Top 15 tech trends that will define 2014

Drones will be everywhere.

2013 looked like the dystopian future we’ve been warned about. We learned the NSA can spy on our every word, right as Google shared a breakthrough product that could put a camera and microphone on everyone’s face. Amazon wanted to replace UPS with autonomous drones. But, what will 2014 look like? This is the year of technological kickback, according to Frog design, when privacy goes mainstream and we take the reins on our own quantified self, when artists tame 3-D printers and we learn to unplug. And yes…when drones, driverless cars, and the digital dragon that is China rise to change our economy, and our lives, forever.

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Are we close to making human-to-human mind control a reality?

University of Washington researcher Rajesh Rao, left, plays a computer game with his mind. Across campus, researcher Andrea Stocco, right, carries out the command.

With one tap on his space bar, Andrea Stocco fires the cannon on his computer game and blows a rocket out of the sky with one tap of his space bar. The game itself is unremarkable – in fact it looks like a relic of the 1980s.

 

 

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Mind control: pushing the limits

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There are a variety of brainwave-reading headsets on the market today.

If you want to make things move with your mind, you don’t have to be a Jedi.  Although we may not be able to lift a spaceship out of a swamp like Yoda does in The Empire Strikes Back, but it is possible to steer a model car, drive a wheelchair and control a robotic exoskeleton with just your thoughts. (Pics)

 

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Test Subjects With Electrode Implants Use Mind Control To Move A Cursor

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What kind of future technology will come from this breakthrough?

As trippy as mind-control still seems to us, we’ve already seen it implemented in everything from wheelchairs to pricey gaming (and car driving!) headsets. But the problem is that they measure brain activity outside the skull — you know, the thing we’ve evolved to shield the murky goings-on in our minds from prying EEG sensors.

Now, though, a team of Washington University researchers appears to have happened upon a more effective — albeit, invasive — approach…

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Zombie Ants Controlled by Four New Species of Fungi

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A stalk of the newfound fungus species Ophiocordyceps camponoti-balzani, grows out of a “zombie” ant’s head in a Brazilian rain forest.

 Originally thought to be a single species, called Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, the fungus is actually four distinct species—all of which can “mind control” ants—scientists announced last week. (pics)

 

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