-Inventing the Future

r-DIGITAL-EDUCATION-large570Predicting the future isn’t easy—especially when it’s coming so fast. But people still try. Which of these expert predictions about the Internet’s future ring true to you?


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kaplan_tedxIn the last few years we’ve become accustomed to Google Earth and similar apps that give us the power to “go” almost anywhere in a matter of seconds. Massive geographical databases put the world at our fingertips. In this TED talk Frederic Kaplan describes a research project that adds another dimension—time—to our search capabilities. How long will it be before your phone is a digital time machine?

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Exclusive: How Google Will Use Balloons to Deliver Internet to the Hinterlands

September 13, 2013

If you live in a city, you probably take the Internet for granted. It’s always on, everywhere you go. But for many people in sparsely populated areas, the Internet is out of reach. In this Wired article, Steven Levy describes how Google is experimenting with a system that delivers the Internet to these people using balloons.

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The Internet Isn’t Just for People Anymore

July 25, 2013

The Internet was conceived as a way of connecting computers, but its inventors quickly realized that the Internet was a way of connecting people. Now one of those founders, Vint Cerf, is working with Peter Gabriel, Diana Reiss, Neil Gershendfeild, and others to bring dolphins, bonobos, elephants, and other species into the Internet community. This TED talk gives us a peek at the early stages of a research project that could profoundly change our relationship with non-human inhabitants of our planet—and possibly other planets.

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Is That a New Tattoo or a New Computer?

March 29, 2013
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The smart phone in your pocket is a computer that’s much more powerful and easy to use than the mainframes of yesterday. But if this research project pans out, that phone may eventually be a replaced by a small patch on the back of your hand.

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3-D Printing Applications and Implications

March 6, 2013
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We’ve heard about how 3D printers can be used to manufacture toys, small machine parts, and even some prosthetic devices for human bodies. But as applications emerge, so do some difficult questions.

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Will You Be Waving Goodbye to Your Touch Screen Soon?

January 7, 2013
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Just as the mouse made the command-line interface of early PCs seem primitive, the touch screen may soon put the mouse out of a job. But after you see this short video, you may think that even the touch screen is old-fashioned. Once again, science fiction points the way to future technology.

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SciFi Invents the Future

September 27, 2012
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Many of our biggest technological breakthroughs have their roots in science fiction. This Wired piece, and the book that inspired it, explores the SciFi/Tech link with several real-world examples. What futuristic ideas are likely to graduate into everyday tech over the next decade?

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The Robot in Your Future Home

June 21, 2012
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Personal robots are coming. This fascinating NPR story gives an audio peek inside the labs that are working hard to bring robots to everyday people. wbur.org/npr/155278207/you-know-you-want-one-personal-robots-not-ready-for-you-yet

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The Sound of Movement

May 10, 2012
Soundwave software in use

Computers generally sense human movements by seeing or feeling it. But this Microsoft research project suggests that your devices may soon be able to hear your gestures through ultrasonic waves.

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