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  1. 1. the mystery of the genome worldmags p40 br ie fing The sMarT grId p65Published by MITSearching forTV’s futureCan theNet swallowanother massmedium?p32electric CarWinnersand Losersp58HackingMicrosoft’sKinectp82 The Authority on the future of Technology February 2011 www.technologyreview.com
  2. 2. worldmags LOTS OF POINTS.worldmags
  3. 3. ©2010 General Motors. Cadillac® CTS® worldmags NONE OF REFERENCE. FROm EvERy aNglE, thE CtS-v COupE bREakS NEw gROuNd, whilE thE bRakE light dOublES aS a SpOilER tO makE SuRE it NEvER lEavES it. THE NEW STANDARD OF THE WORLD CADILLAC CTS-V COUPE / cadillac.comworldmags
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  5. 5. worldmags contents Volu me 114, NumBeR 1 32 Searching for the Future g raph iti 20 Making Friends of Television Facebook still has lots of Google and the geeks from Silicon Valley aim room to grow. to revolutionize the 70-year-old TV industry. By Tommy McCall and Matt Mahoney Conquering the Internet was easy by comparison. B y RoBeRT D. Hof Special Section coVe r retro google tV logo by The Human Genome, the heads of State a Decade Later 40 Ten years after scientists finished mapping our DNA, they have a far more complex picture of what determines our genetic fate. B y JoN CoHeN 46 The cancer genome could provide clues to treating the disease. B y e mIly SING e R 52 Joseph Nadeau is searching for the genome’s dark matter. By STepHeN S. HAll Q&a 22 Paul Sagan the ceo of a company that 58 Will Electric Vehicles delivers a large portion of Web traffic isn’t worried that the Finally Succeed? internet is running out of capacity. By Brian Bergstein The success of new plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles will depend on overcoming a familiar nemesis: battery costs. photo eSSay B y peTeR fA IRl ey 24 Rebuilding Architecture Software is allowing architects 6 Letters 11 Disease Decoded to design buildings in radically 8 From the Editor Sequencing the human genome new ways. has profoundly changed our By Katherine Bourzac understanding of biology and note B ookS disease. By David Altshuler B r i e Fi ng 10 Watching Viewers Making television smarter to Mar ket 65–73 The Smart Grid requires understanding why adding intelligence to the elec- 13–18 Technology tric grid will reduce carbon emis- it is our favorite gadget. Commercialized sions and make power more By Genevieve Bell and Sony internet tV, pocket ultra- reliable—if we’re willing to foot Brian David Johnson sound scanner, medical exoskel- the bill. 10 Electric Dreams etons, robotic surgical assistant, Success for vehicles with a plug, digital dashboard, and more. ■ www.technologyreview.com/ smartgrid not a gas cap, rests on more explore the technologies behind than just technology. the smart grid. By Dan Sperling 2 technology review January/February 2011worldmags
  6. 6. worldmags 24 r eVi eWS 74 Serious Games the virtual world of Second life seemed like the next big thing, and then it was largely written off. neither hypers nor detractors understood it. By Julian Dibbell 76 Start Me Up online crowd-funding, supported by social technologies, provides a new business model for book publishing. By Emily Gould 78 The New, More Awkward You robots that stand in for remote workers could force people to learn how to toler- 84 ate a new breed of social failings. By Tom Simonite De Mo FroM th e laB S ■ www.technologyreview.com/ 84 Printing 88 Biomedicine telepresence Electronic Skin 89 Information Technology Watch the robot in action at TR. nanowire transistor arrays 90 Materials form sensors that match the sensitivity of human skin. hack By Katherine Bourzac 70 year S ag o i n TR 82 Microsoft Kinect ■ www.technologyreview.com/demo 92 Chaos in TV Land how the device responds to your voice See researchers make electronic skin if you think the future of television is and gestures. from nanowires. uncertain now, look at the issues it By Erica Naone faced before it took off. ■ www.technologyreview.com/hack By Matt Mahoney See the Microsoft kinect taken apart. w w w . t e ch n o l o g y r e v i e w . c o m 3worldmags
  7. 7. worldmags Published by MiT Editor in Chief and Publisher Cor porate Custom e r se rviCe an d Europe Jason Pontin su b sCr i ption i nqu i r i es Anthony Fitzgerald Chief Financial Officer National: 800-877-5230 mail@afitzgerald.co.uk Rick Crowley 44-1488-680623 e ditor ial Chief Operating Officer International: 818-487-2088 E-mail: technologyreview@ France Editor James Coyle pubservice.com Philippe Marquezy David Rotman Chief Strategy Officer philippe.marquezy@ www.technologyreview.com/ Deputy Editor Kathleen Kennedy espacequadri.com customerservice 33-1-4270-0008 Brian Bergstein Executive Assistant MIT Records: 617-253-8270 Design Director Leila Snyder Germany (alums only) Conrad Warre Permissions: Jennifer Martin Michael Hanke Manager of Information michael.hanke@heise.de Art Director Technology jmartin@wrightsreprints.com 49-511-5352-167 Lee Caulfield Colby Wheeler 877-652-5295, ext. 104 China Chief Correspondent Office Coördinator RP Soong David Talbot Linda Cardinal adve rtisi ng sales rpsoong@mittrchinese.com Midwest Sales Director and 010-8280-9083 Senior Editor, Special Projects Stephen Cass mar keti ng National Print Strategist India Associate Director, Maureen Elmaleh Aninda Sen Senior Editor, MIT News maureen.elmaleh@technologyreview.com anindas@cybermedia.co.in Alice Dragoon Marketing & Events 303-975-6381 91-80-43412000 