The World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Emerging
the 10 most promising technology trends of 2013.
The developments certainly present an optimistic view of the
world's technological potential in the upcoming years,
highlighting advances that will help the environment, improve our
health and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
Check out the list below!
1. 3-D Printing: This style of printing allows for the
creation of solid structures from digital computer files. 3-D
printing has the potential to revolutionize manufacturing by
allowing virtual models to be turned into hard copies made from
metal alloys, plastics and more.
Publicly-traded companies that could stand to gain by a boom
in 3-D printing include printers like Statasys (NASDAQ:
), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:
), Xerox (NYSE:
) and Organovo Holdings (NASDAQ:
). Software designers like Autodesk (NASDAQ:
) and Exa Corporation (NASDAQ:
) also stand to benefit. (Photo: Flickr // creative_tools).
2. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Conversion: Biologically-engineered
photosynthetic bacteria have the ability to turn waste CO2 into
liquid fuels or chemicals in modular solar converter systems.
These systems are projected to reach hundreds of acres within two
years and be 10 to 100 times more productive as a unit of land
area. Their output could reduce CO2 emissions from feedstock and
supply low carbon fuel for airplanes and autos.
) is a
in this market through their efforts to convert CO2 into organic
materials. (Photo: Flickr // Clownhouse III).
3. Energy-Efficient Water Purification: Techniques like
forward-osmosis, which uses low-grade heat or geothermal derived
heat, can reduce energy consumption by 50% or more in the
Major players in water quality or purification systems include
the Waters Corporation (NYSE:
), Watts Water Technologies (NYSE:
) and Siemens (NYSE:
). (Photo: Flickr // z_wenjie).
4. Enhanced Nutrition: Modern genomic techniques can identify
proteins at the gene sequence level, providing more information
about supplies of amino acids, along with solubility, taste and
texture. Production of human dietary proteins and their
application to molecular nutrition can boost muscle development
and reduce obesity. (Photo: Flickr // mhaller1979)
5. Nuclear Waste Recycling: Breeding uranium-238 into a new
fissile material with an increased halflife and dramatically
reduced long-term toxicity, can make geological disposal easier
and down the line, perhaps unnecessary.
Firms that can stand benefit by these advances include Market
Vectors Nuclear Energy (NYSE:
), Cameco (NYSE:
), EnergySolutions (NYSE:
) and US Ecology (NASDAQ:
). (Photo: Flickr // roadhunter).
6. OnLine Electric Vehicles (OLEV): The next generation of
electric cars will be powered whilst driving by an
electromagnetic field broadcast from cables below the road.
Electric cars will only need 20% of the battery capacity they
have now to achieve the same mileage.
These developments could be huge for electric car
manufacturers like Tesla (NASDAQ:
), Nissan (OTC:
), Ford (NYSE:
), General Motors (NYSE:
) -- maker of the electric best-selling Chevrolet Volt -- and
), the world's leading seller of hybrids. (Photo: Flickr //
7. Organic Electronics and Photovoltaics: Organic electronics,
such as polymers, can be printed with simple processes like ink
jet printing to create electronic circuits and devices, giving
way to a cheaper alternative to silicon and solar photovoltaic
collectors, accelerating the adoption of renewable energy.
Watch solar panel makers like First Solar (NASDAQ:
) and SolarCity (NASDAQ:
). (Photo: Flickr // OregonDOT).
8. Precise Drug Delivery through Nanoscale Engineering: After
almost a decade of research, precise delivery of pharmaceuticals
via targeted nanoparticles could give way to more effective
treatments while minimizing their impact on healthy tissue.
If developments in nanotechnology continue, look for companies
like Amkor Technology (NASDAQ:
), ABB (NYSE:
) and Eaton Corp. (NYSE:
) to capitalize. (Photo: Flickr // ZaldyImg).
9. Remote Sensing: Breakthroughs in wireless communication
between devices have boosted the capabilities of sensors. Look
for advances in vehicle-to-vehicle safety, along with sensors
that monitor bodily functions and trigger responses, like an
insulin provision as a response to low blood sugar levels.
10. Self-Healing Materials: This growing trend in biotech will
allow non-living structural materials to repair damages from
cuts, tears and cracks. It could have serious implications for
construction, manufacturing and medicine. (Photo: Flickr //
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