IT takes society in hand, from wireless vehicles to 3D printers, making water drinkable to energy grids.
Emerging Technologies are the most innovative in the world of technology and technological convergence, concerning several areas of research.
The acronym NBIC (Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Information technology, Cognitive science) is normally used to indicate the convergence of different technologies and methods that create value and innovation.
Technologies that are currently considered to be emerging are, for example:
- OnLine Electric Vehicle: electronically driven vehicles whose mobility is guaranteed by magnets under the asphalt and which can be directed by wireless solutions.
- 3D printers: tools that allow physical objects to be reproduced in resin, plastic or metal alloys. These are solutions with high potential for medicine and engineering, with interesting openings on the domestic market too.
- Water Purification: purifying water and making it drinkable is a topic of major economic and social importance in the coming years.
- Energy Storage: energy storage, where possible, contributes to avoiding energy waste by storing excess energy for it to be used when needed and also to making the alternative energy market more sustainable by limiting part of the problem of placing the energy in the traditional energy grids.
- No-touch User Interfaces: the possibility of governing complex information systems with a single body movement introduces significant changes to the standards of man-machine interaction, and allows new ways of using complex information systems.
- Wearable Devices: there is often talk of the Google Glasses, but several experiments are ongoing for wearable devices, each with interesting specific characteristics that are interesting from the point of view of a hypothetical positioning on the market.
The social and economic impact of these technologies can usually be appreciated after consolidation and availability on the market, i.e. when they are no longer "emerging" but can be considered to be innovative or mainstream technologies. However, the study of such technologies in all the NBIC areas, and the attempt to position them in their own reference market, is a process that cannot be neglected by companies who are trying to be innovative and competitive on said markets.
Engineering considers the Emerging Technologies to be true enabling tools for Creativity and Innovation and carries out systematic scouting activities and tests. This approach allows experimental prototypes to be created based on real cases, and thus anticipating market needs.