Perfecting a circuit breaker for high-voltage DC linesa crucial step for widespread use of renewable energy.
Streaming local TV programs to mobile devices, filling a void left by broadcasters who have essentially ignored the Internet.
Advancing ultra-efficient solar. The military will use Alta's flexible sheets to provide portable power to drones and soldiers.
Cranking up the appeal of purchasing goods online by offering same-day delivery in some places.
Making a battery for storing energy on power grids. Its molten electrodes quickly absorb large amounts of electricity.
Improving displays by extending its Retina technology from small screens to MacBooks and iPads.
Beginning to sell a novel kind of battery that it can manufacture cheaply; utilities could use it for grid storage.
Becoming a bigger factor in computing as it expands from mobile chip designs into tablet, PC, and server processors.
Pushing autonomous cars closer to fruition with a laser-scanning road detector that fits in a vehicle's front grille.
Sequencing more genomes than anyone else and becoming a worldwide provider of genome services.
Opening the biggest solar plant where mirrors reflect light onto a tower to generate steam.
Producing a new kind of glass that is thin and flexible yet strong enough to be used in touch-screen devices.
Making college courses available free online and developing ways to adjust them to students' individual needs.
Introducing a new kind of antivirus software that's better at detecting attacks and identifying their sources.
Making inexpensive diagnostic tests on paper, which could greatly benefit poor countries.
Commercializing roof shingles that incorporate photovoltaic materials and thus double as cheaply installed solar panels.
Figuring out how to correlate online and offline activity, which should lead to novel advertising methods.
Collecting and analyzing big data sets to create stores of knowledge that can inform many kinds of software.
Offering a genetic test that helps doctors select the right drugs for cancer patients.
Helping utilities make use of wind and solar. A new GE gas turbine ramps up quickly when greener power isn't available.
Running the most widely used smartphone software, which has greatly expanded the competition for devices.
Pushing the physical boundaries of computing with technologies inclusing circuits that transmit data with light.
Driving down the cost of DNA sequencing and creating new diagnostics markets for genomics.
Challenging Google and Apple in the market for mobile ads. InMobi sells, distributes, and helps make the ads.
Surpassing rivals in the performance of mobile processors, even though it still trails badly in market share.
Developing relatively small antennas that replace satellite dishes so planes and trains can get better broadband service.
Bringing gesture control to any computer. Leap's $70 controller responds to pinches, grabs, and swipes in the air.
Pioneering stretchable electronics with applications in sports and medicine, like an impact-sensing skullcap.
Combining traditional computing with touch technology. Windows 8 could influence the PC and mobile markets.
Expanding the delivery of live baseball and other sports video to mobile devices.
Bringing the smartphone revolution to more poor countries with Firefox OS, which is based on Web technology.
Marketing a thermostat that learns users' temperature preferences and maximizes efficiency as it implements them.
Developing a continuous drug-manufacturing process that could combine compounds quickly and in novel ways.
Creating new applications for speech recognition technology, from cars to video games.
Demonstrating an alternative business model for social networking: selling users extra services.
Making efficient LED light bulbs affordable and more useful. One new bulb can be controlled by phones and tablets.
Creating a social network centered on collecting and finding images of desired products and experiences.
Broadening the use of robotics in manufacturing. Its robots are easily taught and can work safely alongside humans.
Extending the use of the mobile currency M-Pesa in Kenya. Its new mobile lending service challenges banks.
Leading the market for smartphones and making a tablet that is one of the few credible challengers to the iPad.
Using a novel method of concentrating sunlight through tiny lenses to boost the efficiency of solar power.
Developing batteries and wind technologies that will be crucial in Germany's plan to rely more heavily on renewable power.
Launching the private space-flight business. Its rockets are making new space-based businesses possible.
Streamlining transactions. A Square mobile app lets you pay for things just by speaking your anme to a store clerk.
Dominating Chinese social media. The company's version of Twitter is hugely influential in political affairs.
Expanding its dominance of the hybrid-car market with its new plug-in version of the Prius.
Restoring the promise of gene therapy. The Dutch company has approval to treat a rare metabolic disorder.
Threatening the likes of Cisco by using a compression technology to enable high-def video conferencing on smartphones.
Making cloud services more powerful with software-defined networking, a technology it gained by buying startup Nicira.
Automating urban services. A Xerox system in Los Angeles changes the price of parking spots as demand fluctuates.