TR's short list of 2003 U.S. patents with the potential to transform fields from security to cancer diagnostics. Plus: The 2004 TR Patent Scorecard.
Machines that create products directly from digital files can save hours of painstaking human labor, compress production schedules, and eliminate costly overstock.
Soon, hardware and software that track your location will be providing directions, offering shopping discounts, and aiding rescue workers-services that promise a windfall for ailing telecom carriers.
The proliferation of junk e-mail is threatening to overwhelm the Internet. Software companies are rushing to build defenses-but will the new technologies do more harm than good?
Smart, networked sensors will soon be all around us, collectively processing vast amounts of previously unrecorded data to help run factories, maintain crops, and even watch for earthquakes.
Voice recognition that finally holds up its end of a conversation is revolutionizing customer service. Now the goal is to make natural language the way to find any type of information, anywhere.
In pursuit of security and service, we are submitting ourselves to a proliferation of monitoring technologies. But a loss of privacy is not inevitable.
Which of the competing electronic-payment devices will we choose?
Boston University's James Collins uses background noise to steady the step of the elderly.
It's too late for old word-processing files. But new technologies will preserve access to digital photos, music and other electronic records forever.