Top 10 of technologies 2014 - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 December 2014 20:02

Some technologies such as solar energy, familiar to us is not the first year, experienced the most powerful breakthroughs this year; others of which you have heard - quantum teleportation, for example - have become better. Let's go through the list of important of technologies of the outgoing 2014.


US Department of energy report says the following: "2014 marks an important milestone in the history of the American Solar energy." Five new solar power plants (three in California, one in Nevada and one in Arizona) earned in 2014. As from abroad comes to us all a little late, we can congratulate overseas colleagues and hope that to us too clean energy will gradually come.

The world's largest solar power plant earned earlier this year in the Mojave Desert (California) and started to produce 392 megawatts of energy; It's enough to electrify 140,000 homes.

Solar energy - and this is also worth noting - dropped significantly in price. Advances in the technologies that underlie the solar panels, increased production plan in China - all this gradually leads to the fact that renewable energy is becoming more competitive with natural gas, especially against the background of falling prices for fossil fuels. According to Forbes, the full cycle of unsubsidized solar power costs about 13 cents per kilowatt-hour, while the energy of advanced coal power plants - 12 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Was not a surprise and an increase in production volumes of electricity with solar power. As of September 2014 the volume of production of solar energy in the United States amounted to 15.9 gigawatts of installed capacity, it is enough to supply electricity to 3.2 million homes, says Forbes. This is two times larger than it was in 2013.

Efficiency is also growing. This year, scientists from the University of New South Wales set a record by creating solar panels that convert 46% of solar energy into electricity - the highest conversion date.

This was a good year for solar energy, and it will not be the last. Solar energy will gradually fall in price and increase in production volumes. The day will come when we stop burning coal and gas for light in their homes.


This year was also rich in news from the sphere of 3D-printing, which is spreading all over the world "mysyu on the tree." If you do not know, 3D-printers use plastic instead of viscous ink for printing. Working with a digital file, 3D-printer builds three-dimensional object by printing it in layers. Once the "ink" dries, hardens object.

In the past, the technology used to print almost anything you can imagine: chairs, clothing, drones, cars, sex toys, home electronics, biological part of the type of prostheses and parts of the skull, and even food.

Three-dimensional printing even went into space. Last summer, the first 3D-printer is designed to print in microgravity, was delivered to the International Space Station, and in November was the first printed object. In the future, printed components or even food, which can be printed in space, will facilitate the uploading spacecraft - will be enough to printers 'ink'.

Augmented Reality

Add graphics, sounds, touch, or even the illusion of smell in your world - and you get augmented reality. Google Glass, which is applied on top of the graphics world through lenses - just one example. Since the advent of Google glasses in public, augmented reality is gaining popularity. Although, of course, its growth is experiencing a certain stagnation in certain moments: the world stood before jumping into the world of augmented and virtual reality.

Jaguar Land Rover has recently announced the use of technology overlay graphics on the windshield, which will provide not only the navigation information, but also information about pedestrians or other cars, which the driver can not see. Similar technology will also be on display in retail stores, allowing customers to try on clothes virtually.

Motorcycle helmet, created FUSAr Technologies, includes a display system worn on the head, features video recording and voice control. You can even buy a mask for sCuba diving, which is equipped with a built-in display pointer dive time, depth, water temperature, and more.

Brain-computer interface

What do you think? Scientists are getting better and better interpret brain signals and convert them into computer commands. Not so long ago, scientists have found a way by which one can control the cursor on the screen by thought. Since then, science has progressed.

In May, a team of the Institute of flight dynamics systems and the Berlin Institute of Technology has developed a technique that allowed the pilot to accurately control the plane in a simulator without touching the levers and steering wheel.

Flight simulator - it was good and fun, but there are more noble ways of using Brain-computer interface. More specifically, control of the prosthesis that is connected to the human nervous system. The so-called neuroprosthesis becoming more and more sophisticated, provide persons with disabilities to move artificial limbs as if they were natural.

In October, two groups of scientists - case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and Chalmers University in Sweden - reported success: they have taught two patients with prosthetic limbs gently grasp objects and even "feel" the texture of the objects.

Brain-computer interface has also been developed by scientists at Ohio State and to help paralyzed man move his hand, using their own thoughts. The scientists implanted a computer chip in the human brain and then used a neural bridge to redirect brain signals to the sleeve, which transmits electrical signals to the forearm and hand of man. After some practice, people could manage by hand the power of thought.

