These are the top 10 emerging technologies of 2019

technology 19

(Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Johnny Wood, Senior Writer, Formative Content


Which of today’s technologies will shape tomorrow’s world? A new reportcompiled by the World Economic Forum reveals some of the breakthrough innovations that are expected to radically impact the global social and economic order.

“From income inequality to climate change, technology will play a critical role in finding solutions to all the challenges our world faces today,” says Jeremy Jurgens, Chief Technology Officer at the World Economic Forum. “This year’s emerging technologies demonstrate the rapid pace of human innovation and offer a glimpse into what a sustainable, inclusive future will look like.”

Making the list involves more than promising major benefits to the world. The emerging technologies must positively disrupt the existing order, be attractive to investors and researchers, and expect to achieve considerable scale within the coming 5 years.

These are the top 10 emerging technologies for 2019:

Image: World Economic Forum

1. Bioplastics for a circular economy

Less than 15% of the world’s plastic is recycled, with the rest incinerated, abandoned or sent to landfill. Biodegradable plastic offers a solution, but lacks the strength of conventional materials. A breakthrough idea promotes the circular economy by using cellulose or lignin from plant waste, which increases material strength without using crops that could otherwise be used for food.

2. Social robots

Today’s robots can recognise voices, faces and emotions, interpret speech patterns and gestures, and even make eye contact. Droid friends and assistants are becoming part of everyday life, and are being used increasingly to care of the elderly, educate children and undertake all sorts of tasks in between.

3. Metalenses

Making the lenses used by mobile phones, computers and other electronic devices smaller has been beyond the capabilities of traditional glass cutting and glass curving techniques. But advances in physics have led to miniaturised, lighter alternatives to established lenses, called metalenses. These tiny, thin, flat lenses could replace existing bulky glass lenses and allow further miniaturization in sensors and medical imaging devices.

4. Disordered proteins as drug targets

“Intrinsically disordered proteins” are proteins that can cause cancer and other diseases. Unlike conventional proteins, they lack a rigid structure so change shape, making them difficult to treat. Now scientists have found a way to prevent their shape-shifting long enough for treatment to take effect, offering new possibilities for patients.

 

5. Smarter fertilizers

Recent improvements in fertilizers have focused on their ability to slowly release nutrients when needed. However, they still contain ammonia, urea and potash which damage the environment. New fertilizers use more ecologically friendly sources of nitrogen, and microorganisms that improve take-up by plants.

6. Collaborative telepresence

Imagine a video conference where you not only feel like you’re in the same room as the other attendees, you can actually feel one another’s touch. A mix of Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (AR), 5G networks and advanced sensors, mean business people in different locations can physically exchange handshakes, and medical practitioners are able to work remotely with patients as though they are in the same room.

7. Advanced food tracking and packaging

About 600 million people eat contaminated food each year and it’s essential to locate the source of an outbreak immediately. What used to take days or even weeks to trace can now be tracked in minutes, using blockchain technology to monitor every step of a food item’s progress through the supply chain. Meanwhile, sensors in packaging can indicate when food is about to spoil, reducing the need to waste whole batches once an expiry date is reached.

8. Safer nuclear reactors

Although nuclear power emits no carbon dioxide, reactors come with a safety risk that fuel rods can overheat and, when mixed with water, produce hydrogen, which can then explode. But new fuels are emerging that are much less likely to overheat, and if they do, will produce little or no hydrogen. These new configurations can replace existing fuel rods with little modification.

9. DNA data storage

Our data storage systems use a lot of energy and can’t keep up with the vast – and ever-increasing – quantities of data we produce. In less than a century they are set to reach capacity. But breakthrough research is using DNA-based data storage, as a low-energy alternative to computer hard drives, with huge capacity: One estimate suggests all the world’s data for a year could be stored on a cube of DNA measuring just a square metre.

