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See Inside December 2011

World-Changing Ideas

10 new technologies that will make a difference



Dan Saelinger

Revolutions often spring from the simplest of ideas. When a young inventor named Steve Jobs wanted to provide computing power to “people who have no computer experience and don’t particularly care to gain any,” he ushered us from the cumbersome technology of mainframes and command-line prompts to the breezy advances of the Macintosh and iPhone. His idea helped to forever change our relationship with technology.

What other simple but revolutionary ideas are out there in the labs, waiting for the right moment to make it big? We have found 10, and in the following pages we explain what they are and how they might shake things up: Computers that work like minds. Batteries you can top off at the pump. A crystal ball made from data. Consider this collection our salute to the power of a simple idea. 

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