Breakthrough Technologies of 2016 - A Tech Year in Review

We’re huge fans of everything progressive and forward thinking at Tapeswitch, so we’re always keeping an eye on our industry’s technological advancements. 2016 has been a fantastic year for some ground-breaking leaps forward in the tech industry, with some big problems being solved, or on the verge of a huge leap forward.

Below we have collated some of our favourite advancements over the past year; movements forward in the innovation industries which we feel will have a significant impact on the human race over the next few years. Keep an eye out for some of these in the news - we’re positive you’ll see them!

Tesla Autopilot

The company best and most famously known for its electric cars, and Elon Musk, began rolling out an update to Tesla electric cars which allowed full “autopilot” mode - not too far removed from an aircraft’s autopilot feature.

Soon after the update, videos on social media of Tesla car owners emerged with the ‘drivers’ drinking coffee, reading the paper...and one ‘driver’ sat on the roof as his Tesla did all the hard work (still illegal we must point out!)

This overnight update (and a few modifications to hardware) was a huge leap forward towards completely automated driverless transport. We suspect there will be much more of this in 2017!

DNA App Store

We all know the phrase “Information is power”, and it has never been more pertinent than which the DNA app store.

Simply put, an online store which will make it easy and affordable to access your genetic information, allowing you the opportunity to research predisposed health and medical conditions thanks to your DNA.

Amazing!

Without going into too much complex genome information (trust us, it’s complicated!), the store is aiming to be open next year, allowing people the privilege of learning more about who they are with just a saliva sample.

Immune Engineering

This is one of the most exciting advancements we have come across in the medical industries.

The possibility of being able to create cells which are immune to cancer, saving the lives of terminally ill human beings. And that may just be the tip of the iceberg!

CELLECTIS started developing the treatment back in 2011, and now in 2016 there are over a dozen biotechnology and drug companies working on developing this treatment in the aim of having it ready to use within the next 12 to 24 months.

Robots Who Teach Robots

Our human fascination with AI is always driving us forward in robotics and software programming. Well, what if robots could not just learn, but communicate the learnt behaviour to other robots!?

‘Teaching’ a robot a simple task such as picking up a cup of water requires reams and reams of data, which we learned as children, so seems pretty straight forward to us! This can be programmed (or ‘taught’), but then ideally passed on from robot to robot.

The goal for Tellex is the “Million Object Challenge” - for research bots around the world to recognise an object, learn how to use it, then pass on the learned data to other robots worldwide via the cloud. The goal is to achieve this within the next 3 to 5 years.

Precise Gene Editing in Plants

Last but most definitely not least is the leaps forward towards providing sufficient food worldwide. The age-old conundrum of ‘solving world hunger’!

Again, similar to the DNA app store, this becomes very complex very fast, but in accessible terms: an easy and exact way to manipulate the DNA structuring in crops to create traits such as drought tolerance and disease resistance.

The tech is known as CRISPR and has already been developed in China to create a fungus-resistant wheat. The aim is to have this refined and used worldwide in the next 5 to 10 years.

2016 has been a fantastic year in tech and innovation, and we’re excited to be part of this industry - looking forward to the advancements and discoveries in 2017 and beyond. Please feel free to get in contact to discuss any health and safety solutions you may need for your workplace.