Innovation Watch

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

China unveils ‘armed attack’ robots armed with guns and grenades

Rifle-wielding robots that can launch grenades unveiled in China to help fight terror

“Armed attack” robots that carry rifles and grenade launchers have been unveiled in China as the latest line of defence in the fight against “global terror”, state media reported.

The toy-sized attacker is one of a …


Uber Banking: Fintech Aims to Revolutionize Financial Services in Canada

Fintech, applying cutting-edge technology to revolutionize financial services, is hot.As tech innovation disrupts industries like transportation and …


US testing an 'air traffic control system' for drones

The Guardian has gained access to the first tests of an experimental air traffic control system for drones that could open the skies to millions of low-flying unmanned aircraft.

On an isolated cattle ranch in rural North Carolina – and under the watchful eye of the Federal Aviation Administration …


China's carbon footprint grows with the good life

Shanghai (AFP) - The son of peach farmers, Chen Jian relishes the fruits of his middle class life, driving to work and flying on holiday, epitomising how China's carbon footprint has grown alongside the prosperity of its nearly 1.4 billion people.

Chen, 33, grew up without television in a village on …


This technology is 100 times faster than Wi-Fi

A new technology, known as Li-Fi, could one day offer internet speeds one hundred times faster than the Wi-Fi we use today. Scientists have achieved …


China’s New Silk Road Dream

For centuries the Silk Road, stretching across deserts, steppes, and mountains, linked the imperial dynasties of China with Europe. Chinese rulers …


President signs pro-asteroid mining bill into law

And just like that, American asteroid mining efforts are legal. President Obama has signed the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA) into law following Congress' approval, letting companies keep whatever resources they collect beyond Earth. As you might imagine, hopeful mining …

Asteroid Mining

Google is about to test something secretive across all of the US — and it sounds exactly like its Project Loon balloons

Google appears to be planning to test its Project Loon internet balloons across the entire US, according to recent documents filed with the FCC.

The company has asked the Federal Communications Commission for a license to test experimental radios that use wireless spectrum in the millimeter …

Project Loon

Why You Should Pay Attention to DARPA’s New Robotics Award

This year, DARPA held the finals for its Robotics Competition, in which teams built humanoid robots designed to complete basic tasks like walking, driving, and opening doors. And with that, the competition concluded, and we were sad.

But this year, DARPA has announced a new initiative, called …


Chicago’s ‘Array of Things’ Takes Another Step Towards Reality

Last year the city announced it would be getting an urban fitness tracker: the Array of Things, a network of sensors that could monitor everything …

What Can A Technologist Do About Climate Change? (A Personal View.)

This started with a tweet. I’m embarrassed how often that happens.

Climate Change

The Latest Breakthrough In Understanding Diabetes Was Made By An Algorithm

Researchers now believe there are three different kinds of type 2 diabetes—a result discovered with help from machines combing through reams of medical data.

With the cost to sequence a human genome dropping by the day and medical records finally going digital, public health experts are excited for …


Jeff Bezos sends rocket to space and back: See photos of the mission

Jeff Bezos

China wants to build a high-speed rail link to a newly open Iran

China Railway, the state-owned rail-building behemoth, has proposed a high-speed rail link that will carry both passengers and cargo between China and Iran, according to the state-controlled China Daily.

The proposed route, put forward last week at a meeting of the China Civil Engineering Society, …


Moroccan solar plant to bring energy to a million people

A giant plant using energy from the Sun to power a Moroccan city at night will open next month.

The solar thermal plant at Ouarzazate will harness the Sun's warmth to melt salt, which will hold its heat to generate energy in the evening.

The first phase will generate for three hours after dark; the …


Home values are pointing to a sharp wealth divide in major US cities

WASHINGTON (AP) — It's still possible in Boston for a mail carrier, an accountant and a Harvard-trained psychiatrist — basically, the crowd from "Cheers" — to live as neighbors.

That finding by the real estate brokerage Redfin makes the capital of Massachusetts a rarity at a time when neighborhoods …


More than half of the Amazon’s tree species may be threatened with extinction

The Amazon is losing its vast expanse of green, bit by bit. By 2013, the Amazonia — originally spread over nearly six million square kilometers — …


India's Energy Crisis

Can India modernize its manufacturing economy and supply electricity to its growing population without relying heavily on coal—and quite possibly …


Welcome To Brain Science's Next Frontier: Virtual Reality

Amy Robinson, executive director at the startup EyeWire, is making neuroscience into a playground for the hot tech du jour.

Virtual reality is here, and brands of all stripes are embracing the tech. The New York Times and Google newly partnered to send more than 1 million cardboard VR viewers to …

Life Sciences

The Doomsday Invention

Will artificial intelligence bring us utopia or destruction?

I. Omens

Last year, a curious nonfiction book became a Times best-seller: a dense meditation on artificial intelligence by the philosopher Nick Bostrom, who holds an appointment at Oxford. Titled “Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, …


Cheap DNA Sequencing Is Here. Writing DNA Is Next

A new startup wants to make DNA writing cheaper and faster.The post Cheap DNA Sequencing Is Here. Writing DNA Is Next appeared first on WIRED.


There’s now a debit card that lets you spend bitcoin in stores without a fee

Bitcoin has a problem: It’s hard to use in the real world. Not many merchants know about the digital currency, let alone accept it as a form of payment.

Coinbase, a bitcoin startup backed by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and ex-CitiGroup CEO Vikram Pandit, among others, is trying to solve …


Welcome to Somerville, the Smart City Where Traffic Vanishes and Cars Park Themselves

The notion of smart cities has been high on the agendas of strategic planners and architects for some time, with a continual cascade of speculation as to how emerging technologies can be harnessed to create the optimum urban environment. From city sensors and apps to drones and driverless cars, we …


Two tech billionaires just interviewed each other in my Stanford class — here's what they said

Here is an essay version of my class notes from Class 18 of Stanford University’s CS183C — Technology-enabled Blitzscaling — taught by Reid Hoffman, John Lilly, Chris Yeh, and Allen Blue.

Errors and omissions are my own. Credit for good stuff is Reid, John, Chris Yeh, and Allen’s entirely.

This class …


In a First, the FDA Clears Genetically Modified Salmon for Eating—It Just Took 20 Years

For the first time in history, a genetically modified organism is declared safe to eat. It's a salmon.The post In a First, the FDA Clears Genetically …


139 Countries Could Get All of their Power from Renewable Sources

Energy from wind, water and sun would eliminate nuclear and fossil fuels


Inside Faraday Future, the secretive car company chasing Tesla

Inside a suburban Los Angeles industrial building that once served as an R&D facility for Japanese automotive giant Nissan, natural midday light spills through the windows. Today, a very different company occupies this space. I arrive at lunchtime. It's catered, in true startup fashion — there’s no …


Is the world on the brink of a ‘post-antibiotic’ age?

The world may be teetering on the edge of a “post-antibiotic” era, according to scientists who have found bacteria in China that are resistant to …


The Auto Industry Won’t Create The Future

In the collision between consumer technology, cloud computing and cars, the legacy auto companies are lacking key ingredients for the future of the …