High technology (high tech), also known as advanced technology (advanced tech) or exotechnology, is technology that is at the cutting edge: the highest form of technology available. It can be defined as either the most complex or the newest technology on the market. 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. When high tech becomes old, it becomes low tech, for example vacuum tube electronics. Further, high tech is related to the concept of mid-tech, that is a balance between the two opposite extreme qualities of low-tech and high-tech. Mid-tech could be understood as an inclusive middle that combines the efficiency and versatility of digital/automated technology with low-tech's potential for autonomy and resilience.
Startups working on high technologies (or developing new high technologies) are sometimes referred to as deep tech; the term may also refer to disruptive innovations or those based on scientific discoveries.
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 ...." Robert Metz used the term in a financial column in 1969, saying Arthur H. Collins of Collins Radio "controls a score of high technology patents in a variety of fields" and in a 1971 article used the abbreviated form, "high tech".
A widely used classification of high-technological manufacturing industries was provided by the OECD in 2006. It is based on the intensity of research and development activities used in these industries within OECD countries, resulting in four distinct categories.
List of countries by high tech exports
- Electronics industry
- Photonics industry
- Nuclear technology
- Quantum technology
- Intermediate technology – sometimes used to mean technology between low and high technology
- Industrial design
- List of emerging technologies
- Semiconductor industry
- Big Tech
- Advanced technology definition
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- Steenhuis, H.; Bruijn, E. J. De (July 2006). "High technology revisited: Definition and position". 2006 IEEE International Conference on Management of Innovation and Technology (PDF). Vol. 2. pp. 1080–1084. doi:10.1109/ICMIT.2006.262389. ISBN 1-4244-0147-X. S2CID 32767300.
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- Slide Rules & Calculators https://www.tnmoc.org/slide-rules-calculators
- Kostakis, Vasilis; Pazaitis, Alex; Liarokapis, Minas (2023-06-20). "Beyond high-tech versus low-tech: A tentative framework for sustainable urban data governance". BigData&Society. doi:10.1177/20539517231180. ISSN 2053-9517.
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- "Atomic Power for Europe", The New York Times, February 4, 1958, p. 17.
- Metz, Robert (1969). "Market Place: Collins Versus The Middle Man", The New York Times, April 24, 1969, p. 64.
- Metz, Robert (1971). "Market Place: So What Made E.D.S. Plunge?", The New York Times, November 11, 1971, p. 72.
- Hatzichronoglou, Thomas: "Revision of the High-Technology Sector and Product Classification", OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers, No. 1997/02, OECD Publishing, Paris.
- High Tech Trademarks by John Mendenhall, Art Direction Book Co; First Edition (January 1, 1985) ISBN 0881080241
- "High-technology exports". World Bank Open Data. Retrieved 2023-04-15.