Keeping up with the newest technologies can be a challenge for even the most tech-savvy business owners and entrepreneurs. However, that challenge got a bit easier, thanks to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Technology Review, which today (April 23) released the 10 technologies they expect to change the world this year.
For the list, MIT focuses on groundbreaking advancements that give people a new way to use technology.
"Every year we pick the 10 technologies we think most likely to change the world," said Jason Pontin, publisher and editor in chief of the MIT Technology Review, which published the list. "We are interested in how technologies can solve really hard problems, whose solution will expand human possibilities. These technologies are an expression of our preferences and emphases, and they grow out of our reporting over the previous year. This is the stuff we like."
Some of the technologies that have the biggest implications for businesses include the following. The full list can be found at the MIT Technology Review website.
Temporary social media
While social media has changed the way people interact in a big way, many social sites such as Facebook and Twitter have also presented problems with privacy and the availability of information. Enter temporary social media platforms like Snapchat, which allows users to send pictures that will automatically destruct after a given period of time. These new platforms are allowing users to interact socially while not broadcasting those interactions to the world. Other companies in this space include Gryphn, Wickr and Burn Note, MIT says.
Ultra-efficient solar power
The search for practical alternative forms of energy has been going on for decades. However, the rise of ultra-efficient solar power is coming closer to making the reality of alternate energy forms come true. These breakthroughs are allowing solar power, in particular, to compete with fossil fuels.
Growing popularity of smartphones has changed the way and ease with which people get their information. Smart watches are taking that one step further by gathering information from smartphones and displaying them on an interactive watch. Some key manufacturers include Pebble, Son, Motorola and MetaWatch.
Advancements in robotic technology have the potential to dramatically impact the workplace as well. One new technology that is driving innovation in the workplace is Baxter, a new creation by Rethink Robotics'. The new technology is helping robots and workers work side-by-side more safely by empoloying safer technology and facial recognition software.
One of the most popular trends of the past year has been the development and popularization of 3-D printers. Companies are now starting to take advantage of printers that build up several layers of materials to form a fully functioning product or part. Recently General Electric has begun to take steps to print fuel nozzles for new aircrafts through 3-D printing, MIT says.