DT10: Virtual Reality
We have virtual reality. What's next is straight out of 'The Matrix'

In 1999, The Matrix introduced your neighbor, your dad, and pretty much every hacky-sacking college kid in the country to the idea that the real world around us … might not be so real. In the film, our trenchcoated protagonist Neo discovers that the world as he knows it is only an illusion, piped into his brain while his body sits submerged in a gooey chemical broth. Trippy. The idea that we are not really here at all -- that life is just an illusion – is as old as Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. But The Matrix had that special sauce that made this mind-bending concept palatable to high schoolers shuffling around in JNCO jeans: guns, Keanu Reeves, and a soundtrack anchored by Rage Against the Machine. “Entering the Matrix” became pop-culture shorthand for the notion that technology could eventually deliver us from our mind-numbing reality and allow us...

Continue Reading...
Nick Mokey
December, 19, 2016
DT10: Photography
How digital photography reinvented itself to become better than ever

As a photographer who honed his craft in film, Scott Mead was reluctant to go digital. Everyone was. “Early digital cameras were 3 to maybe 6 megapixels, and that didn't really translate into the availability to have very large images,” Mead said. “Whereas when you're shooting slides, hey, it’s as big as your enlarger can go, then that's how big you can actually print.” But then he tried digital, and discovered firsthand how it would revolutionize his work. Mead was working as a photographer for the automotive website Edmunds.com, in the late ’90s, and he had purchased one of the first digital Nikon Coolpix cameras to cover the Los Angeles Auto Show. “All the other photographers, they're shooting with film, and we were able to take that one little Coolpix and go from new car introduction to new car introduction, and literally scooped everyone because we were able to take...

Continue Reading...
Les Shu
December, 12, 2016
DT10: Crime
From drones to body cams, tech is changing the fight against crime

We rely on the police to keep us safe, to protect us from violence, and to safeguard our property. We also accept that a certain level of crime is inevitable -- it may be technically possible to eradicate crime, but the cost of a dystopian police state is too high. As technology advances, though, the line that we draw between privacy and security is shifting. George Orwell’s vision of mass surveillance in Nineteen Eighty-Four seemed like science fiction when it was published in 1949, and even when 1984 rolled around. Today, many of its far-fetched concepts seem eerily close to reality. Technology has a valuable role to play in enabling the police, but it also raises serious legal, ethical, and moral questions. The telephone, fingerprinting, polygraphs, and two-way radios have all advanced the cause of crime detection and prevention. The universal emergency number, 911, was established in 1968. The next...

Continue Reading...
Simon Hill
November, 14, 2016
DT10: Cooking
The more your kitchen evolves, the more it stays the same

If you live in an apartment building and walk through the hall at dinnertime, different scents may waft under the doors hinting at the scenes within. Maybe 3B is heating up leftovers, while 3C has had the slow cooker going all day. Meanwhile, the couple in 3D grabbed pizza on the way home, and 3E is unbagging the groceries that were just delivered to the doorstep, ready to tackle an elaborate dish recommended by a recipe app. Countless factors influence how (and how often) people cook: income, location, schedules, background, personal preference, and so on. Over the next decade, no one new gadget or device will suddenly make everyone in every kitchen start cooking the same way. Some baking enthusiasts will still make their bread in the oven and other people will grab a loaf at the grocery store, no matter how revolutionary a new bread maker might be. But...

Continue Reading...
Jenny McGrath
October, 24, 2016
DT10: Space Travel
As billionaires ogle Mars, the space race is back on

In April 2015, at a launch site surrounded by the desolation and scrub brush of West Texas, a stubby, somewhat suggestively shaped rocket lifted off from a small launch facility. There were no big crowds of observers, no phalanx of cheering staffers, no fleet of media satellite trucks to witness the event. The rocket powered its way to just over 57 miles above the Earth’s surface, where a windowed, gumdrop-shaped capsule separated cleanly from the booster section, skirted the edge of space, and began to drift back down to the ground. Minutes later, parachutes deployed, and the unmanned capsule landed with not much more than a dusty fanfare in the scrub brush and cacti near the launch site. It all looked like no big deal. But it was a very, very big deal. The rocket is called the New Shepherd, and the company that built and launched it is...

