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By David Forrest | THE FUTURE IS HERE innovationwatch.com ...strategic foresight... ...breakthrough innovations... ...global trends...

The boom in mini stomachs, brains, breasts, kidneys and more

Biologists are building banks of 'organoids', and learning a lot about human development on the way.

It was an otherwise normal day in November when …

Biology

Large scale solar near parity in world’s three biggest markets

Utility scale solar is making such inroads into the energy business in the US that utilities are now longer fighting it, with large scale solar …

Solar Power

Barcelona: The most wired city in the world

It’s a showcase for the “smart” metropolis of the future—in which tech giants like Cisco, Microsoft, and IBM see big profits in helping governments save by tracking data on everything from garbage to traffic to selfies. But not everyone is happy about this new urban reality.

The sun is still high in …

Urban Design

The Era of Asteroid Mining Just Quietly Got Under Way

Asteroid mining firm Planetary Resources launches its first exploratory probe. But how close are we to an actual operation?

​A small spacecraft carrying big ambitions deployed from the International Space Station on July 16. The Arkyd 3 Reflight is the first step toward Planetary Resources' goal of …

Asteroid Mining

Our Cities Will Be Beautiful In The Driverless Future—But First We Have To Get There

How can we push past public fear and political red tape to get to the beautiful world that awaits when no one drives anymore?

Imagine a city where cars roam free, dropping off their relaxed occupants and then sliding back into a sea of slow-moving but non-stop traffic. Cyclists weave through, …

Concept Cars

The 'impossible' EmDrive could reach Pluto in 18 months

This is a guest post by David Hambling, a freelance journalist and author based in South London, specialising in science, technology and strange phenomena.

Last summer WIRED revealed that Nasa's Eagleworks Lab was testing a copy of the EmDrive, a propulsion device frequently labelled as "impossible" …

Pluto

We Are Literally Farming Ourselves Out of Food

Two items crossed my desk recently that were so fundamentally opposite in their visions of the future that it was enough to give a reader whiplash. The first was the 2012 book Abundance, the optimistic paen to entrepreneurs, inventors and Silicon Valley gazillionaires written by X-Prize founder …

Food Science

Who Benefits from the Peer-to-Peer Economy?

Barbara Ann Berwick drove for Uber for eight weeks in 2014. She, and two others, then brought suit against the company. On June 16, the California Labor Commission ruled that she as a driver should have been classified as an employee – not an independent contractor – and that she was due over $4 …

Economics

The Guy Who Taught AI to ‘Remember’ Is Launching a Startup

Google and Facebook already snapped up two big names in the AI field. Jürgen Schmidhuber and his new company may be next.The post The Guy Who Taught …

Startups

Experts Concerned China May Soon Establish Southern ADIZ

U.S. and international security experts have expressed concerns that it may just be a matter of time before China establishes an air defense …

Asia

Disruptive Technology that Could Transform Government-Citizen Relationships

William Gibson, the science fiction writer who coined the term “cyberspace,” once said: “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly …

Disruption

Here’s How Windows 10 Could Kill Passwords Forever

Some users will get face-scanning technology

When Microsoft’s Windows 10 launches Wednesday, a lucky few users will be greeted at the login screen by a cartoon eyeball that appears to want to lock eyes with its owner. Do so, and it will activate a 3-D face scan that signs in users in seconds, no …

Microsoft Windows

Why millennial entrepreneurs should scare you

GUEST:

Lately, I’ve started to think more about why young entrepreneurs seem more capable and ubiquitous than ever before. It seems as though all my peers, despite being in their early 20s, are starting companies, raising funds, and hiring their friends away from some of the larger Fortune 500s I’ve …

Entrepreneurship

Coffee in crisis: the bitter end of our favourite drink?

Drought, flooding, disease - climate change is already threatening the source of our caffeine fix. Are we facing the end of coffee as we know it, asks David Robson.

As we sip our lattes and espressos and read the daily headlines, climate change can seem like a distant threat. But travel a few …

Coffee

Amazon suggests a separate airspace for delivery drones

US online retailer Amazon has called for a separate air space zone for commercial drone flights that could deliver goods to customers.

The zone would have the unmanned vehicles flying below normal planes at a height of 200 to 400 feet.

