Tencent technology news November 13th novel coronavirus pneumonia vaccine was developed and spread at an alarming rate, and reminded people that science and technology change the world is extremely powerful. Although vaccines based on mRNA technology seem to have been developed in a short time, they actually draw on the research results of decades in the 1970s.
There is a saying in the technology industry that it takes years of effort to become famous overnight. So, what else might become compelling? The following are 22 emerging technologies worthy of attention in 2022:
1. Sunlight earth reconstruction project
This sounds ridiculous: if the world gets too hot, why not provide it with some shade? As we all know, the dust and ash released by volcanoes into the upper atmosphere have a cooling effect. The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 cooled the earth by 0.5 degrees Celsius for four years. The sunlight earth transformation project, also known as solar radiation management, will deliberately do the same thing.
However, this approach is highly controversial. Will it work? How will rainfall and weather patterns be affected? Will this undermine efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions? Efforts to test the idea also face strong opposition from politicians and activists. However, a Harvard team hopes to conduct a long delayed experiment called scopex in 2022. It includes launching balloons into the stratosphere to release 2kg of material (possibly calcium carbonate) and then measuring how it dissipates, reacts and scatters sunlight.
Supporters believe that it is important to understand this technology because it needs to buy more time for the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Harvard University has set up an independent advisory group to consider moral and political implications. Whether the test is carried out as planned or not, it is expected to cause fierce controversy.
2. Heat pump
Keeping buildings warm in winter accounts for about a quarter of global energy consumption. Most heating depends on burning coal, natural gas or oil. This situation must be changed if the world is to achieve the goal of curbing climate change. The most promising alternative is to use heat pumps. In essence, it is a refrigerator running in the opposite direction.
Different from pumping heat from the space to cool the space, the heat pump forces heat from the outside to warm the space. Because they just move the existing heat around, they are very efficient: for every 1 kW of electricity consumed, heat pumps can provide 3 kW of heat, which makes them more cost-effective than electric radiators. At the same time, the reverse operation of the heat pump can cool the home instead of heating.
Gradient, headquartered in San Francisco, is one of several heat pump companies that provide both heating and cooling. Its low-key saddle bag shaped products can be installed on windows like existing air conditioners, and will be on sale in 2022.
3. Hydrogen powered aircraft
Electrification of road transport is one thing, and aircraft is another. Batteries can only provide power for small aircraft to fly short distances. However, hydrogen fuel cell only discharges water. Can it produce electric energy? Airliners that will use hydrogen fuel cells for test flights in 2022 include two seater aircraft under construction at Delft University of technology in the Netherlands. California based zeroavia plans to complete the test of 20 aircraft and complete the certification of hydrogen propulsion system by the end of this year. Universal hydrogen of California hopes that its 40 seat aircraft will take off in September 2022.
4. Direct air capture
As we all know, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes global warming, so why not use machines to suck it out? Many startups are pursuing direct air capture technology (DAC). In 2022, Canada’s carbon engineering company will begin to build the world’s largest DAC facility in Texas, USA, which can capture 1 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. Climeworks, a Swiss company, opened a DAC plant in Iceland in 2021 to bury the captured carbon dioxide in mineral form at a rate of 4000 tons per year. The American company called global thermostat has two pilot plants. DAC may be crucial in addressing climate change, and the competition to reduce costs and expand the scale of technology has begun.
5. Vertical farm
New agriculture is developing. Vertical farms grow plants on pallets in a closed, controlled environment. High efficiency LED lighting makes this process cheaper, although energy costs are still a large burden. Vertical farms can be close to customers, reducing transportation costs and emissions. With the least water, pests are kept out, so there is no need for pesticides.
In the UK, Jones food company will open the world’s largest vertical farm in 2022, covering an area of 13750 square meters. Aerofarms, an American company, will open its largest vertical farm in Virginia. Other companies will also expand. Nordic harvest will expand its plant outside Copenhagen and build a new plant in Stockholm. Plenty, headquartered in California, will open an indoor farm near Los Angeles. Vertical farms mainly grow high-value green leafy vegetables and herbs, but some try to grow tomatoes, peppers and berries. The challenge now is how to take economics into account.