Amy Lammers Senior Editor, Business West Coast Sales Director and Japan Evan I. Schwartz Associate Manager, National Digital Strategist Shigeru Kobayashi Advertising Operations Patrick Viera shig-koby@media-jac.co.jp Senior Editor, Biomedicine David A. Schmidt patrick.viera@technologyreview.com 813-3261-4591 Emily Singer 415-659-2982 Associate Art Director, Spain and South America Online Editor Marketing & Custom Publishing (Online) Will Knight Andrew Memmelaar New York and Northeast Pedro Moneo Laín IT Editor, Software & Hardware Johanna Zottarelli-Duffe pedro.moneo@opinno.com jo.duffe@technologyreview.com 34-667-732-894 Tom Simonite Consu m e r mar keti ng 857-998-9241 IT Editor, Web & Social Networking Senior Vice President, International Licensing New England, Detroit, and Canada Consultant Erica Naone Audience Development Barry Echavarria Chander Rai Energy Editor Heather Holmes barry.echavarria@technologyreview.com Kevin Bullis Director of Audience Analytics 603-924-7586 Kathy Kraysler Mid-Atlantic and Southeast Advertising Services Materials Science Editor webcreative@ Katherine Bourzac Fulfillment Manager Clive Bullard technologyreview.com cbullards@cs.com Copy Chief Tina Bellomy 845-231-0846 617-475-8004 Linda Lowenthal Media Kit Northwest Fi nanCe www.technologyreview.com/media Senior Web Producer Steve Thompson Brittany Sauser Accountants stevet@mediacentricinc.com Assistant Managing Editor Letitia Trecartin 415-435-4678 Technology Review Timothy Maher Tim Curran One Main Street, 13th Floor Cambridge MA 02142 Research Editor Tel: 617-475-8000 b oar d oF di r eCtor s Matt Mahoney Fax: 617-475-8043 Reid Ashe Assistant Editor Judith M. Cole Kristina Grifantini Jerome I. Friedman Assistant Art Director Theresa M. Stone Angela Tieri Sheila E. Widnall Production Director Ann J. Wolpert James LaBelle Contributing Editors Simson Garfinkel Mark Williams Technology Review, inc., identifies emerging teCh nologyr evi ew.Com technologies and analyzes their impact for technol- Vice President, Online David Foucher ogy leaders. Technology Review publishes Technolo- Web Developers gy Review magazine (the oldest technology maga- Michael Callahan zine in the world, founded in 1899) and the daily Shaun Calhoun Sarah Redman website TechnologyReview.com; it also produces live events such as the EmTech Conference. Tech- nology Review is an independent media company owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technol- ogy. The views expressed in our various publications De Technologia non multum scimus. Scimus autem, quid nobis placeat. and at our events are often not shared by MIT. 4 technology review January/February 2011worldmags
  8. 8. worldmagsworldmags
  9. 9. worldmags Letters and Comments Don’t DisregarD nuclear in the form of loan guarantees. These are google Vs. Facebook That nuclear power is at least somewhat not handouts but, rather, insurance poli- In “Google Misses You” (November/ more expensive than fossil fuels was never cies to cover the unforeseen. The renais- December 2010), Paul Boutin calls Face- in question (“Giant Holes in the Ground,” sance will happen because there is simply book’s user interface “a pain in the ass” and November/December 2010). no alternative. claims it’s in conflict with 40 years of UI The question is whether we Ulrich Decher research. Do Google products, desktop or are going to do anything to Granby, Connecticut mobile, shine in their UIs? Google’s prod- move away from fossil fuels, ucts may be cleaner and more stable than and how nuclear power The dismissal of China as “a some others’, but they seem to be built by compares economically with tiny player” in nuclear power and for geeks. Designing Web and social other non-emitting options. is cavalier to say the least. UIs, I rarely meet people craving the Nuclear is stalling because The build rate for new reac- Google Calendar experience or the Picasa current policies give it no sig- tors in China is beginning to experience. nificant advantage over fos- approach what it was in the Edo Elan sil fuels, while renewables November/December ’10 U.S. in the heyday of nuclear San Francisco, California are being built by government mandate, plant construction. And contrary to our essentially regardless of cost. I disagree experience here, China has been complet- the MeMex with Matthew Wald’s characterization of ing projects ahead of schedule and under I was 13 when Vannevar Bush described nuclear’s loan guarantees as a significant budget. The agonizing in the U.S. over the the Memex in 1945, which you reflect on subsidy. This support is tiny compared with future of nuclear power grows increasingly in “Future Perfect” (November/Decem- the massive subsidies given to renewables. irrelevant. ber 2010). The Memex, a technology that For a fraction of what the government has Roger Arnold promised to give individuals access to the spent supporting renewables in just the last Sunnyvale, California world’s collection of information, inspired few years, it could provide loan guarantees my dreams of what might be. Over the for all reactors built from this day forward. What the Web really neeDs years, science and the marketplace have In any fair competition among non-emit- Without detracting from HTML5, I have given us increasingly powerful computers, ting sources, nuclear would do very well. to object to the title “The Web Is Reborn” software, and networking. Fortunately, there is a movement afoot to (November/December 2010). Rather In the