The term Deep Technology or simply Deep Tech is used to refer to technology companies that are founded on totally unique and hard-to-reproduce technologies. What differentiates deep tech companies so-called is the originality and quality of their research base.
Deep Tech was a word coined by an investor named Ms Swati Charturvedi in 2014 to refer to companies founded on tangible engineering innovation. It is actually the melting point of cutting-edge engineering and scientific discoveries. It takes the uncommon path of solving human’s present real-life problems. One word for Deep Tech is breakthrough!
Deep tech companies distinguish themselves from digital companies that only leverage business model innovation to present existing technology in a new way.
Data science, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things(IoT), Augmented Reality(AR) and Virtual Reality(VR) are all referred to as deep technology. Really, the word deep tech is just a marketing word to separate the real technology innovation companies from the conventional tech startups that continuously refine already standardized technologies or innovate their business models to present the technology in a new way.
Scientifically speaking, however, deep tech refers to neural type networks with more than three layers. Today, deep technology is fusing itself into daily living in developed countries already. “Augmented Reality or AR is an interactive experience of a real-world environment whereby the objects that reside in the real world are ‘augmented’ by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities including visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and olfactory.” Applications of AR include gaming technologies, window shopping as well as geolocation.
“Virtual Reality VR is an interactive computer-generated experience taking place within a simulated environment, that incorporates mainly auditory and visual but also other types of sensory feedback like haptic.” VR is usually fantastical and altogether immersive. “Current VR technology most commonly uses virtual reality headsets or multi projected environments, sometimes in combination with props”. The applications of VR are found in entertainment such as gaming and 3D cinema. Other applications can include immersive learning in education, therapeutics for treating anxiety disorders and so many others.
By definition, Artificial Intelligence, AI, is the “study of the intelligence of machines.” Any device that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of successfully achieving its goals is called an “intelligent agent.”
Applications of AI are seen in self-driving cars, drones, search engines and image recognition technologies.
Internet of Things(IoT) is the “network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances and other items embedded with electronics software, sensors, activators, and connectivity which enables these things to connect and exchange data” for the direct integration of the natural world. It’s been estimated that there will be 30 billion IoT devices by 2020. Applications of IoT include connected vehicles, home automation, wearable technologies and remote monitoring capabilities.
Data Science, another important part of Deep Tech is about the most interdisciplinary of these fields and uses “scientific methods, processes, algorithms and systems to extract knowledge from data in various forms, both structured and unstructured similar to data mining.”
Today the applications of Deep Tech can be found everywhere from Medicine to Engineering, Aviation, Law, and Agriculture. Gel-e has developed an instant hemostatic wound healer. They developed a dynamic line of treatments including bandages, gels, gels powders and sprays that can effectively seal almost any type of bleeding.
Also, using the power of Immune System Programming(ISP), Immusoft, a biotechnology company has created a method to program the body’s immune cells to cure diseases without the conventional method of introducing viral vectors into the body system. This is a great leap forward in medicine.
Atlas, a six foot-robot whose research was funded by the United States Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has been designed for a variety of search and rescue tasks. Companies ruling the Robotics space include Hanson Robotics (known for research in developing realistic facial expressions), Boston Robotics and Agility Robotics. In biotechnology, the companies dictating the tunes include Novartis and Gilead Sciences, Kite Pharma, BlueBird Bio, Oisin and several others.
OpenAI, a research lab co-founded by Elon Musk is seeking to build robots that can learn by themselves while consciously following AI ethics for human safety. Another innovator in the AI space is Sage Sciences, a company that will take its rightful place going forward because of its research in understanding sensors and creating an online platform for this!
In the aerospace industry, Lilium Aviation is taking the game to another level with its Vertical Take-Off and Landing(VTOL) technology. The Lilium jet is also fully electrically powered with low noise and an on-demand service.
In the automotive space, Waymo is solving the problem of driver error, a challenge that space has been facing. Waymo is doing this using a laser technology that can analyze 36,000 objects simultaneously. Other competitors in the space include Aurora, Argo AI (funded by Ford) Cruise (acquired by General Motors) Uber and many more.
Since 2015, Deep Tech Companies in Europe are getting investments 3x larger than their contemporaries in the conventional tech startups. Propel(X) owned by Swati is taking the lead in helping Deep Tech startups to access funding through its online-based platform.
Apart from tech startups leveraging standardized technologies, Africa is a bit behind in deep tech. However, with the launch of Google AI Accra, Ghana, as well as the launch of Hello Tomorrow Ghana, tangible local deep tech products, will be unleashed.
Source: Deep Learning on Medium