News, commentary, debate and access to FutureWorld's complete knowledge base
Share FutureWorld Futures Forum RSS feed Follow FutureWorld on Facebook
Dividing line
Dividing line
Published on: 25 August 2016  
MindBullet picture
My drone knows just how you feel
Dateline: 24 August 2019
Knowing how someone is feeling, or reading the mood of a crowd at a political rally, just got a whole lot easier with SensUbot - a small drone that scans people with a multi-spectral camera. The intelligent agent controlling the drone provides a real-time evaluation of your mood, sentiment towards a situation or proposal, or even your neural state. Are you bored, frustrated, angry, joyful or content? SensUbot can tell. Now there's no excuse for a public speaker to lose the crowd. A surreptitious ...
Dividing line
Tesla sets another distance and speed record
Posted: 24 August 2016  
And Tesla continues to up the ante - an electric car (with the semi-autonomous 'ludicrous mode') - with a range of more than 300 miles, and acceleration of 0 to 60 miles an hour in a blistering 2.5 seconds!
Speedy new Tesla boasts range topping 300 miles
24 August 2016
Tesla on Tuesday unveiled speedy new model electric cars capable of traveling more than 300 miles (482 kilometers) before needing to be recharged.
Dividing line
Solar breakthrough sees 97% efficiency converting sunlight to steam
Posted: 23 August 2016  
We've all heard the naysayers when it comes to alternative energies. "Solar is inefficient, only works during sunlight, can't be easily stored, etc etc." So how about 97% efficiency in converting sunlight into steam which can then be used to drive turbines.?That's what researchers in Australia have just achieved.
Solar thermal record sees 97% conversion of sunlight into steam
23 August 2016
Australian scientists are no strangers to world records for solar power: in 2014, the CSIRO superheated steam, and in May, UNSW achieved 34.5 percent efficiency in directly converting sunlight to electricity. Now, ANU hit a new record of 97 percent efficiency in converting sunlight into steam.
Dividing line
Watch your phone assemble itself
Posted: 23 August 2016  
We've talked about 3D and 4D printing, but what about self-assembly beyond the nano scale? Microbes, DNA and proteins can be cajoled into forming structures autonomously, but that's a far cry from a phone that builds itself. MIT have built a basic phone that can put itself together from main components. Check it out.
MIT built a self-assembling cell phone
23 August 2016
Researchers at MIT's Self-Assembly Lab have stepped up their game from an Ikea-like chair that can put itself together: the team built a working cell ...
New process enables home assembly of consumer products from organic materials and minerals
Dateline: 3 April 2021
Today, we are used to seeing biotech being used to grow replacement human organs and houses that grow themselves. Now, Chinese technology giant ...
Dividing line
2017 the year of flying taxis
Posted: 22 August 2016  
Remember those magazines and stories about the future that we read years ago? We were all going to be scooting around in flying cars by now. It hasn't quite happened...but don't let go of that dream quite yet! Airbus is planning to prototype an autonomous flying taxi by as soon as next year.
Look Up! 2017 is Going to be the Year of the Autonomous Flying Taxi
22 August 2016
Aircraft manufacturing company Airbus is looking to the skies for a solution to the growing traffic problem. They intend to send out a prototype for their self-flying taxi by next year.
Dividing line
Bionic eyes for railway workers
Posted: 22 August 2016  
We've said before that Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality are all set to become mainstream technologies that will move far beyond the gaming world. And here comes news that maintenance workers on Boston's metro will be kitted with augmented reality glasses to enable them to communicate in realtime - verbally and visually - with expert technicians to speed up repairs and ...
Boston’s trains could run more smoothly thanks to this AR software
22 August 2016
Smart glasses for field mechanics will use augmented reality to improve train efficiency and reduce costs.
Dividing line
Replacing plastic
Posted: 22 August 2016  
As a scuba diver, I am often horrified at the extent of plastic waste sloshing about our oceans and washing up on shorelines...not to mention the waste in cities and landfills. So how about packaging for food that is not only degradable, but also edible - and better and protecting food than plastic? Read on.