eighth decade of my life I work pass a Clean Energy Standard that includes than more optimal displays of video, the with a company that specializes in docu- both nuclear and renewables. Such a policy Web needs an architectural solution to its ment management software with artificial- would solve all the “problems” nuclear is nearly fatal security issues. The resources intelligence assistants. These tools enable having right now. that are wasted on professional security me to construct my own little “Memex,” James Hopf services, firewalls, and antivirus software which holds collections totaling hundreds San Jose, California and its maintenance are far more than a of thousands of documents that interest minor inconvenience. me. The cost of the devices that let me do Wald’s conclusion that the nuclear renais- David Korenstein this today is far less than would have been sance has failed is premature. The financial Wayne, Pennsylvania required to construct Bush’s Memex. My hurdles are real but not insurmountable. computer and scanner total ten pounds, less The renaissance requires government help It seems that the Web’s future is being than Bush’s vision of a bulky device. driven by technical arguments and com- My Memex operates at speeds that would panies beholden to their customers. What have delighted Bush, but we are still in early join the Discussion, or contact us about the public interest? The Web has stages of what could be done. The author is ■ technologyreview.com/community emerged as the major place where the correct in stating that looking back at the e-mail letters@technologyreview.com discourse necessary for democracy takes present from the perspective of 77 years Write Technology Review, One Main Street, place—akin to the new radio and TV air- in the future would probably elicit pity for 13th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02142 Fax 617-475-8043 waves. Don’t we need regulations to guar- the primitive state in which we live and Please include your address, telephone number, antee access and fairness? work today. and e-mail address. Letters and comments may John Fisher William DeVille be edited for both clarity and length. New York, New York Nashville, Indiana 6 Letters and Comments technology review January/February 2011worldmags
  10. 10. worldmags Your gatewaY to an MIt educatIonal experIence As MIT’s training and education portal for scientists, engineers and technical professionals, we help you access cutting edge research and knowledge Massachusetts Institute of Technology at MIT, acquire new skills and take innovative ideas back to work. To learn more about what MIT Professional Education can offer you and your company, visit us today at http://professionaleducation.mit.edu/techreview or email us at professionaleducation@mit.edu. our prograMs Include: short programs advanced study program Register for a 2 – 5 day intensive course Enroll in regular MIT courses for one or and gain critical knowledge to help advance more semesters, on a full or part-time basis, your career and impact your company’s while still working and contributing to your success. Each year approximately company. Earn grades, MIT credit, new 50 courses are offered in a variety of knowledge and new skills. subject areas (partial listing below): Biotechnology / Pharmaceutical career reengineering program Computing / Networks / Communications Enroll in a unique, 12-month, part-time program Data Modeling & Analysis that offers experienced professionals the knowledge and skills to enable career reentry Energy / Transportation or retooling for new work or a new workplace. Engineering Systems High-Speed Imaging custom programs Leadership & Teaching for Faculty Enhance your organization’s capabilities and Lean Enterprise / Healthcare expertise through customized programs tailored Mechanical Design & Engineering to meet your specific needs and priorities. Nanotechnology Supply Chain / Marketing International programs Systems Design & Engineering Find out about regionally relevant MIT short Technology / Organizations courses being offered in various locations around the world. Save 10% on Short Programs when you register & pay by April 15 using code MITPE-03. http://professionaleducation.mit.edu/ techreviewworldmags
  11. 11. worldmags From the Editor A Decade of Genomics on the 10th anniversary of the Human Genome Project, we ask: where are the therapies? T he Human Genome Project, whose results were announced in June of 2000 and published in full 10 years ago, took 13 years and $3 billion to complete. For biology, it was unprec- which gene expression can be influenced by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence (dubbed “epi- genetics,” because the field studies mechanisms above—“epi”— edented in scale: it determined the sequence of three billion the genome); and whether we have extra or missing copies of units, or base pairs, of human DNA. What life scientists wanted genes (copy-number variation). from the project was equally ambitious: they hoped sequencing This “missing heritability” problem—the fact that individual our DNA would reveal the genetic causes of disease and lead to genes cannot account for much of a disease’s heritability—has diagnoses, treatments, and cures for intractable illnesses like significant implications for medicine. It turns out (as Hall many forms of cancer. explains) that “a person’s susceptibility to disease may depend In this issue of Technology Review, we explore what happened