6. Container ship with sail
Greenhouse gases emitted by ships account for 3% of the total emissions. Burning marine fuel is a dirty diesel sludge, which can also lead to acid rain. In the sailing age, these are not problems, which is why sailing ships make a comeback in the form of high technology to reduce costs and emissions.
In 2022, French Michelin will equip a cargo ship with inflatable sails, which is expected to reduce fuel consumption by 20%. The Japanese shipping company mol plans to install a retractable rigid sail on a ship in August 2022. Italy’s naos design company hopes to refit eight ships with rotatable and foldable hard wing sails. Other methods include kites, a “suction wing” with a fan, and a huge rotating cylinder called a freetner rotor. According to the data of the international sailing Industry Association, the number of large cargo ships with various sails will quadruple to 40 by the end of 2022. If the EU plans to include shipping in its carbon trading plan in 2022, it will further promote the development of these unconventional technologies.
7. Virtual reality exercise
Most people don’t do enough exercise. Many people have this will, but lack motivation. Virtual reality (VR) helmets allow people to play games, burning calories when they hit or cut oncoming objects, or squat and swing to avoid obstacles. During the epidemic, with the closure of the gym and the release of oculus Quest 2, a powerful and low-cost headset, VR fitness became more popular. An improved model and new fitness features will be launched in 2022. The highly respected virtual fitness application “supernatural” may be released in Europe. Will VR’s killer application be fitness?
8. Vaccines against HIV and malaria
The novel coronavirus pneumonia vaccine based on mRNA is successful in the development of the golden age. Moderna is developing a mRNA HIV vaccine, which is the same as the effective new crown vaccine. It entered an early clinical trial in 2021, and the preliminary results are expected to be published in 2022. Biontech, CO developer of Pfizer biontech’s new crown vaccine, is studying malaria mRNA vaccine, and clinical trials are expected to begin in 2022. The mRNA vaccine developed by University of Oxford has also shown hope for HIV and malaria.
9. 3D printed bone implant
Over the years, researchers have been developing technologies for manufacturing artificial organs using 3D printed biomaterials. The ultimate goal is to extract cells from patients and create fully functional organs for transplantation, so as to eliminate the risk of long waiting lists, matching tests and rejection.
For fleshy organs, this goal is still a long way off. But bones are less tricky. Both startups particle3d and Adam hope to use 3D printed bones for human implantation in 2022. Both companies use calcium based minerals to print their bones, which are measured based on a patient’s CT scan. Particle3d experiments in pigs and mice found that bone marrow and blood vessels could grow into the implants within 8 weeks. Adam also said that their 3D printing implants stimulate the natural growth of bones, gradually biodegradable and eventually replaced by the patient’s bone tissue. If all goes well, the researchers say 3D printing of blood vessels and heart valves will be the next goal.
10. Electric flying taxi
Long regarded as a scientific fantasy, flying taxis, or the emerging industry called electric vertical takeoff and landing (evtol) aircraft, are becoming closer and closer to reality. Several companies around the world will strengthen test flights in 2022 with the goal of obtaining commercial use certification for their aircraft in the next year or two. California based Joby aviation plans to produce more than ten five seater cars with a range of 240 kilometers. Volocopter plans to provide air taxi service at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. Other competitors include billion airlines, Lily and vertical aerospace.
11. Space tourism
The space tourism industry has made great progress in 2021. With a series of efforts supported by billionaires to send civilians into space, people have high expectations for the space field in 2022. In July this year, Sir Richard Branson’s virgin Galaxy just defeated Jeff Bezos’s blue origin and boarded the edge of space. Both billionaires took their own spacecraft for suborbital travel. In September this year, Elon Musk’s SpaceX sent four ordinary people into space for a three-day trip around the earth.
