If there is an industry that got lots of research and advances in the period of COVID-19 is only the tech industry. These advanced technologies backed unmanned services helping humans to successfully contain the rapidly spreading coronavirus.
These upcoming technologies and breakthrough inventions are expected to be gradually implemented in the near future. But, the present epidemic and lockdown conditions leave no other choices than embrace the advanced technologies to make the world a better place to live in these pandemic situations.
Especially, the medical and healthcare organizations relied on decision-making technology – AI to understand the virus and to get real-time suggestions to contain the virus.
Voca.ai – a voice assistant developer and Carnegie Mellon University developed a voice forensic technology called ‘Corona Voice Detect’ which will help to detect virus-infected individuals in the very early stage by analyzing their voice, tone, and sounds patterns.
Covid-19 brings the urgency for unmanned services to avoid the human to human intervention and to stop spreading the virus. This will define the future and scope of robotics and driverless cars. Here are advanced real-world robots helping humans in various sectors.
Major self-driving car companies like Tesla, Waymo, Uber have already reached a significant stage in building autonomous cars.
The prominence of social-distancing urges a huge demand for online classes/education, e-commerce, and other online activities to address our various needs of day to day life.
AR/VR & Mixed reality technologies gonna play a major role in virtual classrooms/education, e-commerce, shopping, and real-estate post-COVID period.
Since man invented the wheel (a circular object), human development got enough pace to make this world a better place to live. As time passes, we have been seeing a lot of emerging technologies that make our lives much simple and easier.
But, 2021 and beyond would be most exciting for Technology enthusiasts and geeks with upcoming breakthrough technologies and futuristic inventions. Since some of the technological inventions in 2021 have been limited to science-fiction movies are till now are expected to become the existence of the real world.
Upcoming technological inventions & scientific breakthroughs in 2021
Check out the list of new technology trends in 2021, that we found something great to be expected in the near future:
1. Quantum Computers:
What is a Quantum Computer?
According to Wikipedia, “Quantum computer is a device that performs quantum computing using quantum mechanics. They are different from conventional computers, use ‘qubits’ as units of information instead of a regular binary system (0 or 1). A Qubit is a short form for ‘quantum bit‘ which has special properties and works on two main principles of quantum physics: superposition and entanglement. Quantum computers run on a new type of quantum algorithms to process information.
A cloud-based IBM Quantum Experience project available to run users to run their own programs on the company’s computer. And, A Canadian based company ‘D-Wave’ is the worlds’ first one to sell quantum computers. But, quantum computers still aren’t practical for most of the real world. Many national governments and military agencies funding quantum computing researches to develop quantum machines for business, national security, and environmental purpose.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Of course, AI is might not a new phenomenon, but it has never failed to wow us from time to time.
Artificial intelligence is one of the most life-changing technological inventions and also the most controversial one too. Artificial Intelligence is an umbrella term for most industries. Advancements in AI and its subset fields, like artificial neural networks (ANN), computer vision, natural language processing (NLP), etc., going to result in more AI innovation in 2021.
Converging AI, Machine Learning technologies, and subset fields together is a huge breakthrough in the Computer Science field. Robotics, Autonomous vehicles, Security, and Surveillance Systems are the fastest growing industries by adopting AI.
Virtual reality and Augmented reality are the most buzzing words, which emerging to be a life-changing breakthrough technology. Though, the technology which is limited to just gaming has quickly become a powerful tool in industries like designing, manufacturing, architecture, education, entertainment, and healthcare, etc. Sometimes people might use AR and VR interchangeably but those are completely two different technologies.
So, what are AR and VR technologies?
In simple words…
Virtual reality is which takes you to a whole new virtual world. And, the Augmented reality is which bring computer-generated perceptual objects and information into the existing real world.
Virtual reality is around for a while, and it is very popular among 3D gamers. But, in 2021 it gonna be the mainstream in most industries like architecture, education, real estate, medical, and space research.
And, when you play the ‘Pokemon Go’ game and see your face through Snapchat-lens’ face-filters are the most familiar examples of Augmented Reality.
4. Self-healing Materials:
Have you ever think of ‘what if your phone’s broken screen has heal/repair itself automatically just like your skin?’
Yeah, self-healing materials will help us to build self-repairing phones, gadgets, household appliances, or even architectural structures like buildings and bridges. And, prevent them from damages and cracks by aging.
What are self-healing materials?
Self-healing materials are quite similar to biological substances and behave like human skin. Since they are artificial or synthetically created, self-healing materials have a built-in ability to automatically repair damages to themselves without any external diagnosis or human intervention.
Self-healing materials are not a new concept, ancient Indians, Egyptians used this technology to build their houses, temples, and traditional structures to last through the ages thousands of years ago.
5. DNA Storage:
All it has come to light when Microsoft claimed a record by storing 200MB of data onto a synthetic DNA strand.
