10 new technologies coming in next five years with far-reaching impact on people's daily lives
The National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) on Tuesday unveiled 10 technologies that people have to keep an eye on in the next five years.
NSTDA president Sukit Limpijumnong said many technologies were developed over the past 10 years.
"The Covid-19 crisis accelerated technology development in order to enable people to survive," he said
The 10 technologies that will play important role in daily lives in the next five years cover facilities, transportation, energy storage, environment preservation, foods and healthcare.
The 10 technologies are:
1. Brain-computer interface: This technology will enable people to command artificial intelligence (AI) by using their brainwaves instead of using keyboard, making it easier to control.
"Brain-computer interface will benefit people with disabilities and gamers a lot," Sukit said, adding that this technology will become more complex in the future.
2. Generative AI: This AI can generate people's faces, portraits and map layouts using information given by users. In addition, it can simulate landscape between daytime and nighttime, and change sepia pictures into coloured ones.
"Many generative AI technologies have been developed in Thailand, such as Z-Size Ladies, an application that simulates women's bodies when they pregnant," Sukit said.
3. Connect and autonomous vehicle (CAV): This technology will help convey traffic information to drivers to ensure their safety while travelling. It can even operate a vehicle on its own to prevent accidents caused by drunk or sleepy driving.
"In 2040, 80 per cent of CAVs are expected to be autonomous compared to 15 per cent in 2030," Sukit said.
He added that the NSTDA is developing its CAVs in the Eastern Economic Corridor for Innovation in Rayong's Wangchan Valley.
4. Long duration storage: This energy storage technology troubleshoots pain points of solar panels and wind turbines that cannot generate electricity when there is no sunlight or wind.
Meanwhile, many types of batteries were developed to troubleshoot a lithium ion one that has high cost and toxicity, and may trigger an explosion if its size is too big, such as sodium and magnesium ion batteries.
5. Solar panel recycle: This technology has emerged as some solar panel parts, especially mirror, cannot be recycled by using previous methods, resulting in an impact on the environment.
Sukit expected 78 million tonnes of solar panels worldwide will be disposed of in 2050, of which 400,000 tonnes would be from Thailand.
"Up to 80 per cent of solar panel parts can be recycled using new methods, including broken mirror," he said.
6. Carbon measurement and analytics: This technology is playing an important role in environmental conservation as carbon dioxide is a component of greenhouse gas that causes climate change.
"Carbon credit becomes an important thing to encourage factory operators to reduce carbon dioxide emissions," Sukit said.
He added that technology to check forests' carbon dioxide absorption capability is also available.
7. Carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS): This technology will capture carbon dioxide for storage underground or recycle into other components to increase product value.
"This technology is a key for Thailand to achieve its carbon neutrality and net zero targets by 2050 and 2065, respectively," Sukit said.
8. Next generation of telehealth: Telehealth has grown exponentially amid the Covid-19 crisis, as it enables people to access medical treatment without going to hospitals.
"The number of telehealth users increased by 50-175 times amid the Covid-19 crisis," Sukit said.
He added that AI, Internet of Things, virtual reality, augmented reality, robotics and sensor can be applied to telehealth to boost service efficiency.
9. Synthetic biology: This technology is an integration of science and engineering to create high value products and services, such as artificial meat and cell therapy.
"Thailand has an advantage in synthetic biology as the country is one of the most biodiversity-rich countries," Sukit said, adding that the Thai government is supporting this technology.
10. Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy: This technology of coating CAR on white blood cells can treat cancer effectively, including lymphoma which is hard to treat.