Innovation Watch

By David Forrest | THE FUTURE IS HERE innovationwatch.com

Tesla has the greatest story in the history of cars — and that should terrify automakers

The auto industry is huge and touches the lives of almost everyone on the planet. But it's surprisingly devoid of truly gripping stories.<p>In fact, you can almost draw a straight line from Henry Ford to Elon Musk, with perhaps a few detours toward Enzo Ferrari, Preston Tucker, and John DeLorean along …

Autos

San Jose becoming hub for artificial intelligence firms

SAN JOSE — Cheaper and older isn’t typically associated with riches and success in the Bay Area tech scene.<p>But that’s just what San Jose is offering …

Silicon Valley

Angela Merkel says Germany can no longer rely on America under Donald Trump

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has suggested that her country and Europe can no longer rely on the US under Donald Trump. Speaking at a campaign …

Donald Trump

How A Gene Editing Tool Went From Labs To A Middle-School Classroom

On a Saturday afternoon, 10 students gather at Genspace, a community lab in Brooklyn, to learn how to edit genes.<p>There's a recent graduate with a master's in plant biology, a high school student who started a synthetic biology club, a medical student, an eighth grader, and someone who works in …

Genetics

Google For Jobs: Potential To Disrupt The $200 Billion Recruiting Industry

Have you ever looked for a job? Of course you have. It’s a daunting process, and one which Google hopes to make easier than ever.<p>The Bureau of Labor Statistics show that 20-24% of Americans change jobs every year (ADP global research says it’s 27%), which means more than 41 million people are …

Employment

We Rode the Copenhagen Wheel

The smart electric conversion is a lot of fun, but is it really the best e-bike for the city?<p>After a few prototypes and soft launches, the Copenhagen Wheel has officially arrived. This is an e-bike made-easy—an electric hybrid bicycle wheel that houses a motor, battery, and computer, all in a …

Cities

5 Habits of Highly Effective Design Thinkers

Practice these habits to evolve your business model!<p>Design thinking is a methodology that when practiced, can become part of your mindset. In organizations, new approaches can translate into new models of culture transformation. For a basic overview of design thinking- a human centered …

Design Thinking

A Tiny Island Off Singapore May Hold Answers to Energy's Future - Bloomberg

On a small island off the southern coast of Singapore, a French energy company is experimenting with what it hopes will be the future of renewable …

Energy

DARPA and Boeing Team Up to Build a Hypersonic Spaceplane

The XS-1 program is underway.<p>DARPA announced today that it has selected Boeing to design and build a new reusable, hypersonic spaceplane that would fly into high suborbital altitudes to launch satellites into orbit before coming back down to land horizontally like an airplane.<p>The unmanned craft, …

Aerospace

The world’s largest floating solar power plant just went online in China

Why it matters to you<p>This sprawling, floating solar power plant could change the way other nations design city centers.<p>China has announced that the …

Renewable Energy

Scientists can see through walls with Wi-Fi to create 3D holograms

Wi-Fi is everywhere — and as the electromagnetic waves are beamed out from routers to connect our devices to the internet, they also travel through empty space, around corners, and even through walls.<p>A pair of German researchers have developed a method to harness Wi-Fi signals to capture 3D …

Wi-Fi

Nearly Half of All Retail Jobs Could Be Lost to Automation Within 10 Years

Between 6 million and 7.5 million retail industry jobs are vulnerable to automation within ten years, according to an exhaustive study released this …

Trends

Google's New 180 Petaflop Deep Learning Cloud And The Future Of Academic Computing

I’ve written on these pages many times about the evolution of academic computing from large closed university-owned monoliths to the open commercial cloud. In a testament to just how far this progression has come, last month an MIT mathematics professor set the record for running the largest Google …

Machine Learning

Microsoft Has a Plan to Add DNA Data Storage to Its Cloud

Based on early research involving the storage of movies and documents in DNA, Microsoft is developing an apparatus that uses biology to replace tape …