Continue Reading...
Bill Roberson
October, 10, 2016
DT10: Sports
Fans and players compete for stardom in the stadiums of the future

When I was a grade-schooler back in the early 1980s, many a fall Sunday afternoon was spent in the den, staring at a large box with little blue-clad men running around on it. My dad would curse at Phil Simms and we’d shout a sadistic “Yes!” after Lawrence Taylor ground an opposing quarterback into the turf. So it was always big news when, once every year or so, my family scored tickets to a Giants game at the perennially sold-out Meadowlands in New Jersey, where the team played. If we could survive the sclerotic turnpike without succumbing to rage or boredom, the experience of being at the actual event, in the open air, surrounded by the awesome white noise of 80,000 cheering people, was electric. But in many ways, it fell short of the living room. The repeated stops of play for commercial timeouts were far more boring and intrusive without...

Continue Reading...
David Zweig
September, 26, 2016
DT10: Clothing
Today we carry technology. Tomorrow we'll wear it

Before fashion existed, humans wore clothes to prevent themselves from freezing to death on cold winter nights, burning to death in the hot sun, or being slashed to death as they crawled through the undergrowth in search of the next meal. Even when fashion, branding, and commercialism spawned the first wave of trendy high-tech fabrics like Gore-Tex and Spandex thousands of years later, nothing much changed: They were still designed to keep us drier, warmer, cooler, or safer, and still a far cry from what most of us would consider smart, tech-infused clothing. Then came the smartphone. Its connectivity, millions of apps, and eventual ubiquity meant that suddenly, everyone had a handheld computer that could connect to, monitor, and control other things. It changed the way companies thought about smart products. Shoes with pedometers built in to the heel were suddenly possible. T-shirts could monitor our heartbeat. Someone even thought...

Continue Reading...
Andy Boxall
September, 12, 2016
DT10: Military
From cyberwarfare to drones, the future of conflict is electronic

Innovation can take many forms: Today’s computers are faster. Space travel is cheaper. Artificial intelligence is smarter than ever before. The military is … well … While the details on Intel’s latest processors or LG’s new OLED technology remain a simple Google search away, the uniquely secretive processes of the United States military make it tough to know what’s truly cutting edge. Much of the work happens behind closed doors, and even when an innovation is made public, layers of classified details often prevent us from ever knowing the full story. We may learn about battery-powered exoskeletons for soldiers from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), or real-life railguns that shoot hunks of metal at blistering speed, but the projects we don’t learn about may be even wilder. So what has true military innovation looked like over the past decade? How are our soldiers equipped today? And what should...

Continue Reading...
Rick Stella
August, 29, 2016
DT10: Dating & Relationships
Tinder will look quaint beside the future of digital dating

Your parents didn’t meet on Tinder. Their parents didn’t either. Maybe they met in an algebra class or a Jewish youth group. Maybe they grew up next door to each other or maybe their parents arranged the whole thing. At no point during the process did anyone pull a phone out of their pocket and swipe right. But microprocessors evolve, products iterate, paradigms shift … and the next thing you know, falling in love is forever changed. Vox recently analyzed data from 35 years’ worth of wedding announcements in The New York Times, and found that “online” now ranks as the third most common way people meet — second only to “school” and “mutual friend.” In the older-than-40 age range, it creeps into the second spot. Even more remarkable than the speed with which such services became mainstream is our willingness to fess up: Maybe it wasn’t so much Continue Reading...