more on the combined effect of all the genes in the background to those hopes. than on the disease genes in the foreground.” Therefore, mapping Over the last 10 years, many advances in genomics have been this complex nest of genetic relationships offers the best hope for made. As Jon Cohen explains in the introduction to our pack- turning genomics into therapies or cures. age of stories on the topic, which begins on page 40, “The price Consider cancer. In “Cancer’s Genome,” starting on page 46, of sequencing DNA has dropped … to mere thousands [of dol- Emily Singer, Technology Review’s biomedicine editor, describes lars per person]. The number of single-gene aberrations known how research has proved that cancer genomics are “even more to cause disease … has jumped from 100 to nearly 3,000. The complicated than scientists had supposed.” We now understand growing list of common diseases that have been traced to mul- that five to as many as 20 mutations are needed to trigger can- tiple genetic variants includes everything from types of blindness cer’s cellular proliferation. But cheaper, faster sequencing tech- to autoimmune diseases and metabolic disorders like diabetes. nologies may, in the not-too-distant future, make personalized Studies have linked more than 200 genes to cancer.” cancer medicine a real possibility. Singer reports on Foundation But taken as a whole, it was a long, hard decade for genomics. Medicine in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which wants to create Researchers and clinicians will disagree about how quickly they clinical tests that reveal which mutations have caused a patient’s imagined the Human Genome Project would bear fruit, but no particular cancer, how severe that cancer is, and what drugs one will contest that the genome has turned out to be bafflingly will affect it. According to Singer, early results from Founda- complex and that genomic information has yielded few new tion “suggest that about half the patient tissue samples analyzed cures. Cohen describes some of the difficulties in his introduction, would yield plausibly ‘usable’ information, meaning that the and Stephen Hall provides more detail in “The Genome’s Dark analysis might suggest a particular class of drugs or better define Matter,” beginning on page 52: “Large-scale genomic studies … the type of cancer.” If readers are looking for hope that genomics have mainly failed to turn up common genes that play a major can lead to cures for intractable diseases, companies like this are role in complex human maladies. More than three dozen specific appropriate inspiration. genetic variants have been associated with type 2 diabetes … but In Cohen’s introduction, Eric Lander, who was one of the lead- together they have been found to explain about 10 percent of ers of the Human Genome Project and now directs the Broad the disease’s heritability … Results have been similar for heart Institute (and who is also a founder of Foundation Medicine), says disease, schizophrenia, high blood pressure, and other common we should not be surprised that the genome is so complicated. maladies.” He counsels a historically informed patience as we work on new In short, we have expended enormous energy on search- genomic medicines: after all, 60 years passed between the devel- ing for disease genes, but it has become clearer that a variety of opment of germ theory and the creation of antibiotics. Genomics other factors, once thought minor, are in fact as important to is harder. Lander asks, “How simple did you think it would be?” mar k o stow our health as genes themselves. These include how much or how Write and tell me what you think at jason.pontin@ little of a protein is produced (gene expression); the degree to technologyreview.com —Jason Pontin 8 From the Editor technology review January/February 2011worldmags
  12. 12. worldmags Fail Faster. Succeed Sooner. Prototype Your Ideas Faster with NI Graphical System Design. PRODUCT PLATFORM Through the large number of prototypes he created to get the first working light bulb, Thomas Edison taught engineers and scientists that building a NI LabVIEW functional prototype is fundamental in bringing ideas to life. NI LabVIEW NI CompactRIO graphical programming tools and NI customizable off-the-shelf hardware NI Single-Board RIO can transform an idea into a functional prototype in weeks, versus months, NI C Series I/O Modules and lower the risk of your next project. >> Get to market faster with prototyping tools at ni.com/succeed 888 279 9833 ©2010 National Instruments. All rights reserved. CompactRIO, LabVIEW, National Instruments, NI, and ni.com are trademarks of National Instruments. Other product and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies. 2410worldmags
