The Next Frontier: Why Frontier Technologies Are Important
Ask a few dozen random people about the things they cannot live without and many will immediately respond, “my smartphone!” Who would have thought that an invention could scale so quickly and become an inseparable part of our daily lives? In just over 10 years the mainstream adoption of smartphones has increased to a point that many are solely reliant on their device for news, weather, social media, hotel or restaurant reservations, online shopping, playing a game, email, text, and yes, even making phone calls!
Needless to say, technology is making great advancements. Take for instance the development of the supercomputer IBM Watson, the accelerated interest in blockchain technology, and the increasing popularity of drones that have been the topic of many media news stories. As devices become smarter and technology advances, we see a shift taking place from a traditional economy to an automated economy. We are entering the automated revolution and frontier technologies are leading the way.
What Are Frontier Technologies?
Frontier technologies are basically technological advancements that have passed through the research and development (R&D) phase but have not yet been mass marketed nor adopted by the mainstream. Examples of frontier technologies include robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), autonomous vehicles, machine learning, blockchain technology, drones, renewable energy, and augmented reality.
Another feature of frontier technologies is that they usually outpace the ability of regulators and policymakers to adapt and set specific standards for their particular industry. In some cases, especially where mainstream adoption is concerned, regulation can cause the advancement of an innovative technology to slow down.
Robotics and AI
The robotics and AI industries are accelerating at a rapid pace. Various projects have emerged that have already started to shift the perspective people have about robotics from being things of the future to real possibilities in the present. Take, for instance, the humanoid robot Sophia that was granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia or the OhmniLabs telepresence robot that allows children to be present in classrooms when they are unable to attend in person. To be sure, robotics and AI will play a big part in the upcoming 4th industrial revolution. Estimates show that more than 50% of our jobs will be overtaken by automation and the time frame in which this will occur is slowly creeping up.
A new frontier tech solution that has emerged from AI is machine learning. As a new field, machine learning is used to explore the study and construction of algorithms that can learn from and make predictions on data sets. Uber and Lyft are already using algorithmic pricing, which dictates that people pay a certain price per ride depending on specific customer-related data.
Driving a car is an inefficient way to move from point A to point B. Drivers need to constantly be aware of their surroundings and potentially dangerous situations. Each year on average 1.25 million people worldwide are killed while traveling from one place to another. At some point in the future, autonomous vehicles will replace traditional motorized vehicles and make traveling a lot safer.
The automotive industry is testing autonomous vehicles on roads in a number of cities. Recently, Toyota announced a $500 million investment in Uber’s autonomous car development department. BMW is working on developing a fully autonomous car. These are examples of big, traditional companies that are adapting to frontier tech.
When you hear about drones, you might only think about recreational commercial drones. But DJI, the world’s largest commercial drone company, does a ton of business; it is currently valued at $15 billion. Not bad for a company that was founded in 2016. Interestingly, drone development has the ability to help people in need. Drones can be instructed to help people perform medical care, they are ordered to deliver blood and vaccines near (remote) hospitals in Rwanda and drones can get emergency care packages, medicine, food, and water delivered to a specific disaster location.
Blockchain or distributed ledger technology has seen steady growth since 2008 when Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the world to the peer-to-peer electronic cash system called Bitcoin. Besides its countless decentralized use cases, such as streamlining a supply chain, building decentralized applications (Dapps), digital identity management, and peer-to-peer trading in the energy market, it can also be used in a centralized way. According to this Forbes article, there are currently more than 50 big corporations exploring the ability to adapt to blockchain technology.
Why Are Frontier Technologies Important?
A companion robot that supports elderly citizens, a Pinterest starting page that automatically shows photos that might interest you based on your personal user data, a glucose monitor that attaches to your smartphone, or a drone that delivers your online orders — these are just a few examples of innovative technologies that might impact our lives in a positive way.
By definition, frontier technologies are always at the forefront of innovation. These technologies have the ability to provide ground-breaking solutions that may be implemented later on a large scale and achieve worldwide mainstream adoption. Frontier technologies can contribute to increasing overall life expectancy and quality of life as we get older.They can provide large-scale solutions to real-world problems.
Corporate Interest in Tech Innovations
Google has been very active in acquiring small tech companies that focus on technologically savvy products. Those companies are absorbed by Google and the technology is further developed within the Google sphere. Besides Google, other companies like Apple (with the acquisition of AI device startup Silk Labs) are following the same path. Just look at the example of Toyota investing $500 million in Uber’s autonomous car service. These are two large corporations that will only become bigger. Not only will they become bigger, but they are also slowing down the industry’s development by keeping their resources and development to themselves. This will not benefit the technology industry. It will only benefit centralized entities.
The Case for Open Innovation in Frontier Technology
A solution to growing the technology industry with equal opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as, individual developers, is to provide them with the ability to participate in an open innovation platform where knowledge and resources will be shared and active development will be incentivized. At Kambria, we are creating an open innovation platform where developers, manufacturers, companies, and users will work together and share resources to accelerate frontier technologies. Kambria is a decentralized platform that is based on blockchain technology.
We developed Kambria with blockchain for several reasons:
- Our innovations can remain open and available to humanity forever.
- Contributions to Kambria will be transparent and immutable.
- Attributions to contributors will be fair, transparent, and decentralized.
We are actively collaborating with worldwide universities to avoid waste in university research projects. At Kambria we aim to redefine and turbocharge the innovation process with the help of our contributing community members. Active participants will be rewarded with our native KAT tokens.
What is your vision for frontier technology? Let us know on our Telegram channel or join us on social media through one of the links below to become part of the project that accelerates this next revolution.
The Kambria Team
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KAT is a token used on the Kambria platform.