MindBullets is a part of the global FutureWorld Network, constantly sensitive to changes in the technological, economic, social, political and business landscape. The MindBullets Contributors scan this rapidly changing environment for clues about possible future trends. The results of this synthesis are combined by our contributors into an on-going series of MindBullets: News from the Future - with a summary emailed to you every Thursday and the complete MindBullets data base available online to explore each scenario in more detail. Exciting scenarios of alternative futures based on breakthrough thinking today. A powerful tool to help you learn from the future - a new MindBullet every week!

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Filtered by tag: New Materials

SLEEPING BEAUTIES HEAL THEMSELVES

Published on: 29 March 2018 1 Comment

The answer is more than a good night's rest

Dateline: 7 March 2021

Remember the classic doctor's advice? "Take two aspirin and call me in the morning." It often worked, as after a restful night made more comfortable by the analgesic, you no longer needed the doctor the next day. Since then self-administered remedies have come a long way, and many of us have smart devices and wearables that monitor our health and well-being, providing us with personalized recommendations for preventative as well as curative therapies. But how do we maximize the benefits of a good ...

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POD RACING TAKES OFF

Published on: 11 January 2018 1 Comment

Racing flying cars is a thing

Dateline: 12 January 2020

It's exhilarating, it's dangerous, and it's happening. Contrary to common sense and good advice, young geeks are taking part in a dangerous game, racing against each other in real life, flying machines. Passenger Optimized Drones, or PODs are the nearest thing we have to flying cars. The problem is, they don't have wheels, so they're not cars, and the batteries don't last long enough for a serious journey, so they're not really useful for travel; and with only one passenger (or pilot) they're more ...

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INSTANT OBJECTS

Published on: 21 December 2017 1 Comment

Printing holograms - in seconds

Dateline: 16 December 2020

Let's say you need a couple of shiny, glittery baubles for your festival tree, or maybe something to fix the garden hose. Now, if you can imagine it, it's there in seconds! Back in 2017, scientists at MIT demonstrated that it was possible to print things in 3D resin, using lasers and a holographic image. Starting with a beaker full of photosensitive liquid polymer, they exposed the resin to a set of three intersecting lasers, which caused the liquid to harden, but only at the point of maximum ...

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DIGITAL DISGUISE IS THE HEIGHT OF FASHION

Published on: 30 November 2017

Wouldn't you like to be invisible, sometimes?

Dateline: 11 December 2025

Silicon Streetwear has launched a new range of fashion items for the privacy conscious. It's called Silicon Secrets, and keeps you safe from hackers and scanners. Your body has a natural aura; your heartbeat, skin temperature, the blood coursing through your veins; all combine to create a unique biometric signature, that identifies you as you. But you also have a digital aura; your wearables and devices, some of which may be implants. Your wireless aura not only identifies you, but reports on your ...

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PHYSICAL NEEDS, DIGITAL SOLUTIONS

Published on: 2 November 2017

Food, shelter and clothing - they're all IT

Dateline: 3 November 2022

We're all familiar with Maslow's hierarchy, and we know that basic needs like food, shelter and personal comfort come first. But it seems information technology, that enabling force for modern civilization, was focused far up the scale, at education, entertainment and research, and of course, finance. Now the world of smart robotics and nanotech production has turned basic businesses into digital technologies. Energy is solid state solar and batteries, and traded like information on the internet. ...

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INTERNET OF ORGANIC THINGS

Published on: 12 October 2017

Plants that tweet and pets that ping

Dateline: 13 October 2023

Does your prize rose bush send you an email when it needs specific nutrients, or tweet incessantly when it's thirsty? Does your Labrador retriever ping you on your smartphone, when he's restless and wants a walk? Only if you've got smart soil sensors, for the rose, and a smart dog-collar for the Lab. But all these things we've connected to the 'net, they all need power - battery power, and even enhanced with tiny solar cells, like all electronics, they eventually wear out and have to be replaced, or ...

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SOLAR PAINT MAKES ITS DEBUT

Published on: 22 June 2017 1 Comment

Just paint that wall for instant solar fuel

Dateline: 23 June 2022

It's taken five years to come to fruition, but the magic of solar paint is finally something every building owner can benefit from. Why pay for costly 3D printed solar panels and film, when you can just slap it on like paint - literally. Discovered back in 2017, solar paint is a special mixture of synthetic molecules and titanium oxide, which has been used in paint for decades. It turns out the oxide helps the paint absorb the sun's energy, while the molybdenum molecules act as a catalyst, splitting ...

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ROSES ARE RED, BATTERIES ARE GREEN

Published on: 9 March 2017

A field of daffodils can power a town

Dateline: 8 March 2023

Once we thought that batteries were made of corrosive chemicals and heavy metals. But what happens when you can grow e-plants that store solar energy like super-capacitors? Back in 2017, scientists discovered they could grow nanowires inside a red rose, using the plant's own capillary system to create an internal network, and absorb electrolyte. It's a little like that old school lab experiment, where you run an LED off a potato - natural, organic electricity. Except that, in the case of e-plants, ...

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SMART NANOBOTS FOR CHRISTMAS

Published on: 22 December 2016

Keeping you healthy - from the inside

Dateline: 21 December 2023

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, an ingestible nanobot called 'Nanoboy', which I found wrapped up under the tree. It used to be that an apple a day kept the doctor away, but now it will be Nanoboy who keeps me out of the GP's office (or off his iPhone screen, if you're a fan of telehealth). This little wonder is so intelligent, it will alert me on my phone if my organs need help or any cells are going mad. Instead of having to go for my annual check-up, I will be pinged the ...

