Ten Critical Tech Trends in 2016

On 10 Breakthrough Techs in 2016, as highlighted in MIT Technology Review:
  1. Immune Engineering
  2. Precise Editing in Plants
    • Use CRISPR (clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats) gene editing technology to create plants traits such as resistance to disease or drought tolerance.
    • May be available in five to ten years.
  3. Conversational Interfaces
    • Speech technology making it easier to use a smartphone.
    • Developed by Baidu, China’s popular search engine.
    • Is available now.
  4. Reusable Rockets
    • A growing number of rockets today can can make an upright landing and be refueled for another trip.
    • Available now from Blue Origin and SpaceX.
  5. Robots That Teach Each Other
    • Many research robots use the same standard framework for programming, called ROS.
    • When one robot learns a specific task, it can pass the data on to other robots.
    • Available in three to five years.
  6. DNA App Store
    • Inexpensively sequence and analyze customers DNA and then digitize the findings so that other app developers can piggyback on it (example: show what you will look like in 10 years).
    • Start in 2016
  7. Solar City’s Gigafactory
    1. Solar facility in Buffalo will produce a gigawatt of high-efficiency solar panels every year, theoretically making them more attractive in terms of pricing.
    2. Available in 2017.
  8. Slack
    • The intra-office messaging system gives business people a centralized place to communicate with their colleagues via instant messages and chat rooms.
    • Available now.
  9. Tesla Autopilot
    • The software doesn’t quite allow a car to drive itself, but it’s a major step forward.
    • “Some of these features, like automatic parallel parking, were already on offer from other car companies (including Mercedes, BMW, and General Motors), but the self-steering was suddenly, overnight, via a software update, a giant leap toward full autonomy.”
    • Available now.
  10. Power from the Air
    • “Technology that lets gadgets work and communicate using only energy harvested from nearby TV, radio, cell-phone, or Wi-Fi signals is headed toward commercialization.”
    • Available in two to three years.

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