- Mature technology
A mature technology is a technology that has been in use for long enough that most of its initial faults and inherent problems have been removed or reduced by further development. In some contexts, it may also refer to technology which has not seen widespread use, but whose scientific background is well understood.
One of the key indicators of a mature technology is the ease of use for both non-experts and professionals. Another indicator is a reduction in the rate of new breakthrough advances related to it—whereas inventions related to a (popular) immature technology are usually rapid and diverse, and may change the whole use paradigm—advances to a mature technology are usually incremental improvements only.
- Farming, most advances are in slight improvements of breeds or in pest reduction
- Motor vehicle, widely used by non-experts, the general principles have not changed for decades
- Telephone, though considered mature, mobile phones showed a rare potential for substantial changes even in such technologies
- Firearm, typified by assault rifle technology, most advances are slight improvements as manufacturers alter balances between weight, firepower, range, and accuracy
Technologies not yet fully mature
- Internet, with still partly conflicting technological standards
- Computers (becoming more mature due to advances in user-friendly operating systems)
- Economic models (still showing high failure rates in economic prediction)
Immature (as of 2009) technologies
- Nanotechnology, actual industrial applications limited so far
- Manned space flight, limited, failure-prone and uneconomic
- Quantum computers, so far mostly a theoretical concept
- Nuclear fusion power, mainly theoretical in practice as containment energy expenditure thus far outweighs yielded energy
- ^ Defining mature technology (in the sustainability and security of energy supply and utilization) (from a RBAEF memo, Dartmouth College, Tuesday 04 December 2003)
- ^ How technologies evolve (from an OECD and IEA information paper, 2003)
- ^ The Status and Importance of Web Services (from the registrysolutions.co.uk website)
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