Innovation Watch on Flipboard

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

France is about to make it illegal for supermarkets to destroy edible food

Responding to startling statistics on global food waste, France has moved to ban big supermarket from throwing away edible food and will force the retailers to donate the unsold merchandise to charity, or to farms where it could be used to feed animals.

The country’s parliament passed the measure …


A New Material Could Make Storing Our Carbon A Viable Way To Stave Off Global Warming

Capturing carbon dioxide underground is currently too costly for widespread implementation. Until now?

When it comes to fixing climate change, most people focus on the idea that we need to stop putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But what if we could also take it out?

Many scientists are …

Climate Change

This Gadget Washes Your Car With Less Water Than You Probably Use To Brush Your Teeth

Send a few to California, please?

Washing a car in the driveway usually involves a bucket or two, a hose, and so much water that drought-stricken California started slapping $500 fines on anyone who does it wrong. Inspired to create an alternative, a former software entrepreneur designed a new …


American Companies Are One Step Closer To Claiming Asteroid Treasure

The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would authorize firms to keep what they mine from asteroids. Welcome to the space rush.

Space may be the final frontier, but according to the pesky 1967 UN Outer Space Treaty, celestial bodies may not be claimed for any particular country. But what …


Zendrive Uses Mobile Phones as Sensors To Reinvent The Accuracy of Auto Insurance In Partnership With Guild

If you look across the space of consumer Internet services and physical sensors, people are producing more data than ever before, which is being used to make all kinds of insurance more granular and accurate according to individual risk.

Zendrive, a company backed by First Round Capital, BMW i …


New Silk Road Could Change Global Economics Forever

China and much of the world is intent on developing the largest economic development project in history

Part 1: The New Silk Road

Beginning with the marvelous tales of Marco Polo’s travels across Eurasia to China, the Silk Road has never ceased to entrance the world. Now, the ancient cities of …


See What Times Square And Wall Street Looked Like 100 Years Ago

See what places like Times Square or Wall Street looked like 100 years ago.

Software engineer Dan Vanderkam has embedded a collection of historical photos from the New York Public Library into an awesome interactive map of old New York. If you're a history nerd, or you just love New York, prepare to …

Times Square

Iris scanners can now identify us from 40 feet away

Biometric technologies are on the rise. By electronically recording data about individual’s physical attributes such as fingerprints or iris …


The US has space experts worried about an extra-terrestrial land grab

Plans to make money in space are missing one of the fundamental ingredients to any business: property rights.

If you go mine an asteroid, as several companies plan to do, and bring some minerals back to earth, can you sell them? If you build a moonbase, as entrepreneur Robert Bigelow is …

Property Rights

Google on the Verge of Giving Machines Human-like Intelligence

Prominent artificial intelligence scientist Professor Geoff Hinton predicts computers will develop “common sense” within a decade.

Hinton is helping …


US warns 'next step' could be to test Beijing's territorial claims in South China Sea

US surveillance aircraft and naval ships have yet to test China’s territorial claims around artificial islands built in the South China Sea, but the Pentagon warned Thursday that could be “the next step”.

Although the United States does not recognise China’s claims of sovereignty around the manmade …


Data farming. Literally.

Keith Larrabee's farm sits on 4,000 acres of California's Sacramento Valley, between a coastal range of mountains to the west and the tall Sierra Nevadas to the east. It's an area that traditionally gets much more rain than most of the drought-stricken state. Even so, Larrabee is always worried …


California’s getting desperate: Unprecedented water restrictions target previously immune farmers

As the drought drags on, not even senior rights holders will be spared any longer

California’s drought isn’t going anywhere soon, and as the state heads into a long, dry summer, it’s pursuing ever more drastic measures than ever to preserve its dwindling groundwater supply. Nearly two months after …


Solar energy batteries set to transform electricity industry

Australia's electricity industry is about to undergo a massive transformation, with the advent of cheap storage batteries for solar energy.

US …

Renewable Energy

Meet Ether, The Bitcoin-Like Cryptocurrency That Could Power The Internet Of Things

Plus, the devices will make money on their own.

