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Monthly Archives: June 2014

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New Material Sucks Water From the Air and Stores It

As the changing climate pushes arid regions around the world to become drier, many are asking how we will continue to provide enough water for the people and crops in those areas. Some Rice University...

How Will We Know When Computers Can Think for Themselves?

Headlines recently exploded with news that a computer program called Eugene Goostman had become the first to pass the Turing test, a method devised by computing pioneer Alan Turing to objectively prove a computer...

Around the World Without a Drop of Fuel — Solar Impulse 2 Logs Its First Flight

Its wingspan matches a Boeing 747, every square inch covered in solar panels. A quarter of its weight is dedicated to energy storage. It flies day and night without a drop of conventional fuel....

Basic Smartphones Now Cheap Enough to Replace Feature Phones Worldwide

Earlier this year, Mozilla announced their project to build and sell a $25 smartphone. The firm, maker of the Firefox web browser and mobile operating system, now says they’ll begin selling the device in...

Unfair Advantages of Emotional Computing

Earlier this week, Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son announced an amazing new robot called Pepper. The most amazing feature isn't that it will only cost $2,000, or that Pepper is intended to babysit your kids and work...

Robotic Hand Uses AI to Specialize Its Grip for Any Object

Your cat may think she’s your boss, but she would actually be your boss if it weren’t for a feat of engineering called the human hand, complete with opposable thumbs. It’s not easy to build...

Dr. Franken-Tree, I Presume: Using Biotechnology to Battle Extinction

In thirty years of covering (as an author/journalist) and working on (as an entrepreneur/activist) both ecological issues and technological breakthroughs, I’ve come to the conclusion that the greatest environmental threat we now face is...

Delivering Capsules of Stem Cells Helps Repair Injured Bones

For the recorder of potentially breakthrough medical technology, sometimes it seems that the list is just so many applications of three new technologies: smaller electronics, new materials and stem cells. Any electronic device set...

Bionic Pancreas Promises Big Boost in Health, Quality of Life for Type 1 Diabetics

Diabetes, despite affecting nearly 350 million people worldwide, is not really a controlled illness. Those who have the type 1 form of the illness, in which the pancreas fails to produce the insulin that...

Fasting Helps Cancer Patients Survive Chemotherapy — And It Could Help Us All Live Longer

You’ve probably never heard of Valter Longo, but if you’ve heard about the purported health benefits of intermittent fasting, you’ve likely been exposed to his work. A University of Southern California gerontologist, Longo has...

Massive Military-Funded Project Aims to Re-align Ailing Brains

Deep brain stimulation as a treatment for epilepsy and movement disorders, most notably Parkinson’s disease, has rapidly gone from experimental to standard practice. With devices to provide delicate electro-stimulation to the brain now available...

‘We’re Living in Science Fiction Right Now’ Diamandis Tells GSP 2014

“It’s that time again.” These were the words on more than one pair of lips at Singularity University’s 2014 Graduate Studies Program (GSP) opening ceremony. The 10-week summer program was Singularity University’s first offering six...

Can We Cure Violence?

Violence is contagious, this we know. Time and again, researchers have found that exposure to aggression links directly to increases in violent behavior. This is why, for example, 30% of abused children grow up to...

Scientists Trigger Stem Cells to Produce New Brain Cells

It turns out that an apple a day — or at least an apple spinach salad — does keep the doctor away. But it’s not true that when brain cells die we can’t make...

Why Google’s “Ridiculous” Looking Car Is Brilliant

It’s not too surprising that the release of images of Google’s prototype robocar have gotten comments like this: Revolutionary Tech in a Remarkably Lame Package from Wired A Joy Ride in Google’s Clown Car says Re/Code I’ve also seen...

Machines Teach Humans How to Feel Using Neurofeedback

Humans are social animals, and feelings of attachment, connection and empathy are the glue that binds societies together. Before an infant’s immune system is fully operational, before a baby can even use its hands,...

Our Hyperconnected Future: Roundup of the 2014 MIT Tech Review Digital Summit

I recently attended the MIT Technology Review Digital Summit in San Francisco. The topics du jour? The disappearing computer interface, the Internet of Things, and security and privacy in our hyperconnected world. The overriding sense...

Singularity Surplus: Computer Convenience For FDA Data, Paper and Pen, Power Outlets

The Scribble pen can identify and reproduce 16 million colors you might come across in daily life. The pen uses a 16-bit RGB color sensor to identify the colors of objects and reproduces them...

Google to Spend a Billion or More on Internet Satellites

Internet access is common in the developed world, but many in emerging markets are just now getting online. For Google, one of the most visited sites in the world, it's a massive growth opportunity. And...

