but this must rise to 13-15% by 2040 to position the aviation industry on the path to net zero by 2050. Such an expansion will require the building up of 300-400 new SAF plants, and airline manufacturers and fuel companies are operating around the clock to enable this level of scale. Fortunately, the extraction of SAF from biogenic raw materials using renewable energy is steadily rising. According to the International Air Transport Association, SAF production will reach at least 300 million (optimistically 450 million) liters in 2022, almost triple that produced in 2021. An increasing number of airlines have been dedicated to operating on SAF, a trend that will be increased through global actions such as the World Economic Forum’s Clean Skies for Tomorrow initiative15 and the First Movers Coalition.
4. Designer phages
The community of microorganisms that survive or exist in a particular habitat is called a microbiome. The microbiomes of humans, animals, and plants play a vital function in the health of these creatures. Some recent advancements allow scientists to manipulate microbiomes for the benefit of humans and also help increase agricultural efficiency. The main tool for manipulating microbiomes is phages. Phages are some selective kind of viruses that infect a particular type of bacterium and inject them with modified genetic information. This genetic information forces the bacterium to carry out specific types of functions. With bioengineered phages, researchers can change a bacterium’s operations, forcing it to create a healing molecule or to become vulnerable to a specific medication, for instance. As phages normally only contaminate one type of bacteria, particular bacterial types within the complex microbiome can be targeted.
Scientists generally use these phages to target various disease-causing bacteria. Diseases like hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can be treated using the technology. HUS is an uncommon but severe disease that infects the kidneys and blood-clotting functions, induced by a certain type of E. coli. Researchers arranged the genetic material of an E. coli-infecting phage to encode congenital “scissors” that can chop up the E. coli genes that lead to HUS.
5. Metaverse for Mental Health
Bad Mental Health is one of the most common issues faced by the generation as stated by the Surgeon General of the US. Overuse of social media has been a major cause of mental health problems but can also improve well-being when operated responsibly. Screen time spent making associations in shared virtual spaces like LinkedIn or any other platform might help fight the increasing mental health crisis rather than contributing to it.
Virtual shared platforms are digital environments where somebody can communicate with other individuals professionally and socially. The future of these spaces is generally known as the metaverse, which may include virtual shared spaces improved with augmented or virtual reality (AR/VR). Just as multiple shared virtual media presently exist, there will likely be multiple metaverses, varying in purpose and level of immersiveness.
6. Wearable Plant Sensors
By 2050, the world’s total agricultural produce needs to be increased by 70% to feed the population. Food security will become a major problem over time. Technological inventions in agriculture will be an essential effort toward fulfilling this escalation and enhancing the world’s food security.
Traditionally, crops have been surveyed via soil testing and visual assessments, both of which are costly and time-consuming. Recent technical advances have enhanced the ease of crop monitoring, helping farmers to survey crop conditions on a bigger scale.
The next level in crop monitoring is even higher quality: the monitoring of separate plants. Wearable plant detectors promise to enhance plant health and improve farming productivity. These sensors are small, non-invasive gadgets that can be connected to crop plants for constant monitoring of temperature, humidity, water, and nutrient levels. Data from plant sensors can optimize returns, reduce moisture, fertilizer, and chemical use, and notice early signs of disease.
7. Spatial Omics
The human body is composed of approximately 37.2 trillion cells. So it becomes very difficult to identify a particular set of cells. This is where spatial omics may provide researchers with an answer. By integrating refined imaging procedures with the particularity and resolution of DNA sequencing, this arising method helps in the mapping of the what, where, and when of biological techniques at the cellular level.
Starting with a target organ(such as a mouse brain), scientists cut tissue into sections only one cell wide. Creative techniques are then used to picture the areas of specific biomolecules in each slice. Spatial omics allow previously unobservable cell architecture and biological occurrences to be viewed with remarkable detail.
8. Flexible Neural Electronics
In recent years, brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) have achieved visibility, leading to collective creativity regarding the strength and potential of one day handling machines with thoughts. BMIs let electrical signals the brain produces be caught by detector hardware. Algorithms then interpret these electrical alerts into instructions that a computer can comprehend and implement.
BMI-like systems are already utilized to treat patients with epilepsy, and in neuroprosthetics – prosthetic limbs operate on electrodes to interact with the nervous system.
Investigators have recently developed brain interfacing circuits on biocompatible fabrics that are soft and pliant. Flexible circuits can conform to the brain, reducing scarring and sensor displacement, and they can be consolidated with enough detectors to facilitate millions of brain cells at once, considerably outperforming the scale and timeframe of hard probes. When used in neuroscience studies, flexible BMIs could deepen knowledge of neurological disorders such as dementia and autism.
9. Sustainable Computing
About 1% of global electrical produce is consumed by databases, which enable email, Google searches, the metaverse, AI, and various other aspects of an increasingly data-based society, and this amount will only rise with the growing need for data services.
While there is no particular “green data” remedy, it is anticipated that the coming decade will boast significant steps toward net-zero-energy data centers as new technologies are connected and integrated into creative ways – rapidly making the dream of net-zero-energy data centers an attainable reality.
This technology can be used to manage heat-management problems, Liquid cooling techniques are being created that use water or dielectric coolant to disperse heat and excess heat is being reused for applications including space heating, water heating, and industrial procedures.
AI is being used to study and optimize power use in real-time, maximizing efficiency without compromising performance.
10. AI-facilitated healthcare
The weaknesses of healthcare systems all over the globe became clear during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic when the tolerable workloads of many hospitals were rapidly exceeded. In return, government-based and educational teams have been created to incorporate AI and machine learning (ML) into the health sector – both to predict upcoming pandemics and to help in effectively addressing them (AI4PEP).
These emergent measures to improve the effectiveness of nationwide and worldwide healthcare systems in the face of significant health crises, and to democratize access to care, are in their starting stages but will rapidly rise by combining quality data into the AI and ML models.
AI-based technologies could also help to tackle a related shortcoming– the long holds many patients experience when trying to obtain medical care through the healthcare system. Surprisingly, holds often originate not from a lack of capacity but due to inconsistent access to – and resultant not complete utilization of – existing facilities. When used to a curated data set of current medical facilities, AI, ML, and data analytics, processes dramatically improve patient access to treatments.
Advancements in these technologies, development in new fields of science, and discoveries have always led to the growth of humankind. The use of technologies should be responsible, in a way that it does not cause any kind of calamities or disasters or any harm to Earth. People should keep in mind that they share the planet with other organisms as well and they have to use the resources accordingly.