UPSC Science and Technology: Emerging Technologies in 2021, What is 5G, Extended Reality (XR), Beacon Technology

“Space is made in Hollywood Basement”, does this ring any bell to you? This line from the infamous song ‘Californication’ has a weird connection to this article on Emerging Technologies in 2021. Emerging Technologies in 2021 is very important for UPSC Aspirants as every year there are questions that are asked as part of UPSC Science & Technology.

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Life imitates art, did you know that many new emerging technologies that are coming out of R&D labs were once imagined out of thin air for Hollywood movies and comics? Robert H Goddard, the inventor of a first working rocket got the idea after reading a book on Martian Invention by HG Wells- War of the Worlds


The year 2021 is all about emerging technological innovations that are set to bring a fundamental Paradigm Shift in the way our economy is going to be functional for next 50 years. Technologies that enable ‘Productive Work From Home’, IOT applications for Remote Workforce Monitoring and Management, Crypto Currencies, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Quantum Computing are some of the emerging technologies in 2021. Thought Scroll has compiled top 5 emerging technologies in 2021 for UPSC Science & Technology 2021 topics.

Top 5 Emerging Technologies in 2021 & Everything You need to Know about them.

Block Chain enabled Crypto currencies to application of Bluetooth Beacon Technology for remote workforce management, these are the Top 5 Emerging Technologies in 2021.

5G: What is 5G and How Does it Work?

5G is the 5th generation of broadband technology for cellular networks. 5G was rolled out in 2019 by cellular phone companies and the top smart phones and IoT brands have started manufacturing the 5G enabled devices in large scale from 2020. QUALCOMM is leading the 5G revolution by manufacturing processors that enable smart phones to use the full potential of 5G networks.

Did you know that Cellular networks are called so because these networks are divided into small geographic units called cells?

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All the devices within these cells are connected to the network using Radio waves of different frequencies. 5G network is the most advanced network that uses high frequency radio waves than the current 4G technology enabling it produce high speeds of Internet ranging from1Gbps to 10Gbps.

Different Types of 5G

The disadvantage of 5G is that it uses high Frequency Radio waves which cannot travel as far as 4G radio waves. To overcome this, 5G comes in different variations in the frequency of radio waves it uses. Based on this frequency speeds vary from low to high. The lowest frequency of 5G produces same speeds of internet as 4G network.

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5G is set to be game changer in 2021 and the coming decade. Producing high speeds of internet might eventually replace ISP & Cable Internet Providers as main source of Internet. 5G application in IoTs, Smart Homes, Work from home devices, OTTs, Medical & Health Care, Industrial Connectivity and in various other fields makes it one of the Emerging Technologies in 2021.

Extended Reality (XR) : What is Extended Reality-XR ?

You might have heard about AR and VR, but XR also know as Extended Reality might be the Future of Education, Gaming, Entertainment, E-commerce. The scope of application of XR is so much because the X in XR stands for X variable of any unknown future computing technology that extends the reality through an immersive experience and collaboration features.

Extended Reality allows for an immersive life-like experience by merging both Real and Virtual environments potentially creating a new space for educational institutions, corporations, tourism, eCommerce. Extended Reality XR wearables, equipment, technology and the XR industry, in general, is set to cross over 200 USD Billion by 2022, this makes it one of the emerging technologies in 2021.

Block Chain Technology- Beyond Cryptocurrencies

Elon Musk, the guy who is straight out of science fiction movies started backing Cryptocurrencies in the year 2021. Blockchain enabled crypto coins like Bitcoin and Dogecoin have seen great trading volumes and returns on investment in 2021. But the application of Blockchain Technology is beyond cryptocurrencies and is unlocking opportunities everywhere.

Blockchain Technology allows for a unique way of ledgering the transactions. With blockchain technology, transactions are recorded but no one has control over the data. It is simply a database that stores information in blocks that are chained together with other blocks. With this technology all the users retain control over the data collectively and no single person will have the control over the data.

Important Blockchain Applications in 2021

Blockchain technology is increasingly being used by various industries to address issues ranging from day to day operations like supply chain management and tracking etc. Medical Industries are relying on Blockchain to secure the Patients and Doctors records. Other applications include anti money laundering , logistics, personal documents and Digi lockers, Advertisements Analytics, Original Content Distribution etc.

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Automation- Self Driven Cars and Drones in 2021.

Self Driven Cars and Drones enabled by automation logics and algorithms is one of the emerging technologies in 2021. This industry is in its prime stage to boom in 2021 and this entire decade in general. COVID 19 and in general independent lifestyles will only increase this need further. Amazon’s Zoox robotaxi is a game changing step in this direction, opening for a possibility of Self Driven Car delivery adding to its Drone Delivery capabilities. Tesla, Waymo, Volvo and Voyage all are ready to make big in 2021 with launch of Self Driven Cars.

While Self Driven cars itself is a great fascinating thing, it should be emphasized that this is only possible because of the advancements in the field software , machine learning and artificial intelligence.

IOT- Bluetooth enabled Beacon Technology

Internet of Things has changed the way connectivity is perceived in the past 5 years. Broad range of IoT applications powered by internet as well as Bluetooth Connectivity is opening up new opportunities across various sectors like Remote Workforce Management, Remote Human Resources Management, Real Time Projects Management, Contactless Delivery and Tracking, Contactless Shopping etc.

Bluetooth Beacon Technology uses the power of IoT combined with Bluetooth and Cloud Computing/ Machine Learning. This has a wide range of applications in various industries including education and e commerce. IoT and Bluetooth enable Beacon Technology is definitely one of the emerging technologies in 2021.

Stay Tuned for More Interesting articles on what’s happening in the world of Science and Technology for UPSC Aspirants. By the way if you haven’t watched Unacademy TVF Aspirants, go ahead and watch it or read the Thought Scroll’s Review.

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