Innovation Watch

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

Greek town glimpses mass transit future: driverless buses

TRIKALA, Greece (AP) — There'll be no arguing with the driver on this bus: the rides are free and there's no driver anyway.

Trikala, a rural town in northern Greece, has been chosen to test a driverless bus in real traffic conditions for the first time, part of a European project to revolutionize …


California Wants Renewable Energy For Half Its Power By 2030

"What has been the source of our prosperity now becomes the source of our ultimate destruction, if we don't get off it"

(LOS ANGELES) — Gov. Jerry Brown dramatically increased California’s climate-change goals, committing the state to use renewable energy for half its electricity and make existing …


Battery-stored electricity could reduce power use and save money, report says

Utilities would save consumers money and help support the electric grid if the companies tapped unused power stored in existing home and business batteries, according to a report released Thursday by the Rocky Mountain Institute.

The report, titled “The Economics of Battery Energy Storage,” by the …


Panasonic has made the world's most efficient rooftop solar panel

At the end of last week, solar technology company SolarCity, which was co-founded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, made headlines when it announced it had …

Renewable Energy

The economy's age bomb that's about to change everything

Frank Brincho greets a customer at the Wal-Mart store in Foothill Ranch. Brincho has been a greeter at the store for 10 years and will celebrate his …


The airline reimagined: Is this the future we've been asking for?

(CNN) — Could this be the Uber for airlines?

Start-up "Poppi" imagines the airline of the future, where customers can fly "cinema class," where the getting the dreaded middle seat means you win sponsored treats, and where baggage is dropped off when you leave home -- and reappears at your …


This tiny country just outlined a plan to completely stop using oil, coal, and gas

Recently, there seems to be an uptick in small nations or islands setting their sights on becoming increasingly, or completely, powered by non-fossil fuel energy sources, particularly renewables such as solar, wind and hydroelectric power.

This is welcomed news in a world that – despite recent …


The People’s Uber: Why The Sharing Economy Must Share Ownership

Workers are often taken advantage of by the on-demand economy. What if they ran it instead?

Mayor Bill de Blasio recently discovered, during his short-lived campaign against Uber, that saying no to a popular, convenient new technology doesn't tend to win many friends—or win much at all. In just a …

Sharing Economy

Nike Exec Says We’ll Be 3D Printing Sneakers At Home Soon

The company already uses similar technology

Nike COO Eric Sprunk attended the GeekWire Summit last Friday, during which he claimed that you’ll soon be able to 3D print your own Nikes without ever having to leave your house, Quartz reports.

He was at the summit to discuss Nike’s Flyknit sneaker …


Robot taxis are coming to Japan

Dozens of people in Japan will be whisked to the local shops in driverless taxis from next year in an experiment with robot technology that could be fully commercial by the time Tokyo hosts the Olympics in 2020.

From March 2016, the taxis will take about 50 residents of Fujisawa, a large coastal …


Welcome to CITE: The city of the future where no one will ever live

An entire city for the sole purpose of experimentation.

A city being built in the desert of southern New Mexico has the potential to house 35,000 people, but no one will ever live there, CNN reports.

It’s called CITE — Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation. It’s a $1 billion, 15 square mile …

The Future

Google Is Planning For A Zero-Waste, Circular Economy

Don't be evil—and don't waste anything either.

The current economy is built on waste—dig up some materials, turn that into a product, ship it to an "end user" who eventually tosses it in the trash. But that's starting to change.

Google is one of the latest mega-corporations to commit to the …


Webflow Builds Sites Without Code, Like Squarespace Crossed With Photoshop

When design and code combine, building websites may never be the same.

Right now, the web is split between designers and developers. The designers mock up layouts in Photoshop. The developers turn that imagery into functional code via standards like CSS and Javascript. As a result, designers have …


Google and Israel May Be Heading to the Moon

A nonprofit startup is the most promising competitor for Google's Lunar XPrize

Tired of waiting for NASA to get its Apollo-era mojo back and start putting spacecraft on the lunar surface again? Then you’ll be happy to know that Israel—with some help from Google—is about to show the moon a little …


Countering Climate Extremes Key to Asia’s Food Future

The Asian Development Bank is helping the fight against the extremes of climate change and food security for Asia's future.

