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

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

The Innovation Game: Why & How Businesses are Investing in Innovation Centers

With tech startups rapidly eating into traditional sectors, large organizations face an increased pressure to innovate. The challenge is that traditional innovation approaches are broken. A recent study revealed that only 5% of R&D staff feel highly motivated to innovate. In certain sectors, more …

Innovation

The Most Important Cities In The Developing World

Asia

Atom launches with mission to be the Uber of online banking

In one hand is a pair of large white underpants, in the other a pair of leopard-print skimpies. The senior executive of a new startup bank is attempting to demonstrate the difference between the incumbent high street banks (the boring Y-fronts) and the “speed not comfort” approach of Atom, a new …

Financial Technology

Wal-Mart is losing the war against Amazon

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos.

After a stellar Q2 earnings report on Thursday that sent its stock flying, Amazon hit a huge milestone: It officially became more valuable than the biggest retailer in the world, Wal-Mart.

When markets closed on Friday, Amazon had a market cap of $246.54 billion versus …

Amazon

Climate change threatens China’s booming coastal cities, says expert

A recent study led by Georgina Mace, ecosystem professor at University College London, indicated that governments across the world have failed to grasp the risk that population booms in coastal cities pose as climate change continues to cause rises in sea levels and extreme weather events. Mace is …

Asia

Easy DNA Editing Will Remake the World. Buckle Up.

We now have the power to easily alter DNA. It could eliminate disease. It could solve world hunger. It could get really out of hand.The post Easy DNA …

DNA

Google's Robot Brain Will Now Transcribe Your Voicemails

Never hold 1 to dial voicemail again.

At its big developer conference in May, Google quietly introduced a revolutionary development: its growing, learning robot brain. The first main task the brain was put to was organizing your photos, but now it will transcribe your voicemails too.

The new …

Google

This Company Wants To Recycle Carbon Dioxide From The Atmosphere

We recycle cans, we recycle clothes, yes, we even recycle bras and old prosthetic limbs.

But what if you could recycle some of your fossil fuels, the carbon dioxide (CO2) that’s emitted from using coal, oil and natural gas?

Carbon Engineering in Canada is powering up a plant which promises to do just …

Carbon

A Look Inside Google and Carnegie-Mellon's IoT Campus

The "Internet of Things" is headed to college. . . .

For the "Internet of Things" to thrive, all it needs is for all devices to get along—which is currently wishful thinking. Last week, however, Google announced a partnership with Carnegie-Mellon University, which is leading a collaboration of …

Google

Connecting artificial intelligence with the internet of things

It’s no secret tech luminaries like Elon Musk and Bill Gates worry about humanity flirting with disaster though a digital version of the Icarus myth – in our case, the power of artificial intelligence being the sun that eventually burns our wings.

Even so, not every futurist or technology pioneer is …

Artificial Intelligence

After Jeep Hack, Chrysler Recalls 1.4M Vehicles for Bug Fix

Welcome to the age of hackable automobiles, when two security researchers can cause a 1.4 million product recall.The post After Jeep Hack, Chrysler …

Security

Investors could lose $4.2tn because of climate change, report warns

Private investors stand to lose $4.2tn (£2.7tn) on the value of their holdings from the impact of climate change by 2100 even if global warming is held at plus 2C, a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has warned.

If firm action is not taken at the forthcoming climate change talks in …

Climate Change

China is building a massive solar plant in the Gobi desert

Construction has begun on China’s first large-scale commercial solar plant, designed to eventually supply electricity for approximately one million households in Qinghai province. It’s a concentrating solar power (CSP) system, which uses a vast array of mirrors spread across 2,550 hectares (6,300 …

Asia

British Navy warship launches first 3D-printed drone

On Tuesday this week, the Royal Navy ship HMS Mersey launched something unusual from its gun deck off England's southern coast — a cheap drone made using a 3D printer.

The three-kilogram craft with an airplane-style design was launched by a three-meter catapult and autonomously flew between a few …

Royal Navy

The Netherlands passed a law to protect every citizen from climate change

On June 24, 2015, a court in The Hague ordered the Dutch government to act faster in its duty to protect its citizens against the effects of climate change. This marks the first time the issue has been legally declared a state obligation, regardless of arguments that the solution to the global …

Climate Change

Monsanto's new $1bn herbicide shows our bias towards hi-tech solutions

Every week brings news of the latest world-saving technological breakthrough, from electric cars to superfoods and energy miracles. Global agrochemical firm Monsanto just announced a $1bn investment in its new herbicide, dicamba, part of Roundup Ready Xtend, its system for genetically engineered …

UK Politics

A group of Harvard scientists have built a 3D printer that’s actually useful

Despite all the fanfare, 3D printing has yet to hit its stride. Up until now, its best uses have been in designing, prototyping, and making creepy copies of yourself. This tends to stem from the fact that you can generally only print with one material at a time, and in most cases, it’s faster to …

Harvard

HyperSciences Wants To Drill Into The Earth With A Huge Gun

Stick 'em up

It’s no secret—there’s a lot of energy held just a few thousand feet under Earth’s surface. To harness any sizable amount of our planet’s underlying geothermal energy for steam power, we would have to bore more than two miles into the crust. Unfortunately, the current drilling process …

Earth Science

Could pavement get smarter?

Transportation

Critter crossings, sensitive bridges, and other ways to re-imagine good old asphalt

With transport thinkers around the world hatching experiments with podcars and maglev trains, roads themselves can start to seem pretty old-fashioned. But even asphalt can be improved, sometimes …

Environmentalism