November 29, 2013 | By: Sheila Moorcroft
Drones have until now been primarily used for military purposes and while they are extraordinarily accurate on one level, all too often there are innocent deaths. Drones are however moving into other sectors – rescue and delivery so far. They could revolutionise the cost base of deliveries to remote regions, not to mention search and rescue services.
June 7, 2013 | By: Dennis Draeger
Virtual reality is back with better graphics, better hardware, and more applications. Several technologies will soon be released to the general market to further immerse mainstream users in their digital experiences while expanding the applications of virtual reality.
May 24, 2013 | By: Sheila Moorcroft
Traditional politics in western countries have been facing growing challenges for many years. A combination of economic circumstances and austerity measures plus new technology is giving rise to very different political realities, new parties and new approaches; but also disenchantment and loss of faith. Should we be worried about an emerging political crisis having as big or even greater impacts than the financial crisis?
May 17, 2013 | By: Sheila Moorcroft
Synthetic biology moves us from reading to writing DNA, allowing us to design biological systems from scratch for any number of applications. Its capabilities are becoming clearer, its first products and processes emerging. Synthetic biology’s reach already extends from reducing our dependence on oil to transforming how we develop medicines and food crops. It is being heralded as the next big thing; whether it fulfils that expectation remains to be seen. It will require collaboration and multi-disciplinary approaches to development, application and regulation. Interesting times ahead!
May 10, 2013 | By: Elizabeth Rudd
While most of the world’s airlines and markets suffer low growth rates, Asia stands out with growth rates of 9% in 2012. Asia is one of the most competitive aviation markets with 75% of routes serviced by 3 or more carriers. Seven of the ten busiest global air routes are in Asia.
May 2, 2013 | By: Sheila Moorcroft
Chronic pain affects millions of people’s lives; millions more have operations every year, needing anaesthetics and pain relief. New approaches to managing pain ranging from watching films during operations to playing with inflated rubber gloves or virtual reality games are proving powerful tools in managing pain. While drug companies may face a challenge to their markets, patients could benefit, suffering fewer adverse side effects and healing better; and health care services may be able to reduce costs. Opportunities for home based approaches may also grow.
April 17, 2013 | By: Sheila Moorcroft
The blue economy, the term ascribed to a wide range of activities such as fishing, shipping, coastal tourism, energy, cable laying and mining, presents huge opportunities. Estimates of the current value vary from $6-$21trillion; a recent study put the value added arising from the EU opportunity alone at €500 billion, rising to €600 billion by 2020. Investment is growing, but also environmental concern. Deep sea mining is at present a small but increasingly significant element of that economy.
April 10, 2013 | By: Dennis Draeger
Nanotechnologies offer a myriad of benefits and applications with more than 1300 nanotech-enabled consumer products from hair straighteners to cleaning fluids, but they also present several uncertainties and lack extensive regulation. As more products enabled by nanomaterials are released to the market, more workers risk exposure to potentially harmful materials—whether in a lab, a factory, or a construction site. Now, occupational safety and health agencies and researchers are providing more substantial guidance for handling nanomaterials at the workplace.
April 3, 2013 | By: Elizabeth Rudd
Parking can be one of life’s frustrating experiences- trying to find a spot, hunting for change or an attendant to pay, or the ever infuriating experience of receiving a ticket. The “internet of things” (IoT), a combination of sensors, analytics, and communications infrastructure is transforming parking and many other everyday tasks.
March 27, 2013 | By: Sheila Moorcroft
2013 has been heralded as the year of SoLoMo – Social, Local, Mobile – really takes off. SoLoMo could bring a revolution in retailing, marketing, consumer research, public relations – to name a few, as it becomes the ultimate loyalty card, direct mailshot, secret shopper, and feedback loop. Companies will need to be more agile, able to provide real-time relevance to hyper-connected consumers.
March 20, 2013 | By: Sheila Moorcroft
Concern about how long we spend sitting is rising: new research indicates that it may be a greater health risk than smoking. Mobile technologies are also changing how we sit – badly is the answer, with new pains and problems. New lifestyles, work patterns and designs needed.
March 13, 2013 | By: Dennis Draeger
Sensory substitution is a method of replacing the information flow of one sense with that of another sense. The research dates back to the 1960s and has been used in various ways to help people with physical impairments. Biohackers and other researchers have recently adopted these techniques to enhance and extend the sensory experiences of the non-impaired with potentially practical applications, some of which might even enter the mainstream market.
March 6, 2013 | By: Elizabeth Rudd
As demand grows for alternatives to the traditional model of earning a university degree based on coursework, a new model where universities grant degrees based on skills competencies is gaining momentum and credibility.
February 27, 2013 | By: Sheila Moorcroft
Africa is growing – economically, in terms of population, and more importantly in terms of investment and market opportunities. Investments in internet and mobile technologies are critical to enabling that growth and these are growing too. Some are also suggesting that Africa could leapfrog other markets and jump straight to the cognitive computing era, enabled by the latest technologies and rapid expansion of big data, which would be a real game changer not just in Africa, but world-wide.
February 20, 2013 | By: Sheila Moorcroft
Wearable technology – smart watches and smart glasses especially, but others too – are being touted as the next big thing. And the race is well and truly on with giants such as Apple and Google entering the field but also smaller companies such as Pebble and mc10. The challenge will be to overcome the geek image much wearable technology has had until now and make us ‘want’ another device. Specialist applications may indicate the way forward at first, especially in sport and health.