There is no denying the fact that the world we are living in today is the sort of “digital future” in the movies and books. In fact, we have advanced so far into technology that scientists are now scratching their heads on “what’s next?.

While some of the answers to this question are quite controversial, the others highly ambitious. 2018 has been a time of inventing and reinventing. Last year, we saw a lot of ideas developing into a practical shape which had been of great interest for quite some time. With enough data and practise on hand the ideas have finally materialised. Will they go commercial or snatched by agencies? We will find out soon.

Admittedly 7 is not a number under which we can discuss everything that has happened in the past year. Some honorary mentions include: Sensing Cities; Smart city project transforming cities into digital cities with the help of sensors, Artificial Embryos; Growing synthetic embryos from stem cells, Quantum Computers Algorithms; Computer functions powered by quantic algorithms to improve efficiency, Duelling Neural Networks; AI networks working against each other to create a true answer, and Babel FIsh Earphones; Real-time translations with the help of smartphone and a pair of earbuds.

Here, we aim to highlight some of the most sophisticated technology breakthroughs which are audience favourites.

Augmented Reality

While idea of the technology itself has been used on and off again with video games, and mobile applications, its use in Defence and Healthcare is relatively new and full of possibilities. You may have seen it in Pokemon Go, a popular YA game but now Medicine is finding purposes with it as well. Clinical decisions are full of risks and unexpected possibilities. With the help of Augmented Reality Doctors can access data and imagery which could pro-emptively being lot of solutions. It can assist surgeries where the operators can have a 3D look under the patient’s skin. Couple this with artificial technology and you get real time calculations on where to cut, and which stitch to perform.

Personalised Medicine

Diagnosis and medication tailored to a person’s genetics can lead to quality of life. With advance medical technology, doctors can learn a patient’s history, and how prone they are to interact with a certain disease. All this information can prove to be beneficial while diagnosing a patient or preparing their medications. Doctors can better learn the implications of a certain drug on a patient’s immune system by having this data with them in real-time. Consequently, it can help in improving the recovery period required. Especially, without performing extensive tests or surgical attempts on a body.

Zero-carbon Natural Gas

The main source of energy and its generation in the world is Natural Gas. It will probably remain so for quite some time. A project near Houston, USA, has started testing on how to reduce carbon emission or possibly reduce it to exterminate the greenhouse effect. If this turns out to be a success then we may be taking a huge leap in the energy sector. As this will reduce the waste produced, consequently the capital and manual labour involved will reduce as well. The company testing this currently, Net Power, is looking at an alternate way to generate “clean” energy with the help of fossil fuels.

Genetic Fortune Telling

Research institutes like Helix, Broad Institute, Myriad Genetics have been carrying out studies on genetics for along time with more than a million test subjects. We are now finally at a stage where all this data that has been collected from worldwide to be put into practical use. Time in not far when every baby will get a full report card with facts written that could potentially describe their whole life ahead. Based on genetics scientists have developed various genetic categories that could outline IQ levels, disease contract chances, hobbies and such. With enough data in the bank, pharmaceuticals, educational institutions, human resources, and many other industries can will be able to attempt decision making on the basis of genetically assigned capabilities. Considering this it is safe to say that the technology is quite controversial.

Material’s Quantum Leap

If you think that computers today are at an advance level then you are at mistake. Recently, IBM carried out some tests and were able to successfully run simulations through the electron’s structure of a molecule with the help of a quantum computer. With this in the bag it has opened doors to exciting opportunities for large scale manufacturers. Quantum computers are not like an ordinary machinery. They can perform calculations and run feats which may seem impossible with legacy infrastructures. Additionally, the concept of energy generation and distribution is will change. By cutting down on the waste and improving efficiency of the labour.

AI Led Molecular Design

Pharmaceuticals in the past were reliant on predictions and test calculations with least errors to develop new and better drugs. With the advance AI technology, instead of encountering human errors we are able to run automated calculations. This coupled with Machine Learning is the way forward. By feeding past tests, results, and data to an AI based protocol, results can be generated in real-time. Machine processes can learn the patterns and previous predictions to produce results which are logical. It is an exciting prospect for the future and step in the progressive direction.

3D Printing

When we hear about 3D printing, we think of plastic immediately. Metallic or other 3-D printing has been slow due to no access to knowledge and lesser practical application with a wide audience. Not to mention it has been expensive as well. However, with the recent introduction of several 3-D metal printing companies into the market, it has now become easily accessible and prices have been drastically reduced as well. What does it have in store? (pun unintended) With the help of 3-D metal printers companies don’t have to spend a fortune on warehouses, storage, and mass producing the same part. 3-D printers will help streamline the processes to reduce prices by a mile.