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ABB

Perfecting a circuit breaker for high-voltage DC lines—a crucial step for widespread use of renewable energy.

Aereo

Streaming local TV programs to mobile devices, filling a void left by broadcasters who have essentially ignored the Internet.

Alta Devices

Advancing ultra-efficient solar. The military will use Alta's flexible sheets to provide portable power to drones and soldiers.

Ambri

Making a battery for storing energy on power grids. Its molten electrodes quickly absorb large amounts of electricity.

Apple

Improving displays by extending its Retina technology from small screens to MacBooks and iPads.

Aquion Energy

Beginning to sell a novel kind of battery that it can manufacture cheaply; utilities could use it for grid storage.

ARM Holdings

Becoming a bigger factor in computing as it expands from mobile chip designs into tablet, PC, and server processors.

Audi

Pushing autonomous cars closer to fruition with a laser-scanning road detector that fits in a vehicle's front grille.

BGI

Sequencing more genomes than anyone else and becoming a worldwide provider of genome services.

BrightSource Energy

Opening the biggest solar plant where mirrors reflect light onto a tower to generate steam.

Corning

Producing a new kind of glass that is thin and flexible yet strong enough to be used in touch-screen devices.

Coursera

Making college courses available free online and developing ways to adjust them to students' individual needs.

Diagnostics For All

Making inexpensive diagnostic tests on paper, which could greatly benefit poor countries.

Dow Chemical

Commercializing roof shingles that incorporate photovoltaic materials and thus double as cheaply installed solar panels.

Facebook

Figuring out how to correlate online and offline activity, which should lead to novel advertising methods.

Factual

Collecting and analyzing big data sets to create stores of knowledge that can inform many kinds of software.

Foundation Medicine

Offering a genetic test that helps doctors select the right drugs for cancer patients.

General Electric

Helping utilities make use of wind and solar. A new GE gas turbine ramps up quickly when greener power isn't available.

Google

Running the most widely used smartphone software, which has greatly expanded the competition for devices.

IBM

Pushing the physical boundaries of computing with technologies inclusing circuits that transmit data with light.

InMobi

Challenging Google and Apple in the market for mobile ads. InMobi sells, distributes, and helps make the ads.

Intel

Surpassing rivals in the performance of mobile processors, even though it still trails badly in market share.

Kymeta

Developing relatively small antennas that replace satellite dishes so planes and trains can get better broadband service.

Leap Motion

Bringing gesture control to any computer. Leap's $70 controller responds to pinches, grabs, and swipes in the air.

MC10

Pioneering stretchable electronics with applications in sports and medicine, like an impact-sensing skullcap.

Microsoft

Combining traditional computing with touch technology. Windows 8 could influence the PC and mobile markets.

MLB Advanced Media

Expanding the delivery of live baseball and other sports video to mobile devices.

Mozilla

Bringing the smartphone revolution to more poor countries with Firefox OS, which is based on Web technology.

Nest

Marketing a thermostat that learns users' temperature preferences and maximizes efficiency as it implements them.

Novartis

Developing a continuous drug-manufacturing process that could combine compounds quickly and in novel ways.

Nuance Comm.

Creating new applications for speech recognition technology, from cars to video games.

Path

Demonstrating an alternative business model for social networking: selling users extra services.

Philips

Making efficient LED light bulbs affordable and more useful. One new bulb can be controlled by phones and tablets.

Pinterest

Creating a social network centered on collecting and finding images of desired products and experiences.

Rethink Robotics

Broadening the use of robotics in manufacturing. Its robots are easily taught and can work safely alongside humans.

Safaricom

Extending the use of the mobile currency M-Pesa in Kenya. Its new mobile lending service challenges banks.

Samsung

Leading the market for smartphones and making a tablet that is one of the few credible challengers to the iPad.

Semprius

Using a novel method of concentrating sunlight through tiny lenses to boost the efficiency of solar power.

Siemens

Developing batteries and wind technologies that will be crucial in Germany's plan to rely more heavily on renewable power.

SpaceX

Launching the private space-flight business. Its rockets are making new space-based businesses possible.

Square

Streamlining transactions. A Square mobile app lets you pay for things just by speaking your anme to a store clerk.

Tencent

Dominating Chinese social media. The company's version of Twitter is hugely influential in political affairs.

uniQure

Restoring the promise of gene therapy. The Dutch company has approval to treat a rare metabolic disorder.

Vidyo

Threatening the likes of Cisco by using a compression technology to enable high-def video conferencing on smartphones.

VMware

Making cloud services more powerful with software-defined networking, a technology it gained by buying startup Nicira.

Xerox

Automating urban services. A Xerox system in Los Angeles changes the price of parking spots as demand fluctuates.

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  • INTERNET & DIGITAL MEDIA
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