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Dragonfly Cyborg

Drones grow more capable by the day, yet they still pale in comparison to the designs nature has already created. This Dragonfly Cyborg is a perfect example. By genetically modifying dragonfly neurons to make them more sensitive to light, scientists control the insect's flight using a minuscule backpack apparatus. Optical fibers transmit light signals to the dragonfly's nerve cord, letting the researchers not only control but better understand how they hover, dart, and turn with such remarkable precision. Don't worry, though — the creators have no plans on building an army of sentient cyborg insects, excited instead by the underlying technology's potential medical applications.

  • Uber Elevate

    We've been promised flying cars for decades. Turns out they might be coming, just not with you behind the wheel. Uber Elevate is the rideshare company's initiative to move beyond the road and into the sky. Headed by new hire and longtime NASA engineer Mark Moore, the system will use vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft to carry passengers from place to place. Not meant to replace traditional airlines, the system is instead being designed for distances of 50-100 miles — just long enough to make a car ride unsavory, without necessitating a trip to the airport. While autonomous flight is the obvious goal, Moore says that human pilots will be relied upon when the service first comes online, hopefully within the next three years.

  • Alo Phone

    Imagining a future where phone's don't even need screens, the Alo Phone is an intriguing concept. It was created by French designers Jerome Olivet and Philippe Starck and is crafted from an aluminum unibody coated in natural resin. The combination works to provide haptic and even temperature-based feedback, and also allows the skin to repair scratches and scrapes automatically. An advanced AI is built into the phone, getting rid of the need for a screen by responding to your commands, reading texts it detects with its camera, and letting you respond to emails and texts in your natural voice. Currently just a concept, Olivet is working with Thomson to create a working prototype.

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