  13. 13. worldmags notebooks In 2005, our group at Intel took a fresh E nEr g y approach. Instead of trying to build a television with PC-like features, we asked Electric Dreams people how their TV experience could success for vehicles with a plug, be improved. Instead of starting with not a gas cap, rests on more than assumptions about how TV had to change, technology, says dan sperling. we began by finding out what people loved about it. Our ethnographers visited India, Japan, the U.K., and the United States, some- T he history of alternative transporta- tion fuels is a history of failure. It is a story of one fuel du jour after another—a times watching people watch TV, some- frustrating cycle of media and political times watching with them. We wanted to hype followed by disillusionment and understand how people lived with their abandonment. TVs and the other people around them. The cycle is all too familiar, from syn- The results directly informed the design of fuels in the late 1970s to methanol in the the processors at the heart of new devices ’80s, and then electric vehicles, hydrogen, like those running Google’s TV software and ethanol. Only corn ethanol has sur- and D-link’s Boxee Box (see “Searching for vived in the United States, but it would be ME di a the Future of Television,” p. 32). a stretch to call it a success, given its big Watching The first thing we learned was that people love TV just as it is. They love their carbon footprint and relatively high cost (subsidized at about $6 billion per year in Viewers shows and they love its simplicity. TV is always there and doesn’t ask too much of the United States today). A new wave of electric vehicles are now at risk of enter- Making television smarter requires them. A story they care about is always ing the cycle again. understanding why it is our favor- just one button away. When we asked Replacing petroleum will be difficult ite gadget, Genevieve Bell and people what they would want from a TV and slow. Its hegemony creates huge bar- Brian david Johnson argue. with computing power, they didn’t talk riers for new fuels, in terms of econom- about computing. They talked about TV. ics, legal liability, public skepticism, and D o you want a Web browser on your TV? If history is any indication, your answer is probably a resounding no. We Their top three answers were that they want access to their regular broadcast TV, want access to broadcasts they have media sensationalism. Our three best hopes—hydrogen, electricity, and biofu- els—all face large challenges. don’t blame you. missed, and want to know what shows Hydrogen would require us to trans- In the past few decades, the technol- their friends recommend. form our fuel supply system. Electricity ogy industry has labored under the delu- Delivering on all three requests does must overcome the shortcomings of bat- sion that consumers would love their require computing. Giving viewers the teries (see “Will Electric Vehicles Finally TV sets to behave like computers. Many shows they missed takes a combination Succeed?” p. 58). Advanced biofuels need tombstones now stand in place of devices of DVR and Web services. Telling them a lot of land and leave a large carbon foot- built by very smart people, with incred- what friends enjoy is a mix of social net- print. However, no other green energy ibly smart technology inside, that made working and automatic recommendations. technologies will come into being easily no impact. Our own company, Intel, had But it doesn’t require building a TV that or quickly. At least one of these three— multiple failed attempts. behaves and feels like a computer. Recog- and probably all—must eventually thrive Even today, with more consumer elec- nizing that, using social science to inform if we are to change the kind of energy we tronics to choose from than ever before, computer science, has given us a new gen- use for transportation. the TV remains the most-used electronic eration of smart TV devices like nothing For plug-in hybrid and all-electric device in the home. It is often at the cen- that has come before. Let’s hope they fare vehicles, I see two possible scenarios. ter of our living rooms and bedrooms. It better than their predecessors. The most likely, judging by failed fuels N i c k r e d dyh o F F is where we go to relax and to gather with of the past and recent experiences with friends and family. For many, watching GeNevieve Bell is director oF iNteractioN aNd expe- hybrid cars like the Prius, is slow invest- rieNce research at iNtel; BriaN david JohNsoN is a TV defines being at home. Futurist aNd director oF Future castiNG. ment. After 10 years in the U.S. market- 10 Notebooks technology review January/February 2011worldmags
  14. 14. worldmags gE noM ic s I was trained to view scientific data as Disease the private property of each investigator. Human genetics research groups were Decoded locked in a “race” to discover each disease gene, and there were winners and losers. sequencing the human genome This often led to fragmentation of effort has profoundly changed our and yielded results irreproducible by oth- understanding of biology and dis- ers. Data was collected by hand and stored ease, writes david altshuler. in paper notebooks. The Human Genome Project held the place—13 in Japan—hybrids have gained only 3 percent of the country’s market W hen I was in school at MIT and Harvard in the 1980s and 1990s, I was taught that there were 100,000 or revolutionary view that data collected should be freely available to all. Today this view prevails in genomics and many other for new cars. Plug-in electric vehicles are so human genes, every one encoding a fields of biology and medicine. Data is more costly, require large-scale invest- protein. The properties of those genes shared online by scientists the world over. ment in recharging infrastructure, and were unknown. Today, I teach that our are more alien to consumers. Absent any genome contains only 21,000 protein- dramatic change to market conditions, coding genes. To our surprise, there are can we really hope they will be more pop- thousands of additional genes that don’t ular than hybrids? encode proteins. All of these genes have A more optimistic