Archive: microsoft

December 9th, 2011 | By Mallory Smith | Posted in Environment & Energy, Innovation, Science & Tech, Space | Comments Off

10 Best Innovations of 2011

Popular Science recently featured the 100 Best Innovations of the Year. Here are 10 of the most exciting and interesting ones.

Lifesaving Wetsuit
The Billabong V1 is more than just a wetsuit. This suit inflates a bladder in the back of the suit once an attached ripcord is pulled, helping the wearer float in case of an emergency. Learn more from Billabong.

Versabar VB10000
This rig remover can unearth an entire oil rig from under water in a few short hours and for a quarter of the price. The Versabar VB10000 is extremely necessary, as the U.S. has identified 1,800 rigs that have to be excavated within 10 years.

Green Tech:
Bio Soil Enhancers Forage Boost
These bio soil enhancers raise productivity and lower watering needs. Grass yields increase by 20% over standard fertilizer. Learn more about the inventors at AuroraAgra, LLC.

The world’s first transparent photovoltaic film. Wysips turn almost anything into a power source. This film has thin strips filled with solar cells alternating with transparent areas, so it appears transparent has thousands of potential applications.

Diagnostics for All
All it takes is a drop of blood on a stamp-size paper chip and in 15 minutes a color will appear that indicates liver health. Diagnostics for All’s “chip lab” costs less than a penny to make and allows patients to pay about a nickel for treatment.

Avita/ReCell Spray-on-Skin
ReCell Spray-On-Skin grows cells quickly and applies new skin to a bad burn, helping it heal more quickly.

Aviation and Space:
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab’s Messenger probe was the first spacecraft to enter Mercury’s orbit. The probe sent back the first close-up photos taken of Mercury since 1975.

Recon Scout XT
This bot is tough enough to be thrown into any environment, even through a window, beaming back to its handler live video footage.

Eye-Fi Direct Mode
Eye-Fi SD cards do not need Wi-Fi to share photos and video from a camera on the Web. All you need is a location with cell service and you can download, upload and share through e-mail any photos you want.

Home Entertainment:
Samsung SUR40 for Microsoft Surface
This 40-inch thin tabletop computer sees and responds to whatever gets placed on it.

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December 1st, 2010 | By Catherine Otten | Posted in Business & Economy, Science & Tech | Comments Off

Moving Data at Light Speed in the Near Future

Top Innovators
In this month’s issue of Seattle Business magazine the top story is about Washington’s Leading Inventors. The product that I am most looking forward to is from Lightfleet. The company is developing a new optical system that replaces all of the switches and most of the wires in a traditional computer system with light, which allows data to be transferred at, you guessed it, light speed between data nodes. With their breakthrough, throughput will only be limited by the consumer’s ability to upload and process data and not by the fabric’s ability to transmit and receive data. Lightfleet has already sold their innovative technology to Microsoft and I look forward to the changes we’ll see when its use becomes more widespread.

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January 29th, 2010 | By Glen Hiemstra | Posted in Business & Economy | Comments Off

Right on Economic Growth

Now and then it is nice, as a futurist, to see that something you forecast and expected is coming to fruition, especially when what you said ran counter to a lot of common wisdom. Two economic announcements today confirm what I was saying about Microsoft in the middle of last year, and about the U.S. economy in, for example, my Outloook 2010.

First, it seemed clear to me that even as Microsoft stock was sluggish over the past year, they had three initiatives poised to return them to growth and increased profitability. These initiatives include touch computing, gesture based interactivity, and of course Windows 7. It was obvious that Windows shops around the world that had skipped over Windows Vista would very likely shift to Windows 7 as it proved itself. They cannot wait any longer. With the results that Microsoft reported today, we can see this happening, and the 2010 story will be bigger. I’ve heard insiders at a very large multinational, still operating with XP, say that the plan is to shift to Windows 7 beginning in the second half of 2010. Huge.

As for the U.S. economy, in my speech to the 125th anniversary of a Chamber of Commerce in November 2009 I turned some heads by saying that GDP growth in the 4th quarter would surprise people by coming in around 6%, and that this would bode well, eventually, for growth in employment in 2010. So far so good as 4th quarter GDP growth was the best in six years.

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