Mature technology

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A mature technology is a technology that has been in use for long enough that most of its initial faults and inherent problems have been removed or reduced by further development. In some contexts, it may also refer to technology that has not seen widespread use, but whose scientific background is well understood.[1]

One of the key indicators of a mature technology is the ease of use for both non-experts and professionals. Another indicator is a reduction in the rate of new breakthrough advances related to it—whereas inventions related to a (popular) immature technology are usually rapid and diverse,[2] and may change the whole use paradigm—advances to a mature technology are usually incremental improvements only.


Mature technologies

  • Farming, most advances are in slight improvements of breeds or in pest reduction
  • Motor vehicle, widely used by non-experts, the general principles have not changed for decades
  • Telephone, though considered mature, mobile phones showed a rare potential for substantial changes even in such technologies
  • Firearm, typified by assault rifle technology, most advances are slight improvements as manufacturers alter balances between weight, firepower, range, and accuracy
  • Watch, most ordinary watch movements have the same or very similar components. Most advances are with the aesthetic looks or sub-dials on the watch face.
  • Bicycle, another mature form of transport

Technologies not yet fully mature

Immature technologies

  • Nanotechnology, actual industrial applications limited so far
  • Quantum computers, so far mostly a theoretical concept
  • Nuclear fusion power, mainly theoretical due to the containment energy expenditure thus far outweighs yielded energy in practice
  • Virtual reality, whilst practical systems exist, the potential roadmap is estimated to require a lifetime of advances in many fields

See also


  1. Defining mature technology (in the sustainability and security of energy supply and utilization) (from a RBAEF memo, Dartmouth College, Tuesday 4 December 2003)
  2. How technologies evolve (from an OECD and IEA information paper, 2003)
  3. [dead link] The Status and Importance of Web Services (from the website)