Innovation Watch

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

Tencent venture poaches Google talent as Chinese tech firms pile into autos

BEIJING (Reuters) - An automaker launched last year by firms including tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd has poached autonomous driving personnel from Google and Daimler AG, marking China's latest high-profile hires in the race to make self-driving cars.<p>Tech firms are encroaching on the auto sector …

Asia

Bill Richardson: What Saudi Arabia’s Bet on Solar Power Means

It's a sign the oil-rich nation is serious about change<p>President Barack Obama’s recent meeting with Saudi King Salman, coming during tense times between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, reminded me what a difference two decades can make.<p>As Secretary of Energy during President Bill Clinton’s second term, …

Energy

​Watch live: Scientists are exploring one of the deepest, most mysterious parts of the ocean

Right now, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's ship Okeanos Explorer is exploring the deep waters in and around the Marianas Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean — and researchers are broadcasting the journey via livestream.<p>This is the deepest part of the world's oceans, …

Oceans

San Diego to become largest U.S. city to run on 100% renewable energy

San Diego is not waiting for Washington to get its act together on climate change. The southern California city is moving forward with an ambitious …

Environment

Alibaba advances: How China is using fintech to take control of global trade

The global fintech ecosystem has been presented like the board game Risk, with banks, fintech startups, traditional IT providers and GAFA companies …

China

Gamification: Passing trend or pathway to workplace productivity?

Business owners and CEOs are constantly searching for ways to remain competitive, keep employees engaged and boost productivity.<p>Incentives, internal …

This elevator could shape the cities of the future

<b>San Francisco (CNN) —</b> Elevators are in a rut.<p>They go up and they go down. They take people from one floor of a building to the exact same spot on another floor.<p>A new technology has the potential to break elevators free from their vertical prisons, allowing them to move side to side, at an angle, …

Elevators

Why Did the Genetic Code of All Life on Earth Suddenly Stop Evolving? | Motherboard

All life on Earth exists thanks to a universal genetic code. This biological rulebook tells our cells how DNA should be translated into life-supporting proteins, without which we couldn’t survive.<p>Even though the genetic code commands a seemingly immeasurable number of organisms, it also binds us …

Biology

Extreme Heat Will Make Parts of the Middle East and Africa Uninhabitable by 2050

New research shows that temperatures are set to skyrocket in parts of the Middle East and Africa, making human habitation next to impossible. In a …

Middle East

The US Is Finally Taking On Methane, Its Hidden Climate Change Villain

The greenhouse gas hasn't gotten the attention such a potent carbon-polluter deserves. But that's about to change. The post The US Is Finally Taking …

Climate Change

Bitcoin creator reveals himself

Australian tech entrepreneur Craig Wright on Monday told the BBC he was the creator of controversial digital currency Bitcoin, ending years of …

Australia

Estonia wants to become a 'country as a service' and already has 10,000 virtual residents

Estonia is one of the most digitally advanced nations in the world, with digital public services, online voting, blockchain-based healthcare records, and paperless cabinet meetings in government since 2000.<p>But its most radical project is e-residency — letting people from around the world become …

Second Life

Gulf states are coping with the oil era's twilight years in different ways

The falling price of oil is beginning to have a real impact on the energy-fueled economies of the Gulf. In 2014, after almost a decade of record highs, the price of a barrel of Brent crude began to collapse from a peak of US$140 to less than US$30.<p>Saudi Arabia is lining up a US$2 trillion sovereign …

Economics

Digital America: A tale of the haves and have-mores

While the most advanced sectors, companies, and individuals push the boundaries of technology use, the US economy as a whole is realizing only 18 …

Dubai Pushes the Pedal to the Metal on Driverless Cars

Already home to the world's biggest skyscraper, Dubai has another tall order to fill: By 2030, its leader wants 25 percent of all trips on its roads …

