Technology

Innovations that shape our world

Since early humans first tended fires and sharpened spears, we’ve sought to apply our knowledge to shape the natural world to suit our needs. Here we chronicle the promise and pitfalls of this basic human drive in all its present day manifestations – from robots and AI to nanotechnology and materials to devices, transportation, engineering and manmade disasters.

New research recommends allowing pilots to choose their own routes on trans-Atlantic flights to reduce carbon emissions.
Joel Shurkin, Contributor
New e-skin can withstand profuse sweating, resulting in more accurate readings of biomedical measurements.
Karen Kwon, Contributor
Researchers design and synthesize a material with very low thermal conductivity, which could be used to convert waste heat to electricity.
Meeri Kim, Contributor
A new approach to digitizing color could help improve the realism of cameras, displays and LED lighting.
Meeri Kim, Contributor
Scientists plan to announce the successful creation of the material in an upcoming paper.
Karen Kwon, Contributor
The new technological solution developed for one type of pesticide could soon expand to others.
Karen Kwon, Contributor
These fine filaments can funnel light from fluorescent nanoparticles, acting just like a teeny optical fiber.
Shi En Kim, Contributor
AI algorithms design chips of equal or greater quality in far less time, according to new research from Google.
Charles Q. Choi, Contributor
New research zooms in on the outer surface of the coronavirus to reveal more about how COVID-19 scars the lungs.
Brian Owens, Contributor
New models may help people who are blind learn molecular structures.
Charles Q. Choi, Contributor
New approach to brain-computer interfaces more than doubles the speed at which messages can be relayed.
Charles Q. Choi, Contributor
New tool for artists can paint, erase and change the color of strokes on a metal canvas.
Meeri Kim, Contributor