Merging Technological Phenomena- The Era Of Quantum Computing And Smart Technology
Take a moment and think. The greatest applications of technology were created by taking something I like to call an “unconventional” path, an ode to being original and creative.
When we take a look at products like nanosensors, innovating already existing appliances, or even electron microscopy created through the quantum theory/mechanics, we start to realize that every technology is built on one ever so familiar concept, the fact that we can make something out of nothing, create the greatest inventions known to mankind out of thin air.
Imagine stepping into a world where computation is excelled at a much faster rate, or where features from quantum computing technology can be applied to smart devices. Seems inevitable doesn’t it? You see, our human race has adapted to this very technique of combining technological identities, as it results in an identity of our own. It is unfathomable that we once pictured a life without the uses of quantum bits or smart appliances, so we now feel secure in merging these technologies together and calling them a product of our time, an outcome of futuristic innovation.
I like to believe that we shouldn’t discontinue our progress after discovering a certain theory or technological figure, but instead work to adapt that technological application with other extensive innovations. This article is a mere representation of merging 2 innovative fields dominating the technological market, the era of smart technology and quantum computing, areas of technology that are nothing but the result of immortal innovation.
Now, before diving into the applications and impact of these 2 merging fields, let’s understand them as separate entities as well.
Smart Technology- A World Built On Personification
Look around you. Everywhere you turn, there is always a device, an appliance that was constructed through the basis of “self-based analysis”. In fact, the term “SMART” is derived from the acronym “Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology”. In other words, we have given the platform for inanimate objects to now adopt human characteristics and even hold the ability to guide our behavior, thus the term “personification.”
This type of technology has constantly integrated what can be portrayed as the “laziness” of the human era, when something like pushing button becomes a task with smart devices in place. There are many different types of technology reflecting the concepts behind “smart” innovation and artificial intelligence.
It is very possible that you currently have a smart device located in your house. If you have some of the most famous smart technologies such as Amazon’s Alexa, the Google Home smart speaker, or even a smart thermostat, you automatically have a relation to a world of convenience.
Smart devices are meant to provide a level of autonomous operations and can be programmed for different uses, such as intuitive interfaces (a system that operates through the expectations of users controlling the device, such as a remote control) combined with computing concepts, systems that help to power these interactive appliances.
While the physical flexibility of smart devices is much more restricted, the efficiency and productivity that these appliances procure is incomparable to the normal gadgets that these devices once were. In the past, these devices were not required to connect to a certain network in order to operate interactively, but due to the amount of devices now being connected to local networks, the boundaries between connected devices versus smart appliances are now fading.
As mentioned previously, due to the usage of smart technologies and connected devices together, they are often categorized as being closely related with their functions and operations.
For example, a smart or connected appliance such as a fridge can notify you and detect when products are expired, therefore establishing similar functions of both types of appliances.
To take a much broader stance to these devices, the IoT (Internet of Things) refers to the computer/online networking and interactivity that these devices are a part of and connected to. Different connectivity types to devices can include Bluetooth, LTE connections, Wifi, or hardware wired devices through cables.
While these devices are included in the global network for smart products, IoT appliances are built on connections through application and the analytics of the internet/computing technology.
They hold more value in efficiency and effectiveness than smart or connected devices, as they can be upgradeable, automated and compliant with future needs of the technological market.
Many IoT devices are channeled in networks such as smart cities, as being adaptable and reliable can provide for a sustainable infrastructure for enhancing lifestyles through technology.
Quantum Technology-Revolutionizing Theories Behind Computation
To define quantum computing in a nutshell, this intricate method of computation is described as using the quantum mechanical phenomenon and theories discussed before such as superposition and entanglement to perform computations as well as calculations.
To be quite frank, while our society experiences the power of traditional computing every day, there are many challenges arising in today’s era such as machine learning methods or convoluted algorithms that classical computing does not hold the capacity to solve. This is the part where we bring in the complexities of quantum computing.
You see, this type of computational power only exists within the realm of quantum technology, where universal quantum computers can leverage knowledge from quantum theories and mechanics to create several states that scale at a much greater rate depending on the number of quantum bits to complete the process of data transfer.
