Innovation Watch

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

Utopian off-grid village grows own food in “shared local eco-system”

Danish architectural firm EFFEKT envisioned a future where self-sustaining communities could grow their own food and produce their own energy. They …

Sustainable Architecture

Foxconn axes 60,000 jobs in one factory as robots take over

One of China’s high-tech manufacturing hubs is accelerating uptake of robots as labor costs rise. As per the <i>South China Morning Post</i>:<p>Thirty-five …

Fintech online lenders are looking at your social media footprint

Special to The Globe and Mail<p>A future where the time you spend on Facebook, LinkedIn and other online platforms could affect your creditworthiness isn’t merely coming – it’s already here.<p>Dozens of alternative lenders in the financial technology (fintech) space say they look beyond your credit score …

Social Media

The number of new businesses in the US is falling off a cliff

We’re supposedly living in the age of startups when people can create new businesses, enrich themselves, and employ their fellow Americans. That narrative, like much economic optimism these days, is now mostly a tale for coastal cities, and a tenuous one at best.<p>Fewer new businesses were created in …

Silicon Valley

The Revolutionary Rise Of The Chinese Brand

When China first became a global industrial epicenter it was known for contract manufacturing, OEMs, abject knock-offs, and an entire ecosystem of producers who flooded the markets of the world with low cost, no-name electronics, textiles, and other goods. However, the game has now changed for many …

Asia

Google’s Superhuman Computer Can Tell Where Nearly Any Photo Was Taken

PlaNet, made by a team led by Google computer vision specialist Tobias Weyand, can determine the location of photos just by studying its pixels.You …

Screen Reading Worse for Grasping Big Picture, Researchers Find

« $45 Million in Bond Funds to Flow to N.Y. Schools for Technology | Main<p><i>By Sarah Sparks. Cross-posted from the Inside School Research blog.</i><p>There's …

11 Platform Cooperatives Creating a Real Sharing Economy

As “death star platforms” such as Airbnb and Uber continue their pursuit of global domination, an alternative is rising in its wake.<p>Platform …

Cooperatives

Barcelona's New, Huge "Superblocks" Are Designed To Stop Traffic, Fight Pollution

The nine-square-block areas are closed to everything but local traffic, filled with parks and pedestrian spaces, and change the way people interact with the city.<p>In 2017, Barcelona will start converting itself into a pedestrian city: Inside grids of "superblocks," non-resident cars will be banned, …

Traffic

One of the World's Richest Countries Is Voting on Whether to Give All Its Citizens $2,500 Per Month

Basic income gets its first-ever national referendum.<p>Next month, the world could get its first national basic income, but the likelihood of it passing remains a long shot.<p>The Swiss will vote on June 5 whether to institute an unconditional basic income that will take the place of some welfare …

Voting

Understanding the Rise of the Global Super-Rich

A new report documents the extent of billionaire wealth across the world.<p>Ever since the rise of the Occupy Movement, we’ve become familiar with the huge amount of the world’s wealth controlled by the so-called “one percent.” Earlier this year, a report by Oxfam International claimed that the …

Wealth

Mapping the Incredible Spread of Million-Dollar Homes Across San Francisco

96 percent of homes in the city’s Westwood Park neighborhood cost $1 million or more.<p>More than half of the homes in San Francisco cost $1 million or more. While million-dollar-housing creep is happening nationwide, it’s nowhere more prevalent than in San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland.<p>The rise of …

San Francisco

We looked inside a secret Chinese bitcoin mine

In China, savvy entrepreneurs are making millions a year by mining bitcoin. Danny Vincent visited one of the world’s biggest facilities of its kind to film the activity and people within.<p>On the edge of a tiny Chinese town is a strange building where you can get an insight into the future – and only …

Bitcoin

How blockchains could change the world

Ignore Bitcoin’s challenges. In this interview, Don Tapscott explains why blockchains, the technology underpinning the cryptocurrency, have the …

Bitcoin

Shifting gears: Insurers adjust for connected-car ecosystems

Insurance companies seek to deliver enhanced products and services by investing in new technologies and partnering with others in the smart-car …

Loyalty

Why would scientists want to build human genomes from scratch?

