2017 – a midyear look at top technologies (part 1)
As the middle of the year creeps in, it seems the right time to have another look at the big technology predictions of 2017.
Back in January, we presented to you Gartner’s Top 10 Strategic Technology forecasts. This time round, we review a list with a slightly different take on technology – the MIT’s Breakthrough Technologies.
The 10 Breakthrough Technologies has been compiled by the MIT since 2002. The list presents the most impactful technologies which the MIT predicts will have the greatest influence on us long-term.
So what are the top 10 most remarkable technologies chosen by the MIT in 2017? This week we reveal the first five on their list.
1. Reversing paralysis
The technology is based on a wireless connection of brain to spine. A brain-reading chip is inserted close to the motor cortex and connected wirelessly to the electrodes implanted around the spinal cord. This stimulates the limbs to move. Although still in the lab, the technology could potentially be used to reverse spinal cord-related paralysis.
2. Self-driving trucks
MIT predicts self-driving lorries may hit motorways in the next 5-10 years. The rationale behind long-haul independent trucks is mostly related to their economics, especially if they would be able to drive in close proximity to the lorry in front which, over long stretches of highway, would reduce wind drag and save fuel.
3. Paying with your face
Facial detection has been with us for a while now, but MIT claims the technology is now accurate enough for use in financial transactions, since this time round it is based on deep learning. Its largest proponent so far is China which leads in terms of research and use of facial recognition technology.
4. Practical quantum computers
Specialists have so far been able to build stable 5-qubit quantum computers and less stable 10-20-qubit test systems. The target of 50 qubits (which Google claims to be able to achieve within a year) is known as ‘quantum supremacy’ – a point where quantum computing overtakes the physical computing possibilities of current supercomputers. Read more about quantum computing in our post here.
5. The 360-degree selfie
The MIT predicts that the standards for news coverage and holiday snaps will soon change. Inexpensive and widely available cameras taking 360° photos and videos will make this the it-format for relaying visual information.
The technologies presented to you come from different realms, but they undeniably have the potential to make a lasting impact on our world in the very near or near future. Make sure you check back for part 2 of the midyear look at top technologies series to find out what the other 5 are.