Edible milk-based packaging reduces food spoilage and plastic waste
22 August 2016
Wrapping food in plastic can reduce spoilage, but the packaging itself creates waste that can clog up landfills for years. Natural alternatives have been ...
EU to ban plastic packaging for groceries - unless you can eat it
Dateline: 29 January 2018
It started slowly. First we stopped giving away plastic bags for free. Then water bottles died a quick death. Now, in a revolutionary move, European ...
Dividing line
Uber drivers might be Ubered
Posted: 19 August 2016  
The first fleet of driverless Volvo Uber cars will start operating in Pittsburgh. Apparently, they will offer free rides to get public support, and will be supervised by humans in the driver's seat, but that just proves the point - disrupt yourself before someone else does!

Ultimately, fully autonomous cars and trucks will change many business models, and create a vast crowd of unemployed ...
This is Uber’s first driverless vehicle–and Uber’s human drivers should be worried
19 August 2016
The ride hailer is set to launch its first fleet of its inaugural driverless cars in Pittsburgh this summer, reports Bloomberg
And Airbnb, iTunes and Netflix are next
Dateline: 5 April 2018
Uber has been taken out by an unexpected competitor - the crowd. It's ironic really, because Uber was the first company to leverage assets it didn't own ...
Dividing line
Electric cars could replace most of today's vehicles
Posted: 18 August 2016  
Will eletric cars take off? The skeptics tell us that our love affair with fossil fuels will continue for decades. But perhaps not! Read this study from MJT that shows that even today, the level to which electric vehicles have developed means that almost all our driving needs could be met today.
MIT Reveals That Current Electric Cars Could Viably Replace 90% of Today's Vehicles
18 August 2016
An MIT study has shown that electric vehicles can now replace roughly 90% of the conventional vehicles in the market. Enabling it to play a significant ...
Private cars banned in New York and London
Dateline: 17 August 2019
Four years ago, it was proposed that gasoline and diesel vehicles be banned from certain cities and states; but the new trend towards mobility as a service ...
Dividing line
Published on: 18 August 2016  
MindBullet picture
It guides you based on a real-time situational analysis of what's happening
Dateline: 14 July 2022
Google Glass was not massively successful when initially launched. The benefits were marginal at best and people preferred to rely on their phones, rather than don geeky eyewear. We had Siri and Google Now, that spoke to us. But these were only 'basic' artificial intelligence agents. Six years ago saw the launch of Nigel, touted as the first truly "Artificial General Intelligence" or AGI. A cloud-based algorithm that was more than smart; Nigel could learn from your actions and transactions, build ...
Dividing line
LIFI sets a blistering new speed record
Posted: 17 August 2016  
Way back in 2011, FutureWorld tagged LIFI, the technology that transmits data at high speeds over light beams, as a potentially massive disruptor.
The brain behind LIFI, Professor Harald Haas, and his team have continued refining the technology . And now another group from Saudi Arabia have just recorded a new record by sending data 20 times faster than the earlier record of a blistering ...
Wireless Data From A Lightbulb: New Record-Breaking LiFi Method Is 20 Times Faster
17 August 2016
Less than six months after researchers recorded a groundbreaking 224-Gbps speed using LiFi, researchers set another record for transmitting data 20 times faster than the previous count.
Dividing line
Volocopter personal drone
Posted: 16 August 2016  
Here's the first piloted flight of the Volocopter from earlier this year. Is this the future of personal mobility. Projected prices look a little steep!
Dividing line
Virtual economies get real
Posted: 11 August 2016  
Nine years ago, we wrote about an interface where you could fly around the world virtually, enter virtual copies of real-world stores, and buy goods. Well, it's finally happening. Alibaba is trialling a VR payment system. Who says we futurists can't think ahead of the game?
Alibaba trials virtual reality payments for VR malls
11 August 2016
The virtual world just got a new payments technology and it’s as easy as nodding your head Chinese web behemoth and Amazon stalking horse Alibaba is ...
Virtual world covers two-thirds of the 'real' world
Dateline: 7 June 2017
Google Earth's virtual online buildings, designed and built by the in-world residents, now cover most of the developed world and all major tourism ...
