Each year, Technology Review selects what it believes are the 10 most important emerging technologies. The winners are chosen based on the editors’ coverage of key fields. The question that we ask is simple: is the technology likely to change the world? Some of these changes are on the largest scale possible: better biofuels, more efficient solar cells, and green concrete all aim at tackling global warming in the years ahead. Other changes will be more local and involve how we use technology: for example, 3-D screens on mobile devices, new applications for cloud computing, and social television. And new ways to implant medical electronics and develop drugs for diseases will affect us on the most intimate level of all, with the promise of making our lives healthier.
The Internet is about to drown in digital video. Hui Zhang thinks peer-to-peer networks could come to the rescue.
Arthur Nozik believes quantum-dot solar power could boost output in cheap photovoltaics.
Artificially structured metamaterials could transform telecommunications, data storage, and even solar energy, says David R. Smith.
John Guttag says using computers to automate some diagnostics could make medicine more personal.
Norman Dovichi believes that detecting minute differences between individual cells could improve medical tests and treatments.
Kenneth Crozier and Federico Capasso have created light-focusing optical antennas that could lead to DVDs that hold hundreds of movies.
Karl Deisseroth’s genetically engineered “light switch,” which lets scientists turn selected parts of the brain on and off, may help improve treatments for depression and other disorders.
Tiny fibers will save lives by stopping bleeding and aiding recovery from brain injury, says Rutledge Ellis-Behnke.
Richard Baraniuk and Kevin Kelly believe compressive sensing could help devices such as cameras and medical scanners capture images more efficiently.
Markus Kähäri wants to superimpose digital information on the real world.