2020 is a key date for science and technology. The first decade of the 21st century is over and the time has come to reflect on the progress of space exploration, mobility, communications, disease detection and treatment, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence or energy transition: the key axes on which research and development will be articulated in the coming years.
Each advance that occurs in the next decade will have technology as a transversal axis. From 2020, the focus will be on engineering and genetic editing, nanotechnology, and biotechnology, aerospace engineering ... For his part, Oliver highlights renewable energy and sustainable transport, which he describes as "necessary" for the sustainability of the planet.
Companies such as IBM and the Gradient technology centre have also opted for what will be the key technologies for 2020 onwards, especially those that have to do with data, both in terms of connectivity and speed and in handling large amounts of data and cybersecurity.
But they are not the only ones. For decades, fiction works have also contributed to building the future, imagining dystopian realities based on the needs, hopes or fears of humans.
Films and fiction series have elucubrado about what will be the most surprising innovations that the future holds. Some predictions have been able to approach more or less; other realities that we enjoy today, on the other hand, were hardly imaginable for some.
But the only ones who have the answer are the scientists. Data speed, faster and more sustainable transport, smarter and more efficient machines, big data, cybersecurity… We have updated the technological news and we have compiled the ingenuities, trends, and challenges that will characterize the new decade.
Download speed is essential for consumers of digital content. The 5G is the technology that promises to perform wonders such as downloading a movie on our smartphone in a matter of three seconds. Japan, South Korea, and North America have been the first to enjoy this technology, but 5G will make its global premiere in 2020, promising high speed available to everyone. And with the 5G just out of the box out, scientists already have at hand the new promise in terms of download speed: the 6G can achieve download speeds of up to 1 TB per second and could cover underwater communication. The 6G will also be a key factor in the development of artificial intelligence.
There is very little left for our next standard in internet connection to reach our homes: it is 802.11ax, also called Wifi 6. It is four times faster than the current Wifi. Therefore, we will experience a significant increase in data speeds, with a theoretical download speed of up to 9.6 Gbps (gigabits per second) compared to 6.9 Gbps of Wi-Fi 5. Of course, to enjoy Wifi 6 we will need a Wi-Fi router that supports 802.11ax; yes, for new connections, it will soon become the standard technology of all models.
The blockchain is a distributed and secure database (thanks to encryption) for all types of transactions. It consists of a blockchain (hence its name) that would eliminate intermediaries, for example, in bank transactions, while perfectly maintaining the security and privacy of the data, because these blocks of data are encrypted. According to the technological center Gradient, the cybersecurity will be one of the key concerns for the coming years, and the blockchain technology could be vital for a variety of sectors. However, for Nuria Oliver, there are still not clear enough success stories of this technology, although she does not doubt that it will continue.
Hyper-automation is the application of advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning to automate processes much more impactfully than traditional automation capabilities.This means that the application of this technology could make disappear many jobs so far done by humans, which can be done automatically with improved robots.This technology is of inevitable application in the next decade, according to the Gradient technology center, which will force many people to rethink the way they earn income. Artificial intelligence is already capable of performing, not only mechanical works, but complex processes such as the elaboration of texts, and even the creation of works of art.
The virtual reality (VR) is one of the major axes technological development, especially from industries such as the video game; but it could also move to the way we usually consume any type of information or even communicate with the rest. Recently, British scientists were able to develop 3D holograms, representing a coloured butterfly flapping gently in the air, emojis and other visible images without the need for VR or AR headphones, simultaneously generating visual, auditory and even tactile content.
The cloud, enlarged
The businesswoman Carme Artigas recently affirmed, in statements for Very Interesting, the following: "Whoever leads the cloud, will also dominate artificial intelligence." The huge amount of data makes it necessary to expand the cloud, a network of servers that store data that can be accessed through the internet. This concept is related to big data, or the handling of large amounts of data, and this, in turn, with AI, or the machines that will be able to handle them.
The data, the new gold
Big data is already key to the digital economy, since having personal data of users allows companies to run increasingly personalized advertising campaigns. The big data will make, soon, all information can be arranged "to the taste of the consumer."
Designed by Elon Musk, inventor, founder of Space X and CEO of Tesla, Hyperloop is a new means of land transport that is currently under development by various companies and could transport passengers and goods at 1,200 kilometers per hour in capsules floating inside tubes at low pressure. In Musk's words: "The Hyperloop is a mix between a Concorde, a rail cannon and an air-hockey table." In October 2018, the first full-size passenger capsule, the Quintero One, was introduced, which was manufactured almost entirely in the Spanish province of Cádiz.It is very possible, throughout the 2020s, the 'transport of the future' becomes present.
The virtual currency has multiplied its value since it appeared a few years ago, and experts believe that this rise will go further.The price of the cryptocurrency (by the way, vertebrate thanks to the blockchain), which is not subject to any authority, will be adjusted based on supply and demand, the natural laws of the market. By 2020, only 21 million bitcoins will be issued, according to data from the coinlist.net page, which will cause the offer to decrease and, therefore, to increase its price considerably.However, the future of bitcoins is uncertain; For some experts, it can threaten the world economy, for others, it is a bubble that will burst soon.
The need for technology to go through an energy transition due to climatic problems arising from the indiscriminate use of fossil fuels (which is already a challenge in itself for the next decade) has put the automobile industry in check, and practically all Manufacturers are betting on electric, hybrid or even hydrogen models. Within the next ten years, fortunately for our planet and our health, sustainability will be a key ingredient in new vehicles.