The world economic forum, known for its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, has published a new report which identifies the main technological trends of the current year.
"Technology has become perhaps the greatest agent of change in the modern world, writes entrepreneur Noubar Afeyan (Noubar Afeyan). — Without risk there is never a cost, but positive technological breakthroughs promise innovative solutions to the most urgent global problems of our time, from resource scarcity to global environmental change".
"Prioritizing the most important technological breakthroughs, the Council aims to raise awareness about their potential and contribute to closing gaps in investment, regulation and public opinion," he said.
Below is a brief description of the latest technologies that you should pay attention this year, from wearable electronics to interfaces "brain-computer".
1. Fitted to the body wearable electronics
"Among these virtually invisible devices have in-ear headphones that monitor heart rate, sensors under clothes, controlling posture, a temporary tattoo, which monitors the functioning of vital organs, soles and tactile, showing the way by GPS through vibrations, which the person feels the soles of the feet.
This technique has a variety of applications: tactile outsole it is offered to use as a guide for the blind, and Google Glass are worn by oncologists, since this device helps them in conducting operations, by showing medical records and other visual information via voice commands.
2. Nanostructured graphite composites
Air pollution emissions from the rapidly growing vehicle fleet have become an increasing concern to ecologists. Therefore, improving the operational efficiency of transport is a promising direction to reduce the overall impact of pollution.
New methods of nanostructuring of carbon fiber for advanced composite materials demonstrate the possibility to reduce the weight of cars by 10% or more. A light car needs less fuel, and therefore it will increase efficiency in the carriage of people and goods and decrease the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere".
3. Production of metals in concentrate of sea water with desalination
Freshwater resources continue to decrease, and therefore one of the solutions is desalination. But desalination has serious drawbacks. It requires large amounts of energy, and in addition resulted in formation of waste in the form of concentrated saltwater, which, when the return to the sea has a serious negative impact on marine flora and fauna.
Perhaps the most promising solution to this problem may be new to this concentrate, if you look at it not as waste, but as raw source of very valuable substances. Among them, lithium, magnesium and uranium, as well as the usual soda, calcium and potash compounds.
4. Storing electricity on an industrial scale
There are signs that many new technologies will help us get to close to the solution of problems. Some of them, for example, flow-through batteries, in the future will be able to retain in liquid form and in large quantities of chemical energy, similar to how we stored coal and gas.
Various solid battery will allow you to save quite large amounts of energy in a rather cheap and available materials. Newly invented graphene capacitors with large capacitance are quickly charged and discharged batteries, making many tens of thousands of cycles. There are other options, for example, the use of potential kinetic energy in large flywheels and compressed air storage underground.
5. Nanowire lithium-ion batteries
These batteries are a new generation of faster is able to hold a full charge and work out 30-40% more electricity than today's lithium-ion batteries. This will help to transform the electric vehicle market and will allow you to store solar energy at home. First, in the next two years the battery with a silicon anode would be used in smartphones.
6. Display without screen
In this area considerable and rapid progress was made in 2013. It seems that in the nearest future we can expect important breakthroughs in the application of variable sized displays without a screen. Different companies are achieving serious success in this field. It comes to head headset virtual reality, bionic contact lenses, the development of mobile phones for the elderly and visually impaired people, and videoprogramma that do not require points and moving parts.
7. Drugs for intestinal microflora of humans
Now great attention is paid to intestinal microflora and its role in causing various diseases — from infections and obesity to diabetes and inflammation of the digestive tract.
It became clear that treatment with antibiotics leads to the destruction of intestinal flora and cause complications such as infections from the bacteria Clostridium difficile. And in some cases complications may even threaten human life. On the other hand, are underway clinical studies group of microbes found in a healthy gut, which will help create a new generation of drugs to improve the treatment process of the intestinal microflora of humans.
8. Drugs based on RNA
Advances in the study of ribonucleic acids (RNA) and in the technologies of synthesis in a living organism allow to create a new generation of drugs based on RNA. These drugs will be able to dilute it is present in excessive amounts natural protein and will produce under natural conditions, the organism is optimized medicinal proteins. In collaboration with major pharmaceutical companies and research centers created a number of private companies that will develop drugs and treatments based on RNA.
9. Know thyself (predictive Analytics)
Smartphones contain a huge amount of information about the activities of people, including those who they know (contact lists, social networking apps) with whom to communicate (check-call, check text messages, e-mail), where they go (GPS, Wi-Fi photos with location reference) and what you are doing (we use applications, data loads).
Using this information, as well as special, machine-learning algorithms, it is possible to build detailed predictive models about people and their behavior. This will help in the work planning, assignment of individual medicines, in anticipation of future needs in medical diagnostics.
10. Interfaces "brain-computer"
The ability to control the computer power of the mind is closer to reality than you think. Interfaces "brain-computer", in which the computer reads and interprets the signals directly from the brain, are undergoing clinical trials and are demonstrating good results. They will enable people suffering from quadriplegia (paralysis of arms and legs), syndrome of exclusion and those who had a stroke, to move around in his wheelchair and even drink coffee from a Cup, controlling the robotic arm using brain waves. In addition, brain implants help to restore partial vision to those who have lost it.
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