Dividing line
Mars gets closer!
Posted: 11 August 2016  
The final frontier gets closer every day! And here comes news that NASA has commissioned six companies to develop habitats for the first astronauts to reach Mars.
NASA taps six companies to develop habitats for Mars-bound astronauts
11 August 2016
To give future space explorers more elbow room, NASA announced today that it has selected six companies to build ground prototypes and concepts for deep-space habitats for missions to the asteroids and the Red Planet.
Dividing line
Jacket wraps you in the cloud
Posted: 11 August 2016  
Here's a new take on wearables - a jacket that wraps the Cloud around you!
Pi-powered jacket wraps you in a personal cloud
11 August 2016
Computer engineers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have developed a prototype that aims to keep the cloud local by wrapping it around the user, in the form of a microcomputer-embedded jacket.
Dividing line
VR moves to centre stage
Posted: 11 August 2016  
Virtual Reality is all about youngsters playing crazy sci-fi and shoot-em-up games, right? As FutureWorld has predicted for some time, this is a game-changing technology that is rapidly moving into the mainstream of business and commerce. As Gizag says in the attached article, it is becoming a "practical, real-life tool."
Not just a game: Virtual reality is already seeping into the real world
11 August 2016
Virtual reality (VR) technology has almost exclusively been used to explore the fantasy realms of the gaming world. But new developments strongly indicate that VR has outgrown games and is on the verge of becoming a practical, real-life tool for experiences, enterprise and education.
Dividing line
Published on: 11 August 2016  
MindBullet picture
The future will always surprise us
Dateline: 11 August 2026
Back in the 1950s, seventy years ago, people made all sorts of predictions about what the future would be like. We'd have flying cars and robot maids, it was all so exciting. Well, it hasn't turned out quite like that. That's the point; the future is always different to what we expect. Sometimes things don't materialize, like fusion power and flying saucers. Other times they exceed our wildest Star Trek dreams, like smartphones and teslas. Take the Apple iPhone as a case in point. As leading edge ...
Dividing line
The future for coal is bleak
Posted: 10 August 2016   1 Comment
The economic impacts of a changing energy paradigm are being felt first in the coal industry:

Hillary Clinton’s $30 billion plan to revitalize communities threatened by coal’s decline promises to do more. But even that money might not be enough. “There is too much focus right now on ‘How do we replace these 10,000 good-paying jobs?’” says Peter Hille, the president of the Mountain Association ...
Climate change is already having severe economic impacts, beginning in coal country
10 August 2016
The demise of the coal industry should start a discussion of how we will respond to the economic upheaval caused by global warming.
Nano solar films bring cheap energy to sunshine states
Dateline: 5 May 2018
It's hard to believe that a mere decade ago fossil fuels were at a premium, and everyone talked of 'peak oil' and the high prices of natural gas and coal. ...
Dividing line
Fascinating questions on where AI might take corporations!
Posted: 8 August 2016  
As AI developed and mutates, it will no doubt learn and self evolve. This might introduce really interesting questions around how it will take corporate decisions like allocation of resources and payment of profits!
The Perfect Profit Machine of a Corporate Artificial Intelligence
8 August 2016
Might a corporate AI, a "perfect profit machine," decide to stop distributing profits to human owners?
Sensors and gadgets clamour to be heard
Dateline: 13 May 2024
After all these years, we're still stuck with basic artificial intelligence. AI has not matured to the 'general' level, where machines are as smart as ...
Dividing line
Dissolving battery
Posted: 8 August 2016  
And here's the battery for these self-destructing electronics - This battery will self-destruct in 30 minutes:
The technology is neutral, the applications not
Dateline: 12 December 2023
It's a dream come true for gadget geeks and Bond-aficionados alike: tech toys that self-destruct and leave no trace. That's not always a good thing. Initial research conducted by the US military lead to the development of VAPR (Vanishing Programmable Resources) systems. Labelled "Snapchat for hardware," VAPR aimed to develop an electronic system that could literally disappear into thin air ...
Dividing line
Dividing line
Everything you always wanted to know MindBullets logo Twitter