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Deep Tech: A Profound Treasure and Future Reality

Technology has permeated radical innovation and disruption via establishment of the new business landscape worldwide, revealing precious gems and jewels from its treasure. From acquainting us to new age business models such as platform/network led businesses, sharing economy, on demand economy and gig economy. To revolutionizing the tech industry and augmenting the employment of deep technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), 3-D printing, quantum computing, blockchain, nanotechnology and more in a gamut of industries. Deep tech is incorporated in planning, development and creation of smart cities, is pioneering in designing convenience for the new age consumers, inventing novel treatments and medication for fatal diseases or accelerating productivity and efficiency in different business departments and factories. Deep tech has carved a niche for itself as an investment vehicle and is gradually fascinating investors and funds as they discover its profound potential in the future.

What is exactly deep tech?

Its’s potential uses and the subsequent impact on society?

What challenges do they face?

Deep technology startups endeavor to encapsulate distinct technologies to corroborate and ascertain solutions to problems prevalent in society such as social and environmental. Moreover, the concurrent utilization of science, engineering and design to solve a problem sparks unconventional innovations, creating manifold impact. Scientists and inventors constantly circulate within the cycle of design, build, test and learn until they meet their intended aim and goals. Since a few decades the application of technology has created abundance of information and magnified powerful computing power available at low cost, enhancing the ability of deep tech startups to bring their imagination into reality. Creating quick, affordable and meticulous prototypes harnessing the power of 3-D printing (or even augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)) is a blessing for today’s deep tech startup as they can maintain economical cost structure during R&D stage. AI and ML possess the inherent ability to accumulate and acquire massive amounts of data based on testing. Thus, guiding and assisting scientists and designers in the decision-making process whether iterations are required at that moment.

Deep tech startups have a foresight, a bird’s eye view, a vision, envisaging the future, what would be humanity’s need or challenges that are necessary to be mitigated in the coming decades. They have innate passion and zeal to challenge the reality, inventing a solution that doesn’t exist, creating first mover’s advantage and ultimately changing reality.

However, everything is not hunky dory for deep tech startups as they face major challenges in their journey towards success and commercialization.

Unfortunately, there has been dearth of support from stakeholders and very low prospects to scale up. Essentially due to high risk element involved in lucrative commercial success of the product/ service as deep tech firms function with long timelines until they reach a scale, thus leading to skeptical investors. Investors are involved in deep scrutiny of businesses as well as waiver off businesses that are extremely intricate and complicated to understand such as niche area of deep technologies. They contemplate and function on defined investment yardsticks and parameters which unfortunately deep tech firms are unable to meet and justify. However, they are oblivious to the spectacular returns they can earn if they invest in such businesses by instilling a patient attitude and reinventing their investment strategies.

Additional challenges deep tech startups encounter includes finding themselves lost in the maze of science and its intricacies, which tends to limit their approach to challenging them. Predominantly the deep tech ecosystem can expand with the overall support of all stakeholders such as governments, academia, investor community, businesses. They are the encouraging forces and motivators for deep tech startups to embrace opportunities to scale up and bring a change to the world.

Just like planets revolve around the sun, deep technology constantly revolves around us 24/7. Devices such as Siri, Alexa or google home are like genies who command our wishes via voice commands. They are the virtual remote control, controlling the lights, air conditioner, curtains and devices such as the television, delivering information as questions are raised: what is today’s news, playing our favorite playlists and relaxing music in the evening till we fall asleep. They integrate AI/ML to track human behaviour delivering a hassle free and personalized experience, while also building a powerhouse of data for themselves.

AI and ML seize the power to generate predictions and analysis, lending a hand in decision making to radicalize:

  •  Efficient supply chain management
  • Logistics
  • Marketing spends and CRM
  • Risk management
  • Banking
  • Trading
  • Portfolio allocation
  • Preventing frauds
  • Medical and early diagnostics
  • Drug discovery
  • Predicting natural disasters/ pandemics/epidemics.

