Innovation Watch

By David Forrest | THE FUTURE IS HERE innovationwatch.com

Instead Of Buying Electricity From The Power Company, What If You Bought It From Your Neighbor?

Traditionally, when you want electricity, you buy it from a utility. In the future, you may buy it from the house next door. A Dutch company called PowerPeers is making it happen in the Netherlands.<p>In the Netherlands, a marketplace called Power Peers is linking up home energy producers with …

Energy

Futuristic, sustainable Urban Droneport could act as a hub for drone deliveries

Companies from Amazon to Facebook have bet on drones as the aerial vehicles of the future. But many locales lack the appropriate infrastructure to …

Architecture

A new tool lets artificially intelligent algorithms control computers the way a human would

Artificial intelligence (AI) is usually built into the software we use, from automatic tagging on Facebook to chatbots in Google and Apple’s mobile operating systems. Instead of injecting AI into software, a new tool from OpenAI teaches algorithms to control a computer the way a human would: by …

Computer Science

The EU is demanding that American tech giants crack down on hate speech

The EU has given American tech giants a stark ultimatum: Crack down on hate speech, or we'll make you.<p>Facebook, Twitter, Google's YouTube and Microsoft must act faster to tackle online hate speech or they will face laws forcing them to do so, the European Commission said on Sunday.<p>The European …

Hate Crimes

Here's How BMW Plans to Outpace Uber

“We will not be the largest, but we can be the coolest.”<p>BMW will test autonomous vehicles in Munich next year as it seeks to keep up with ride-hailing firms like Uber, which have spent billions on pay-per-use personal transport.<p>The German carmaker will have about 40 vehicles with self-driving …

Autos

Experimental City: How Rotterdam Became A World Leader In Sustainable Urban Design

Europe's largest port—threatened by rising waters and a loss of its major industry—has reinvented itself as a playground for innovative thinkers who are trying to create a resilient city of the future.<p>When Helly Scholten makes dinner, if she needs a tomato or squash or an onion, she heads …

Environment

Houston, we have power: Space-based solar power could be the final frontier in renewable energy

Solar power harnessed from outer space could be the key to humanity's survival<p>Critics of the 2002 James Bond film “Die Another Day” decried its over-reliance on über-tech, even by 007 standards. Think sonic agitator rings for shattering bullet-proof glass, and an invisible Aston Martin that might …

Energy

Google, democracy and the truth about internet search

Tech-savvy rightwingers have been able to ‘game’ the algorithms of internet giants and create a new reality where Hitler is a good guy, Jews are evil and… Donald Trump becomes president<p>Here’s what you don’t want to do late on a Sunday night. You do not want to type seven letters into Google. That’s …

Google

This is the most dangerous time for our planet

We can’t go on ignoring inequality, because we have the means to destroy our world but not to escape it<p>As a theoretical physicist based in Cambridge, I have lived my life in an extraordinarily privileged bubble. Cambridge is an unusual town, centred around one of the world’s great universities. …

Cost of Living

Artificial intelligence and the evolution of the fractal economy

Money makes the world go round, or so they say. Payments, investments, insurance and billions of transactions are the beating heart of a fractal economy, which echoes the messy complexity of natural systems, such as the growth of living organisms and the bouncing of atoms.<p>Financial systems are …

Computer Science

Louisville to co-create a smart city with its citizen scientists

Municipalities across the globe are in a race to absorb as much technology as possible to become the world's smartest cities. Louisville, Kentucky is …

Smart Cities

Hospital Will Open First Dedicated 3D Bioprinting Facility

The new facility will build tissues like bones and cartilage for surgery patients as a first step toward printers in every operating room.<p>An Australian hospital is becoming the first to receive a dedicated 3D tissue-printing facility. The new facility will be used to print new cartilage and bone …

Hospitals

Ford will test driverless cars in Europe next year

Ford announced it will plans to start testing its autonomous vehicles on European roads by next year as it ramps up its robot car strategy.<p>According to Digital Trends the U.S. car manufacturing goliath is moving ahead with European testing as it pursues its ambitious strategy to introduce fully …

Autos

Industrial Analytics Based On Internet Of Things Will Revolutionize Manufacturing

• McKinsey Global Institute predicts that the Internet of Things (IoT) will generate up to $11T in value to the global economy by 2025.<br>• 69% of decision makers believe Industrial Analytics will be crucial for business success in 2020, with 15% considering it crucial today.<br>• Predictive and prescriptive …