Transportation

Why SpaceX's New Mission is the Gateway to Colonizing Mars

A new approach is crucial to putting humans on the Red Planet<p>SpaceX announced last Wednesday that it’s planning to send a series of missions to Mars as soon as 2018, using a Falcon Heavy rocket and a landing craft called Red Dragon. Though details are still scarce, it’s clear these missions will be …

Mars

Kids Win Again In Lawsuit Blaming Gov't For Not Fighting Global Warming

Against all odds, another group of children who are suing the government to protect the environment against the harm of global warming in their future, have won in court.<p>Again.<p>In a surprise ruling on Friday from the bench in the ongoing climate case brought by these youths against the State of …

Climate Change

This New York Project Fuses Energy Microgrids With Blockchain Technology

A microgrid using Transactive Grid’s model could let you directly sell energy generated from your rooftop solar panels to your neighbor.<p>If in the future you find yourself selling your excess solar panel energy to your neighbor via secure blockchain, you'll have one startup's actions on President …

Energy

Citi: Robots could kill another 30% of bank jobs - Apr. 4, 2016

Message from Davos: The robots are coming<p>Digital disruption is turning finance on its head -- and destroying tons of traditional banking jobs along the way.<p>A wave of innovation has made it possible for people to get their banking done without walking into a branch if they don't want to. People can …

Employment

SpaceX: our Falcon rockets are more powerful than we thought

Falcon Heavy will have twice as much thrust as any other rocket, if you ask Elon Musk.<p>If you thought SpaceX was already making a fuss over the capabilities of both its existing Falcon 9 rocket and the upcoming Falcon Heavy, you haven't seen anything yet. The company has posted updated specs showing …

Elon Musk

Sustainable Car Free Cities Not An Impossible Dream

Some believe the decline of our cities started in 1939 at the World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, N.Y. The most popular exhibition was The World of Tomorrow in the General Motors Pavilion.<p>It featured an enormous model of a City of the Future, complete with elevated freeways, on-ramps and off-ramps …

Urbanism

Venezuela's 'deepening power crisis' could cut off its oil production

On Tuesday, Venezuela shortened its workweek to just two days as the country suffers through a deepening power crisis.<p>Venezuela sources about 60 percent of its electricity from hydroelectric dams, but a stubbornly persistent drought has caused water levels to drop dangerously low, curtailing …

Energy

Millennials are fleeing these cities because they can't afford housing

As the knowledge economy becomes increasingly spiky, concentrated, and urban, some of America's most expensive cities like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Boston have become even more unaffordable.<p>But the burden of escalating housing costs is not spread evenly, hitting …

Housing

Book slams Uber, Airbnb, sharing economy: Walkom

The sharing economy began with latter-day hippies giving fist-bumps. Now it is far darker.

Airbnb

Floating Solar Power Plants To Become A Reality

In the not so distant future, the power we need could very well be provided by floating solar power plants that are offshore. Wind farms have become very popular in recent years and now experts are looking at ways to create sustainable energy without having to develop land. The solution: use the …

Renewable Energy

The world's poorest 50% are a trillion dollars worse off - what's going on?

It has become something of a tradition that in January every year we take a look at the Forbes list of billionaires and the Credit Suisse global wealth databook and calculate how many billionaires it takes to have the same amount of wealth as the bottom 50% of the planet. Since we started doing …

Wealth

Europe’s innovators need China’s capital

At a recent event held in London, 10 start-ups were pitching their ideas for seed funding. This in itself is nothing out of the ordinary, as …

Asia

Scientists are working to make cows obsolete

We depend on cows for food, clothing, and sometimes even insulin. Cattle, though, are expensive and inefficient—each cow drinks a bathtub of water and emits three times that volume of methane daily. There are also the ethics of animal slaughter. But we might no longer need the cow.<p>Scientists are …

Cows

Gene-trification? Inside the Brooklyn lab where you can splice your own DNA

On a crowded stretch of Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, on the seventh floor of a building gentrification forgot, is a place where you can dabble in genetic engineering. Genspace, a kind of co-working lab for scientists, offers a fully equipped research laboratory available for public use for a modest …

Genetics