All three companies hope to have more tourists aboard spacecraft in 2022, which will be the first year to enter space as paying passengers rather than government employees. However, Virgin Galactic is improving its aircraft to make it more robust and safe. It is expected to fly again in the second half of 2022, and commercial services will begin in the fourth quarter. Blue origin plans to increase flights, but did not disclose the time and number. As far as SpaceX is concerned, it has reached an agreement to send tourists to the international space station. What’s next? Will people land on the moon?
12. Delivery UAV
The UAV delivery project took longer to start than expected, but the new regulations that came into force in 2021 will help UAV delivery make progress in 2022. Manna, an Irish start-up that has always provided books, meals and medicine in Galway County, plans to expand its services to Ireland and the UK. Wing, a sister company of Google, has conducted test distribution in the United States, Australia and Finland, and will expand its delivery service from shopping mall to home launched by the end of 2021. Dranamics, a Bulgarian start-up, will start using winged UAVs to transport goods between 39 European airports. The question is: will the speed of UAV delivery increase or decrease?
13. Quiet Supersonic Aircraft
For half a century, scientists have been wondering whether changing the shape of supersonic aircraft can reduce the intensity of its sonic boom. Until recently, computers have become powerful enough to perform the simulations needed to put these noise reduction theories into practice.
In 2022, NASA’s x-59 quesst (short for “Quiet Supersonic Technology”) will conduct its first test flight. Crucially, the test will be conducted at Edwards Air Force Base in California, specifically on land. Concorde is the first and only commercial supersonic airliner in the world. When flying over land, the flight speed shall not exceed the speed of sound. The sonic boom of the x-59 is expected to be only one eighth that of the Concorde. At 75 dB, it will be equivalent to a long-distance thunderstorm, more like a “heavy blow”. If successful, NASA hopes regulators can lift the ban on supersonic flight and open a new era of commercial flight.
14. 3D printing house
Architects often use 3D printing to create scaled building models. But the technology can be scaled up and used to build real houses. The material is ejected from the nozzle in the form of foam, and then hardened. The house is printed layer by layer, either on site or transported and assembled as several works in the factory. In 2022, mighty buildings, headquartered in California, will complete the development of 15 environmentally friendly 3D printing houses in Rancho Mirage. Texas based icon plans to build a community of 100 3D printing houses near Austin, which will be the largest of its kind.
15. Sleep Technology
This has become an upsurge in Silicon Valley. Not content to maximize their productivity and performance while awake, geeks are now using a range of technologies to optimize their sleep. These products include rings and hair bands that record and track the quality of sleep, soothing sound equipment, equipment to heat and cool mattresses, and a smart alarm clock to wake you up at the best time. Google launched a sleep tracking bedside table tablet in 2021, and Amazon is expected to follow suit in 2022. It sounds crazy, but lack of sleep is associated with diseases such as heart disease and obesity. What Silicon Valley does today, others will do tomorrow.
16. Personalized nutrition
There is increasing evidence that everyone’s metabolism is unique, and so should the choice of food. Enter the era of personalized nutrition: use machine learning algorithms to tell you what to eat and when to eat, test your blood and intestinal microbiota, collect data on lifestyle factors such as exercise, and use coin sized devices installed on the skin to track blood glucose levels in real time. After its successful launch in the United States, personalized nutrition is focusing on other markets in 2022. Many drugs will also seek regulatory approval for the treatment of diabetes and migraine.
17. Wearable medical tracker
Telemedicine consulting has become commonplace, which may change the prospect of wearable health tracking devices such as Fitbit or apple watch. At present, they are mainly used as fitness trackers to measure steps, running and swimming speed, heart rate during exercise and so on. But analysts at Gartner, a consulting firm, say the line between consumers and medical uses of such devices is now blurred.
