What Are Some Examples of Emerging Technologies?

Body adaptive wearable electronics, nanostructured carbon composites, metal mining from desalination brine, home-based grid scale electrical generation and storage, high energy density lithium-ion batteries, and screenless displays are some emergent technologies as of 2015. These technologies promise to save energy, increase interconnectivity and help people lead healthier lives.

Body adapted wearable electronics include biometric-sensing earbuds and bracelets, portable sensors that track posture, and tattoos that track vital signs. Haptic shoes that could help the blind navigate through GPS are being created by the emerging ophthalmology company Lechal, as of 2015.

Nanostructured composites that utilize nano-allotropes of carbon, such as C60 and carbon nanotubes, are extremely light and strong, promising to reduce the weight of cars by 10% or more while improving vehicle strength and integrity. This reduction in weight promises to increase fuel consumption efficiency, reducing the carbon footprint that vehicles generate when moving people or goods.

Desalination is a tedious and energy-consuming process that produces large volumes of brine: highly saline water. Ongoing research is being conducted, as of 2015, to treat this brine electrochemically, enabling the extraction of valuable metals such as lithium, magnesium and uranium. Calcium, potassium and sodium are base metals that can also be extracted using this technique.