What do satellites, virtual reality, and drones have in common?
They are all part of the growing sector of frontier tech, which has caught the world’s imagination. Once the prowess of mega-nerds and futurists, big business is starting to pay attention.
And it is no wonder; frontier tech is defined by disruptive technologies and altering change to innovation-starved industries. Essentially, frontier tech is any technology that will change the way human life will look in ten, twenty, even fifty years.
Making the Impossible Possible
Mega giants like Richard Branson and Elon Musk are getting deeper into the tech of the future, but the sector is democratizing as more diverse and first-time investors gain access to individual investments through equity crowdfunding platforms like OurCrowd and private opportunities. Major businesses are looking to acquire the best of frontier tech, which can mean lucrative rewards for investors.
Remarkably, investment in defiant tech startups is not dependent on the usual reliable estimates and market forecasts. Taking up the challenge of how to create the link from how we envision the future to making it a reality is moving beyond traditional parameters.
Some of the frontiers being explored by startups and being eyed by MNCs are space, human interaction and mobility, to name a few.
Space is becoming more tangible with the help of frontier tech breakthroughs. Elon Musk’s SpaceX, valued at an impressive $15B, is privatizing space travel, and may soon develop a tourist market. He has reimagined rockets, drastically reducing costs which may transform space into an eighth continent. And a world without internet is hard to imagine, so a small startup is tackling the challenge to bring the internet to the whole planet, by repurposing space satellites as providers.
Communication has changed so much in the last 10 years, but frontier tech is taking the possibilities even further. Leaders like Facebook are testing the boundaries of human interaction by investing in virtual reality, most famously in the 2015 Oculus acquisition. Intel and Microsoft are signaling all in, betting that in the future we will communicate more on computer-generated channels.
Drones, the darlings of hobbyists, are being taught to read human signals and to understand their owner’s wishes. Companies are thinking of uses for drones from shipping to warfare. Soon drones will no longer be considered toys for science nerds, but respond to interaction. Artificial intelligence is also developing rapidly, being thought up as robotic companions to personal assistants, integrating themselves into our day to day communications. Beyond the sci-fi movie, the role they will play in society will need to be considered as the technology leaps forward.
Even medicine is not immune to frontier tech. Zebra medical vision, an OurCrowd portfolio company, is taking away the cumbersome communications with doctors, analyzing incredible amounts of data through machine learning, in an attempt to diagnose human disease through automation.
Another huge frontier for tech companies is changing the status quo for mobility. For example, major R&D resources are being dedicated to rethinking the car altogether. In a future of self-driving cars and accident-free roads, transportation much change.
A company changing common assumptions of the possible is Hyperloop One, which has rewritten the rules when it comes to human travel. It already has a full-scale test track, testing its bid to cut travel times into fractions of what it is now. Another major player is Israeli mobility tech company, Mobileye, was acquired in early 2017 by Intel for a whopping $15B and is working the power of AI into cars, getting closer than ever to that vision.
Full Speed Ahead
The boom in creativity and assumption-shattering tech is reverberating throughout the professional world, and high caliber investors are hearing the call. Startups are moving away from safe industries, focusing on how they can bring disruptive technology to the fore. To hear more about OurCrowd and Frontier Tech, click here.