Air traffic control for the suggested drone space would be …

Amazon

A paper microscope that costs only 50 cents can detect malaria from just a drop of blood — and it could revolutionize medicine

Manu Prakash with the Foldscope, a microscope made almost entirely of paper.

For a whole lot of people, especially those in developing countries, science — and with it, medicine — isn’t readily available to the majority of citizens. But Manu Prakash wants to change that.

Prakash, an assistant …

Malaria

What’s behind Beijing’s drive to control the South China Sea?

On 26 May, CNN broadcast an unusual clip of a US navy intelligence flight over the South China Sea. The P-8A Poseidon surveillance plane – one of the newest weapons in the Pentagon’s arsenal – had taken off, with a CNN reporter on board, from Clark airbase in the Philippines, once part of America’s …

Asia

13 major US companies are pledging $140 billion to fight climate change

An Apple logo hangs above the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Some of the biggest U.S. corporate names on Monday offered their support - and billions of dollars in green financing pledges - to buttress the Obama …

Climate Change

Big Utility Companies Are Finding That Small, Local Solutions Might Be The Energy Future

Can big energy move to small, scalable projects that don't require a massive grid?

Last month in Rio de Janeiro, I spoke at a conference of the nonprofit Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership (GSEP), which may be the most disruptive and subversive organization you’ve probably never heard of. …

Energy

How sensors are helping mining companies save money

For the industrial giants that Rockwell Automation serves, the value of the Internet of things isn’t theoretical. It’s transformative.

Think about it: The raw materials we need to survive in the modern era—oil, gas, metal—often come from remote, dirty, hostile environments. We process them in …

Coal Mining

Musk, Hawking warn of 'inevitable' killer robot arms race

A global robotic arms race "is virtually inevitable" unless a ban is imposed on autonomous weapons, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and 1,000 academics, researchers and public figures have warned.

In an open letter presented at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos …

Robots

By 2025, Internet of things applications could have $11 trillion impact

Plus, three hurdles your company must overcome before it sees IoT success.

The Internet of things, the term used to describe the use of sensors and other Internet-connected devices to track and control physical objects, opens up entirely new ways of doing business. It’s now possible to track …

Internet of Things

Driverless trucks could mean 'game over' for thousands of jobs

Driverless trucks have long seemed a far-fetched notion of the future, technology that would never materialize in this generation.

The future may be closer at hand: Suncor Energy Inc. is working to replace its fleet in the oil sands with autonomous trucks “by the end of the decade.” The shift isn’t …

Car Tech

How Tiny Lab-Grown Human Brains Are Giving Big Insights Into Autism

First came lab-grown mini-hearts. Then came 3D printed skin. Now scientists have taken “body on a chip” to a whole new level. Starting with skin …

The Brain

Nonlinear: New York, London, Shanghai underwater in 50 years?

Those under the impression that climate change is advancing at a constant and predictable rate don't understand the true dynamics of the issue. The …

Climate Change

The Long Game: Google-Backed Calico Partners With Ancestry to Beat the Specter of Aging

How much would you pay to live longer? What if Google were making the pill to do it?

On Tuesday, Calico, the medical research company Google incubated in 2013, announced it had cut a deal for access to genetic information from Ancestry, the largest family tree website. It’s among the first public …

Google

Deep-sea mining looms on horizon as UN body issues contracts

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — The deep oceans span more than half the globe and their frigid depths have long been known to contain vast, untapped deposits of prized minerals. These treasures of the abyss, however, have always been out of reach to miners.

But now, the era of deep seabed mining appears to …

Mining

Amazon reportedly plans to open physical grocery stores in Silicon Valley

Amazon might soon have a brick-and-mortar presence in your community. The online retailer is planning to test a new service that lets you pick up fresh groceries and other items from a physical location, reports the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

According to the paper's sources, Amazon (through a …

Amazon

Poland will never join a 'burning' eurozone, says central bank governor

Marek Belka says country remains reluctant to join the euro, as he warns that world is running out of ammunition to fight the next financial crisis

Poland will not join the euro while the bloc remains in danger of “burning”, its central bank governor said.

Marek Belka, who has also served as the …

Eurozone Crisis