Popular Science's The 31st annual Best of What's New awards. Our 31st annual Best of What’s New list is the culmination of a year spent obsessing over, arguing about, and experiencing the newest technologies and discoveries across 10 distinct disciplines. Yes, there are eye-poppingly-bright TVs. Sure, there are video games that will suck us in for hours. And, naturally, there’s a car that, on the right road, will just drive itself.
The U.S. patent office has stockpiled the text to more than 10 million patents. But that’s often all they have: an enormous amount of text. Now a team of economists has created a clever algorithm that processes that text -- often the only consistent data we have for many of the country’s most famous inventions -- to create a measure of the influential inventors and industries of the past 180 years.
As of July 2018, agencies have sponsored more than 840 incentive prizes. Over time, agencies became willing to sponsor prizes that are larger, more ambitious, and more important. For example, DARPA is sponsoring a $10 million prize for a team that can launch payloads to orbit, with no prior knowledge of the payload, destination orbit, or launch site, and accomplish that goal twice within days.
One reason for the fashionable fear that Beijing is out to overtake America is the worry that China will soon outstrip the United States in key areas of technology. Chinese President Xi Jinping fanned this fear with his Made in China 2025 pledge to catch up with the USA in 10 critical areas of tech by the middle of the next decade, including automation and artificial intelligence.
This isn’t just a lesson for the United States. It’s a lesson for countries around the world: Once manufacturing bids farewell, engineering and production know-how depart as well, and innovation activities eventually follow. We can trace how this happened in the U.S. by looking back to the original offshoring frenzy which started with consumer electronics in the 1960s.
For the fourth year running, Stanford University tops Reuters’ ranking of the World’s Most Innovative Universities, a list that identifies and ranks the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and power new markets and industries.
Although space science can sometimes feel rather alien (excuse the pun) to most people, we actually have a lot to thank NASA for. The Space Race, and the politics surrounding it at the time, was a huge driving force for innovation in Science and Technology, and particularly in Materials Science and Engineering, as space exploration brought with it new challenges that required brand new solutions.
The Commission of Fine Arts panel was presented the second slate of designs during its Sept. 20 session. The 12 proposed American Innovation obverse designs are all new. One of the 14 reverse designs proposed is a design that was previously presented but got at least some positive comments from the committee during its last meeting; the other designs are all new, according to U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White.
In June, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued its 10 millionth patent. Where are the most patents in the world being issued? Who are today’s leaders in innovation?
As I’ve written previously, to realize the transformative potential of fifth generation or 5G wireless networks, local governments will need to play a key role in the build-out process. This is crucial because while the current average download speed in a US home is 6.5 megabytes per second, 5G is expected to deliver up to 500 megabytes per second.