13 Cutting-Edge Technologies That May Soon Be Making A Big Impact

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Today, technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality have been integrated into many everyday business processes and consumer devices. However, it wasn’t so long ago that these innovations were considered to be “out there” and not really applicable to most industries or people’s lives.

Nearly every technological advancement goes through a period of skepticism, and it’s easy to forget that some of today’s cutting-edge, “out-there” developments could be tomorrow’s business and lifestyle staples. Below, 13 members of Forbes Technology Council share some of the latest tech innovations they see dominating headlines in the near future.

1. Homomorphic Encryption

Homomorphic encryption is an emerging technology that opens up possibilities that most people would view as unachievable. It can allow two parties to collaborate and compute something without revealing the secret data. This could open up countless opportunities that today are impossible or restricted. – Hayim Shaul, DiviNetworks

2. 3D Multi-Sensor Transmitters

The arrival of 3D multi-sensor transmitters will change all sensory experiences. When they’re combined with virtual reality, we will be able to synthesize the look and feel of any item. A sofa will look and feel like real leather, with the sensory experience being generated by a 3D multi-sensor transmitter. The transmitter will also be able to change the sofa to look and feel like leather, velvet, wool and so on. The environmental impact will be huge and allow us to reduce our footprint. – Zohar Gilad, Fast Simon Inc

3. Robotics

Robotics is going to become mainstream. While there has been a lot of hype around robotics for some time, several hardware and software technologies are only now becoming mature enough. Agriculture is one of the first industries that will benefit from it. – Raviv Itzhaky, Prospera Technologies

4. IoT, 5G And Edge Computing

Most industries have yet to monetize the much-hyped technologies of the Internet of Things, 5G and edge computing because they bought them without laying the right infrastructure and data-management groundwork. The depth of insights you can get from connected/smart devices is relatively untapped. The value of combining IoT, 5G and edge computing will surprise people. – Sanjay Brahmawar, Software AG

5. At-Home Digital Diagnostics

An area that’s ripe for innovation is at-home digital diagnostics. Telehealth plays a critical role in expanding and democratizing care for all Americans while lowering the costs burdening our healthcare system. Expect to see a flurry of innovation and activity in the future that improves the real-time diagnostic capabilities of virtual healthcare, further reducing dependence on in-person visits. – Chris Paquette, DeepIntent

6. Conversational AI

It’s only a matter of time before Google or Amazon releases a version of their software that will be easily able to sustain a conversation with humans. And that’s when we are going to see massive adoption. While casually chatting with Alexa we will be able to perform tasks ranging from following basic food recipes to planning our next vacation. – Bobir Akilkhanov, Missed.com

7. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality has made a lot of progress over the last few years and may finally be ready for widespread adoption. In a warehouse fulfillment scenario, an AR display could easily guide employees to the location of products, ensure the correct items have been selected and even help efficiently pack the items for delivery. – Saryu Nayyar, Gurucul

8. Rapid Virus Testing

With Covid-19, testing and contact tracing firmly entered the public mind, but the technologies and processes remain basic and inefficient. I expect to see rapid virus testing tools move into homes — perhaps as a small device that talks to your smartphone. Combining easier, more frequent testing with location-based contact-tracing apps will dramatically improve society’s response to and management of a pandemic. – Jeff MacMillan, StorMagic

9. Quantum Computing

In the last couple of years, quantum computing has matured from being in the realm of near science fiction to becoming a field of substantial commercial and strategic national investment. Within five to 10 years, large-scale gate-based quantum computers will make groundbreaking contributions in areas such as materials science, cybersecurity and medicine. – Paul Lipman, BullGuard

10. Passwordless Authentication

The computer password was created in 1960 and is still at the forefront of authentication. It is also the leading cause of data breaches. Soon the password as we know it will cease to exist, and we’ll see widespread adoption of passwordless authentication. This is a big step toward catching authentication up with the technology that we know today. – Arshad Noor, StrongKey

11. AR/VR In Real Estate And Construction

The use of artificial reality and virtual reality in the real estate and construction sectors will be a game-changer. Before you invest in fit-outs or construction, you can preview the changes with this technology and avoid incurring costs after changes are made. Gone will be the days of 3D and CAD. – Bhavna Juneja, Infinity, a Stamford Technology Company

12. Always-On Connectivity

True always-on connectivity, enabled by either 5G or better Wi-Fi, is on the horizon. It will be always on like oxygen is always on—there will be no handover issues and it will work in elevators, basements, tunnels, hallways and all the remote corners of the logistic center. – Tsvi Lev, NEC Corporation

13. Nanotechnology

The recent pandemic has thrown a spotlight on “crazy” medical technologies such as messenger RNA, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Nanotechnology used to be the stuff of science fiction, but we’re seeing growing examples of its use, such as food packaging that can detect the presence of pathogens including salmonella. That’s going to be huge in the near future. – Ahmer Inam, Pactera EDGE

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