Lux Searching has published on its blog an interesting analysis that identifies five emerging technologies, explaining the reasons that qualify them as the most relevant of the current landscape. Looking at the trends, there is great interdependence between them.
- From Sci-Fi to our present: Emerging technologies on Machine learning and artificial intelligence
- Enhance your body: Emerging technologies on wearables
- Making your ideas reality: Emerging technologies on 3D printing
- And man created man: Emerging technologies on Genomic editing
- See the word with new eyes: Emerging technologies Augmented and Virtual Reality
From Sci-Fi to our present: Emerging technologies on Machine learning and artificial intelligence
What is machine learning?
Founded in 1956 thanks to John McCarthy, its purpose is the resolution of complex problems through reasoning similar to the human one. The best-known example of artificial intelligence is Deep Blue, the machine made by IBM that was tested in a chess challenge by Gary Kasparov: initially, the Russian champion prevailed; however, game after game, refining its game through learning, Deep Blue won.
According to Lux Searching data, in 2018, more than 10,000 AI patents were registered and the application of these emerging technologies now involves sectors such as retail, logistics, transport, medicine and much more.
Today AI has also entered the world of motor racing with the use, in Formula 1, of Amazon Web Services tools, which process race data in real time and help teams to make decisions, such as when to make a pit stop for the change of tires, or to assess driver’s performance.
US NFL is using AI to calculate team statistics - visible on the NG platform - offering fans the opportunity to approach the sports event much more in-depth.
Not to mention the ability to offer the public a richer and more personalized sports experience, thanks to the offer of content so far unimaginable.
Enhance your body: Emerging technologies on wearables
Emerging technologies most in vogue among wearables
- Smart glasses: they are completely similar to eyeglasses, but the frame contains a micro projector that reproduces images in the peripheral area of the view or in the centre of the field of view. After a weak debut, large technology companies are once again investing to launch more functional and aesthetically pleasing smart glasses on the market. Smart contact lenses are also being tested, but these emerging technologies are still at a very embryonic phase.
- Fitness tracker: also called fit band, it is a bracelet that can monitor a series of parameters, including sleep patterns, number of steps, heartbeats and sports performance.
- Smart watch: This device offers a series of digital functions that allow the operation of third-party apps. There are many different types, which differ in the type of screen, RAM, operating system and, of course, performance. Smart watches usually offer instruments such as GPS, pedometer and heart rate measurement, and they can be a multi-functional, albeit more expensive, alternative to fitness trackers.
The future of wearable emerging technologies
This last aspect is particularly interesting: changing paradigm, rereading as a wearable technology what until now we have considered mobility devices (such as a wheelchair), opens up new scenarios, as Disruptive Disability explains in its manifesto.
Making your ideas reality: Emerging technologies on 3D printing
Today we are talking about a new turning point for these emerging technologies, thanks to the expansion of the range of printable materials, including metals, and the improvement of production systems.
Among the applications of 3D printing, the sports sector is in the foreground: starting from prototypes, this technology offers the possibility to create a large number of models at reduced costs, simultaneously printing pieces with a high number of variants in a shorter time than by traditional sports production.
Today, creating custom made pieces means using reverse engineering and additive printing techniques: this is the case for the production of helmets, which can be perfected to the millimetre, but also of shoes, insoles, suits and any other accessory, guaranteeing a level of customisation deemed unthinkable until recently.
Among the most interesting emerging technologies taking shape, the so-called 4D printing stands out: the printing of materials that change over time, such as the so-called " shape memory metals".
Also called smart metals, these are metal compounds that, once deformed, tend to get back to the original shape as a result of a simple heating.
These are emerging technologies whose experimentation primarily involve wellness medicine (for example, think of a drug against fever that, instead of being taken orally, is released once the change in body temperature is detected) but whose applications, once again, open up opportunities yet to be considered.
And man created man: emerging technologies on Genomic editing
This technique is revolutionizing the medical sector with enormous economic and effective potential. As explained in an interview by the researcher Anna Meldolesi, author of “E l'uomo creò l'uomo. CRISPR e la rivoluzione dell’editing genomico” (And the man created the man. CRISPR and the revolution of genomic editing):
We can imagine CRISPR as a molecular machine, consisting of a protein that is programmable, to which we can give instructions and direct to those specific points of the DNA we are interested in modifying. It is a protein capable of cutting DNA, coming from the microbial world: bacteria use this system to cut the DNA of viruses that attack them.
The first biotechnological foods are ready and are being evaluated by governments, waiting to debut on the market. However, they should not be confused with GMOs, whose DNA has been mixed with that of another species in order to develop a precise character: the best-known GMO example is the so-called BT maize, created to resist herbicides and attacks by insect larvae. Genomic editing works on food DNA like a scalpel, for example activating or "turning off" a gene that regulates the production of gluten or saturated fat.
It goes without saying that emerging technologies like CRISPR and genomic editing are of great interest for the food market, as well as for the pharmaceutical market. The direct impact on the world of wellness and sports is obvious, with the possibility of creating "tailor-made" foods indicated for needs related to specific activities, as well as the hypothesis of customizing pharmacological therapies and medical preparations for sports.
Diets can be built with even greater precision than today, depending on the needs of the athlete and the various phases of sporting activity.
See the word with new eyes: Emerging technologies Augmented and Virtual Reality
The real and the virtual plan mix: we love augmented reality and the demand for apps that provide this type of emerging technologies is constantly growing; at the same time, virtual reality continues to entice the public, in search of immersive experiences that are more and more convincing.
According to Superdata's estimates, however, AR is destined to prevail over VR, with a definitive overtaking in 2021, thanks to the investment in terms of apps of major technology players.
The offer of richer and richer contents allows living a deeper and more involving sports experience, which extends well beyond the "live" event of the match or of the race.
These emerging technologies are establishing themselves in the field of indoor training and allow you to evoke the sensations produced by sports that are naturally impossible to practice indoors, such as diving or parachuting, or to live your training session in a more engaging way, using the principle of gamification to diversify and make more enjoyable the training experience.
The path seems clear, as we are waiting for the surprises that these emerging technologies will make us in the coming months.