At the end of last year, the Financial Times’ Innovation Editor John Thornhill raised an intriguing question about the extent to which Europe is seeking to define a ‘third way’ in technology regulation that sets it apart from the predominantly libertarian and authoritarian approaches in the US and China respectively.
TechCrunch estimates the immersive tech industry will be worth $108 billion in 2021. Citi estimate $569 billion by 2025. But despite these staggering projections, many people’s understanding of the technologies fails to extend beyond the viral sensation of Pokemon Go.
Drone regulation is at a crossroads. All over Europe, and of course other parts of the world, policymakers are trying to figure out how best to deal with this emerging technology that barely mattered ten years ago but now promises to create a multibillion-Euro market.
Electric scooters are the latest addition to transport options in cities. They are user-friendly, green and increasingly popular with consumers, but in some cities they are causing headaches for policymakers.
Innovation in the tech sector is moving at a rapid pace, and the companies driving these innovations are increasingly facing political and regulatory hurdles. Business leaders are at risk of being affected by outdated laws and hastily introduced regulations that negatively impact on their operations and growth prospects.
It is increasingly clear that we are reaching an inflection point in the digital revolution. The widespread digital optimism that has dominated the view of the public and policy makers for the past 20 years is being tempered by increasing concerns about the impact technology is having on our lives.
According to recent research by management consultancy A.T. Kearney, the global market for 3D printing is set to grow from $4.5 billion today to $17.2 billion by 2020. With this rapid growth will come added scrutiny from policy makers and regulators. To support its long term growth, and for the industry to fulfil its remarkable potential, a supportive regulatory and policy framework will be critical. To help build this framework, and to put in place policies that will stimulate industry growth and accelerate the uptake of 3D printing technology across the economy, it will be imperative for industry associations to play their part and to engage with key policy makers and regulators.
Clothes which measure your heart rate and locate you via GPS while you run. Smart watches that can be used as an extension of your smartphone. The ability to access the internet with your glasses. These are just a few examples of the most recent wearable technology devices.
But is there enough demand for these innovative products? According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), estimated global sales will exceed 19 million units in 2014, more than triple last year’s sales. In 2018, sales are predicted to increase up to 111.9 million units.
From guns to body parts,3D printing technology has introduced a digital manufacturing revolution, which is already disrupting some of our well-established industries.
Companies are now able to print silicone, latex, ceramic, clay, play dough, Nutella, or icing sugar. In the medical field, 3D printing brings the ability to print replacement body parts, organs, skin and bones. NASA has recently purchased a 3D printer for the International Space Station in order to produce spare parts and other items, cutting transportation costs and improving safety. In China, a company has used large 3D printers to build 10 detached one-storey houses in just a day. However, technology is advancing faster than regulation. Very soon, regulators will need to consider the implications of the recent emergence of 4D printing.