Smart watches can already measure blood oxygenation, ECG and detect atrial fibrillation. The next generation Apple watch is expected to be launched in 2022 and may include new sensors that can measure glucose and alcohol levels in the blood, blood pressure and body temperature. Rockley photonics, which provides sensor technology, calls its system a “clinic on the wrist”. These functions may take some time to obtain regulatory approval, but at the same time, not only users, but also doctors will pay more attention to the data of wearable devices.
18. Yuan universe
In 1992, science fiction writer Neal Stephenson created the word “metaverse” in his book snow crash. It refers to a persistent virtual world where people can enter through special devices, where people can chat, shop, play games, entertainment, etc.
In 2022, metauniverse will integrate video games, social networks and entertainment to create a new immersive experience, just like immersing yourself in your favorite songs at an online concert. Games such as my world, roblox and fortress night are stepping stones to emerging media. Facebook renamed itself meta to take full advantage of this opportunity and divert attention from other issues.
19. Quantum computing
This idea, which only existed on the blackboard in the 1990s, has developed into a multi billion dollar competition between the government, technology giants and start-ups, that is, to use the counterintuitive properties of quantum physics to build new computers. In some mathematical fields, the computing power of quantum computer can exceed that of any non quantum machine, and can quickly complete the calculations in the fields of cryptography, chemistry and finance.
But when will such a machine appear? One measure of the power of a quantum computer is its number of qubits. A Chinese team has built a 66 qubit computer. The American company IBM hopes to reach 433 qubits by 2022 and 1000 qubits by 2023. But existing machines have a fatal flaw: they rely on subtle quantum states that last only a fraction of a second. It will take years to solve this problem. But if existing machines can work during this period, quantum computing may become a commercial reality earlier than expected.
20. Virtual network red
Different from real-life online red, virtual online red will not be late for taking photos, get drunk at parties, or grow old. This is because virtual netizens are computer-generated characters who promote products on instagram, Facebook and tiktok.
One of the most famous is Miquela Sousa, or lil Miquela, a fictional 19-year-old Brazilian American with 3 million fans on instagram. In 2022, it is estimated that $15 billion will be used for online Red marketing, and virtual online red is proliferating. The star traveler Aya star produced by cosmoq universe will land on earth in February. She has posted a song on YouTube.
21. Brain computer interface
In April 2021, Elon Musk excitedly tweeted that a monkey was “really using brain chips for telepathy and playing video games”. His brain computer interface company, neuralink, implanted two sets of micro electrodes into the monkey’s brain. The signals from these electrodes can be transmitted wirelessly and then decoded by a nearby computer, enabling the monkey to move the racket on the screen in the table tennis game just by thinking.
Neuralink hopes to conduct human testing of its equipment in 2022 so that paralyzed people can operate computers. Another company, synchron, has obtained approval from U.S. regulators to start human trials of a similar device. Its “minimally invasive” nerve prosthesis is implanted into the brain through blood vessels in the neck. In addition to helping paralyzed patients, synchron is also studying other uses, such as the diagnosis and treatment of nervous system diseases, including epilepsy, depression and hypertension.
22. Artificial meat and fish
At present, about 70 companies around the world “cultivate” meat in bioreactors. Cells extracted from animals are nourished in a soup rich in protein, sugar, fat, vitamins and minerals without harming them. In 2020, the San Francisco based artificial meat start-up eat just became the first company to be certified to sell its products in Singapore.
Several other companies are expected to join in 2022. Supermeat, an Israeli start-up, said that in the next year, the artificially cultivated chicken hamburger is expected to obtain a commercial sales license, and the price of the company’s artificially cultivated chicken hamburger will be reduced to $10 from $2500 in 2018. California based finless foods hopes to get approval to sell artificially bred bluefin tuna meat. The price of this meat has dropped to $440 per kilogram from $660000 in 2017. Bacon, Turkey and other artificially bred meat are also in supply. Environmentally conscious meat lovers will soon be able to enjoy their steak. (reviewed by Tencent technology / Jinlu)