We’ve compiled a list of disruptive innovations that are shaping the technological landscape around the world and shaping our future through reports from reputable scientific journals and the world’s largest media.
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Top 10 technology trends 2023
1. Lithium metal batteries
Lithium metal batteries have every chance to change the balance of power in the car market. Their energy density is equal to 1 kWh per liter of volume, which is almost twice that of lithium-ion batteries. According to MIT Technology Review, thanks to this, electric cars charge much faster, and most importantly, the charge lasts 80% longer than with lithium-ion batteries. Such indicators remain after 800 cycles.
The American startup QuantumScape (among its investors – Bill Gates), which develops lithium metal batteries, conducted its first tests in December 2020. After successful trials, it has already struck a deal with Volkswagen, which will begin producing electric vehicles with these batteries in 2025.
Skeptics argue that the test results are still too early to be considered successful: they were carried out on single-layer cells, while in real batteries they should be multi-layer. In mass production, this can lead to unforeseen risks.
2. Messenger RNA vaccines
The RNA vaccine is one of the most advanced medical developments in the past 20 years. There are now two vaccines created with this technology: Pfizer and Moderna. Both are against the coronavirus.
Conventional – vector – vaccines contain an attenuated or inactive pathogen of the virus. MRNA vaccines prompt the body to produce a protein fragment contained in the causative agent COVID-19, which immediately attacks the immune system. As a result, there is a strong immunity to the virus, the body becomes resistant to infection.
Matrix (informational) RNAs are good because they are easy to modify for any new virus strain. They can also be used to fight infections (such as malaria), cancer, sickle cell disease, HIV, and other serious illnesses.
To date, the most advanced neural network based on NLP (that is, text recognition algorithms) is GPT-3. It is a transforming neural network capable of generating coherent responses in dialogue with a person. The amount of data and parameters used by it is 100 times greater than the previous generation – GPT-2.
However, even the most advanced transformers trained on huge data sets do not understand the meaning of the words and phrases they generate. Training them requires huge amounts of data and computational resources, which, in turn, leave a large carbon footprint. Another problem is the imperfection of datasets for training neural networks: texts on the Internet often contain distortions, manipulations and outright fakes.
One of the most promising directions in the development of AI and neural networks is expanding the range of perception. Now algorithms are able to recognize images, faces, fingerprints, sounds and voice. They can also speak and generate images and videos, mimicking our perception of different senses. MIT scientists note that AI lacks emotional intelligence and feelings to get closer to humans. Unlike AI, a person can not only process information and issue ready-made solutions, but also take into account the context, many external and internal factors, and most importantly, act in conditions of uncertainty and a changing environment. For example, DeepMind’s AlphaGo algorithm is capable of beating the world champion in go and chess, but it still cannot expand its strategy beyond the board.
So far, even the most advanced algorithms, including GPT-3, are only on their way. Now developers are faced with the task of creating multimodal systems that would combine text recognition and sensory perception to process information and find solutions.
4. Data protection according to the Data Trusts model
According to Accenture, the number of cyberattacks has grown significantly during the pandemic. In the first half of 2020 alone, 36 billion accounts and accounts were hacked. We began to store much more data on the Web, work online and use corporate services from our personal devices. As a result, many companies suffered from leaks and were forced to strengthen cybersecurity.
But the reason for leaks may be not only weak data protection, but also the fact that the very model of their collection and storage is outdated. Data Trusts – “data trust” – a new approach that can change everything. In this case, a special trust fund is created, which stores and manages the data of people on their behalf and on their behalf.
According to Mozilla representatives, the principle of data confidentiality implies that you transfer your data to someone who uses it for your own benefit. At the same time, all data is stored in one place, and the services that you use get access to them on your terms. The trust is fully legally responsible for respecting your interests and privacy.
5. Wi-Fi 6 and 5G
New standards of communication and wireless Internet, on the one hand, help to work remotely from one point at high speed, on the other hand, they contribute to the development of the Internet of things and artificial intelligence, make data transmission more secure.
The main benefits that 5G provides:
- Improved mobile broadband: high-speed video streaming in social networks and online services with minimal signal transmission delays (only 1-2 ms);
- Large-scale Internet of Things: according to Accenture, with the help of 5G it will be possible to support up to 1 million devices per sq km;
- Mission Critical Services. The new communication standard will ensure the smooth operation of autonomous drones or remote intensive care units.
