Thought leaders from around the globe have met to make a top 10 list of technologies under development that are tipped as the next sciences on the verge of major breakthroughs.
The list is compiled by the World Economic Forum, a think-tank of more than 1,500 scientists, economists, thinkers and influencers who support cutting edge scientific research.
World changing technologies
Here’s their list of emerging technologies set to change the world:
Computers interfacing with the human brain – like the disabled steering wheelchairs by the power of thought
Mining metals from seawater – new chemical processes are making large scale desalination viable and recovering metals offsets the cost
Nanostructured carbon composites – Ultralight carbon fibre can make cars 40% lighter, reducing fuel costs and making them easier to recycle
Storing solar and wind energy in the national grid: A breakthrough is close that saves surplus energy from renewable sources like the sun and wind in the electricity grid.
Wearable electronics – Worn, embedded in clothes or places under the skin, electronic devices can monitor health information, like heart rate and stress levels
Nanowire lithium-ion batteries – New silicon batteries have a longer life, charge quicker and hold three times the power of existing batteries
Screenless display- Projecting 3D images into space without a screen is close to becoming a practical reality.
Human microbiome therapeutics – Treating serious disease by manipulating the bacteria in the body
Gene-based therapeutics – Developing gene-based drugs for cancer and infectious diseases.
Predictive analytics – Modelling people and their behaviours to help with issues like urban planning and medical diagnosis.
“Technology has no limits as long as we can come up with ways to use it,” said Noubar Afeyan, chair of the Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies and chief executive officer of Flagship Ventures.
“Scientists are working on sources for cleaner energy and looking for new cures for treating disease. But to make the most of these huge steps forward, the world needs regulatory frameworks, alliances between innovators and brands, more money for investment and better public awareness of what is happening in science.”
Afeyan also explained that the next 12 months is considered crucial for many of these scientific researchers on the verge of breakthroughs as innovators need help from business and government to move from the realms of science fiction into reality.