If there’s a theme running through the best tech stories this week, it’s convergence.
There’s a tendency to track tech trends in isolation (for example, the iterative steps in smartphone technology). In isolation, trends tend to appear fairly predictable, until of course, they experience runaway, exponential growth. Alone, we tend to summarize the future of a particular technology as “getting better step by step”.
But it’s at the convergence of two or more technologies that we find a fertile ground for disruption, the kind of mind-blowing, “where in the hell did that come from?” moments that can be both unsettling and wildly exciting. These convergences are happening and they have the potential to change everything seemingly in the blink of an eye.
Enjoy this week’s stories!
3D PRINTING: Meet Poppy, the printable robot
“Meet Poppy, the first completely open-source, 3D printed, humanoid robot…Poppy will also allow users to share their ideas and results in a very open and collaborative way through a dedicated web platform – gathering people across the frontiers of school, art, science and industry.”
COMPUTING: Moore’s Law Is About to Get Weird
Gabriel Popkin | Nautilus
“Such now-unconventional means of computation collectively form the intuitively named realm of, well, unconventional computing. One expert has defined it as the study of “things which are already well forgotten or not discovered yet.” It is thus a field both anachronistic and ahead of its time.”
DRONES: 42 Percent of Americans Are Wrong About Drones
Faine Greenwood | Slate
“To prevent public distrust from turning into strict lawmaking, it’s time that drone supporters got better at accentuating the positive, and when it comes to drones, there’s a lot of it.”
ENERGY: Why Tesla’s battery for your home should terrify utilities
Josh Dzieza | The Verge
“The prospect of cheap solar panels combined with powerful batteries has been a source of significant anxiety in the utility sector.”
BRAIN: The Coming Boom In Brain Medicines
Matthew Herper | Forbes
“To deal with this terrifying complexity, drug companies are embracing new technologies–including brain cells created in the laboratory expressly for research purposes–that allow them to test medicines with unprecedented speed and precision.”
VIRTUAL REALITY: The Future of Virtual Sex
David Linden | The Wall Street Journal
“The Holy Grail in neural virtual reality—for simulated sex or any other experience—involves the ability to precisely sense and control the electrical activity of many individual neurons in the brain with a device located outside of the skull.”
SPACE: How NASA uses quantum computing for space travel and robotics
Jonathan Vanian | GigaOm
“‘We have some missions where we imagine sending multiple robots to planets and these robots will need to coordinate and will need to do operations like landing and such without realtime communication,’ said [Davide] Venturelli.”
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