The Potential Of Quantum Computing
Let me give you an example of computing exponential amounts of data, to understand why quantum computations could redefine everything there is to know about data capacity. Hypothetically, let’s say you wished to map out the chemical compounds of the cup of coffee you had this morning. Now, there are over 1000 aroma compounds within that single cup of coffee, each with their own unique and complex properties (polyphenol, chlorogenic acids, and caffeine to name a couple of them).
A normal laptop would take a greater amount of time to structure the information from the compounds and generate a sufficient layout. Although a quantum computer would be able to execute that very task in a matter of seconds while giving you a full run through of how the molecules in each compound would behave when triggered with different stimulants or substances, such as changes in temperature or the addition of new liquids.
The Potential-Quantum Chemistry & Physics
One of the foremost applications of quantum computing is derived from the theories behind quantum chemistry. As a result, quantum chemistry is a branch of chemistry and quantum computing languages that focus on the applications of quantum mechanics with physical models and chemical systems.
This unique type of computational chemistry is used to discover the fundamental properties of subatomic particles and the configuration of atoms, an example that we looked at previously with computing caffeine molecules. The quantum field of chemistry studies a multitude of chemical reactions using quantum mechanics and thermodynamics, which combines mathematical statistics, complex algorithms to model experiments and chemical theories.
In addition, the properties of quantum mechanics and physics go hand in hand with chemical models experimented through this type of computational chemistry. Quantum mechanics is a key factor of theories studied in the quantum physics field, that describes the structure and nature of the energy in subatomic particles at an infinitesimal scale, much like the study of nanotechnology (if you wish to learn more about the nanotechnology revolution, you can check out my nanotechnology article).
Applications within the quantum theory include; transistors and electric components of microprocessors, quantum optics, magnetic resonance imaging, LEDs and superconducting magnets to name a few.
The Potential-Quantum Computing In Medicine
One of the greatest challenges threatening the integrity of the medical system today is based on drugs being safely administered to the public, with everyone having a different chemical makeup, making it nearly impossible to understand how each drug would react with everyone’s separate internal structure. Standard computing does not have enough power to test the different interactions of drug to food and nutrition as well as its role in the human body.
There are several initiatives being carried out using computing to progress therapeutic options and chemical drugs based on everyone’s individual genotype (genetic structure) and phenotype (characteristics based on reactions with a person’s genotype). As a result, having definite and a large volume of up to date predictions based on drug toxicity and its reactions within the body’s systems poses a threat to the drug development/pharmaceutical industry. This is where quantum computing comes into play.
These computers have the ability to process many stimulations regarding the testing of drugs and how they react to a person’s genotype and phenotype in different environments, with the end purpose of curing life-threatening diseases. By using different models and quantum technology, we are able to appropriately map out phenotype and genotype responses.
In doing so, we can combine the phenomena of machine learning theories and quantum computing to accurately create combinations of particular drugs, catered towards a person’s individual needs, therefore enhancing the age of customized medical advantages.
While the expectations of quantum computing do not exactly match the reality of the computational powers in today’s era, it is interesting to see the impact of this technology in complex simulations, along with being implemented in drug discovery and the pharmaceutical industry. I plan to explore all the stimulating potential and effects of quantum technology and specialized medicine in a separate article, but here is a summary of current advances being precipitated in today’s generation.
How Will Quantum Applications Be Useful For Smart Technology?
Now that we have gained a better understanding of smart appliances and quantum technology by analyzing them separately, let’s apply that knowledge and merge the boundaries between these 2 revolutions.
Quantum Technology And The Future Of IoT:
With the massively growing industry technology as well as the continuous development of IoT platforms in the network of smart devices, there are exponential amounts of data being transferred to and from different devices every single day. In fact, the Business Insider Intelligence predicted that “by 2023, consumers, companies, and governments will install 40 billion IoT devices globally.”
A great number of devices transferring data also alludes to extensive sets of information being tracked, generated and transported every minute. As a result, security due to the threat of cyber attacks and more devices connected through the internet will evolve as the forms of technology continue to cultivate.
- A strong computational network is needed to handle larger amounts and sets of data while bridging the gap between problems with cybersecurity and the privacy of online information. This is an incredible function of quantum computers and vantage point to this type of technology. As a result, quantum computers use something called qubits (quantum bits) when performing these computations. These qubits have similar properties to binary bits, although instead of having only 2 possible states of the binary language (1 and 0), the quantum bits can have a multitude of states at the same time.
