The editors of Scientific American, together with analysts from the World Economic Forum, polled leading technology experts to identify the most interesting and useful innovations. In this article, we will discuss a few of them;
Bioplastic From Plant Waste
Plastic debris that accumulates in the oceans is the cause of the death of marine animals, plants, and even a source of human disease (microplastics can enter the body through fish). Bioplastic can solve these problems by promoting the development of a circular economy – it decomposes and turns into biomass. Today, bioplastics are made from corn, sugarcane, and waste fats and oils, but they are not very durable and also ugly.
A recent development is a method for making plastic from cellulose and lignin (a substance that characterizes, for example, the stiff walls of plants). Bioplastics, derived from non-food plant varieties (such as giant reeds), are in no way inferior to conventional plastics in terms of quality.
Devices are getting smaller every year, but their optical components are shrinking at a slower rate. Engineers have figured out what physical laws are behind their lightweight alternatives – metalens. Their diminutiveness will make it possible to reduce the size of cameras, optical sensors for the Internet of things, microscopes, and other equipment. In addition, scientists have developed metalens that correct astigmatism in humans.
217 thousand professional service robots were sold in 2018, which is 61% more than in 2017. And sales continue to grow in 2022, special thanks to social robots. They are needed to interact with people who need communication, care, and concern. Social robots are equipped with artificial intelligence, which helps them understand how to respond to information received through cameras and sensors.
These robots recognize faces, and basic human emotions, and engage in conversation via a touch screen on their chest. Social robots are especially needed by the elderly. If you want to learn more about new technologies and trends, you should attend tech conferences. For example, you can go to the CIO summit and learn about new trends and even meet tech experts.
Potential Alzheimer’s Cure
Decades ago, scientists discovered a special class of proteins that cause diseases ranging from cancer to neurodegenerative diseases. They are called “intrinsically disordered proteins” (IRPs). They play an important role in parts of cells called membrane-less organelles. Scientists have developed technology to manipulate these organelles, which could potentially lead to cures for the diseases that cause VNP.
Standard fertilization practices are often harmful to the environment. The new development is a controlled-release fertilizer that supplies the soil with nutrients when needed. They consist of small capsules, the outer shell of which slows down the penetration of water into the contents.
Collaborative telepresence technology is under development, but leading tech giants such as Microsoft are investing in the industry. It is expected that by 2025 it will be valued at several billion dollars. The Peter Diamandis XPRIZE Foundation has launched the ANPR Avatar XPRIZE competition. Its winner will receive funds to develop technologies that will allow people to feel the presence of each other, even if they are on different ends of the Earth.
Network Energy Storage
Power engineers predict that over the next decade, lithium-ion batteries will be used most often. Constantly improving technology will lead to the fact that batteries will soon be able to store twice as much energy as they currently have.
Blockchain Against Food Poisoning
You can reduce the number of food poisonings with the help of blockchain. An innovative method of using this tool in the industry is applied to product traceability. With the help of blockchain, merchants can immediately remove spoiled food from circulation and destroy only stocks received from the same source. In addition, some companies have begun to produce packages with sensors that monitor the quality of products and indicate the expiration date.