scenario would been described in great detail. require strong national standards for I was taught that the parts of the new vehicles, similar to regulations genome not encoding proteins were “junk.” now being contemplated by California Today, we know that this junk makes up and the U.S. Environmental Protection three-quarters of our functional DNA. Agency. The EPA already requires 40 Parts of it help exquisitely control where percent reductions in fuel consumption and when genes are active in the body. and greenhouse-gas emissions by 2016, I was taught that “genetic diseases,” and it is considering further mandatory such as cystic fibrosis, are caused by muta- Today, thanks in no small part to the decreases of up to 6 percent per year tion of a single gene, with only a small genome project’s example, investigators from 2017 to 2025. Automakers could handful of these mutations known. Today, working on the same disease often publish meet such standards at first with better precise causes are known for 2,800 of together. Combining clinical and genetic conventional engines and gas hybrids. these rare single-gene disorders. data this way increases the statistical But they would later be forced to invest I was taught nothing about the more robustness of the claimed findings and in advanced plug-in technologies, to complex genetics of common diseases. makes for highly reproducible results. achieve the steep improvement needed to Today, we are learning at dizzying speed Of course, knowledge of the human keep pace. about the interplay of genes and environ- genome alone is not sufficient to cure This optimistic scenario is supported ment in diabetes, heart disease, and other disease. It will always be the case that by the existence of large federal and state common conditions. In the past three creativity, hard work, and good fortune subsidies for plug-in electric vehicles, and years alone more than 1,000 genetic risk are needed to translate biological data by a strengthening commitment to them factors have been found (an increase of into medical progress. But without the in China. While battery technology will perhaps 50-fold), contributing to more information, understanding, and cul- always be expensive, the right combina- than 100 common diseases. tural changes brought on by the genome tion of strong policy, strong competition, Such advances would have come far project, the benefits to patients would be and consumer enthusiasm could speed later, if at all, without the Human Genome much further off. the adoption of these cars. Project (see “The Human Genome, a david altshuler is a FouNdiNG MeMBer, the deputy di- Decade Later,” p. 40). But a body of knowl- rector, aNd the chieF acadeMic oFFicer oF the Broad iNstitute oF harvard aNd Mit, aNd proFessor oF daN sperliNG is director oF the iNstitute oF traNs- edge is not its only legacy. It also changed GeNetics aNd oF MediciNe at harvard Medical school. portatioN studies at the uNiversity oF caliForNia, davis, aNd author oF the Book Two Billion Cars. the way biological research is performed. www.technologyreview.com Notebooks 11worldmags
  15. 15. worldmags Special Ad Section S A TECHNOLOGY REVIEW CUSTOM SERIES A Point the camera of a tablet computer R R W athletes, striding among them as they or phone at a landmark, and watch as execute a variety of plays. This system was information about the building appears used during the 2010 World Cup, allowing on the screen. Bat at bugs on a table to analysts to break down and explain plays rehabilitate arm and shoulder movement: and formations in a virtual environment. the bugs actually appear only on a head- mounted display. Museums Spring to Life Augmented reality programs are E2I Creative Studio, a lab that bridges the rapidly being adopted in a wide variety of academic and commercial worlds, has sectors, from military and civilian training brought a new sense of reality to Florida programs to online product marketing museum exhibits. At the Orlando Sci- to museum exhibits. The market intel- ence Center, the bones of prehistoric sea ligence firm ABI Research estimates that creatures were failing to captivate visitors. revenue associated with augmented So researchers at the University of Central reality–for handheld devices alone–will Florida’s Media Convergence Lab (the have increased from $6 million in 2008 precursor of E2I) created a portal that to more than $350 million by 2014. resembled a science fiction time-travel device. Visitors stepped up to the portal Drivers Ed for the Military be manipulated to clear explosive devices; and through it viewed an exhibit that had In the past, military drivers often had to the virtual trainer has a system just like it suddenly been “flooded” with water, travel to learn to operate complicated, that the drivers can operate, then view the bringing the bones to life. Virtual creatures hefty vehicles—such as the armored results on its monitors. slithered through the water and peered Stryker or the mine-protected Buffalo—on out from behind the real museum’s sup- large immovable simulators. Those mas- Commerce and Entertainment port pillars. sive systems, complete with augmented Stephen Barker, founder and president of E2I Creative is now developing a series reality tools, helped drivers feel as if they Sarasota-based Digital Frontiers Media, of exhibits for the Fort Lauderdale Mu- were moving genuine tank and truck con- has received national attention for the seum of Discovery and Science, includ- trols