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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.

Year:

Modeling Surprise

Combining massive quantities of data, insights into human psychology, and machine learning can help manage surprising events, says Eric Horvitz.

Probabilistic Chips

Krishna Palem thinks a little uncertainty in chips could extend battery life in mobile devices--and maybe the duration of Moore's Law, too.

NanoRadio

Alex Zettl's tiny radios, built from nanotubes, could improve everything from cell phones to medical diagnostics.

Wireless Power

Physicist Marin Soljacic is working toward a world of wireless electricity.

Atomic Magnetometers

John Kitching's tiny magnetic-field sensors will take MRI where it's never gone before.

Offline Web Applications

Adobe's Kevin Lynch believes that computing applications will become more powerful when they take advantage of the browser and the desktop.

Graphene Transistors

A new form of carbon being pioneered by Walter de Heer of Georgia Tech could lead to speedy, compact computer processors.

Connectomics

Jeff Lichtman hopes to elucidate brain development and disease with new technologies that illuminate the web of neural circuits.

Reality Mining

Sandy Pentland is using data gathered by cell phones to learn about human behavior.

Cellulolytic Enzymes

Frances Arnold is designing better enzymes for making biofuels from cellulose.

Past 10 Breakthrough Technologies Lists:

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