It is often said that we do not stop progress. This often means that progress, here scientifically, is slow. But when you consider that we are closer to 2050 now than we are to 1990, there is one thing that can take a hell of a long time: Seeing technological advances from the 1990s to 2021 is already a dizzying task. So who knows what will happen in another 30 years. Here is a small selection of some of the inventions that will hit the market over the next three decades. Hang on, there will be no talk of flying cars here.
# 1 the quantum computer
The IT industry causes proportionally more greenhouse gas emissions than aviation. Turning on your computer or clicking on a Hitek article like this will generate unnecessary calculations and data until your query can be answered. Quantum computers are able to process all traces at the same time in order to fulfill your request without any loss or latency. Reduction of CO² pollution and latency.
# 2 drones everywhere
Drones and related technologies are booming. Already tested in some countries, like the United States or the United Arab Emirates, drones can deliver parcels straight to your home without the need for a delivery man (and therefore one less employee, thankfully Jeff Bezos) and it works with pizzas too ! Amazon has already tried and it’s pretty scary. In the United Arab Emirates, they tested convincing taxi drone prototypes to get people moving.
# 3 light trees
Cambridge University students in the UK have come up with a solution to tackle excessive electricity consumption. Urban lighting accounts for almost 8% of global consumption. They succeeded in fusing a gene from a firefly or marine bacterium that can restore light with that of a tree that would be able to return its production at night.
# 4 biodegradable plastic
Plastic is an ecological disaster, but 100% recyclable. The problem mainly comes from its large amount, which makes it dangerous in nature. Initial laboratory tests on a specific alga would make it possible to manufacture a new plastic polymer that naturally only takes one to three years to break down. That is an enormous time difference compared to the 50 to 100 years waiting time for conventional plastic.
# 5 graph
It doesn’t look like much, but graphene could be the best choice in the short term to replace silicon, which is scarce and expensive to manufacture and mine in large quantities. It consists simply of an atom-thick carbon plate, is very resistant and very conductive. Researchers estimate that this would be 1000 times more powerful than current flash memory.
# 6 perennials
“Perennial” plants can come back every year. Currently, 70% of crops are “annual” and need to be replanted, which requires an enormous amount of water. Modifying conventional seeds such as wheat into perennial plants could save five times as much drinking water.
# 7 agricultural towers
Any good Stellaris player knows that hydroponic farms are one of the most important parts of a healthy planet. Here the creation of vertical crops would save a lot of space on arable land. Urban farming poses a real challenge as the benefits it brings are interesting, such as the continuous production of fruit or vegetables.
# 8 autonomous cars
It may be the closest invention we can see as models are already being tested in the United States, particularly by billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla company. The idea is to integrate an on-board computer and an AI into the car, which could track the course of the road on the highways. This would make it possible to optimize traffic and reduce accidents and fuel consumption. The billionaire expects to commercialize this technology by 2030.
# 9 eugenics
This is perhaps the most terrifying scientific advance, but it will actually see the light of day once commercialized. When eugenics brings back painful memories, some scientists find it interesting. Eugenics consists in modifying the genes of the human body, often beforehand, and even if portrayed in history or literature in a harmful way to humans (e.g., Welcome to Gataka, Brave New World), it would z By manipulating stem cells it is possible to eliminate certain hereditary or congenital diseases such as cystic fibrosis or to enable women to have children without outside interference. But hey, we’re addressing issues of an ethical nature here.
# 10 transhumanism
This name scares many, and the Nexus VI Youtube channel recently dedicated an episode of it which explains that overall it is not. In contrast, researchers have tried to control a mouse’s brain by implanting light-sensitive genes from plants. And they succeeded, the mouse obeyed the finger and the eye according to the light signal. Stanford researchers estimate that this technology will enable people with artificial arms to control their mechanism with diodes of different colors within 20 to 30 years.