A secret meeting at Harvard Medical School last week discussed synthesising big genomes – and they could be planning to create designer human cells

Genetics

What are the five main markets for IoT?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is accelerating at an impressive speed, forecasters predict 25 billion devices will be online by 2020, creating over $300 billion in opportunities for companies involved.<p>Even with this considerable growth coming in the next five years, most enterprise folks still don’t …

Bain & Company

Millennials want to live in “youthful” – not just smart – cities

While smart city news occupies an increasing amount of media bandwidth, a new survey reveals that millennials would rather live in a connected “youthful city.”<p>According to the Urban Millennial Survey most millennials interviewed said they want to live in a “youthful city” that is connected like a …

Smart Cities

The Last Touchpoint: The Future Of The Web As Imagined By Google (According To I/O)

<b>The internet as we know it today is changing. Google’s new emphasize on intelligent, conversational interfaces, as embodied by Google Assistant, may</b> …

'Made in China' high-speed trains going global

Chinese high-speed train makers are increasingly selling their products to Western countries. Experts say the established European firms in the sector urgently need to develop strategies to counter the competition.<p>Previously known as a manufacturing hub for low-technology and labor-intensive …

Made in China

Young People Suing Their Government Over Climate Change Just Won Another Big Case

The kids are telling adults to do what needs to be done now.<p>Massachusetts' top court agreed that the state government needs to get moving on climate change.<p>A group of teenagers who sued the Massachusetts state government over its failure to adequately address the threat of climate change won a …

Government

This building forces divergent scientists to mingle

Pauline Bock<p>Intern, WIRED<p>Follow @paulinebock<p><i>This article was first published in the June 2016 issue of WIRED magazine. Be the first to read WIRED's articles in print before they're posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing online.</i><p>How do you design a building …

UK News

Can co-living solve the housing crisis?

Rowland Manthorpe<p>Associate Editor, WIRED<p>Follow @rowlsmanthorpe<p><i>This article was first published in the June 2016 issue of WIRED magazine. Be the first to read WIRED's articles in print before they're posted online, and get your hands on loads of additional content by subscribing online.</i><p>Mike Dillion …

Housing

With oil prices stubbornly low, Saudi Arabia’s future looks fraught

BEIRUT — Persistently low oil prices appear to be taking a heavy toll on Saudi Arabia, spurring rare labor unrest as the kingdom’s rulers pursue radical changes to stabilize the economy.<p>Companies in the oil-exporting country have been forced to shed tens of thousands of employees in recent months. …

Finance

Google: Useful artificial intelligence finally here

Spring may finally have arrived for artificial intelligence, Google executives said Friday.<p>But summer remains a ways off.<p>Speaking at the Google I/O developers conference in Mountain View, executives said that artificial intelligence and machine learning have advanced to the point where they are …

Google

Levi’s made a smart jacket using special threads from Google

The internet of garments is here, courtesy of Levi’s.<p>On the final day (May 20) of Google’s I/O developer conference in Mountain View, California, Levi Strauss innovation chief Paul Dillinger donned a denim jacket woven with conductive yarn. By touching, tapping, or swiping the jacket’s wrist, he …

Google

As populations swell and water becomes scarce, food prices could double: report

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Swelling populations and demand for food combined with ever scarcer water and land resources could lead to a doubling of food prices and trigger civil unrest in some developing countries, a new report says.<p>Demand for food with a higher environmental impact, …

Climate Change

Your brain does not process information and it is not a computer – Robert Epstein

No matter how hard they try, brain scientists and cognitive psychologists will never find a copy of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony in the brain – or copies …

The Brain

Insect-sized bot is first to both fly, land

Houseflies stretch their legs to land. Bumblebees hover, then slowly descend. Now, insect-sized flying robots have a way to stick the landing, too.<p>A …

Robots