and operating the machinery. Today, company’s eye-catching interactive web- ing an augmented otter habitat display. researchers at the international company sites. He notes that advances in cameras Says Eileen Smith, the lab’s director, SAIC, working at their Orlando office, and computer speeds and smart phones “We decided to go with stylized virtual have reengineered the architecture of the have dramatically enlarged the possibili- creatures, instead of attempting to make system from the ground up, so that entire ties for augmented experiences. Barker them look exactly like the real thing. ” virtual systems, complete with the appro- describes a scenario where “for fashion, The point, she continues, is to offer just priate hardware to create the necessary you’ll want to know what a particular enough verisimilitude to let the user’s effects, can be shrunk down to fit into one piece of clothing will look like. So you’ll imagination take over. trailer. These systems can also easily be stand in front of the webcam and interact reconfigured for different vehicles. with the camera, change the clothing that Download the Augmented “We’ve taken the entire system and you’re checking out, so you can get a feel- Reality in the Real World white made it mobile, says David Rees, senior ” ing of what it will look like on you. ” paper to learn more about vice president. “We’ve already built 13 or At ESPN’s Innovation Lab, in Orlando, • augmented reality games for 14 trailers for the Army, and they can now Florida, the engineers have developed rehabilitation; take those trailers to wherever the troops virtual team members for many different • new tools for movie-making; and are located. ” sports. The on-air sportscaster appears • military training. The vehicles have external arms that can to interact with the computer-generated Download the full story and more at www.technologyreview.com/spotlightworldmags
  16. 16. worldmags to market WEB Search Screen THE FIRST high-definition set to have Google TV software built in, the Sony Internet TV lets viewers search for content on both television channels and the Internet (see “Searching for the Future of Television,” p. 32). It also provides a platform for third-party Android-based appli- cations. The downside is a monster of a remote control, with 80 buttons. W Product: Sony Internet TV Cost: $600 to $1,400 Availability: Now Source: www.sonystyle.com Companies: Google, Sony S O NY www.technologyreview.com To Market 13worldmags
  17. 17. worldmags to market b iome di Ci ne Medical Machines Assistive robots help patients out of wheelchairs and aid doctors in surgery. Fancy Footwork ThIs ProsTheTIC actively senses the wearer’s position and uses a motorized spring to imitate how the ankle, calf muscle, and achilles tendon work to push off the ground. The result is a more natural gait and less pressure on the hips and back. W Product: PowerFoot bioM Cost: Not available Availability: Now Source: www.iwalk.com Company: iWalk Torso Control rewalK features stabilizing crutches, motorized gears that move the legs, and a computer-equipped backpack holding a battery that powers the device for three to four hours. Motion sensors and onboard Stand Alone processing monitor the wearer’s upper- UNlIKe oTher exoskeletons, this one body movements and center of gravity; C o U rTe Sy o F iWAlK, r e X b I o N I C S, Ar G o doesn’t require crutches or a backpack; when the person shifts his or her torso, two giant legs support and lift the user, the device steps appropriately. who controls the system with joysticks. W Product: reWalk-I Cost: $130,000 while bulkier than the other systems, it Availability: early 2011 Source: www.argomedtec.com allows wearers to ascend steps and ramps. Company: Argo Medical Technologies W Product: rex Cost: $150,000 Availability: Now Source: rexbionics.com Company: rex bionics 14 To Market technology review January/February 2011worldmags
  18. 18. worldmags Surgical Precision DURING joint replacement surgery, the patient’s bones have to be sculpted so that the implant can be fitted securely. This robotic surgical device uses tracking arms to monitor the position of the patient’s bone and track the tip of the rotat- ing burr being used to shave material away. It will restrain the burr if the surgeon attempts to remove bone from the wrong location. W Product: Acrobot Sculptor and Navigator Cost: Not available Availability: 2011 Source: www.acrobot.co.uk Company: Stanmore Implants Sensitive Soles ATTACHED with clips and Velcro straps, these motorized leg sup- C O U RTE SY O F AC R O B OT, B E R K E LEY B I O N I C S ports and foot sensors enable paraplegics to move themselves between sitting and standing positions, walk in a straight line, and turn. Crutches help stabilize the walker. Sensors in the foot pads tell the supports how to flex the knees in a natural manner, allowing wearers to move over mixed terrain. The system draws power from batteries carried in a backpack. W Product: eLegs Cost: $100,000 Availability: Mid-2011 Source: berkeleybionics.com Company: Berkeley Bionics www.technologyreview.com To Market 15worldmags
