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Filtered by author: Doug Vining
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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!
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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Computers that think like people
Posted: 4 August 2016  
A while ago we published this MindBullet about cognitive systems, computers that think, and behave, like people do. Now IBM has advanced the progress towards these systems with the first artificial neurons that operate like those in our brains.
IBM creates world’s first artificial phase-change neurons
4 August 2016
They behave like biological neurons, including low power usage and dense scaling.
Machines that think for themselves are taking over the world
Dateline: 22 February 2022
In our quest to develop smarter, more powerful, less power-hungry computers and devices, we have created artificial intelligence that rivals that of the ...
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Artificial photosynthesis
Posted: 29 July 2016  
The holy grail of solar energy is to do what leaves do - turn sunlight into useable fuel. We wrote a MindBullet about the possibilities of such technology seven years ago. Now it seems that there has been a breakthrough on this front. More recently we published a MindBullet about catalysers that capture carbon. This new 'breakthrough' both captures carbon from the atmosphere and produces ...
Breakthrough solar cell captures carbon dioxide and sunlight, produces burnable fuel
29 July 2016
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have engineered a potentially game-changing solar cell that cheaply and efficiently converts ...
Nano-machines do photosynthesis better than leaves
Dateline: 12 June 2030
What started as a bold project at Imperial College London in 2009, has now reached its first stage of commercialization in the deserts of north ...
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High tech Olympics pics
Posted: 27 July 2016  
Six years ago, we wrote about how high-tech interactive media could add value to major sporting events, like the Soccer World Cup. Now Getty Images has plans to make a big impact with the latest in photo technology at this year's Olympics. They're finally catching on!
‘Incredible evolution’: How Getty Images will cover the Rio Olympics with robot cameras, 360-degree
27 July 2016
Getty Images will capture and transmit imagery from the 2016 Summer Olympics using technology in ways that it hopes will leave a long-lasting impression.
New technologies give massive boost to the bottom line
Dateline: 28 June 2018
It seems like the furor around 'the bizarre secret society of fallible referees' that so dominated the 2010 World Cup is now a distant memory. Technology ...
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Electric planes
Posted: 20 July 2016  
I used to scoff at the idea of electric cars becoming mainstream. While that's still not likely in Africa in the near future, the popularity of the BMW i3 and the Tesla Model 3 have changed that scenario. But electric aircraft? Surely not anything bigger than a drone? Siemens have showcased a new electric motor for a small conventional aircraft, and it flies. One thing they don't say in the ...
Siemens Showcases Brand-New Electric Motor That's Super Light, Super Powerful, And Perfect For Elect
20 July 2016
The German parts supplier completed a successful test flight of an electric airplane fitted with a brand-new electric motor that boasts unprecedented power ...
There isn't one: No pilots and no air traffic controllers
Dateline: 10 July 2019
When NATS, the UK National Air Traffic Control Service, was partially privatized in 2001, with the state retaining a 49% share, it started a long-running ...
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Breathing without air
Posted: 19 July 2016  
Or rather, live without breathing! We only need to breathe so that we can get oxygen into our bloodstream, to keep our brain and heart functioning, and ultimately all the cells in our bodies. But what if you could deliver oxygen straight into the bloodstream, without involving the lungs? Scientists have invented oxygen nanoparticles that can be injected into one's veins.
Scientists Invent Oxygen Particle That If Injected, Allows You To Live Without Breathing
19 July 2016
A team of scientists at the Boston Children’s Hospital have invented what is being considered one the greatest medical breakthroughs in recent years. They have designed a microparticle that can be injected into a person’s bloodstream that can quickly oxygenate their blood. This will even work if the ability to breathe has been restricted, or even cut off entirely.
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Atomic data
Posted: 19 July 2016  
We've written before of using DNA to store data. Now comes a nanotech method of storing data with individual atoms, the densest memory system yet.
Densest-ever memory system uses individual atoms to store data
19 July 2016
Scientists at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience at the Delft University of Technology (TUDelft) have developed a memory technology that achieves the ...
High performance computing is embedded everywhere and virtually free
Dateline: 22 September 2022
Moore's Law says, in essence, that computer processors become twice as powerful, and half the price, approximately every two years. Over time that sort of ...
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When is a robot an animal?
Posted: 13 July 2016  
When you make a gadget that moves, and you can control it, then it's a machine, right? Like a robot. But if the things that make it move are muscle tissue, bits of living organisms, then it's an animal, not so? Neither - it's a biohybrid. Expect to see more of these short-lived 'creatures' emerging from the lab. I wonder if they will ever perfect the dragon we wrote about ten years ago?
Scientists Create Successful Biohybrid Being Using 3-D Printing and Genetic Engineering
13 July 2016
Scientists genetically engineered and 3-D-printed a biohybrid being, opening the door further for lifelike robots and artificial intelligence.
GeneTech's new fantasy pets set the world on fire
Dateline: 8 July 2025
It was a scene out of some fantasy epic that greeted Reginald Dobbs as he arrived home last night. His house was on fire and a dragon was perched on the ...
