The Most Revolutionary Tech Advancements of 2020
Not all was lost this year.
In fact, there were some tech triumphs that occurred during the course of 2020. These tech advancements have the power to improve lives and our planet.
Here are some of the coolest technological breakthroughs of 2020.
AI/Machine Learning Advancements
Currently, AI’s greatest achievement (and potential) is in the world of biology, language processing, and computer vision. Unsurprisingly, the most impressive AI technology advancements of 2020 fall within these buckets.
AI to improve disease treatments, from cancer to dementia
This AI has the ability to predict biological protein structures, which allows scientists to understand the body’s cells and how medicine may interact with those cells. Some are saying it may replace expensive methods like X-rays and cyro-EM. In laymen’s terms, this technology may help scientists and doctors find better ways to treat all types of diseases–from cancer to Alzheimer’s.
“This will change medicine. It will change research. It will change bioengineering. It will change everything,”
AI to detect and categorize types of coughs
While AI has historically been used to look at data, this year a breakthrough occurred in its ability to detect sounds. Amidst COVID-19, AI listened to the sound of coughs and could detect with great accuracy whether someone had the virus or not. This was true even if the person was “asymptomatic,” suggesting that true asymptomatic cases do not exist.
Even as COVID ceases to be a pandemic, this technology could be used for other lung conditions.
AI to enable gym rats to become home gym rats
Startups Mirror and Tempo Fit use a computer-powered personal trainer to deliver workouts to the home. Pressured by stay-at-home orders, people are swooping up this tech across the US.
The real differentiator is the AI piece. It uses computer vision can scan your body and suggest form improvements mid-squat.
Over the past five years (or so) IoT devices have been exploding. Smart coffee pots, ovens, door locks, lights, and wearables like FitBit have dominated gift-giving and wedding registries. In 2020, the chips that power these computers have gotten more powerful and smaller, making way for new products and uses.
IoT to help reduce wildfires.
Dryad Networks is a startup with a mission to help firefighters, using tiny sensors within our forests. The idea is that, if you place non-destructive sensors throughout remote forests, they can alert firefighters before a fire gets too big to control.
Wearable devices move beyond fitness trackers
Wearables jumped 30% in 2020 (compared to all other electronics) and there are no signs of a slowdown. That’s because this technology has gotten incredibly affordable and efficient in the past few years. Some cool, new products that leverage the IoT are yoga pants, smart swim goggles, and motorcycle helmets.
Network Connectivity Advancements
Mesh networks enable communication in times of need.
There were a lot of disasters this year, and next year will likely be the same. However, mesh networks allow people and professionals to use their mobile devices to get help, coordinate evacuations, and find stranded individuals. Read more here.
Satellites enable access to 5G
SpaceX completed 25 launches of low-orbital satellites this year, making the goal of global coverage more feasible than ever. This technology will give high-speed internet access to pretty much everyone–in every county, even in remote areas (think backwoods of Montana).
The Ubiquity of Video Conferencing
While video conferencing verges on the line between tech and culture, we think it’s important to give acknowledgment of how pervasive it is in remote worker’s lives. Video conferencing has enabled teams and partners to work together productively, without major disruption despite a global pandemic. While this tech has been used to say hello to an old friend or have a quick chat, it wasn’t until 2020 that it was used to keep the entire tech industry running.
This in itself is an “advancement” of sorts. Tech companies can grow and give their team members flexibility and control. This seemingly simple activity will lead to greater innovation and opportunity in places outside The Bay and New York City.
That’s our 2020 wrap up! We hope you are as excited over these breakthroughs as we are. If you want to disrupt your industry with technology, contact the team at Devetry. We’d love to help you build custom software solutions.