2019 - 2029:
Top 10 breakthrough tech predictions

Keep it brief

  • iShares and the Visual Capitalist explore Bill Gates' predictions of upcoming tech and science innovations.
  • 7 out of the top 10 prediction are healthcare related.

Capital at risk. The value of investments and the income from them can fall as well as rise and are not guaranteed. You may not get back the amount originally invested. All amounts given in USD unless stated.

2019

Health

Gut Probe
in a Pill

Used now in adults, testing in infants

What is it?

A tiny, swallowable pill-like device connected to a tether that takes pictures of the gut without an anaesthetic.

Why it matters

Gut diseases such as EED (environmental enteric dysfunction) cause stunted growth. The World Bank estimates that the economic costs of stunted growth can reduce a country's Gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 3%.

Source: "Environmental enteric dysfunction and child stunting"; Budge, Parker, Hutchings, and Garbutt, April 2019

men on bench

Custom Cancer
Vaccines

Health

Currently in human testing phase

What is it?

Custom vaccines trigger a person's immune system to identify a tumour's unique mutations and kill only cancerous cells.

Why it matters

The immunotherapeutic segment of the personalized cancer vaccine market is predicted to reach $100 billion by 2024, almost 60% of the market share.

Source: Markets Insider, May 2018

$100
BILLION
2020

Health, Environment

Cow-Free
Burgers

What is it?

Meat-free burgers are made from lab-grown meat, extracted from animal tissue. Plant-based burgers are now widely available today.

Why it matters

Production of one pound of meat protein versus one pound of plant protein:

water

4-25x

more water

tree

6-17x

more land

fuel

6-20x

more fossil fuel

Source: Technology Review, Feb 2019

2021

AI/Robotics

Smooth-Talking
ARTIFICIAL
INTELLIGENCE (AI) Assistants

What is it?

AI software can be trained to create "organic" conversations, rather than just obeying commands

Why it matters

AI-based assistant technology is predicted to climb.

2018

$2.3B

2025

$19.6B

Source: Zion Market Research, Jan 2019

ai assistant

Sanitation
without
Sewers

Health, Environment

What is it?

Self-contained toilets can filter out bacteria and viruses, while shipping container-sized refineries can turn waste into fertilizer.

Why it matters

Over 4.2 billion people globally (60%) do not have safely managed sanitation services.

Source: World Health Organization, June 2019

4.2
BILLION
2022

Health

ELECTROCARDIOGRAM (ECG) on Your Wrist

What is it?

Smartwatch tech can monitor and detect heart abnormalities before they cause strokes or heart attacks.

Why it matters

The shipments of wearable devices are expected to grow significantly.

2018

178.9M units

2019

225.1M units

2022

453.2M units

Source: Gartner, Nov 2018

watch
2023

Robotics

Robot Dexterity

What is it?

Adding randomness to virtual training gives robots the flexibility to anticipate real-life human needs.

Why it matters

The global robotics market is predicted to reach just under $500 billion by 2025.

2017

$39B

2025

$499B

Source: Statista, May 2019

robot
2024

Health

Predicting
Preemies

What is it?

This simple blood test detects free-floating DNA and cells that indicate premature birth, avoiding an invasive biopsy.

Why it matters

Premature births are the leading cause of death for 15 million babies every year. The test costs less than $10, making it a cost-effective medical option.

Source: MIT Technology Review, Feb 2019

Climate/Health

Carbon Dioxide
Catcher

What is it?

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology capture up to 90% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation and industrial processes, preventing the carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.

Why it matters

Cost for CO2 capture:

Today

$400-1k/ton

Future

$100/ton

Source: London School of Economics & Political Science, May 2019

windmill
2029

Climate, Energy

New-Wave
Nuclear Power

What is it?

Generation IV fission (dividing), fusion (merging), and mini modular reactors can't melt down and don't produce long-lasting, highly-toxic waste.

Why it matters

Advancements aim to make nuclear a safe, viable, less costly energy source.

Investing in technological
breakthrough with BlackRock & iShares

Technological breakthrough is one of BlackRock’s five megatrends - powerful, transformative forces that could change the global economy, business and society – have been changing the way we live for centuries.

Our range of thematic funds offer a way for investors to tap into these megatrends, which we believe gives investors exposure to companies with structurally higher earnings growth, which in-turn should drive stronger investment returns over the longer term.

See our main funds exposed to the technological breakthrough megatrend:

Click the icons for more information and key risks of each fund

  • Next Generation Technology

  • Future of Transport

  • Fintech

  • Healthcare Innovation

  • Digitalisation

  • EM Consumer Growth

  • Automation & Robotics

  • Digital Security

This material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product or to adopt any investment strategy. We recommend you speak to a financial adviser before investing.

Try our megatrend to thematic fund tool
Use our BlackRock & iShares Thematic fund tool to see how our 5 megatrends connect to our fund range.
Try now Try now