Over the past 13 years, Impact Lab has become one of the world’s most influential compendiums of future trends, emerging technology, and futurist thinking. And we throw in a few other articles that don’t fall into these categories but catch our attention anyway.


Since our reader base is quite different than virtually every other news site on the Internet, we thought it was important for you to see which of our articles from 2013 were gaining the most attention.

NOTE:  This is an unusual and eclectic assortment of articles that will surprise even our most avid followers.

13.) Shocking difference between technology in 2005 and 2013

Sometimes it’s hard to gauge just how much things have changed with the surge in mobile devices. Sure, we know they’re popular, are loaded with awesome cameras and apps, and ensure we’re connected to the digital world throughout the day, but how have these devices changed society as a whole?

12.) Internet of Things will be the ‘biggest business in the history of electronics’

Imagine a world filled with hyperlinked smart objects that are constantly interacting over a network to improve user experience IRL. The ‘Internet of Things’ is perhaps the buzzwordiest buzzword in all of the tech sector right now, as it promises to produce a sleek, futuristic, friction-free—and lucrative—environment for all of us to live and consume products in. Which is probably why it’s relentlessly being heralded as the next big thing in consumer electronics: Recent projections from some of the industry’s biggest players say the IoT could be a $15 trillion market in just six years.

11.) Drones provide Colorado flooding assistance until FEMA grounded them

There has been unbelievable flooding going on in Colorado. The rain has made it difficult (or impossible) for airplanes and helicopters to get in and out of the area. Drones can fly in and out, though, and while they’re not able to pick up people or drop off supplies, they are able to make damage assessment maps to help relief agencies coordinate their efforts. Or at least, they were, until the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) showed up and grounded them.

10.) 26 awesome products you won’t believe exist

Have you ever come across a concept that just looked too awesome for it to not be real? Here are twenty-six awesome products – some of them prototyped – that fall into that category and need to hit stores soon.

9.) Average salary per programming language

Ben Podgursky, a Software Engineer at Liveramp, a few weeks ago, described how he used Git commit metadata plus the Rapleaf API to build aggregate demographic profiles for popular GitHub organizations.

8.) Abandoned Walmart in Texas becomes largest library in the U.S.

Thousands of big box stores sit abandoned and empty all over America, including hundreds of former Walmart stores. Each store takes up enough space of 2.5 football fields.  More that 698 million square feet of in the U.S. is used by Walmart’s and is one of the biggest environmental impacts. But at least one of those buildings has been transformed into something arguably much more useful: the nation’s largest library.

7.) 35 of the most shocking science ‘facts’ that are totally wrong

Somewhere between 15%-20% of all information we have in our heads is confidently held misinformation. Here’s a list of the shocking science “facts” that are actually wrong. These myths, old wives tales, and misconceptions have been passed down through the ages, but we are here to put an end to that.

6.) Top 14 ways to increase your IQ

Many people mistakenly believe that IQ is something that is fixed at birth. In fact, the brain is highly malleable and there are steps that you can take in order to increase your IQ.

At the very least, you can improve the functioning of your brain, and you can adopt learning strategies that will improve your ability to acquire, retain, and apply knowledge.

5.) ‘World’s Best Father’ – Dave Engledow’s funny father daughter portraits

Dave Engledow is a great photographer, and a pretty awesome Dad. After his daughter Alice Bee was born he wanted to document her childhood in the most creative way he could. Dave is not a professional photographer (he works in progressive politics and worker’s rights), but the photos are well shot and thought out.

4.) Top 12 disruptive technologies that are transforming the world

Exactly what technologies and trends will change our lives are hard to predict. Few people understood just how powerful the Internet would be, dismantling entire industries and creating millions of jobs.

So what’s the next big thing? Where will the jobs be, and how can companies carve out a competitive advantage in the global economy?

3.) Chinese ‘app store’ 7659.com lets you install pirated iPhone apps — without jailbreaking

7659.com is a Chinese “app store”  that is using Apple’s own bulk enterprise licensing technology to distributed pirated apps to Chinese iPhone and iPad users, completely free.

The site, which is only available within China unless you spoof your location via a proxy server, offers a wide selection of iPhone and iPad apps. In just a few moments, I found Final Fantasy V, a $16 iPad game; Badland, a newish $4 app; Le Vamp, a $2 game for iPhone and iPad, and many others.

2.) The human body will be the next computer interface

You have probably heard a lot about wearables, living services, the Internet of Things, and smart materials by now. Designers are beginning to think about even weirder and wilder things, envisioning a future where evolved technology is embedded inside our digestive tracts, sense organs, blood vessels, and even our cells.

1.) Top 11 emerging scientific fields

Science is advancing, and as it does, fields like biology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy are becoming increasingly specialized and interdisciplinary, leading to entirely new avenues of inquiry.  Here re 11 emerging scientific fields you should know about.