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10 Breakthrough Technologies 2017

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2017

1-                Reversing Paralysis

·         Breakthrough: Wireless brain-body electronic interfaces to bypass damage to the nervous system.

·         Why It Matters: Thousands of people suffer paralyzing injuries every year.

·         Key Players:

×           École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

×           Wyss Center for Bio and Neuro-engineering

×           University of Pittsburgh

×           Case Western Reserve University

·         Availability: 10 to 15 years

2-                Self-Driving Trucks

·         Breakthrough: Long-haul trucks that drive themselves for extended stretches on highways.

·         Why It Matters: The technology might free truck drivers to complete routes more efficiently, but it could also erode their pay and eventually replace many of them altogether.

·         Key Players:

×           Otto

×           Volvo

×           Daimler

×           Peterbilt

·         Availability: 5 to 10 years

3-                Paying With Your Face

·         Breakthrough: Face recognition technology that is finally accurate enough to be widely used in financial transactions and other everyday applications.

·         Why It Matters: The technology offers a secure and extremely convenient method of payment but could raise privacy concerns.

·         Key Players:

×           Face++

×           Baidu

×           Alibaba

·         Availability: Now

4-                Practical Quantum Computers

·         Breakthrough: The fabrication of stable qubits, the basic unit of quantum computers.

·         Why it Matters: Quantum computers could be exponentially faster at running artificial-intelligence programs and handling complex simulations and scheduling problems. They could even create uncrackable encryption.

·         Key Players:

×           QuTech

×           Intel

×           Microsoft

×           Google

×           IBM

·         Availability: 4-5 years

5-                The 360-Degree Selfie

·         Breakthrough: Consumer cameras that produce 360° images, providing a realistic sense of events or places.

·         Why It Matters: Photos and videos with this perspective could become the new standard for everything from news coverage to vacation shots.

·         Key Players:

×           Ricoh

×           Samsung

×           360fly

×           JK Imaging (maker of Kodak Pixpro digital cameras)

×           IC Real Tech (maker of the ALLie camera)

×           Humaneyes Technologies

·         Availability: Now

6-                Hot Solar Cells

·         Breakthrough: A solar power device that could theoretically double the efficiency of conventional solar cells.

·         Why It Matters: The new design could lead to inexpensive solar power that keeps working after the sun sets.

·         Key Players:

×           David Bierman, Marin Soljacic, and Evelyn Wang, MIT

×           Vladimir Shalaev, Purdue University

×           Andrej Lenert, University of Michigan

×           Ivan Celanovic, MIT

·         Availability:: 10 to 15 years

7-                Gene Therapy 2.0

·         Breakthrough: First gene therapies on track for approval in the U.S. More are on the way.

·         Why It Matters: Thousands of diseases stem from an error in a single gene. New treatments could cure them.

·         Key Players:

×           Spark Therapeutics

×           BioMarin

×           BlueBird Bio

×           GenSight Biologics

×           UniQure

·         Availability: Now

8-                The Cell Atlas

·         Breakthrough: A master catalog of every cell type in the human body.

·         Why It Matters: Super-accurate models of human physiology will speed up the discovery and testing of new drugs.

·         Key Players:

×           Broad Institute

×           Sanger Institute

×           Chan Zuckerberg Biohub

·         Availability: 5 years

9-                Botnets of Things

·         Breakthrough: Malware that takes control of webcams, video recorders, and other consumer devices to cause widespread Internet outages.

·         Why It Matters: Botnets based on this software are disrupting larger and larger swaths of the Internet—and getting harder to stop.

·         Key Players:

×           Whoever created the Mirai botnet software

×           Anyone who runs a poorly secured device online—including you?

·         Availability: Now

10-           Reinforcement Learning

·         Breakthrough: An approach to artificial intelligence that gets computers to learn like people, without explicit instruction.

·         Why It Matters: Progress in self-­driving cars and other forms of automation will slow dramatically unless machines can hone skills through experience.

·         Key Players:

×           DeepMind

×           Mobileye

×           OpenAI

×           Google

×           Uber

·         Availability: 1 to 2 years



MIT Technology Review (


Date: 2017/08/08
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