Analytics

Mumbai and Tel Aviv are the rising financial centres as power shifts from the West, says Barclays chief

London’s biggest competition as a financial centre could be Mumbai or Tel Aviv in future as the industry becomes focused on technology rather than traditional skills, according to the chief executive of Barclays UK.<p>Although financiers fear EU cities trying to poach some of Britain’s financial power …

United Kingdom

Meet the precariat, the new global class fuelling the rise of populism

We are in the middle of a global transformation, the painful construction of a global market economy. In the initial period dominated by financiers …

Economics

Four Huge Cities Are Banning Diesel Cars

The clampdown will clean up the air and help spur electric vehicle adoption.<p>By 2025, you’ll be able to breathe a little easier in Paris, Madrid, …

Autos

Finland Could Be The First Country To Make Coal Power Illegal

As the world begins to slowly phase out coal power, Finland is going a step further: a total ban.<p>The U.K. is phasing out coal. Canada is phasing out coal. Austria, the Netherlands, France, Denmark, and Portugal are doing the same thing. Finland may go a step further: The government has proposed …

Finland

The Second-Largest Unicorn Breeding Ground in the World? Sweden

The famed Spotify lives in Stockholm.<p>Do unicorns exist? In the startup world, they do.<p>A "unicorn" is a startup company valued at over $1 billion. For example, you may recognize these unicorns: Uber, Airbnb, Snapchat, SpaceX, Lyft, etc.<p>Of course, Silicon Valley is known to be the capital of "the …

Sweden

How deep learning will transform the future of the auto industry

A new report shows that vehicle makers need to change the way they think about producing products to survive the coming transformation.<p>Deep learning …

Autos

An Indian startup could be the first private entity to land on the moon

Rahul Narayan had no clue about space. In 2010, he was in the software industry, running a startup that developed products for an ecommerce company.<p>Who knew seven years later, he would on his way sending a rover to the moon?<p>Narayan and his friends were intrigued by Google Lunar X-Prize competition …

Space

The Neuroscientist Who’s Building a Better Memory for Humans

In an epidsode of the dystopian near-future series, <i>Black Mirror</i>, a small, implantable device behind the ear grants the ability to remember, access, …

The Brain

The secret system that will backbone the entire IoT industry

No one thinks about the systems that connect us today. It’s not sexy, it doesn’t control the temperature in your house and it doesn’t tell you your heart rate. But that universal system is responsible for more almost everything that runs in the world today.<p>Roads, houses, time, rockets and …

IT

These Mayors Are Being Rewarded For Making Their Cities Stronger And More Self-Reliant

Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge is helping cities learn from each other about how to survive and thrive in a world where people need cities to be their safe havens.<p>The City of São Paulo, Brazil, will receive $5 million for winning the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Latin American and …

Cities

Leaner and meaner: U.S. shale greater threat to OPEC after oil price war

NEW YORK/HOUSTON – In a corner of the prolific Bakken shale play in North Dakota, oil companies can now pump crude at a price almost as low as that enjoyed by OPEC giants Iran and Iraq.<p>Until a few years ago it was unprofitable to produce oil from shale in the United States. But the steep slide in …

Oil

Britain’s mint is trying to make gold act more like bitcoin

Blockchain technology is about to come full circle. The technical ideas that allow bitcoin, designed as a form of digital gold, to operate will soon be used by the UK’s government-owned Royal Mint in a new gold-trading system.<p>The 1,000-year-old Royal Mint is working with CME Group—the world’s …

Bitcoin

'Swarm Electrification' in Bangladesh Lets Neighbours Swap Solar Electricity | Motherboard

Ten households in Shakimali Matborkandi, a village in the Shariatpur district of Bangladesh, have seen a dramatic change over the past year in the way they light their homes and charge their mobile phones.<p>For decades, these families had little choice but to use kerosene, the most popular fuel in …

Energy

Google's DeepMind AI gives robots the ability to dream

Following in the wake of recent neuroscientific discoveries revealing the importance of dreams for memory consolidation, Google’s AI company DeepMind …

Computer Science

China Approves a $36 Billion Railway Plan for a New 'Mega-City'

Linking the cities of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei.<p>China has approved a 247 billion yuan ($36 billion) railway plan to improve transport links between the capital Beijing, the port city of Tianjin, and the neighboring province of Hebei, part of plans to integrate the three areas into a mega-city.<p>The …

China