www.VentureRadar.comTrends on our RadarOur regular pick of five hot technology areas and some of the leadinginnovative companies leading the way (April 2013)Produced by our Open Innovation and Technology Scouting teamFive Emerging Technology Areas and theirLeading Innovators
www.VentureRadar.comSelf-Healing MaterialsInternet of ThingsEducationPersonal ManufacturingCivilian Drones
www.VentureRadar.comSelf-Healing MaterialsMedium Term TrendSelf-healing materials have the ability to repair cracks and otherdamage without the need for human intervention. Cracks and damageto materials—even at a microscopic level—alter their acoustic, electricaland thermal properties resulting in the need for costly repairs or evenleading to structural failure. The ability to self-heal is commonthroughout nature as a way to address this problem, and materialscientists are increasingly reproducing this ability in everyday materials.
www.VentureRadar.comExample InnovatorsAutonomic Materials, IL, USAAutonomic Materials has developed self-healing microcapsules that areincorporated into coatings, paints and adhesives. When these are damaged themicrocapsules are activated, releasing the self-healing agents into the damagedarea. The technology reduces re-coating costs and associated downtime.TU Delft (Research), NetherlandsDelft University of Technology engineeringprofessor Erik Schlangen has created self-healing asphalt for road surfaces. By includingsmall steel fibres in the road surface materialit is possible to use induction energy to closemicro cracks in the road and double theservice life of the surface.MIT (Research), USABy studying blood clots as amodel for self-healingmaterials, researchers at MITare developing self-healingmaterials for processes thathave a flow such as inks,pigments or self-healing tires.
www.VentureRadar.comInternet of Things Near Term TrendThe ‘Internet of Things’ is the result of sensors and actuatorsembedded in physical objects—from roadways to pacemakers—that are linked through wired and wireless networks, often usingthe same Internet Protocol that connects the Internet. Byallowing objects to both sense their environment andcommunicate, they become powerful tools for understandingcomplexity and responding to it rapidly and intelligently.
www.VentureRadar.comExample InnovatorsStreetline, CA, USAStreetline helps to make cities ‘smart’ by placing ultralow power wireless sensors inparking spaces to provide real-time intelligence on available spaces. The data isconnected to mobile apps, which drivers can use to find an available space, andsoftware and analytics also enable cities to improve their planning decisions.Enevo, FinlandEnevo optimizes waste management logisticsby determining when waste containers needto be emptied. Enevo’s system consists ofwireless sensors and big data analytics whichcalculate the best collection schedules androutes based on real-time monitoring of eachwaste container.SigFox, FranceSigFox is building a cellularnetwork that is suitable forconnecting sensors to theinternet in a way thatconsumes very little energy,and allows for very long-range connections.
www.VentureRadar.comEducation Medium Term TrendAdvances in technology and social media have had aprofound impact on many industries, but one area thathas arguably remained unchanged for centuries iseducation. Many now believe that this is about tochange.
www.VentureRadar.comEdX, MA, USAedX is a not-for-profit enterprise of MIT andHarvard University that offers online learningto on-campus students and to millions ofpeople around the world. The edX open-source online learning platform is designed tobe available to anyone in the world with aninternet connection.Lore, USA [Acquired inMarch 2013]Lore provides professors andstudents with a website thatallows them to create anonline community for sharingupdates and other commentsabout educational content.Example Innovators2U, MD, USA2U partners with top-tier universities to convert their courses into digital format sothat they can be delivered online. Founded in 2008, the company providesuniversities with the technologies, infrastructural support and capital to transformtheir on-campus programs into high-quality, web-based programs.
www.VentureRadar.comPersonal ManufacturingMedium Term TrendThe advantages of using 3D printers for personal manufacturing aresignificant, allowing individuals and small businesses to cost-effectivelydesign customised products that can be stored and delivered digitally.The technology also allows for more efficient use of resources, forexample by allowing consumers to print replacement parts for homeappliances rather than having to get them shipped.
www.VentureRadar.comExample InnovatorsShapeways, USA / NetherlandsShapeways is a spin-out of the lifestyle incubator of Royal Philips Electronics ,operating a leading 3D Printing marketplace where individuals can make, buy andsell their own products. Custom products designed by over 10,000 independentcreators are made to order and delivered globally.Makerbot, NY, USAMakerbot manufactures simple, fast, andaffordable desktop 3D printers for personaland industrial use. As well as taking the 3Dprinting into the home at an affordable pricethe technology is being used by organisationsincluding NASA, which is using thetechnology to built parts for the Mars Rover.Continuum, CA, USAContinuum allows users todesign clothing online andthen manufactures it forthem using 3D printers . Thecompany says its N12 bikini isthe worlds first completely3D-printed article of clothing.
www.VentureRadar.comCivilian Drones Medium Term TrendThe potential for widespread use of drones in non-military applications isincreasing as prices drop. Small drones are made from many of the samecomponents as consumer devices, with economies of scale driving down thecost of gyroscopes, accelerometers, GPS chips, and CPUs. The developersof technology originally intended for military use are also becomingincreasingly interested in potential applications in domestic markets.
www.VentureRadar.comExample InnovatorsPix4D, SwitzerlandPix4D has developed Pix4UAV, a software package that converts thousands ofstandard pictures, taken by readily available drones, into a professional geo-referenced image and a accurate 3D model. The technology is designed to enablecivilian unmanned aerial vehicles to be used as advanced mapping and surveyingtool for the mining industry, for civil engineering, precision farming and urban areamodelling.HoneyComb, OR, USAHoneyComb uses unmanned aircraft systems to provide better data for precisionagriculture. The company is able to gather and decipher large amounts of data ina cost-effective and scalable manner allowing agriculturists to decrease resourceusage, increase farm profits, and enhance global food security.