10 technologies that will change the world in the next three years

10 technologies that will change the world in the next three years

The 10th anniversary edition of the World Economic Forum's WEF Top 10 Emerging Technologies report lists new technologies that are poised to impact the world in the next three to five years, from breath sensors that can diagnose disease to wireless charging of low-powered devices.

The first technology on the list is 'Decarbonisation'. As countries and big business houses commit to reducing carbon emissions, efforts are on to drive decarbonisation in all aspects of daily life. There is a need to scale up innovation and technological developments in areas such as mass energy storage, low carbon chemical sources, revitalised rail transport, amongst others.

One of the crops that make their own fertiliser is a technology that is disrupting the status quo. It's important for countries to invest in this technology, as the world uses over 110 million tonnes of nitrogen fertiliser each year. It could reduce the problem of pollution, soil depletion, and carbon emission if crops can produce nitrogen on their own.

Another technology on the list is diagnosing diseases with a puff of breath. There are breath sensors that can diagnose diseases by sampling the concentrations of the more than 800 compounds contained in human breath.

The traditional method of making medicines involves hundreds of tons of material and involves various challenges, as well as a multi-step method of making medicines. Making medicines on demand is a new way to address the problem of consistency and reliable supply.

With the rise of 5 G technology providing wireless signals of adequate power, researchers have found that a tiny antenna within IoT sensors can harvest energy from such signals.

With the advent of 5 G wireless signals of adequate power, a tiny antenna within IoT sensors can harvest energy from such signals. This is going to solve the problem of charging IoT sensors, which are often extremely low power devices that report data critical to daily lives.

Age hacking or engineering a longer healthspan is a area that is seeing major developments. Researchers are experimenting with molecular mechanisms that age. As renewable energy sources become more plentiful, scientists are working on a green variant of hydrogen. The green hydrogen helps eliminate excess atmospheric carbon and is free of contaminating chemicals.

Biomarker devices going wireless are another area that finds a place in the WEF's top 10 emerging technology list. More than 100 companies are using wireless biomarker sensing devices to monitor critical medical information. There is a wireless connection that makes it very easy to find out if you need to use it in remote areas.

Besides, houses printed with local materials can be found in the list, as they could help provide rugged shelters in remote regions in developing nations. 3 D printers can use locally sourced materials, clay, sand and local fibres to print structures. The report said that this could cut the need for transporting material to the site by almost 95 per cent.

As per the WEF, countless low-cost microsatellites in low earth orbit capture data globally and download it to central facilities for processing, IoT will enable unprecedented levels of global understanding encompassing previously inaccessible developing regions without traditional Internet infrastructure. This area will see a lot of progress in the next three to five years.