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.
Adam Cheyer is leading the design of powerful software that acts as a personal aide.
Han Cao’s nanofluidic chip could cut DNA sequencing costs dramatically.
Stuart Parkin is using nanowires to create an ultradense memory chip.
Michel Maharbiz’s novel interfaces between machines and living systems could give rise to a new generation of cyborg devices.
George Whitesides has created a cheap, easy-to-use diagnostic test out of paper.
Donald Sadoway conceived of a novel battery that could allow cities to run on solar power at night.
A new reactor design could make nuclear power safer and cheaper, says John Gilleland.
Zhong Lin Wang thinks piezoelectric nanowires could power implantable medical devices and serve as tiny sensors.
Vivek Pai’s new method for storing Web content could make Internet access more affordable around the world.
Nick McKeown believes that remotely controlling network hardware with software can bring the Internet up to speed.