Innovation Watch

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

Humans' Consumption of Earth's Natural Resources Has Tripled in 40 Years

By Alex Kirby<p>Humans' appetite for gnawing away at the fabric of the Earth itself is growing prodigiously. According to a new UN report, the amount of …

Environment

New shapeshifting medical microbots inspired by germs

Nanobots have been a hot topic within the miniaturization trend for a long time. Developments in the medical robotics field ranging from tiny …

Robotics

Solar Capture Technique Turns CO2 Into Burnable Fuel

Simulated sunlight powers a photosynthetic cell that turns atmospheric carbon dioxide into synthetic gas. (Image: UIC)Engineers at the University of …

Energy

Behind In Information-based AI, Japan Must Refocus And Integrate Deep Learning Into Manufacturing

Technology gurus around the world believe we are on the cusp of a great leap forward in AI or artificial intelligence. The excitement reported in a number of research facilities is a result of the advances stemming from deep learning, a breakthrough adaption of neural network technology that can …

Machine Learning

The human role in a bot-dominated future

Imagine a world where bots are ubiquitous… a world where nearly every online interaction takes place with a Siri, Alexa, Cortana or some soon-to-be-named artificial being. Here, banking is a breeze, as a customer service bot can quickly extrapolate your banking preferences from your online search …

The Future

Neither Trump nor Clinton is addressing the biggest challenge to jobs: automation

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both promising to bring good-paying jobs back to America, but analysts say neither of …

Donald Trump

Japan's latest humanoid robot makes its own moves

A neural network means this robot moves and interacts all by itself.<p>Japan's National Science Museum is no stranger to eerily human androids: It employs two in its exhibition hall already. But for a week, they're getting a new colleague. Called "Alter," it has a very human face like Professor …

Japan

Storing carbon underground may be safer than we thought

Few carbon-cutting practices have raised as much controversy, even among clean energy advocates, as the practice of carbon capture and storage. The basic concept is simple enough: catch carbon dioxide from factories and other industrial facilities before it goes into the atmosphere and then either …

Carbon

This brick-laying robot can build a house in just two days

Get ready for construction projects to move along a lot faster.<p>The Australian company Fastbrick Robotics recently revealed a robot that can lay over 1,000 bricks per hour. The robot, dubbed the Hadrian X, is capable of building a house in just two days — that's four times faster than human …

Construction

The Hyperloop is bringing some of its futuristic tech to Europe’s biggest railway

Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) announced today that it will build an “innovation train” for Germany’s Deutsche Bahn, the largest railway operator in Europe. The train will not be a super-fast hyperloop, in which pods are propelled through aluminum tubes at speeds of up to 760 mph, but …

Europe

How Blockchain Technology Could Decentralize The Energy Grid

Electricity will soon be made by the people and for the people—and the technology behind Bitcoin can help.<p>One day, the energy grid could look completely different than it does today. Instead of big power plants sending electrons over long distances to people's homes, we might generate more power …

Electricity

Cafes and shops are using Pokémon Go lures to attract more customers

Pokémon Go isn't just a smash hit game — it's a massive marketing opportunity.<p>The app's groundbreaking feature is the fact that it locates Pokémon in the real world and uses real world locations like shops and churches for things like gyms, where you can battle, and "Pokéstops", where you can get …

Marketing

Feeding The World—With Math

Some of the greatest opportunities for technology and business lie in the fields of agriculture.<p>Math enabled the ancients to build the pyramids and modern innovators to put a man on the moon, but it will prove even more critical in the decades ahead. Math is what we need to feed the world.<p>Within …

Moon

The UK government is getting in on Amazon's secret drone tests

The UK government is planning to help Amazon get its delivery drones into operation by allowing the ecommerce giant to carry out a number of relatively secret tests in UK sky zones.<p>Amazon announced on Tuesday that it is teaming up with the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which regulates drones …

Amazon

The fountain of youth may reside in an embryonic stem cell gene named Nanog

In a series of experiments at the University at Buffalo, the gene kicked into action dormant cellular processes that are key to preventing weak …

Life Sciences

Nanomaterials Begin to Blur the Lines Between Industrial and Hobbyist 3D Printing

It’s become increasingly clear over the last couple of years that the world of 3D printing is experiencing a paradigm shift. While it has long been …

3D Printing

The Parking Garage of the Future: Big Makeover Coming in Autonomous Age

Back in January, Tesla Motors introduced “Summon,” a feature that allows many of its newer vehicles to park themselves. Using a smartphone or key fob, car owners can remotely command their vehicles to open garage doors, enter, park themselves and shut down. When the cars are needed again, motorists …

Parking

How MIT’s new biological ‘computer’ works, and what it could do in the future

MIT has taken a big step toward the ability to use engineered life-forms as a means of sensing, tracking, and even doing basic computing of …

MIT

World’s smallest storage device writes information atom by atom

STM scan (96 nm wide, 126 nm tall) of the 1 kB memory, written to a section of Feynman’s lecture, “There’s Plenty of Room at the Bottom” (credit: TU …

Richard Feynman

Paralyzed Man Walks After Nose Cells Transplanted Into Spinal Cord

By Carl Engelking | October 22, 2014 12:22 pm<p>The same cells that give Darek Fidyka his sense of smell are also helping him walk again.<p>The man, who …

University College London

Macy's Makes Rapid Advances In Technology

There is much to be excited about over IT at Macy’s. Management recognizes that the future of the stores is dependent on customer interest and that technological innovation may create renewed interest in shopping in stores. It could be the Magic Mirror, Smart Fitting Rooms, Hointer robotic …

IBM Watson

SingularityU Goes International

Announcing Our First Innovation Hub Outside of the US<p>In 1965, Gordon Moore, well known as co-founder of Intel, was a director of R&D at Fairchild …

Innovation

How an 18-year-old from a Kolkata slum cracked the IIT exam this year — Quartz

By the time the motley group of teenagers—sons of farmers, daily labourers and shopkeepers—woke up on June 18, the tripods, microphones and television cameras had already started arriving for their annual ritual at Anand Kumar’s house.<p>In 2002, Kumar established the Super 30 programme, a free …

Kolkata

Cancer-fighting gene-editing tool to begin human trials in China

The trials are set to begin in August. © Michael Kooren / Reuters<b>It may be banned in the UK, but DNA editing technology will begin trials on humans</b> …

China

The race is on to start drilling on the moon

The race for the Moon is on. Nobody is really sure exactly what resources are located on the Moon, or how vast they are, but a growing number of companies believe the Moon could hold large quantities of natural resources for extraction.<p>This concept of the Moon as a source of natural resources for …

South Pole

Predicting the Future of Robotics

In 1994, Dante II, a 1,700 pound robot built by Carnegie Mellon and NASA, rappelled into the volcano of Mt. Spurr at the rate of one centimeter per …

The Future

Walmart has a smart new ploy to reduce rampant food waste: Selling ugly produce

After decades of US lawmakers passing up opportunities to fight food waste on a national level, a concerted effort is beginning to emerge from parts of the private sector instead.<p>The front lines: Expiration-date labels and lumpy potatoes.<p>That Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, is involved in …

Food waste

The assimilation of robots into the workforce as peers, not replacements

One might ask why we would ever want to create robots that can do human work when we have so many people who need jobs. The goal of robotics should not be to replace humans with robots, but rather to improve productivity and safety, removing humans from harm’s way and enabling them to focus on …

Artificial Intelligence

It has the potential to change millions of lives - so what is the 'digital grid'?

When I was first asked to write about ‘green energy’ ahead of President Obama’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2016, I was debating whether I …

Environment