Use the future to build the present
Quantum Sensing and Imaging
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Stakeholder Type
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1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy
1Quantum Revolution& Advanced AI2HumanAugmentation3Eco-Regeneration& Geo-Engineering4Science& Diplomacy1.11.21.31.42.12.22.32.43.13.23.33.43.54.14.24.34.44.5HIGHEST ANTICIPATIONPOTENTIALAdvancedArtificial IntelligenceQuantumTechnologiesBrain-inspiredComputingBiologicalComputingCognitiveEnhancementHuman Applications of Genetic EngineeringRadical HealthExtensionConsciousnessAugmentation DecarbonisationWorldSimulationFuture FoodSystemsSpaceResourcesOceanStewardshipComplex Systems forSocial EnhancementScience-basedDiplomacyInnovationsin EducationSustainableEconomicsCollaborativeScience Diplomacy

Sub-Field:

1.2.3Quantum Sensing and Imaging

Quantum-enabled measuring and calibration devices are already in advanced stages of development. There are sensors, for example, that use quantum properties to achieve higher spatial resolution and larger bandwidth than conventional tools, and their simultaneous sensing of multiple signals enable new functionalities.11 For example, "superconducting quantum interference devices" are already being used to measure brain activity in hospital-based magnetoencephalography (MEG) scans.
The scope of future applications for quantum technologies include use as very high precision clocks (for GPS satellites among other applications); magnetic sensors (such as miniaturized handheld NMR scanners for medical imaging, geological surveys and nuclear monitoring)12; gravitational detectors (for geological prospecting, mining and autonomous vehicle safety); electromagnetic field sensors (for medical applications, materials development and communication technology), and accelerometers and gyroscopes (for navigation and autonomous transportation).

Future Horizons:

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5-yearhorizon

Quantum imaging improves medical diagnostics

A new generation of quantum-enhanced imaging delivers more precise images in materials science and biology, in particular in neuroscience. Quantum inertial sensors complement GPS systems and quantum gravity detectors are deployed for geological surveys and very precise seismological monitoring (including earthquake prediction and nuclear test detection). Quantum clocks are used for improved GPS systems and for time-stamping algorithmic trading transactions. Quantum sensors distinguish between atmospheric isotopes in efforts to monitor climate change.

10-yearhorizon

Quantum detectors monitor earthquakes and nuclear tests

Connected via quantum channels, ultra-precise networks of quantum sensors are deployed for a variety of applications: for example, spectrometers for the analysis of gases in atmospheric science and climate change modelling, seismic monitoring and increasing the precision of international unit standards. 

25-yearhorizon

Handheld quantum sensors detect and diagnose consciousness

Quantum sensors and non-invasive imaging systems are routinely employed in medical diagnostics and healthcare. They are miniaturised and integrated into portable handheld devices and wearable technology. Satellite-borne quantum gradiometers may replace GPS with ultra-precise magnetic field measurements.

Quantum Sensing and Imaging - Anticipation Scores

How the experts see this field in terms of the expected time to maturity, transformational effect across science and industries, current state of awareness among stakeholders and its possible impact on people, society and the planet. See methodology for more information.