Velociraptor Robot Can Run Down a Human (Luckily, It Lacks Claws)

Many robotic researchers mimic living animals in their creations, such as cats, dogs, birds, kangaroos, humans. Fine and good. The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) would rather reverse engineer dinosaurs. KAIST’s Raptor robot was...

No More Malls: 5 Disruptive Techs Transforming Retail

Five technologies are converging to transform the retail shopping experience forever. This is big. This isn't Amazon, it's Amazon x100. Very social, very local and very efficient. This will impact multiple industries. Though it applies to other...
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See The Future at SU’s 2014 Graduate Studies Program Opening Ceremony on June 16

For a select group of 80 entrepreneurs from around the world, summer is the time for a different kind of roller coaster: the 10-week wild ride known as the Graduate Studies Program at Singularity University! The program,...

Star Trek-Style Holodeck Coming into Focus at Lowe’s

We’ve all done it — gone into a store to figure out what we wanted to buy only to go home and buy it online from whoever offered the lowest price and free returns....

A Straightforward Method for Making Wearable Tech

Considering the pace of technological growth in recent decades, the convergence of humans and machines seems a foregone conclusion. Yet, unlike most machines, the body is far too flexible and squishy for modern advanced materials. So it falls on researchers to develop new...
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Staggering Promise of Exponential Technologies in a Succinct 5-Minute Video

Have you ever wanted to explain exponential technology to someone—but didn’t know where to start? We’ve got a video for you. Watch Peter Diamandis and DrawShop discuss six key technologies at the heart of...

GravitySketch Tablet Is a Portable 3D Augmented Reality Sketchpad For Designers

There’s an imposing wall dividing real world creation and digital design. To transfer a paper design to a computer, you need training and experience in technically demanding computer assisted design (CAD) programs. Instead, imagine if...

Researchers Close In on the Dream of a Safe, Portable Brain Scanner

If research on the human brain is to come close to meeting the lofty hopes many researchers and government bodies have for it, one thing is going to have to change: Brain scanning will...

Nanotech Method Boosts Conventional Cancer Treatments in Pre-Clinical Trial

The conventional wisdom has it that there’s no silver bullet for treating cancer; the disease simply has too many forms for a one-size-fits-all solution. But there may be, if a recent pre-clinical animal study...

Singularity Surplus: Sweating Robots, Speaking in Tongues, Where Lab Meat Comes From

Advances in exponential technology happen fast — too fast for Singularity Hub to cover them all. This weekly bulletin points to significant developments to keep readers in the know. In an attempt to make robots...

Thanks to 3D Printing, the Visually Impaired Can Have a Braille Mobile Phone

With free-market capitalism and its tried-and-true methods of mass production, mainstream consumers are inundated with more product choices than many have time to make, while smaller, specialized segments of the population find that even...

Can Google Tango Make Off-the-Shelf Drones Autonomous?

Personal drones are all the rage. Though hobbyist RC helicopters and planes have been around for years, today’s multi-rotor vehicles are easier to pilot thanks to GPS and a suite of onboard chips and...

Michael Jackson Digitally Resurrected For Award Show

Technology is bringing the dead back to life—their images at least. In 2012, the ghost of Tupac Shakur strutted the stage at Coachella. Last year, the late Audrey Hepburn starred in a chocolate commercial....

Muse Headband Opens the Door to Brain-to-Computer Applications

FitBit, Jawbone, Aero: Wearable devices to track physical activity are everywhere. But technology advocates insist that’s not all the devices can do — not by a long shot. The tiny machines promise to track...

Sitting Inside Elon’s Spaceship, the Dragon-2 Capsule from SpaceX

Recently I attended the unveiling of SpaceX's Dragon-2 capsule -- the new spaceship they've designed to take people to space. I wanted to share this exciting experience with you. After a small press event, I had the...

Unlike Samantha in the Movie Her, Artificial Intelligence Will Have a Body

The recent movie, Her, chronicles the romantic relationship between a man, Theodore Twombly, and an intelligent operating system named Samantha in the year 2025. Samantha is not just smart, she’s empathetic. She’s not static,...

Leap Motion’s Gesture Control Finds Niche Uses in Medicine, Art and Augmented Reality

We first became acquainted with Leap Motion back in 2012. The company makes a small device about the size and shape of a pack of gum that uses infrared sensors and clever software to...

Promising Malaria Vaccine Looks to Employ Robots to Mass Produce Its Product

Imagine that, in the face of substantial technical odds, you developed a vaccine for malaria that, in early trials, was 100 percent effective. But then, due to political wrangling over the budget, you couldn’t...

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