Automotive BMW plant using industrial robotics technology in Leipzig, Germany

High technology (high tech), also known as advanced technology (advanced tech) or exotechnology,[1][failed verification] is technology that is at the cutting edge: the highest form of technology available.[2] It can be defined as either the most complex or the newest technology on the market.[3] 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.[4][5][6] 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.[7]

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.[8]

High-tech, as opposed to high-touch, may refer to self-service experiences that do not require human interaction.[9]


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 ...."[10] 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"[11] and in a 1971 article used the abbreviated form, "high tech".[12]

A widely used classification of high-technological manufacturing industries was provided by the OECD in 2006.[13] It is based on the intensity of research and development activities used in these industries within OECD countries, resulting in four distinct categories.[14]

List of countries by high tech exports

The following is a list of the 15 largest exporting countries of high tech products by value in thousands of United States dollars, according to the World Bank:[15]

# Country Value Year
1  China 942,314,815.52 2021
2  Hong Kong 431,628,771.88 2021
3  Germany 209,744,317.15 2021
4  United States 169,217,253.98 2021
5  South Korea 163,987,147.75 2020
6  Singapore 159,927,958.42 2020
7  Japan 116,513,861.43 2021
8  Malaysia 108,683,179.4 2021
9  Vietnam 101,534,392.93 2020
10  Netherlands 101,168,437.61 2021
11  France 97,528,027.44 2021
12  Mexico 74,932,493.34 2021
13  United Kingdom 66,699,915.64 2021
14  Belgium 52,227,761.21 2021
15  Thailand 45,837,990.48 2020

See also


  1. ^ Advanced technology definition
  2. ^ Cortright, Joseph; Mayer, Heike (January 2001). High Tech Specialization: A Comparison of High Technology Centers (PDF). Brookings Institution, Center on Urban & Metropolitan Policy.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Know How To Use a Slide Rule? - Slashdot". 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2019-11-04.
  5. ^ "Slide Rules Were the Original Personal Computers". 5 November 2015.
  6. ^ Slide Rules & Calculators
  7. ^ 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. 10 (1). doi:10.1177/20539517231180583. ISSN 2053-9517.
  8. ^ "What is Deep Tech and which startups are marking the road (not Uber)". Startup Business (in Italian). 2018-04-20. Retrieved 2020-10-13.
  9. ^ Williams, Howard (6 June 2019). "Do Customers Want High Tech or High Touch?". Home Business Magazine. Retrieved 2020-03-22.
  10. ^ "Atomic Power for Europe", The New York Times, February 4, 1958, p. 17.
  11. ^ Metz, Robert (1969). "Market Place: Collins Versus The Middle Man", The New York Times, April 24, 1969, p. 64.
  12. ^ Metz, Robert (1971). "Market Place: So What Made E.D.S. Plunge?", The New York Times, November 11, 1971, p. 72.
  13. ^ Hatzichronoglou, Thomas: "Revision of the High-Technology Sector and Product Classification", OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers, No. 1997/02, OECD Publishing, Paris.
  14. ^ High Tech Trademarks by John Mendenhall, Art Direction Book Co; First Edition (January 1, 1985) ISBN 0881080241
  15. ^ "High-technology exports". World Bank Open Data. Retrieved 2023-04-15.