High tech

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Automotive BMW plant using industrial robotics technology in Leipzig, Germany

High tech or high technology is technology that is at the cutting edge: the most advanced technology available.[1] It can be defined as either the most complex or the newest technology on the market.[2] The opposite of high tech is low technology, referring to simple, often traditional or mechanical technology; for example, a slide rule is a low-tech calculating device.[3][4][5]

The phrase was used in a 1958 The New York Times story advocating "atomic energy" for Europe: "... Western Europe, with its dense population and its high technology ...."[6] Robert Metz used the term in a financial column in 1969: "Arthur H. Collins of Collins Radio] controls a score of high technology patents in a variety of fields."[7] and in a 1971 article used the abbreviated form, "high tech."[8]

A widely used classification of high-technological manufacturing industries is provided by the OECD.[9] It is based on the intensity of research and development activities used in these industries within OECD countries, resulting in four distinct categories.

Startups working on high technologies (or developing new high technologies) are sometimes referred to as deep tech; the term may also refer to disruptive technologies based on scientific discoveries in several branches.[10]

High-tech, as opposed to high-touch, may refer to self-service experiences that do not require human interaction.[11]

The term frontier technology or frontier tech also exists.[12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cortright, Joseph; Mayer, Heike (January 2001). High Tech Specialization: A Comparison of High Technology Centers (PDF). Brookings Institution, Center on Urban & Metropolitan Policy.
  2. ^ Steenhuis, H.; Bruijn, E. J. De (July 2006). "High technology revisited: definition and position". 2006 IEEE International Conference on Management of Innovation and Technology. 2: 1080–1084. doi:10.1109/ICMIT.2006.262389. ISBN 1-4244-0147-X. S2CID 32767300.
  3. ^ "Know How To Use a Slide Rule? - Slashdot". science.slashdot.org. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  4. ^ https://hackaday.com/2015/11/05/slide-rules-were-the-original-personal-computers/
  5. ^ Slide Rules & Calculators https://www.tnmoc.org/slide-rules-calculators
  6. ^ "Atomic Power for Europe", The New York Times, February 4, 1958, p. 17.
  7. ^ Metz, Robert (1969). "Market Place: Collins Versus The Middle Man", The New York Times, April 24, 1969, p. 64.
  8. ^ Metz, Robert (1971). "Market Place: So What Made E.D.S. Plunge?", The New York Times, November 11, 1971, p. 72.
  9. ^ Hatzichronoglou, Thomas: "Revision of the High-Technology Sector and Product Classification", OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers, No. 1997/02, OECD Publishing, Paris.
  10. ^ "What is Deep Tech and which startups are marking the road (not Uber)". Startup Business (in Italian). 2018-04-20. Retrieved 2020-10-13.
  11. ^ Williams, Howard (6 June 2019). "Do Customers Want High Tech or High Touch?". Home Business Magazine. Retrieved 2020-03-22.
  12. ^ What is Frontier Technology? Introducing the Next Generation of Gensuite
  13. ^ Frontier technology definition