Areas to watch, discussed by IDTechEx
BOSTON, February 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — In February 2022, the White House released an updated list of critical and emerging technologies that the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), and the National Security Council (NSC) have identified as important to the national security of the United States. . Many technology areas were showcased, including advanced manufacturing, hypersonics, biotechnology and artificial intelligence. Among these, IDTechEx highlighted the areas to watch and why exactly the White House selected them as critical technologies.
The ability of additive manufacturing (AM) to manufacture complex objects with short lead times is very attractive for defense applications. leading to significant interest and applied research by the U.S. military over the past decade. A public example of the US military’s exploration of 3D printing is their projects with concrete 3D printing. When the military needs to quickly assemble structures such as barracks or hospitals in combat or disaster areas, on-site concrete 3D printing offers the ability to quickly create these buildings. In 2018, the US Marine Corps printed a concrete barracks in 40 hours, the 1st fully on-site continuous concrete printing worldwide. In 2021, the US Army Corp of Engineers announced its Automated Expeditionary Structure Construction (ACES) program, which will provide concrete 3D printers that can be deployed in difficult terrain.
Outside of construction applications, 3D printing offers great value for military equipment and transportation. Complex parts that improve the functionality and performance of military machinery can sometimes only be made with additive manufacturing. For example, Boeing flight-tested a flight-critical component that was fabricated by metal 3D printing on its Chinook helicopters; the design and manufacturing method of the component has resulted in weight reduction, which contributes to fuel optimization for aircraft. These applications of AM by military and defense contractors demonstrate the continued value of AM for future security. IDTechEx’s 3D printing report portfolio dives into the importance and value of additive manufacturing across many industries, including aerospace and defense.
Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) originally were largely developed from the defense industry. However, as the application focus has shifted to enterprise and consumer markets, adapting these off-the-shelf products for military use cases is a growing trend. For the use of virtual reality in training, this process seems relatively smooth: Lockheed Martin would use Varjo VR headsets for pilot instruction and Street Smarts VR uses the HTC Vive to train police and ground troops.
For field-deployable AR, adapting enterprise products has proven to be more challenging. In 2021, Microsoft won a $22 billion contract to supply 120,000 HoloLens-based AR headsets to US Army troops – en October 2021, the deployment of this project has been delayed. Reports suggest this is partly due to software integration issues, but adapting the device to a rugged state in the field with minimal incursion into the real-world user’s view likely posed challenges. hardware issues. Nevertheless, the adaptation of consumer/enterprise devices to military applications indicates a broader shift in AR development methodologies. IDTechEx offers a range of reports covering AR/VR and underlying technologies such as optics and screens.
Critical sub-areas identified by the White House include “Advanced and Networked Sensing and Signature Management”, “Quantum Information” and “Space Technologies and Systems”. Sensors are essential components for these fields and many essential industries such as health, safety and the environment. In all of these distinct areas, there is a common need for larger sensor networks and more extensive networks.
For example, one of the most critical sectors from a global perspective is environmental monitoring. Society is increasingly threatened by the effects of pollution and air quality on our health and our planet. Recent years have seen the deployment of gas sensors in cities increase rapidly, with networks of devices measuring volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particulate matter (PM) and greenhouse gases now installed in most big cities. Typically, these are units mounted on lampposts, buildings, and even in trees. Networks have an advantage over fixed monitoring stations because they can provide local and continuous measurements. This data is of great value to government authorities seeking to develop policies and mitigation solutions to reduce their environmental impact. As pressure on these authorities increases and WHO guidelines on safe gas concentrations tighten, gas sensor networks will play a crucial role in holding governing bodies to account. Closed-loop systems are touted as an efficient use of environmental sensor networks — and we might see them used to redirect traffic or optimize building ventilation in real time.
Looking much further into the future, advances in gas sensor technology will see detectors shrink in size, increase in sensitivity, and be combined with AI to accurately identify characteristic odors. This could see the general consumer becoming part of an environmental monitoring network – becoming a citizen scientist through technology embedded in their smart homes, phones and wearables. IDTechEx has dedicated reports on a variety of sensor topicswith dedicated publications on gas sensors, portableand much more.
The importance of health The development of sensors has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has identified the lack of preparedness of many governments in the management of infectious diseases. As the world moves towards denser urban populations and a warming planet that better adapts to the emergence of tropical diseases, the security threat posed by pandemics and epidemics will only grow.
A critical tool for disease control that has received a lot of attention due to the COVID-19 pandemic is the point-of-care (POC) diagnostic biosensor industry. The high demand for testing has led to several important changes. First, large government contracts and sales have been a key driver of corporate revenue. Cue Health, which has developed an at-home COVID-19 molecular test, has received a $400 million US Department of Defense contract in 2021; compared to the income of $23 million the year before. Second, for POC tests that require readers, the install base has grown significantly. BD’s Veritor device nearly tripled its United States installed base, at 70,000, between Q3 2020 and Q1 2021. Quidel’s Sofia also installed over 75,000 units in 2021. This established user base facilitates future market expansion. Third, the COVID-19 opportunity has accelerated start-ups to market, helping establish a beachhead in infectious disease diagnostics, such as CRIPSR-based diagnostics from Mammoth Biosciences, the company founded by the award winner. Nobel 2020 Jennifer Doudna. See the IDTechEx report on “Point-of-Care Biomedical Diagnostics 2019-2029: Technologies, Applications, Forecasts” for more information on this industry.
Health sensors also have a role to play in chronic disease management. Although recently overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a “silent pandemic” in the form of type 2 Diabetes. As continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) have replaced traditional finger-prick testing for type 1 diabetics in developed countries, companies are now pushing for greater adoption by type 2 diabetics starting with a greater great integration of digital health and telehealth options. This takes advantage of the increased visibility offered to these options by the pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, the Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) industry has maintained strong growth to reach an estimated total revenue of $7 billion in 2021. In IDTechEx’s “Technologies for Diabetes Management 2019-2029: Technology, Players and Forecastreport, we discuss the evolution of the CGM market and its effect on the entire diabetes industry.
Robotics and autonomous systems
In the 21st century, robotics and autonomous systems are increasingly popular in military applications. Robotics and autonomous systems have already been widely applied in a wide variety of military uses, including space exploration, deep-sea exploration, submarines, and counter-mining. They are becoming the new standard approach to making the military smarter and more efficient by extending the capabilities of soldiers to perform dangerous tasks.
Due to the high value of robotics and autonomous systems in multiple fields (e.g. space exploration, maritime industry, etc.), they are also becoming a competitive differentiator between high GDP countries such as the United States, China, Japan, Germany, UKand South Korea. The latest critical and emerging technologies update from the U.S. National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) identifies autonomous systems and robotics as one of the priorities of U.S. government departments and agencies. According to the 14th five-year plan (2021-2025) for the national economic and social development of Chinamore resources will be devoted to innovations and the development of scanning and robotics systems.
With a growing focus on autonomous systems and robotics, IDTechEx has published a series of reports outlining the challenges, roadmaps and development of robotics to help companies better understand the trends and future of the robotics industry.
IDTechEx guides your strategic business decisions through its research, subscription and advisory products, helping you take advantage of emerging technologies. for more information contact [email protected] or visit www.IDTechEx.com.
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