10 Tech Trends to Watch in 2021

1. Today’s Chip-Pocalypse And The Coming Electric Car Crash

The start of 2021 was marked by widespread manufacturing shutdowns — not caused by coronavirus outbreaks in factories — but a crippling shortage of computer chips that find their way into everyday consumer products, ranging from phones to computers, to new cars and trucks. Bloomberg estimates that the auto industry may lose over $61 billion in sales during 2021 due to these acute chip shortages. Explanations for the shortfall vary, but analysts point to Huawei stockpiling chips throughout 2020 (in advance of a US export ban) as well as extraordinary demand for high-performance chips from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC).

2. Solid State Batteries, Wooden Skyscrapers, And Lab-Grown Chicken Nuggets: Ideas That Could Save The Planet

Climate change has been on everyone’s mind as a polar vortex swept south this month and brought the Texas electrical grid down to its knees, leaving millions (including most of us at Formaspace) without power or even access to water for several days.

  1. Reducing the 51 billion tons of greenhouse gases emitted each year.
  2. Manufacturing, especially cement and steel production, amounts to the biggest chunk (31%) of greenhouse emissions, bigger than transportation by car, truck, or plane.
  3. We need green alternatives to power a world that currently consumes 5000 GW of energy each year — or alternatively, we need to consume less.
  4. Space is a consideration. Some green solutions take up vast land areas, including wind farms or biomass cultivation.
  5. As always, money is the big issue but so is informed decision-making. Yet, how can we prioritize what actions to take if we don’t understand the relative costs of investing or doing nothing.

3. Forget 5G. StarLink Is The Future.

Space is back, as anyone who watched the heartwarming success of NASA’s Perseverance Rover successfully touching down on Mars will attest. If all goes right, we’ll see an unprecedented rollout of exploration technology in the coming days, including NASA’s remarkable Mars Ingenuity Helicopter set to fly across the Martian landscape.

4. All IT Infrastructure Is Compromised All The Time

Our next tech trend is frankly a bit dispiriting.

custom server condo rack system
Expanding upwards not outwards is a useful strategy for maximizing space in tech labs. We built this custom server “condo” rack system for a major computer manufacturer; it allows technicians to test 5 servers at a time, which reduced countertop space usage by 37%.

5. The End Of Social Media As We Know It

The public internet is tracking the history of radio, an industry which in its early stages was dominated by enthusiastic amateur broadcasters, later followed by the emergence of corporate broadcasters, and finally dominated by a few national networks (Columbia, DuMont among others), which fell under Federal regulations by the newly minted FCC in 1934.



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