Spotlight: Cool techs we can't wait to see in 2020

Source:Xinhua Published: 2020/1/3 15:49:47

Photo taken on Jan. 15, 2019 shows an Infiniti concept vehicle Prototype 10 at the 2019 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the United States. Photo: Xinhua

 As we enter the third decade of the 2000s, new technologies and breakthroughs are expected to bring about new applications and refresh our life experience.

In 2020, we might make more sci-fi scenes real while facing more controversies over some of those new-comers.

Humanoid robot Sophia addresses the 5th edition of Transform Africa Summit in Kigali, capital city of Rwanda, on May 15, 2019. Photo: Xinhua


Humanoid robots are becoming more human and the trend will not stop in 2020. Owing to massive data training as well as the 5G technology, they will become even smarter. During this year's Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo, the robots will help guide visitors and carry luggage with backpack-like wearable bones outside their bodies.

In the big data era, people are obsessed with algorithm. Last year, Google took a quantum lead in computer science by completing a complex computation in 200 seconds. The same calculation would take even the most powerful classical supercomputers on earth approximately 10,000 years to finish, according to its team. Although the claim was questioned by some experts, it still makes people wonder if there will possibly be a "quantum hegemony?"

Blockchain is another beauty. Facebook announced last year that it would launch cryptocurrency Libra in 2020. There are some other countries brewing their own digital currencies. People are waiting to see which national central bank would be the first to release digital currency.

Elon Musk said last year that he had tested brain microchip on a monkey and enabled it to control a computer with its brain. He also said his company hoped to start human testing before the end of 2020, sparking debate over what will an "internet of brains" mean.


Life science is closely linked with health.

You may highly doubt there is a "pause button" for life, but doctors in the United States have placed humans in suspended animation for the first time, according to an exclusive from British weekly New Scientist.

The technique, officially called emergency preservation and resuscitation, is carried out on people who arrive at the US University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore with an acute trauma.

It involves rapidly cooling a person to around 10-15 Celsius degrees by replacing all their blood with ice-cold saline. The patient's brain activity then almost completely stops, and a surgical team has two hours to fix the person's injuries before the patient is warmed up and restart heartbeat. The full results of the trial are expected to come out by the end of 2020.

New drugs and new therapies are also worth attention. The results of a trial in South Africa on HIV vaccine named HVTN 702 will also be disclosed. Experts hope the vaccine could deal a blow to the AIDS.


Advanced Space Suit Engineer Kristine Davis displays the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) spacesuit at NASA headquarters in Washington D.C., the United States, on Oct. 15, 2019Photo: Xinhua

 In 2020, Curiosity will not be the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)'s only active Mars rover for much longer. Mars 2020 rover will be headed for the Red Planet this summer. Rosalind Franklin operated by European Space Agency and the United Arab Emirates' Hope probe are both set to be launched this year for their Mars exploration mission. Besides, China also plans to implement its Mars probe task for the first time, unlocking the missions of orbiting, landing and cruising at one lift-off.

NASA also said it would allow tourists to go to the international space station by US spacecraft as soon as in this year. The round tickets, however, could cost up to 60 million US dollars excluding food and accommodation.

However, not all news from the space is good news. The militarization of space, for example, looms as the US Department of Defense's fiscal year 2020 budget proposal recognized that "future wars will be waged not just in the air, on the land, and at sea, but also in space and cyberspace," months before the US government announced that it would establish the US Space Command. Those moves are expected to trigger arms race in the outer space and impair international security. (Xinhua reporters Zhou Zhou, Zhang Jiawei, and Zhang Yirong contributed to this report)


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