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Backing up the grid
Posted: 12 July 2016  
Seven years ago we published a MindBullet about a revolutionary new type of battery that could be scaled up to power a whole city - with liquid batteries. That hasn't materialised as yet, but Los Angeles is planning a massive lithium ion battery array that could take over the peak load in summer.
World's Largest Storage Battery Will Power Los Angeles
12 July 2016
More than 18,000 lithium-ion battery packs would replace a gas-fired power plant used to meet peak demand
New York City runs all night on a single charge
Dateline: 21 April 2015
In the city that never sleeps, the lights burn all night. But don't worry, they're not consuming precious fuel or polluting the environment, because the ...
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America the wonderful
Posted: 7 July 2016  
People love to criticise the United States, and point out its many failings. America is not the perfect society. But despite all that, it remains the biggest economy by far, and home to much of the innovation and business growth that is driving global development. These 16 charts show how dominant America is. China has overtaken Japan as America's greatest rival, but has a long way to go ...
16 charts that show why America is the most amazing country in the world
7 July 2016
To celebrate America's Independence Day, we've put together several charts that show why, despite all of its problems, this US is the most dominant country ...
Lighting up the sky with a meteor shower is the latest special effect for big-ticket events
Dateline: 4 July 2018
Forget fireworks; they're so last century! This year's Independence Day celebrations included a multicolor shower of shooting stars - in glorious red, ...
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BMW sets 2021 for fully autonomous driving
Posted: 4 July 2016  
"Together with Intel and Mobileye, the BMW Group will develop the necessary solutions and innovative systems for highly and fully automated driving to bring these technologies into series production by 2021. The BMW iNEXT model will be the foundation for BMW Group’s autonomous driving strategy and set the basis for fleets of fully autonomous vehicles, not only on highways but also in urban ...
BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye Team Up to Bring Fully Autonomous Driving to Streets by 2021
4 July 2016
BMW Group, Intel, and Mobileye are joining forces to make self-driving vehicles and future mobility concepts become a reality.
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 ...
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Holland's things get connected, nationwide
Posted: 30 June 2016  
"As from today the KPN LoRa network is available throughout The Netherlands," KPN said in a statement. "This makes The Netherlands the first country in the world to have a nationwide LoRa network for Internet of Things (IoT) application."

In the initial phase, the network was rolled out in Rotterdam and The Hague in November. But it was stepped up across the country due to "substantial ...
Netherlands gets first nationwide 'Internet of Things'
30 June 2016
Dutch telecoms group KPN said Thursday that The Netherlands had become the first country in the world to implement a nationwide long range (LoRa) network ...
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 ...
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Americans' view of the world in 2036
Posted: 30 June 2016  
Survey results show that many Americans expect the future to be filled with tech. Some are obvious, like driverless cars and robots, even drone deliveries. But a significant portion are also 'predicting' that we'll have cloned humans and avatars as romantic companions. Which just goes to show, as Gerd Leonhard likes to say, that "Humanity is increasingly being defined by Technology." Probably ...
Here's what Americans think the world will be like in 2036
30 June 2016
The year is 2036. Cloned humans walk the earth, artificial intelligence machines sit on the board of major corporations, and pizza is delivered by ...
You can't live forever, but your avatar can - with your brain
Dateline: 23 June 2025
There's a battle brewing in the avatar industry. The battle for your mind. Your brain. Or to be more specific, the backup of your brain. The contenders ...
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Jet pack flies in New York
Posted: 27 June 2016  
It's 2016, and we're still waiting for those jetpacks promised 50 years ago. But one of the prototypes has recently made a flight in public. The JB-9 jetpack has two jet engines and runs on liquid fuel, which means you get about five minutes of usable flight. Not enough to be a commercial success in my opinion, but it might get a cult following, involving a race series, which is planned.

I ...
JB-9 jetpack makes spectacular debut flying around Statue of Liberty
27 June 2016
The dream of personal flight took a great leap forward last week as Jetpack Aviation unveiled its high speed, high altitude, high endurance JB-9 jetpack in ...
MindBullet logo JET PACK TAKES OFF
Talk about being upwardly mobile!
Dateline: 25 June 2016
After more than 35 years in development, the world's first commercially available jetpack is now on sale. The sticker price is a mere US$ 150,000. Made ...
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Solar power in a box
Posted: 24 June 2016  
This is a pretty cool idea. A solar power mini-plant that fits in a shipping container, and can be unpacked and operational within hours. Great for off-grid villages who need basic power for light and phones.
IKEA of energy delivers clean, green solar power-plant in a box
24 June 2016
A start-up offering flat-packed solar generators is hoping to give a boost to poor villages off the grid
Rooftop, backyard and portable solar is the new meme
Dateline: 15 March 2022
The biggest energy revolution in 150 years has arrived gradually, then suddenly. Now it's here. Personal solar power has displaced central utilities ...
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