With scientists and engineers constantly striving to develop solutions to humanity’s problems, there is a plethora of exciting developments in the tech and engineering world making their way into the public eye.
From 3D-printed houses to brain computer interfaces and efficient alternatives to traditional heating, 2022 has ushered in the arrival and adoption of a wide range of new technology. By providing solutions to prominent humanitarian problems such as housing costs and viruses, the latest technological advances of 2022 have been nothing short of tremendous in driving a brighter future.
If you have not been up to date with the latest advances in technology and engineering, don’t worry. Innovation management consultants ABGI UK enable their clients to obtain funding to help accelerate innovation within their business, so it’s fair to say they know a thing or two about new technology. They broke down five of the biggest technology breakthroughs of 2022 so you can stay on top of what the future holds.
One of the main contributors to global energy consumption is the energy we use to heat indoor spaces such as offices, homes and shops. Most heating methods rely on burning coal, gas or oil and therefore contribute to global warming. Heat pumps offer a promising alternative to this conundrum, so expect more heat pumps to be deployed – both commercial and private – as we move towards net zero emissions.
Heat pump technology transfers thermal energy from a cooler space to a warmer space using the refrigeration cycle. In other words, heat pumps squeeze heat from the outside air in to heat an indoor space – essentially refrigerators work in reverse.
In addition, heat pumps can also function as air conditioning systems and are capable of cooling indoor spaces during the summer months. Because the technology only moves existing heat, heat pumps are incredibly efficient and can be a legitimate alternative to traditional heating systems. With the UK government offering households financial incentives to install heat pumps, it’s no surprise that they are growing in popularity compared to other heating methods.
Virtual Reality (VR) is best known for its gaming or design applications. Still, developers are increasingly looking for other uses for this popular technology given the ease of use and accessibility of VR. One area of particular interest is the fitness sector. The ability of VR technology to combine the fun of gaming with physical activity makes it a natural choice for encouraging people to get fit.
The mainstream viability of VR has been accelerated by the pandemic, which has closed gyms and fitness centers across the country. As hardware prices continue to fall, you can expect VR technology to be more widely used in the fitness sector. Game developers are taking note, with more and more games — sorry, virtual practice plans — in the works, slated to come out this year.
The impact of VR in boosting public health could be hugely important, especially given the increasing number of overweight or obese people and associated health problems. By allowing people to exercise at home and incorporate video game elements, we hope to see a healthier UK in the future.
HIV and Malaria Vaccines
Scientists and biologists have been looking for treatments for diseases such as malaria and HIV for years. Both viruses are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide. However, there are reasons to be optimistic that 2022 could be the breakthrough year in the fight against them.
In 2021, a messenger RNA (mRNA)-based malaria vaccine was announced to be 77% effective. Drug manufacturers such as Moderna are currently starting trials for an HIV vaccine, which also relies on mRNA technology. A silver lining of the ongoing pandemic could be that it ushers in a golden age of vaccine development.
3D printed houses
3D printing technology has matured in recent years and its myriad potential applications are rapidly exceeding initial expectations. Icon, a company based in Austin, Texas, is expanding their 3D printing technology to “print” entire homes. According to an automated blueprint, giant robots are used to construct the walls of a building by extracting layer after layer of concrete mixture. Traditional construction is used for the roof, foundations, wiring and plumbing.
Printing walls is much faster than building bricks or wood and reduces construction labor costs. Icon also states that the innovative constructions are very energy efficient and more resistant to natural disasters. This type of robotic construction is expected to play a big role in the construction industry in the future, with suggestions that the habitat-building technology could one day be used on the Moon and Mars.
A brain-computer interface (BCI) is a computer-based system that acquires, analyzes, and translates brain signals into commands that are passed to an output device to perform a desired action. In other words, it is a device that allows the brain to connect to and control a computer using the brain’s electrical activity.
Neuralink, a neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk, made news deadlines in 2021 when it announced the development of a brain implant that would allow a monkey to telepathically play a video game. In 2022, the company hopes to test its device on humans. Initial trials have shown encouraging results, suggesting the technology may have potential applications in healthcare. Early intended use may enable people who are paralyzed to operate a computer device.
Whether as a solution to public health crises or to enable people with severe disabilities to lead more independent lives, the above technologies are all hugely exciting and have the ability to make life much easier for people around the world. to make. What’s perhaps most exciting is that we haven’t even surfaced yet in terms of the impact these technologies could have in the future.
dr. Glenn Craib, Operations Director at ABGI, commented: “As we see more widespread implementation of large-scale 3D printing and the development of brain interfaces, we can discover new applications with a much greater impact on humanity – and our job is to to enable people to find these new uses.”