But, now scientists have gone much further by developing DNA storage capabilities by 100 times. A group of researchers from Columbia University and the New York Genome Center (NYGC) has invented a new coding strategy, named DNA fountain. DNA fountain is a customized version of the video streaming algorithm on a mobile phone.
With ‘DNA fountain coding system’ scientists stored 215 PetaBytes of data onto a single gram of DNA strand.
Benefits of DNA storage:
DNA holds promise for future DNA storage medium because it is ultra-portable and reliable. DNA Storage can last thousands of years when keeping it in the right conditions, won’t be degraded over time. And, it has an extremely higher data storage density and even more secure than electronic data storage devices.
6. Reversing Paralysis:
A cure for paralysis could finally be on its way. A French neuroscientist, Grégoire Courtine’s researches rising hope for reversing paralysis caused by spinal cord injuries. He developed a revolutionary technology that will simulate a few volts of electricity to activate the specific muscle.
A Swiss-based research company, École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) which is centered for the main research, said “The neuroprosthetic system ‘BSI’ (Brain-Spinal Interface System) bridges the spinal cord injury in real-time and wirelessly. The chip interprets and decodes the signal from the brain’s motor cortex and sends information to the electrodes located on the surface of the lumbar spinal cord. This electrical stimulation will modulate distinct networks of neurons that can activate specific muscles of the body.”
In research conducted on a partially paralyzed macaque monkey results were hopeful. The progress that scientists have made on reversing paralysis is remarkable and promising. This advancement in the medical industry will have a life-changing impact on those who suffer from paralysis.
7. Flying cars:
It was just a dream when Philip K. Dick first mentioned flying cars in his 1968’s novel, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”. Then which in turn became a source of inspiration for Sci-fi movies. However, finally flying cars are going to take place in the real world.
A Dutch-based company Pal-V offered a flying car called “Liberty” on sale and is expected to make deliveries by the end of 2021. It is just like the commutable drone, which uses Rotax engine-based dual-propulsion drivetrain which enables it to both drive and fly.
In the drive mode, the propeller tucks into the rear while rotors are folded and stored in the top of the vehicle when it is in the drive mode. Pal-V claims that Liberty can reach a max speed of 100 miles per hour on the ground and can reach an operating altitude of 11,480 feet.
If you are interested to own one, the company started pre-booking on its official site.
8. AI Integrated Surveillance Systems (CCTV Security Cameras):
Electronic surveillance is the most reliable security system. Most criminal and theft cases are solved based on CCTV footage. In offices, schools, streets, and malls our every move is recorded and tracked. But, yet there are some limitations with traditional CCTV.
Conventional surveillance systems are not smart. They need human intervention and a huge time consumptive while investigation.
How does AI-powered surveillance systems work?
But, Artificial Intelligence (AI) integrated surveillance systems are smart and intelligent. With the help of big data and deep-learning algorithms like behavior and facial recognition security cameras can predict potential vulnerabilities, menace, and threats and alert police and other emergency agencies.
These intelligent machines work on their own self, without human intervention. They can analyze and track people’s faces and their every move. Then compare them to the National Security Database of suspected and wanted people.
Major companies Hitachi and Nvidia are reportedly working on AI surveillance systems.
Benefits of AI-powered security cameras:
Predicting vulnerabilities and menace
Tracking missing children
Identifying criminals and terrorists in the large crowd.
Tracking theft vehicles
Less human intervention
9. Autonomous vehicles
We’re hearing about autonomous cars for a while or seen a few self-driving car prototypes being trials.
So… What, are we gonna fleet in an autonomous vehicle? When?
Since, there are a few driver-assistance system s like Nissan Propilot Assist, Tesla’s Autopilot, Mobileye, and Openpilot are already helping the real-world driver. These semi-automated driving systems have features like lane changing, centering, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, collision avoidance system, driver monitoring system and self-parking, etc., A full-fledged autonomous (self-driving) vehicle is yet to come into the consumer market.
As per announcements at CES Asia 2019, exhibitors and manufacturers promising to bring autonomous vehicles into the consumer market by 2021.
10. Light Fidelity (Li-Fi)
Here is another breakthrough technological invention, Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) first introduced by Edinburgh professor Mr. Harald Haas in 2011. The Lifi technology will use regular LEDs (Light Emitted Diode) to send/receive data with lightning speed. Lifi boasts up to 100 times faster data transfer rates than our current wifi technology. It allows data transfer and device charging simultaneously without any cables, which is where the beauty of li-fi lies.
While few of them had already taken place in the real world. Such as wireless earphones (earbuds), drones, robots, and artificial intelligence. Yet, there are a few greater technological innovations going to be mainstream this year 2021, and beyond. Not only worked on by tech-companies but with a consumer release in the near future.
Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoy the topic of upcoming technology breakthroughs and scientific inventions, please let us know if we forget something. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates from Techlurn, let us know your opinions in the comments section.
Omkar Dharmapuri is a technologist, IT professional, writer, and blogger. He is an SEO & digital market by passion. He mostly writes about future technology, computing, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and privacy.