Technological innovations have always played a key role in the human civilization’s progression. Occasionally, these innovations develop to such an extent that they open up completely new pathways in individual fields and even reshape our society as a whole. However, to exert this prominent impact, a technology must first emerge, i.e. it must mature and become visible. This chapter introduces this process’s underlying concepts and, thereby, provides a deep understanding of the emerging technologies’ nature and their important implications, for example, affecting specific domains by changing the actors’ and institutions’ composition in this domain. To this end, this chapter gives an overview of the five most important attributes that characterize emerging technologies. The chapter also presents selected examples of currently emerging technologies, namely immersive technologies, virtual assistants, and artificial intelligence. Each technology is briefly described in accordance with its attributes, followed by a discussion of the technology’s exemplary applications to highlight its emerging character, and, thus, provide an understanding of their potential future impact on specific application areas and our society as a whole.
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