DNA

Toyota pushes into blockchain tech to enable the next generation of cars

On the same day that Ford officially ousted its chief executive in a bid to remake itself as future-focused vehicle manufacturer, Toyota announced its own steps to embrace technology’s next wave.<p>Andwhile Ford is looking to catch up to the leaders in autonomous and electric vehicle manufacturing, …

MIT Media Lab

The revolutionary redox system that produces and stores energy in the home

Imagine having a fridge-sized box in your home that not only generates and stores electricity on-site, but heats and cools the house, provides hot …

Energy

Farming the World: China's Epic Race to Avoid a Food Crisis

China’s 1.4 billion people are building up an appetite that is changing the way the world grows and sells food. The Chinese diet is becoming more …

Agriculture

The Future of 21st Century Manufacturing Is Digital

Across America, manufacturing is changing from the traditional assembly line to the use of collaborative robots. By 2025, industrial robots are expected to perform 25 percent of tasks such as assembly, packaging, and material handling.<p>"Instead of these old factories that are very laborious and have …

Manufacturing

The 'gig economy' has broken a fundamental link in capitalism that was good for workers

LONDON — Everyone knows capitalism is based on supply and demand. If the supply of something goes down, then the price of it rises. The concept applies to labour, too. In boom times, when there is low unemployment, wages go up as employers compete for workers and the available labour pool …

Economics

Pacific trade ministers commit to moving ahead with TPP without U.S.

The Pacific Rim trade ministers meeting in Vietnam committed Sunday to move ahead with the Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact after the United States pulled out.<p>New Zealand Trade Minister Todd McClay said the remaining 11 TPP countries – which include Canada – are open to others joining provided …

Globalization

DARPA Wants to Hack Your Brain to Make You Learn Faster

If the brain is just a bunch of wires and circuits, it stands to reason that those components can simply be re-wired in order to create a better, …

The Brain

Virtually all sea salt is contaminated with microplastic, study finds

Pass me the sea salt please, and hold the plastic.

A scientist named George Church has a wild idea to upend evolution — here’s what you should know about him

Harvard biologist George Church burst into the headlines (yet again) last week when he helped organize a closed-door meeting of scores of top scientists to discuss accelerating efforts to create synthetic DNA — including a complete human genome.<p>They’re considering launching a decade-long drive to …

Genetics

This computer language is teaching kids to code

Last year, I went to Nigeria with Mark Zuckerberg. One of the first stops on the trip was a program that taught kids how to code.<p>When Zuckerberg entered the room, many of the young students had a hard time pulling themselves away from their projects, even to gawk at one of the world’s richest men. …

Computer Science

A Grand New Theory of Life's Evolution on Earth

A series of energy revolutions—some natural, some technological—built upon one another to give us our rich, diverse biosphere.<p>The modern world gives us such ready access to nachos and ice cream that it’s easy to forget: Humans bodies require a ridiculous and—for most of Earth’s history—improbable …

Sociology

Why I love the Detroit startup scene

People often ask me, “Why did you move from San Francisco to, uh, Detroit?” The answer is easy. In 10 years, San Francisco will be as good as it is today, but Detroit will be a roaring city once again, defining a new technology hub at the intersection of steel and bits.<p>When choosing to move to …

Venture Capital

California Grid Smashes Record, Gets 67% of Energy From Renewables

California Leading The Way<p>On May 13, 2017, California smashed through another renewable energy milestone as its largest grid, controlled by the …

Deep Learning Algorithm Rewrites Traditional Recipes for New Regions, Ingredients

Algorithmic gastronomy is here.<p>Imagine your favorite go-to recipe mutated to conform to the traditional methods and ingredients of any number of diverse regional food cultures. Consider, say, lasagne, but a sort of lasagne that's instead a naturally occurring part of Japanese or Ethiopian cuisine. …

Machine Learning