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CREEPY CRAWLIES CLEAN THE HOUSE AND POOL

Published on: 8 December 2016

Combining biotech with 3D printing and robotics creates quantum leap

Dateline: 7 December 2019

Another breakthrough has been revealed, this time in the arcane science of biobotics; not bionic appliances for humans, but organic robots. These are machines built with ceramics, metals and living tissue - usually cells cultured from lab rats. Biobots are not really living machines like radio controlled cockroaches or zombie moths. Rather they are a combination of biological material like muscle and synthetics like silicon, controlled by electronics, enzymes and light pulses. In 2016, scientists ...

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LET YOUR SHIRT FIX ITSELF

Published on: 29 September 2016

Self-repairing clothing works like magic

Dateline: 26 November 2019

With Millennials lacking basic needlework skills and only thinking of Twitter when you say 'thread' - someone had to come up with a sewing solution that is so easy, even the laziest among us would have no excuse. Researchers at D-IT in Paris have created a detergent that can infiltrate torn or damaged clothing fibers and enable them to re-attach. Just use cold water, a spoonful of Mendy (provisional name) and 25 minutes later your sweater will really be as good as new! Mendy was developed from an ...

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DEADLY DISAPPEARING DRONES

Published on: 4 August 2016 1 Comment

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 when triggered. This made 'object evaporation' possible - systems would not be of any value beyond enemy ...

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DASHY FACTORY TO BE MOVED AND RESTACKED LIKE LEGO

Published on: 14 July 2016

New construction models will enable reassembly in 21 days

Dateline: 27 June 2021

After a massive flood, caused by a higher-than-expected rise in sea-level for this year, the Bangladeshi textile industry has been mired in chaos. The behemoth factory of Indami textiles is a mess of drenched material and soiled garments. Critical machinery has also been rendered totally useless. They have cancelled all orders and are only expected to be back in production six months from now. Fortunately, not everyone remained unprepared. The owner of the small, but always nimble Dashy factory ...

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A LAPTOP THAT FITS IN YOUR HAND

Published on: 9 June 2016

New meta-lens makes your phone screen the size of a laptop

Dateline: 7 June 2020

We'd all love to have a phone with a screen as big and clear as a laptop - but it must still fit in your pocket. There have been many attempts at roll-up, fold-up screens, and they've all been dismal disappointments. Now there's an entirely new approach that seems to break the rules of optical physics. Samsung's Galaxy 14 has a 4-inch screen; but when you turn it on, a 12-inch image of the screen appears above your hand; and it's crisp and square. This magic is performed by a new nanotech device ...

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CATALYZER CAPTURES CARBON

Published on: 25 February 2016 2 Comments

New process integrates solar power into the hydrocarbon economy

Dateline: 26 February 2026

A new process for capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turning it into usable liquid fuel has been commercialized and scaled up. Originally invented ten years ago, the process uses a unique catalyst to bond hydrogen in water with CO2 in the air to form methanol, a useful liquid chemical that can be burned in combustion engines or used to manufacture more complex chemical compounds. The key to making this a viable industry is the low cost of solar power, which is sufficient energy input ...

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SOLID HYDROGEN BREAKS THE RULES OF PHYSICS

Published on: 21 January 2016

Hydrogen compressed beyond a liquid into a metallic state is the ultimate super conductor

Dateline: 25 January 2035

Imagine a stable, solid metal that is made of pure hydrogen - the ultimate solid fuel and lightweight material. That is now within our grasp, as scientists perfect a new method of 'growing' hydrogen crystals and nano-wires. Twenty years ago, scientists saw the first signs that achieving metallic hydrogen was possible. By compressing microscopic amounts of hydrogen between two diamonds with massive force, the gas was observed to partially solidify, proving the theory that, with sufficient force, ...

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PLASTIC UNFANTASTIC

Published on: 22 October 2015 3 Comments

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 grocery stores are ready to call it quits - completely. After marathon meetings behind closed doors that apparently started back in 2017, we have learned that consumers will have two options starting from 1 July. Shoppers will be able to bring their own Tupperware-like containers or they could choose to pay more for products with edible protective ...

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214 SUCCESSFUL TRANSFUSIONS DESPITE HUMAN BLOOD SHORTAGE

Published on: 30 July 2015 1 Comment

Artificial blood saves earthquake victims

Dateline: 17 April 2021

"We're out of blood," was the chilling statement released by Sichuan University School of Medicine in Chengdu. 4,700 people were left homeless following the earthquake which struck Chengdu yesterday. Rescuers and volunteers are still working through the rubble of the Tianfu Times Tower, but Chengdu's hospitals are overwhelmed. "We called for blood donors," says Doctor Wang Changjiang, "but we can't process the blood fast enough to meet our needs." Despite this critical shortage, no-one has ...

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THE SECRET LIFE OF PAPER

Published on: 30 April 2015

Still here to haunt and help us

Dateline: 25 April 2025

Decades ago, we used to joke that the paperless office would arrive about the same time as the paperless toilet. And to be sure, we're still using paper centuries after it was invented in ancient China. For hundreds of years, paper has been used to communicate, to record information, to store it for the future, and to convey secrets. Paper was the earliest conveniently portable technology to become information-enabled, and one of the most versatile. Right from the start, paper was used for secure ...

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DRIVERLESS CARS HURT INSURERS

Published on: 9 April 2015 4 Comments

Collision claims have fallen to a record low

Dateline: 2 February 2027

The roads have never been safer - 12 years ago, more than one million people died in car accidents worldwide, every year. This number has shrunk to an astonishing 250,000. Road rage is history. Commuting is a pleasure as passengers are able to do what they please while waiting to arrive at their chosen point B. It's just that for the insurance industry, self-driving cars have become a real pain. Lower claims mean lower premiums, and that's bad for business. One of the first weak signals, that ...

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Filtered by tag: New Materials