- Due to the principles brought on by the quantum-computing phenomenon such as superposition (a quantum theory that allows several states and frees the constraints brought on by the binary language) and entanglement (a phenomenon that occurs when sets of particles are created and they remain connected through the same actions, despite being separated by greater distances), quantum computers can perform operations and calculations at a much more efficient rate than normal computers.
How Can Quantum Technology Solve Problems With The Internet Of Things?
Quantum Computing and its computational abilities can help to solve many issues affecting the expansion of IoT systems.
- An Efficient Optimization Process
As mentioned previously, IoT devices hold much potential when it comes to smart city systems such as traffic flow, buildings and utilities. Ensuring that all these systems within the city are operating smoothly would be an inefficient process, as it would be long, tedious and virtually useless.
To assist with the validation process of smart city devices, quantum computing can accelerate the speed of verifying these devices within the city, while providing optimization for all the systems, as these computers can manage large amounts of data and the transportation of information throughout different networks.
- Increased Computational Power
As explained beforehand, quantum computers gain a massive amount of power and an exponential increase in speed, through using qubits to represent multiple quantum states throughout this process. As Scott Amyx, IBM IoT Futurist once stated: “ at the quantum level, atoms could be programmed to represent all possible input combinations, all at once and therefore test all the combinations simultaneously.”
This means that through the process of using bits and features of quantum-based technology, a dynamic platform is generated for these bits and atoms to represent all possible quantum states while testing these combinations at the same time. The IoT industry relies heavily on this optimal system, as large groups of data require complex computation, operations that only quantum computers can perform.
- A Secure Platform For Communication And Cybersecurity
As IoT devices contain confidential information and sensitive data sets, they need to be secured with proper authentication and integrity of users. As a result, due to their limited computing power, measures for security and the enforcement of privacy cannot be applied to these technologies.
We can use theories and principles from quantum mechanics to assist with this dilemma, as secure communication can be initiated through quantum cryptography (field of quantum mechanics that uses algorithms, which require increased computation power to encrypt data and transmit the information in specific ways so it cannot be hacked). The complex structure of these computers and cryptography serves as a defense against hackers and protects the integrity of data through quantum key distribution.
The Role Of Quantum Technology In Smart Cities
Many choose to describe smart cities as being something of visionary nature, a way to innovate already existing areas and regions worldwide. Although, only being able to use smart appliances and systems alone would not produce the exponential impacts and optimize the relationship of technology to humans.
So, if quantum computing has the ability to manage the exchange of extensive data systems and alter the medical system through drug discovery based innovation, then doesn’t hold the power to boost the development of smart cities as well? Yes, it does, 100%. In fact, many believe that quantum computers will revolutionize other technological products mostly offline.
This means that multiple stakeholders will leverage these computational abilities to their advantage, by coordinating smart city systems. A perfect example of using quantum technology to validate smart technology systems within the city, is for these computers to help manage traffic flow and ease congestion, especially that we are now living in an era where autonomous vehicles are our new reality. Different cities around the world are looking for an incentive to use a quantum computer that controls city-wide traffic flows and congestion on the road.
Now that we are discussing the possibility of combining these different innovative technologies, the smart appliance features could come into effect as a quantum computer system combined with the smart technology properties could possibly give drivers different suggestions or forecasts of routes that can decrease their travel time.
Another application of quantum computing within technologically advanced cities, is through weather forecasting and how that can have an indirect relationship to food production, transportation, and retail trade. The ability to predict weather patterns has posed an immense challenge to scientists, with many variables and equations coming into effect. The complex and lengthy equations controlling these weather predictions are compatible with the solutions brought forth by a quantum computer.
Along with forecasting weather patterns, quantum technology can be of immense promise when it comes to building climate models which can provide an insightful perspective of the relationship between us humans and the environment (global warming, greenhouse gases). Eventually, we can use these models to help prevent and predict environmental disasters to a great extent, while allowing us to take steps to prevent them from occurring.
I personally have researched many known topics from biotechnology to some of the most intricate and complex technological systems known to mankind. There is only one thing I found in common with all these topics, the value in leveraging these existing technologies to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.
The growing of these technological identities should not stop after explaining its benefits, instead, it should detail how these innovations combined can be advocates for the evolving demands of humans and connect us to a new way of life, one where our potential to create solutions for our planet becomes a new reality.