AI and ML have the sovereign power in voice and facial recognition delivering access to voice google searches and payments via facial recognition. AI/ML are transforming and adding new fuel to the transport industry by the launch of self driving cars, trucks and buses- ‘the future transporters’.  In the e-commerce industry these algorithms track human/consumer behaviour to cross sell products and entice customers via tailored advertisements to purchase their suggested products.

Robotics has surpassed human capabilities to perform mundane manual jobs. They have already radicalized the supply chain management of businesses making them substantially efficient and productive. Robots operate at an accelerated rate whilst maintaining precision leading to increased phenomenal output and tapering costs for the business. Moreover, they are flexible to changes in the product lines while in the past humans would require training to adapt to new product line. In health care robotics has embossed itself as a pioneer to perform critical surgeries/operations with precision.

Undoubtedly it can be foreseen, their utilization would encompass a variety of activities. For instance, as patient companions assisting the paralyzed or immobile patients to move and lending an extra hand to nurses. Drones are anticipated to be harnessed for delivery of food/ groceries in the coming few years disrupting the transportation industry. In addition, during natural disasters they track information about the direction and movement of storms to accordingly plan evacuation programs on ground. It is predicted that robots will replace chefs and bakers in the near future via ML/AI, in turn producing up to 100 meals or more. While it is debated that amplification in the utilization of robots would lead to lack of emotions and empathy. Scientists and ventures are indulged in creating and sculpting robots who possess human emotions as well to challenge this notion eg: Sophia.

Deep technologies such as 3-D printing are in congruence to magicians. 3-D printing allows creation of cost friendly and efficient porotypes, propelling the health care industry and pharmaceuticals to investigate novel cure and medication. Early diagnosis and predictions aid in identifying potential aliments one may endure in the future. Hence it can be eradicated thanks to early screening, prediction and analysis. Bioprinting via 3-D printing extracts possible from impossible by creating artificial organs during emergency organ failures. This is unbelievable! In addition, 3-D printing is responsible for creating measured and precise prosthetics that once used to be expensive as well as orthopedics implants.

3-D printing allows quick and proficient testing of medication before mass production. In addition production of products that are required to be produced in small batches. Besides 3-D printing is utilized and harnessed in the automotive and aerospace industry, construction of buildings, creation of delicate jewelry and art. Moreover, education sector too is utilizing the benefits of 3-D printing by providing students with first hand opportunity to witness its miraculous power during prototyping phase of projects or creating replicas of old fossils to study.

Internet of things (IoT) highlights the concept of the connecting all devices with the internet hence leading to interaction and synergy between them to preform spectacular activities. IoT fosters the creation of smart cities globally. IoT ensures effective and efficient waste management systems via sensors attached to them, for instance they can communicate with the waste management firms once the garbage box is full and ready to be collected hence saving costs for firms. Another miracle of IoT is economical use of energy. For example, in countries like Denmark, the traffic lights and road lights only light up (via sensors) when a car approaches, saving costs and preventing unnecessary use of energy. There are certain apps which allows individuals to find parking space saving time and energy. In addition via IoT payment of fines is possible as it tracks which car is not following traffic rules. Connecting home automation (lighting, door locks, surveillance, TV and air conditioner) with devices like Alexa gives rise to the concept of smart homes.

Self-driving cars have been on the discussion table and trial stage since the last few years, almost all auto firms are incorporating such products in their portfolios. The role of AI, ML, IoT and robotics play a critical role in the development of these fantasy automotive vehicles. Another phenomenal example is of Amazon Go – retail stores allowing customers to shop products by avoid long and time-consuming queues as a bill is delivered to their Amazon wallet. Any addition or subtraction of products is noted in the system leading to seamless shopping experience. Smart supply chain management is another lucrative example which incorporates IoT to track movements of goods.

Deep technologies are indeed profound and have the tendency to create a positive profound impact on society by investigating solutions to existing and potential problems. The advent of quantum computing and its successors will transform the power of deep tech to another level. While certain industries would be threatened by their adoption albeit innumerable will become tremendously efficient. Moreover, new industries are likely to be in limelight as deep tech would shape the new business ecosystem. Certainly, deep tech is a profound treasure that is waiting to be discovered.


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