Eventually, all things merge into one… Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It
Technology has always belonged to the purist, to the obsessively single-minded, to people dedicated to their industry and their industry alone. Old Tech thrives in silos.
DeepTech will be different. The types of technologies that will eventually become the DeepTech — or Hard Tech or Frontier or whatever you want to call it — ecosystem. DeepTech will require its entrepreneurs to be listeners and dabblers. They will need to be storytellers.
DeepTech means that science has reached a level of understanding into our world and our reality that the disciplines can converge and merge, they can be re-mixed and untethered. They will go beyond interdisciplinary to be multidisciplinary — maybe even multi-inter-disciplinary.
Here are just some ways that individual technologies of DeepTech will support each other, and even help expand into new fields and industries, new lines of study and new, lucrative markets.
Quantum Computing Meet New Energy
As organizations look to leap beyond the carbon economy, they’ll need to find energy sources beyond the primitive, brute force energy tech that we inherited. To get there, scientists and entrepreneurs will need to explore simulations of physical processes and estimate the results. For example, scientists may need to verify the effectiveness of catalysts, or test materials to facilitate a fusion reaction. This requires lots of data and lots of crunching that data. For most of these simulations, typical computers won’t do. And, actually, supercomputers might not either.
Quantum computers will serve as a critical tool to turn huge data experiments into more efficient calculations, which will turn into real-world solutions.
BioTech Meet Virtual Reality
It’s one thing to read about a biological process. How about watching it? In real time?
Biotech engineers will one day use immersive virtual reality to see — and maybe even touch, or, dare I say, smell — biological processes to better understand diseases and conditions, which will open up new ideas about treatments and cures.
Expect virtual reality to merge with biotech researchers.
Robots in Space
Space tech is already an advanced field — globally, it’s probably close to $500 billion (US) –within deeptech. Entrepreneurial pioneers, like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk, have already bought in to the field.
The question is: How many trained astronauts do you know? How many astronaut miners have you run into?
The space industry will be augmented, at the least, by robots, who will perform everything from menial tasks to piloting spacecraft.
Gitai is already a leader in this, raising $17.1 million in a Series B early last year..
Blockchain Meet Brain Computer Interfaces
This is where it gets interesting. Brain Computer Interfaces represent a potential new era in computing, if not an exponential advance in human evolution, as some experts have suggested. Throwing away the smartphone, or the mouse, BCI could allow humans to instantly access massive computational power, at least theoretically.
The problem is, how do you maintain security of a system that can serve as a gateway to the human brain. That’s an important security task. Centralized security won’t work, as it lends itself to corruption and misuse.
A possible route to secure brain computer interfaces is through blockchain. Blockchain represents a decentralized approach to keeping the connection between brain and computer secure. It may help connect brains with computers with other brains, and so on.
As researcher Melanie Swan suggests in the Journal of Evolution and Technology, “Blockchain technology might be employed to orchestrate the security, automation, coordination, and credit-assignation requirements of cloudmind collaborations.”
Advanced Materials Science Meet Biotech Meet Robotics
Now, hopefully, your getting some sense of the true possibilities in deeptech are expanded through the true integration of deeptech technologies. But there’s no reason to stop at just two types of tech. Deeptech offers the possibility of mixing and remixing many.
Here’s an example: What if we create advanced materials that can produce extremely small, possibly nano-small, robots that can perform biological functions, such as take on diseases and boost bodily processes?
Sound like this is in the realm of science fiction? Or too speculative?
Deeptech startups are well on their way in probing this deeptech trifecta (advanced materials, biotech and robotics). A few names that are knocking on this advanced door of deeptech opportunity: Nanorobotics, Nanovery and Muse Nanobots.
These are just a few examples, but the possibilities of remixing and reintegrating all of the deeptech fields will create new fields and even new industries.