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A closer look at emerging technologies in 2019

audi vr experience with person in the back seat wearing vr goggles
Image: Audi

The world of technology has completely changed the way most of us live, and for the better. But the march of technology never stops, no matter how many changes it brings along with it.

Some emerging technologies are so radically different than what we’re used to; they seem almost like science-fiction. Here’s a look at how today’s emerging technology is paving the path to a better future. 


Lenses found in our smartphone cameras and computers are getting smaller by the minute. Advanced physics have led to lighter alternatives to even these lenses, called metalenses. Tiny, thin, flat lenses can replace glass lenses in devices for even smaller sensors. The possibility for these metalenses in the medical field is endless. 

Targeting Disordered Proteins

Intrinsically disordered proteins can cause cancer and a host of other diseases. These proteins have traditionally been challenging to treat because they lack a rigid structure. Scientists may have found a way to prevent these proteins from shapeshifting, so treatments are more effective. The possibility to treat illnesses in this way could change the way we battle cancer. 

Food Tracking & Packaging

Food contamination is a very real concern across the globe. It’s estimated that around 600 million people may be eating contaminated food each year. Using blockchain technology to track food from its point of origin through the supply chain can help address these outbreaks. Sensors placed in packaging may help detect spoilage so it can be pulled before it is bought. 

Social Robots

Scientists working on artificial intelligence have made major breakthroughs in recent years. Their robots can recognize voices, faces, emotions, and even gestures. Google is working on a virtual assistant that can handle making appointments for day-to-day activities. In the future, AI-programmed robots may even be programmed to work with home technology like a Stiltz Duo Alta elevator


The giant garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean is growing as less than 15% of plastic produced is recycled. It has a massive impact across the globe, so biodegradable plastics will be big business in the future. The problem right now is many of the current plastics lack the strength. Bioplastics companies are researching creating plastic from plant cellulose or lignin to build durable plastics that are biodegradable. 

Augmented Reality

Virtual reality and augmented reality could change the face of several industries. Many doctors, dentists, and surgeons use some form of virtual reality to train for specific procedures. A mix of augmented reality could help specialists connect with patients across the globe. The result would be a conference that feels as though you’re in the same room. 

DNA Storage

Scientists are researching the use of DNA-based data storage as a form of low-energy storage. Estimates suggest a whole year of data could be stored on a DNA cube measuring just three feet across. The entirety of YouTube could fit on a teaspoon if DNA storage is ever perfected. The main challenges to this technology are the costs and speed of reading and writing DNA-stored data. 

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