If this is not enough, the Japanese manufacturer announced exoskeletons Cyberdyne in this year that is working on the exoskeleton, which will allow people to walk by determining the electrical impulses in the human body, when the brain sends a signal carrier limbs move.

But most probably the loudest event in the field of the outgoing year was in Brazil at the opening World Cup Games, when a person with paralysis of the lower limbs, using the power of thought-controlled exoskeleton made the first blow.


Since we're talking about the exoskeleton, let's continue. This year, the US military reported costume TALOS. This suit protects the wearer from bullets, allows him to lift weights and comes with an arsenal of technologies that monitor the environment. This suit - not only for the military.

Workers shipbuilding company Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering began wearing exoskeletons that help them to lift heavy things. Similar manipulators have been developed by scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: warehouse workers can lift heavy loads on their own.

Also this year, it was announced a new contest called Cybathlon. The point is that taking part in it, people with disabilities, with the assistance of advanced technologies such as robotic limbs and exoskeletons. Competitions are held with the support of ETH Zurich and the Swedish National Research Center of robotics. The first event will take place in 2016.

activity sensors

Wearable technology, namely trackers activity - like fitness bracelets - strengthened its position in the consumer market. If last year they had little choice in this year's selection is huge. Basic Peak, FitBit, Garmin, Jawbone, Microsoft, Fitbit Flash - the list goes on.

What is interesting in this all, so it's not a choice, but the data that these bracelets are collected. For the first time in history, scientists were able to get a ton of information about how people move during the day, from small to large. Gone are the polls, which were scientists with pen and paper, separately measuring the parameters of each individual - now in their possession is actually accurate data collected by the sensors. Now it is possible to analyze how people move, sleep, stand, lie, and more.

It is curious that while not everyone knows what to do with this array of accurate data. May help to artificial intelligence and machine learning deep?

quantum computing

Research in the field of quantum computing are still in their infancy. But in 2014 we heard some buzz, beeps and electronic sounds coming from the room with a quantum computer.

It all started with the data presented by Edward Snowden, who reported that the NSA is building a "cryptologic useful quantum computer." Such a computer would be much faster than any supercomputer known to mankind, and it would be impossible to break, due to the laws of quantum mechanics.

Also, we have learned this year that not only the NSA is working hard to create such a computer. In September, Google has hired physicist John Martinis and his team from the University of California for the development of quantum computing chips. In the past, Google has already funded a study D-Wave Systems, a Canadian company that has acquired a machine with quantum properties. And Microsoft has launched a new group of designers quantum hardware this year, led by Burton Smith, a well-known designer of supercomputers.

But the most interesting news came from a team of scientists from the University of Geneva, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In December, they announced that teleported the quantum state of a particle of light - that is the direction in which it rotates - 25 kilometers of optical fiber, thus setting a new distance record of successful quantum teleportation.


Fusion energy is a long time in the field of research, which for decades has always lag behind reality. But if it came at us, the planet would receive unlimited and clean energy.

Also this year has been very interesting and very mysterious announcement from Lockheed Martin. Scientists company well known in the market of advanced technologies, reported that they could create a reactor that is small enough to fit on the roof of the truck, but who will be able to give out 100 megawatts of electricity.

Scientists say that within a year they will build a working prototype, and in ten years - a reactor that can be placed on the truck.


Masking technology go hand in hand with science, but remain essentially fiction. We have evil Romulans from "star Trek," which can hide their spaceships; we have the invisibility cloak, Harry Potter, which makes the carrier invisible. In science, however, such masking technologies are still new.

Until this year, the majority of scientists have already achieved some success on the part of the cover-up objects from the light spectrum, invisible to the human eye. They have found ways to hide three-dimensional objects from electromagnetic waves, sound, magnetic field, and even make the whole city impervious to seismic waves of earthquakes.

However, this year we finally learned something new. Scientists from the University of Rochester have used relatively inexpensive components to hide an object in the visible spectrum. Instead of using expensive "metamaterials", which are pinning their hopes other scientists, John Howell, a professor of physics at the University of Rochester, was able to unite the four optical lenses to bend light and send it through the center. Not perfect, but to solve complex problems in a simple way.

floating building

glaciers are melting, global warming is inevitable temperature increases that will save us? Floating house. This year we have seen floating farms that irrigate crop melted ice; Swim Beach for New York; floating nuclear power plants to be resistant to tSunamis, and underwater cities.

Architectural firm based in the Netherlands, Waterstudio, a leader in this field. The company came up with a number of different concepts, including a dwelling house, hotel complex for low-income people, and even a nature reserve.



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