(Diginomica) Quantum computing is far from the only star in the universe of quantum technologies. Quantum technology embraces a host of different systems, each of which could form a fast-expanding sector of its own – if investors shift their focus away from computing. These include quantum timing, metrology, and navigation, such as the development of hyper-accurate, portable atomic clocks.
Quantum imaging is another, such as sensing how a single photon behaves in a complex environment, opening up a world in which cameras ‘see’ around corners. A related field is that of quantum or gravitational sensors. These can identify differences in gravity/mass below ground, and so are able to detect hidden substances or reveal voids and objects.
Quantum security and communications may offer even greater economic potential, in that they promise to be both fast and tamper proof.
All this diversity of opportunity is reflected in how the UK, has responded by forming four academic research Hubs in a £120 million national programme. Those Hubs are: Sensors and Metrology; Quantum Enhanced Imaging (QuantIC); Networked Quantum Information Technologies (NQUIT); and Quantum Communications Technologies (aka the Quantum Communications Hub).
This article exposes the opportunities and good news about quantum technologies, but also the fault lines in the industry and the way innovation is nurtured and funded. Investors, policymakers, and business leaders need something tangible and relatable before they reach for their credit cards.