With 5G, many employees will be able to permanently move to remote work, and companies will make faster decisions based on streaming analytics. From 2023 to 2025, technology will bring the US economy up to $ 2.7 trillion and up to 16 million jobs.
The new Wi-Fi 6 standard will add a new 6 GHz frequency to the two already available – 2.4 and 5 GHz. It pursues the same goals as 5G: it helps to speed up the Internet connection (up to 2 Gb / s for mobile devices), make it more stable and broadband – it will be possible to connect even more devices to one point. In this case, the network itself will distribute Internet traffic between devices, depending on their capacity.
Cisco experts name the main benefits of Wi-Fi 6 for business:
- support for new services and applications – including highly loaded – within the local network;
- higher speed and service level of existing services (for example, streaming video in 8K);
- the ability to serve more customers in high-load environments;
- remote and wireless offices, including IoT devices.
According to a Deloitte poll, 86% of CEOs believe advanced wireless will transform their organization within three years, and 79% say the same about their industry.
According to The Verge, the first 316 million mobile devices with Wi-Fi 6E will appear in 2023. It is expected that 5G and Wi-Fi 6 will not compete, but mutually complement each other – depending on the tasks and types of devices.
In Russia, operators will spend more than RUB 1.1 trillion. for the development of 5G from 2023 to 2027. Active implementation will begin in 2024, but the timing may be shifted due to low demand. But Wi-Fi 6 is unlikely to work: the network frequencies are already occupied by fixed radio communications, and in the future they can be transferred under 5G.
6. Virtual and augmented reality
According to Statista, the AR and VR market in 2020 was estimated at $ 18.8 billion, which is three times more than in 2016. PwC analysts in 2019 predicted that the number of employees using VR and AR in their work will grow from 500 thousand to 23 million by 2030.
Today, these technologies are used in healthcare – to train surgeons or perform operations with diagnostic data in the form of holograms and an online consultation of doctors. In early February 2023, Microsoft conducted an online broadcast of 12 operations performed in MR – mixed reality. Surgeons from 13 countries were able to connect online and see all diagnostic data in the form of holograms and consult each other.
In retail, AR allows you to try on products, place furniture in the interior before purchasing, and receive personalized offers. For example, toy maker Mattel (Barbie dolls and others) uses augmented reality for Hot Wheels toy cars. Buyers can point their smartphone at a specific model to play with it on any surface:
At IKEA, using a VR headset, you can imagine what your kitchen will look like with the selected furniture.
In education, augmented and virtual reality helps to deeply engage in the process and model in detail the environment that is studied in the classroom. The technology is also used in corporate training. Tyson Foods, a global food corporation, is using VR to train its employees in workplace safety. As a result, work-related injuries decreased by 20%.
Architects and designers present projects at 1: 1 scale using virtual and augmented reality instead of conventional 3D renders:
ThyssenKrupp Elevator, a provider of transportation systems, escalators and elevators, has launched virtual reality rooms in Asia and the Middle East with demonstrations of urban transportation solutions.
In the automotive industry, VR allows engineers to experiment with the design and construction of new models during the concept development phase. This approach is used, for example, in Hyundai:
But the main areas where virtual and augmented reality are especially in demand are games and entertainment. In addition to VR games and simulations, there are entire amusement parks using virtual reality in different countries: for example, Europa-Park in Germany or VR Star in China.
The fastest growing market for devices with gesture recognition – gloves for VR and AR – will grow in the next seven years: according to Grand View Research, from 2023 to 2028, the market will grow on average 18% annually.
7. 3D printing
During the COVID-19 pandemic, additive technologies have become a profitable alternative to traditional manufacturing that requires huge investments and resources. Another significant advantage is the significantly lower level of waste.
According to Grand View Research, the volume of the global 3D printing market in 2019 was estimated at $ 11.58 billion, and from 2020 to 2027 its average annual growth will be more than 14%. By 2027, there will be 8 million 3D printers in the world – almost six times more than in 2018. 77% of them are industrial printers. With the help of 3D printing, they are already creating clothes and shoes, interior items, mechanical parts and even prostheses. Many parts for the Rutherford engines installed on the Electron launch vehicle are 3D printed.
In medicine and healthcare, 3D printers are used to print cables and other parts for medical equipment. Another amazing experiment is 3D printing of fragments of human bones directly in the body, instead of damaged or lost ones. For this, special biocompatible ink is used.
Additive technologies are used in architecture: whole frame houses are erected from printed parts, which makes them much cheaper than conventional counterparts. According to The Guardian, in the Californian Coachella Valley, an entire microdistrict was built up like this. Real estate developer Mighty Buildings claims it saved 95% of builders’ time.