Asia and the Pacific faces …


New York's revolutionary plan to remake its power utilities

By now, many people are aware of the ongoing battles between customers with rooftop solar panels and power utilities around the country. At first …


Wind now competes with fossil fuels. Solar almost does.

When it comes to electricity, it’s all about the cost. A new report shows how clean energy electricity is becoming mainstream.

Electricity generated by large wind farms is now cheap enough in many places around the world to compete effectively with electricity generated by coal and natural gas.

At …


Solar and Wind Just Passed Another Big Turning Point

Wind power is now the cheapest electricity to produce in both Germany and the U.K., even without government subsidies, according to a new analysis by …


There’s actually a startup that is making micropayments for journalism work

The Dutch micropayment platform for articles is taking off in spectacular fashion. Its foray into the German market delivers another proof of publishers’ interest in the kind of business model Blendle embodies. But, down the road, Blendle sees itself as the main transactional infrastructure


Lessons Learned — Why the Failure of Systems Thinking Should Inform the Future of Design Thinking

"You never learn by doing something right ‘cause you already know how to do it. You only learn from making mistakes and correcting them."
Russell Ackoff

Design and "design thinking" is gaining recognition as an important integrative concept in management practice and education. But it will fail to …

Cisco teams up with robot company so it can watch hundreds of robots on factory floors

Cisco's new CEO Chuck Robbins is convinced that the company's future rests on the big new thing called the Internet of Things, where all kinds of machines and objects get sensors, apps and join the internet.

On Monday, at a press conference at the company's headquarters in San Jose, California, …


Apple has bought 2 artificial-intelligence companies in 4 days

Apple's on a buying spree as it ramps up its efforts in the tech industry's latest arms race: artificial intelligence.

Bloomberg reports that Apple has bought Perceptio, a company that makes image-recognition technology for smartphones, its second AI deal in four days.

Perceptio was developing "deep …

Artificial Intelligence

This Robot-Run Indoor Farm Can Grow 10 Million Heads Of Lettuce A Year

This massive Japanese vegetable factory saves water and energy—along with human labor.

When a sprawling new "vegetable factory" opens near Kyoto, Japan in 2017, it will be the first farm with no farmers. Robots will plant lettuce seeds, transplant them, raise the vegetables, and automatically carry …


What Changes Lie Ahead From the Trans-Pacific Partnership Pact

Dairy farmers in Pennsylvania. Auto-parts workers in the Midwest. Pharmaceutical companies concentrated around New Jersey. These pivotal groups, not to mention consumers across the country, are among those that can expect a wide range of changes in the years ahead from the newly concluded …


We’re a step closer to curing some genetic diseases with a single treatment

After two rather miserable weeks for the biotechnology industry, one company got a pretty excellent piece of news: Spark Therapeutics, a Philadelphia based biotechnology company that went public earlier this year, announced that its experimental treatment for a rare form of blindness significantly …


China Rolls Out the 'World's First Driverless Bus'

Not sure why there’s a driver right there, though.

Notice anything odd about this bus tooling along a highway in China’s Henan Province?

Look again. The dude behind the wheel is stretching his arms up like he’s dunking on someone—perhaps the execs at Google and Apple, as this thing is the “world’s …


Amazon sets sights on massive Internet of things opportunity with new cloud offering

Coming at AWS Re:Invent, Amazon will unveil a new Internet of things service to help developers tie billions of devices into the cloud giant’s infrastructure.

Amazon plans to announce a cloud-based service for the Internet of things this week at its AWS Re:Invent trade show, according to sections of …


Synbiota biohacking kits let you do genetic engineering at home

A Canadian company is trying to make it possible for anyone to be a "biohacker" and make custom genetically modified organisms in their home …


Daimler tests self-driving truck on German highway

The truck has smart systems including radars, cameras and active speed regulators and works without a human driver — although one has to be in the …