  19. 19. worldmags to market Com P utin G Digital Dashboard Ford has developed a new interface for drivers. Two lCd screens on either side of the speedometer can show a range of information, selected using two game-pad-style thumb controllers on the steering wheel. The screens can display, for example, fuel level, distance traveled, engine temperature, or the presence of another car in the vehicle’s blind spot. W Product: MyFord Touch dashboard Cost: $1,000 as an option Availability: Now Source: www.ford.com Company: Ford Motor ComPut i n G Transform Your Car The aUToBoT can be retrofitted into most cars made since 1996, allowing you to remotely tap into your vehicle’s engine diagnostics port and get information about issues such as cylinder misfires or fuel pressure. The device uses a 3g con- nection to transmit data; the information can be accessed through a website or a smart-phone app. If you need direc- tions to your parking spot or your car is stolen, a built-in gPs will provide the car’s location. and if you get into an accident, the autoBot can send text messages to emergency services. W Product: Autobot Cost: Under $300 Availability: Mid-2011 Source: www.mavizontech.com Company: Mavizon Technologies C o U rTe Sy o F Fo r D M oTo r; MAVI Z o N Te C H N o lo G I e S 16 To Market technology review January/February 2011worldmags
  20. 20. worldmags Network details and coverage maps at vzw.com. © 2011 Verizon Wireless. MAKE INFORMED IMPROMPTU DECISIONS. Be completely prepared for client consultations with mobile solutions on the Verizon network. Have instant access to large presentations, reference libraries, databases, and corporate applications onsite with clients. And be able to change and upload documents to share with the team. With the largest high-speed wireless network in America, you can deliver polished, professional results from more places than ever before. VERIZONWIRELESS.COM/PROSERVICES 1.800.VZW.4BIZ UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS MOBILE OFFICE SALES FORCE AUTOMATION BUSINESS CONTINUITY FIELD FORCE MANAGEMENTworldmags
  21. 21. worldmags to market biom ed iCin e Pocket Scanner UsINg a smart-phone touch screen to display results, this portable ultra- sound system is designed to provide cheap diagnostics in remote areas. with training, nonexpert field work- ers can use the device to take ultra- sounds; images can be transmitted to off-site doctors for analysis. W Product: Smart Phone Ultrasound Imager Cost: $5,000 to $10,000 Availability: Mid-2011, subject to FDA approval Source: www.mobisante.com Company: Mobisante Commun i C ati o n s Peer-to-Peer Radio ThIs dIgITal radIo supports a new wrinkle in wi-Fi. wi-Fi direct, as it’s called, lets devices such as printers, laptops, and tele- visions discover and communicate with each other without having to first connect to a wi-Fi base station. For example, the technol- ogy could allow a business visitor to use a printer in the office with- out being given access to the corporate network. W Product: Centrino Advanced-N 6000 Cost: Not available Availability: Now Source: www.intel.com Company: Intel Web Social Animals C o U rTe Sy o F I NTe l; M o b I SANTe; MATTe l Now everyoNe on the Internet will know if you’re a dog. Intended for owners looking for a connection with their pet when they can’t be together, the Puppy Tweets device is attached to a dog’s collar and sends a signal to the owner’s computer, which then updates to Twitter throughout the day. Posts consist of preworded messages based on how active the dog is and whether or not it has been barking. W Product: Puppy Tweets Cost: $25 Availability: Now Source: puppytweet.com Company: Mattel 18 To Market technology review January/February 2011worldmags
  22. 22. worldmags Access daily news, watch award-winning videos, listen to audio playlists and much more. Get it today. Download for free at www.technologyreview.com/appsworldmags
  23. 23. worldmags THE ROAD TO HALF A BILLION Over the past two years, Facebook has been solidifying its international presence. It has crowdsourced the translation of its site into dozens of languages, opened new offices abroad, and launched Facebook Zero, a stripped-down version aimed at countries where people are more likely to connect using a cell phone than a PC. graphiti Launched February 2004 FACEBOOK USERS 1 million 5.5 mil. 2004 2005 2006 Romania 12-MONTH GROWTH 350 % S. Korea SOUTH KOREA The EASTERN EUROPE Having world’s most connected reached saturation in most of country has resisted Western Europe, Facebook western Web companies. is spreading rapidly through 300 Facebook shows signs of countries that were in the Hungary breaking through. Soviet Bloc. Thailand 250 Ukraine Dominican Republic Iraq Brazil INDONESIA The Muslim Russia Honduras Ecuador nation is now Facebook’s Portugal second-largest audience. Costa Rica Poland India 200 Paraguay Estonia Nicaragua El Salvador Mexico INDIA Last year, Facebook surpassed Orkut as its most Guatemala popular social network. Philippines Malaysia Indonesia 150 Ghana Lithuania West Bank and Gaza Germany Pakistan TAIWAN This country and Peru Nigeria Oman Hong Kong offer clues about Bulgaria how popular Facebook could Morocco Saudi Arabia Japan become in mainland China. Jamaica Jordan Egypt Netherlands 100 Bangladesh Slovakia Kuwait Czech Republic Uruguay Kenya Tunisia Austria Serbia Bolivia Sri Lanka Bosnia and Herzegovina Argentina Panama Colombia Turkey Spain Venezuela Taiwan 50 China Greece Vietnam South Africa Lebanon Croatia Belgium France CHINA The Great Firewall stymies Facebook’s Italy Switzerland Finland efforts to reach one-fifth of the world’s population. 0 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% MARKET PENETRATION 20 Graphiti technology review January/February 2011worldmags

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