The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) issued a list of ten breakthrough technologies that could soon change our lives forever. They include everything from self-driving trucks to next-gen quantum computing.
Some of these technologies are already close to becoming a reality, while others still have a long way to go before they come out of the development phase. All of them need to go mainstream if they are to make an actual impact in the world.
The tech industry has always been fast-paced and ever-changing, but these ten projects promise to have a prominent presence and leave a lasting mark for generations to come like only a few others before them.
Cars, cameras, and computers will get smarter
One of the most seemingly trivial advancements in the coming years could have a great impact in all of our daily lives. Self-driving trucks could dramatically optimize delivery times and efficiency but they would also leave millions without a job.
The double-edged sword of innovation already looms in the horizon with mechanical processes threatening to take over 15% of all jobs in the U.S. alone by the end of the next decade.
Concerns only rise with quick advancements in the field of artificial intelligence. A new form of machine learning called reinforcement learning is taking things to the next level, enabling computers to learn even closer to the way we do it.
Quantum computing is also closer than ever to becoming a tangible reality, with companies like Google, Intel, IBM, and Microsoft pitching in for engineers to build such technology. These computers are so powerful that they could change many aspects of life as we know it.
Changing fields, affordable 360-selfie cameras appeal to the human side of technology, enabling anyone to tell a story from a more lifelike perspective.
Advanced optics and biometric systems could soon also become a standard for identity authentication, scanning people’s eyes and faces the way Microsoft Hello does, except everywhere you go daily: supermarkets, drug stores, and subways.
Energy, health, and connectivity are a top priority
Since technology’s ultimate goal is the enhancement of human life, it makes sense that a deeper understanding to achieve this goal is one of the objectives currently on the table for scientists.
Biologists are planning one of the most ambitious projects in genomics ever: map the human body to create an in-depth, in-detail cell atlas. That, in turn, would allow them to grasp the mysteries of our organism fully.
A side effect of this would be a more solid application of gene therapy, the procedure through which scientists can modify genes to cure potential diseases still dormant in our bodies or in developing embryos.
In parallel, other health professionals are harnessing technology to make people walk again. Using brain implants, there is a chance for paralysis patients to stand up and forget they were ever bedridden, taking new steps towards a new life.
On a different field, energy experts are working on making solar panels even more effective, perhaps even twice as much as they are now. Hot solar cells would use the heat of the panels and turn it into beams of light so it creates a continuous cycle of energy generation.
The MIT also warns about the impending threats of the Internet of Things, which is spiraling out of control in terms of security just as fast as it is gaining popularity. Hopefully, the introduction and widespread adoption of operating systems like Android Things will help halt the menace.