At CES this past January, IBM researcher Veena Pureswaran described the company's joint plan with Samsung to get home appliances to exchange cryptocurrency with one another. The currency, called Ether, is similar to Bitcoin, except that the traded …


Astronomer Royal Martin Rees: How soon will robots take over the world?

An explosion in artificial intelligence has sent us hurtling towards a post-human future, warns Martin Rees

In Davos a few years ago, I met a well-known Indian tycoon. Knowing I had the title Astronomer Royal, he asked: “Do you do the Queen’s horoscopes?” I responded, with a straight face: “If she …


This Futuristic Concrete Heals Itself With Built-In Bacteria

A solid idea

Concrete has been a go-to building material since Roman times. It’s durable, easy to make, and relatively inexpensive. There’s just one problem: It has a tendency to crack.

There are a lot of different reasons that concrete cracks, but in general, it gets stressed either from the load …


Young blood helps repair fractured bones of ageing mice

Young blood has once again shown its promise as an elixir of youth: blood from young mice helps bones of older animals heal.

Over the past few years, …


North Atlantic circulation slowing down already?

Scientists have long predicted that North Atlantic Ocean circulation will slow down in the future in response to climate change, but new research …

North Atlantic

China begins charm offensive in South America amid controversy over Amazonian railway

Beijing denies that Li Keqiang's eight-day visit to South America, which begins in Brazil, means China is muscling in on the United States "backyard"

Plans for a controversial 3,300-mile railroad linking the continent's Atlantic and Pacific coasts are expected to be announced by Li Keqiang, the …


This Interactive System Lets Doctors See Your Guts in Virtual Reality

Even with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT scans and ultrasounds, it's still a bit awkward for doctors to get a three-dimensional perspective of a patient's insides. A company called EchoPixel hopes to change that by bringing medical imaging into the virtual reality era with its True 3D …

Virtual Reality

Single-Cell Genomics Allows Identification of New Cell Types

How many types of cells are there in the human body? Textbooks say a couple of hundred. But the true number is undoubtedly far larger.

Piece by piece, …

Stanford University

ILO says only one-fourth of the world's workers have solid jobs

Geneva (AFP) - Only a fourth of the world's workforce have stable contracts, leading to growing job insecurity, a UN report said Tuesday.

The International Labour Organization report revealed a clear shift away from reliable full-time jobs, as short-term contracts and irregular hours become more …


Climate change: Americans crowding into future heatwave zones, study says

The combination of global warming and a shifting US population will by mid-century deliver a “double whammy” that greatly increases the number of Americans exposed to extremely hot days, a new study says.

People are migrating into areas where the heat is likely to increase more, said the authors of …

Climate Change

Impact Investing Grows, But There's Still A Dearth Of Deals

A new study found that 146 of the world’s largest impact investors manage a big hunk of change: $60 billion. But they also continue to bemoan a lack of high-quality investment opportunities. And finding a way to exit isn’t easy.

The research, conducted by Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) and …


Climate change threatens electric power supply in California, report warns

Californians may have to start rationing more than water, including how much they turn on their lights and how often they use their hairdryers.

By 2050, extended years of drought in the state could lead to an electricity shortage as well as a water shortage, according to a study published on Monday …


Medium Is Building The Future Of Brand Storytelling

For a brand portrait, like this one about Nashville nightlife published under the Marriott International byline, the brand gets significant control …


Paul Allen Just Got One Step Closer To Mapping The Human Brain

The Allen Institute for Brain Science, founded more than a decade ago and backed by $500 million from Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, said today it has launched a new database that marks a major step towards creating a comprehensive map of the human brain. It’s called the Allen Cell Types …

The Brain

What If Everybody Didn't Have to Work to Get Paid?

Advocates say that a guaranteed basic income can lead to more creative, fulfilling work. The question is how to fund it.

Scott Santens has been thinking a lot about fish lately. Specifically, he’s been reflecting on the aphorism, “If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. If you teach a man to …