10. Utility-scale storage of renewable energy

But storing energy generated by renewables for when there is no sun or wind has been a barrier to increased take-up. Lithium-ion batteries are set to dominate storage technology over the coming decade, and continuing advances should result in batteries that can store up to eight hours of energy – long enough to allow solar-generated power to meet peak evening demand.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Rare Disease Day: a new EU platform to support better diagnosis and treatment

UN chief welcomes ‘first concrete step’ in normalizing Eritrea-Ethiopia relationship

Brexit: UK to suffer from EU’s uncompromising stance

Drug laws must be amended to ‘combat racial discrimination’, UN experts say

Your chocolate can help save the planet. Here’s how

Baby foods high in sugar, inappropriately marketed in Europe, reveal two UN studies

11 lessons the history of business can teach us about its future

The Banking Union divides deeply the European Union

Brexit update: Will Theresa May’s last-minute desperate efforts procrastinate Brexit?

GradList Launched At TheNextWeb 2014

Medical students: The need for emigration

More answers from Facebook ahead of Parliament hearing today

JADE President opens JADE Spring Meeting 2014

Want more climate action? Let’s show how good a planet-friendly life can be

The key takeaways of G7 Summit in Canada

New rules for short-stay visas: EP and Council reach a deal

Now doctors can manipulate genetics to modify babies, is it ethical?

More billions needed to help Eurozone recover; ECB sidesteps German objections about QE

Eurozone: Black economy loves the South

Brands can be a force for good and for growth. Here’s how

Six children among 53 confirmed fatalities after Libya detention centre airstrikes: Security Council condemns attack

3 reasons why business leaders can’t afford to ignore diversity

A Sting Exclusive: “Europe needs decisive progress for stronger cybersecurity”, EU Commissioner Gabriel highlights from Brussels

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: Cameron corroborates that Britain should remain in the EU

European Parliament the most trusted EU institution

Close to 7,000 evacuated from Syrian towns after enduring nearly 3-year siege

Young people worldwide can ‘determine the future of migration,’ says UN senior official

OECD joins with Japan to fight financial crime by establishing new academy

Russia can no longer be considered a ‘strategic partner’, say MEPs

COP24: Paris agreement remained alive but fragile while the EU attempts to slow down CO2 emissions for new cars

Entrepreneurial leadership: what does it take to become a leader?

The challenges of mental health: an inconvenient reality

Illegal fishing: EU lifts Taiwan’s yellow card following reforms

MEPs propose more transparent legislative drafting and use of allowances

IMF: Sorry Greece it was a mistake of 11% of your GDP

The Sting’s Values

How bad is the Eurozone economy? The ECB thinks too bad

Why women aren’t allowed to work

Good grub: why we might be eating insects soon

Venezuela: Parliament recognises Guaidó, urges EU to follow suit

How civil society can adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The financial war touches Frankfurt and Berlin

What have the banks done to the markets making them unable to bear cheap oil?

Climate change hits the poor hardest. Mozambique’s cyclones prove it

SPB TV @ MWC14: The TV of the Future

Pollution could be harming every part of your body. Here’s how

ISIS fighters fleeing Mosul for Syria can topple Assad. Why did the US now decide to uproot them from Iraq?

Mediterranean migrant drownings should spur greater action by European countries, urge UN agencies

Three ways China can make the New Silk Road sustainable

MWC 2016 LIVE: Mobile World Congress shows off planes, trams and automobiles

Who really cares for the environment?

Budget MEPs approve €34m in EU aid to Greece, Poland, Lithuania and Bulgaria

World cannot be transformed without ‘ingenuity of the countries of the South’: UN Chief

Knowledge management and entrepreneurship: short term vs. long term perspective

Germany resists Macron’s plan for closer and more cohesive Eurozone; Paris and Berlin at odds

3 charts that show how global carbon emissions hit a record high in 2018

How India’s globalized cities will change its future

The world’s most expensive places to own a home

Appalling overall unemployment in Eurozone at 20.6%

Donor countries need to reform development finance to meet 2030 pledge

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s