We are now one step away from using 3D printing to create the necessary objects on the lunar surface using moon dust. This will greatly simplify the colonization of the satellite: you will not have to deliver heavy cargo and equipment there.
8. “Green” hydrogen
Green hydrogen is now part of the global strategy to reduce carbon footprint and switch to renewable energy sources. Together with electric cars, hydrogen engines are intended to become the main alternative to diesel vehicles.
“Green” hydrogen is produced in an environmentally friendly way without the use of nuclear energy and natural gas. The most harmless method is electrolysis, when an electric current is passed through the water. This will get rid of 830 million tons of harmful carbon dioxide emissions per year – the consequences of non-environmentally friendly production of hydrogen.
Now, when the cost of solar and wind energy is falling rapidly, there is a chance for the massive introduction of hydrogen energy as well. In this regard, Europe began to create the necessary infrastructure and production based on electrolysis.
The IEA (International Energy Agency) marks a record increase in electrolysis for the production of green hydrogen. It predicts that the price of hydrogen fuel will fall by at least 30% by 2030, making it as affordable as other fuels.
Even before COVID-19, sales of hydrogen-powered vehicles accelerated, but now many production facilities have slowed down or stopped altogether. In the aftermath of the pandemic, it is hydrogen technology that can help restore the economy.
According to Allied Market Research, the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle market will reach $ 42 billion by 2026, with a 66.9% CAGR. It will be spurred on by growing environmental issues and international initiatives to address them, as well as the potential of technology alongside electric cars.
Hydrogen-powered cars are already produced by Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Audi, BMW, Ford, Nissan, Daimler. California will build 100 hydrogen filling stations, and plan to bring the number of zero-emission vehicles to 1.5 million by 2025.
Airbus has announced plans to accelerate development of commercial hydrogen-powered jets and eliminate the use of hybrid engines altogether. This means the first zero-emission aircraft will be available by 2035.
9. Compute as a service
Calculation As A Service (CaaS) or edge computing is a global trend, along with Software As A Service (SaaS), Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS – Platform As A Service). A typical example of such a model is online games or online movie theaters. You pay for a subscription, but the content itself is not stored with you, but is launched online on the server of the service provider.
Companies acquire access to cloud services to save on IT infrastructure and support, as well as not to overload the local network. This allows you to quickly deploy and test a new online service or software, place a virtual PBX and large databases. The pandemic has forced many to change their business model and reallocate IT resources towards cloud services.
According to Grand View Research, in 2019 the edge computing market was estimated at $ 3.5 billion. By 2027 it will grow to $ 43.4 billion. This will be helped, among other things, by the widespread adoption of 5G and a reduction in signal latency down to 1 ms. According to a survey by Analysys Mason, top companies plan to spend up to 30% of their IT budget on edge cloud computing in the coming years. Gartner predicts that 75% of corporate data will be processed this way by 2025. This is 7.5 times more than in 2018.
IDC predicts that 25% of companies will make businesses more agile and resilient by 2024 by integrating edge data with cloud applications. Computing as a service will be driven by machine learning and artificial intelligence. They help allocate and optimize power to ensure consistent processing speed.
10. Voice search and voice assistants
Voice recognition and NLP (neurolinguistic programming) in neural networks have reached the stage when voice assistants are quite capable of replacing real people or text search. Google, Apple and Amazon are investing more and more resources in the development of this direction.
Today we can do without text search: smart speakers and voice assistants search for the information we need, launch tracks and podcasts, set reminders and dial numbers. Voice navigation is used to control drones, and voice chatbots are replacing live consultants and call center operators.
According to a Google report, 27% of the world’s people use voice assistants on smartphones. According to Adobe Analytics, 47% of smart speaker owners use smart speakers to search, 46% to listen to news, 34% to ask for an address or get instructions. Google claims that 62% use smart columns to order products online.
AI voice assistants are getting smarter every year. In 2013, they could recognize 77% of spoken words, and today they are already 97%. For example, when Google’s RankBrain algorithm encounters a new search phrase, it guesses what a particular user might be looking for, and then returns the most appropriate answers.
In March, the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) published guidelines for virtual voice assistants. The organization is concerned about how much data they are using and whether the use of that data is GDPR-compliant. In particular, voice assistants are increasingly being used for machine learning algorithms for voice recognition, biometric identification and profiling for targeted advertising.