Brian Heater
August, 15, 2016
DT10: Introduction
Introducing DT10, our look back at a decade of tech, and into the future

When calendars turned over at the beginning of 2006, there was no Tesla, Tinder, or Twitter. Hell, there wasn't even an iPhone yet. And Digital Trends was just an idea rattling around the heads of a couple of ordinary geeky guys from Oregon. Ask them why they did it and you’ll get the most honest answer you’ll ever get from a businessman. “We loved gadgets,” co-founder Ian Bell says. “Why wouldn’t we start a tech site?” “Ian and I met at a mutual friend’s wedding in the buffet line to get food,” says Dan Gaul, co-founder of Digital Trends. “He was talking to a guy about a phone [the guy] had that wasn’t even on the market yet. Ian said, ‘Man I’d love to get my hands on cool stuff like that.’ I said I’d build the website if you get the products.” So the pair scrimped and saved and...

Continue Reading...
Jeremy Kaplan
August, 5, 2016
DT10: Language
Tech is upending the ways we write, speak, and even think

When you look back a decade, it’s easy to feel that little has changed. Sure, you had a different job back then, there were other shows on TV, and no one had described your shoes as “on fleek” just yet, but what’s different, really? Yet when asked to think about the year 2006, most people today would probably Google it on a smartphone. See, right then and there, you have your answer: Smartphones changed everything. Ten years ago, there was a good chance you owned a Motorola Razr flip phone, sent about 65 text messages a month to close friends, and did almost everything digital on your home computer, likely a bulky desktop PC. You talked to other people in person or over the phone, and there was only a very slim chance that you were on a social networking site. Facebook was only just opening itself up to...

Continue Reading...
Jeffrey Van Camp
December, 5, 2016
DT10: Television
Your next TV will pack more than just additional pixels

I got my first flat panel TV in 2006, a 37-inch Vizio. I set it up and installed it myself, which is pretty slick considering it took three guys to haul out the 95-lb., 32-inch JVC tube TV monster it replaced. I felt like I was on the bleeding edge of technology then, faced with tough first-world decisions like whether to watch The Office or Dexter in HD on cable, whether Netflix should deliver two or three DVDs to my mailbox in just two days flat, whether I should snap up Nacho Libre on HD-DVD or Blu-ray Disc. It’s almost comical, isn’t it? We’ve come such a long way since then. Today, I internally debate streaming Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, OLED vs. Quantum Dots, HDR10 vs. Dolby Vision, and whether to embrace Ultra HD Blu-ray or bank on Netflix and Amazon. In another decade, we’ll be chuckling...

Continue Reading...
Caleb Denison
November, 21, 2016
DT10: Music
Vinyl’s revived. Streaming thrives. But can musicians survive?

I have a soundtrack that plays in my head all day long. (You do too, don’t you?) Sometimes it’s , sometimes it’s Steve Aoki, sometimes it’s The Chainsmokers, sometimes it’s The Wild Feathers, sometimes it’s Joey Bada$$. My internal jukebox veers seamlessly from modern pop to progressive rock to to vintage jazz, and all points in between — and it all sounds pretty damn good to me. Popular music has always been evolving, but over the past decade, the way it’s listened to hasn’t just evolved, it has undergone an upheaval. We’ve gone from accessing a few microgigs of tuneage on pocket-sized iPods to feasting on an essentially unlimited streaming smorgasbord. The phrase “so much music, so little time” is now quite possibly the cruelest irony of all to every born-and-bred music fan the world over. Still, musicologists like myself soldier ever onward, pressing play on whatever device technology delivers...

Continue Reading...
Mike Mettler
November, 7, 2016
DT10: Artificial Intelligence
Is the AI apocalypse a tired Hollywood trope, or human destiny?

Why is it that every time humans develop a really clever computer system in the movies, it seems intent on killing every last one of us at its first opportunity? In Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL 9000 starts off as an attentive, if somewhat creepy, custodian of the astronauts aboard the USS Discovery One, before famously turning homicidal and trying to kill them all. In The Matrix, humanity’s invention of AI promptly results in human-machine warfare, leading to humans enslaved as a biological source of energy by the machines. In Daniel H. Wilson’s book Robopocalypse, computer scientists finally crack the code on the AI problem, only to have their creation develop a sudden and deep dislike for its creators. And you're not an especially sentient being yourself if you haven’t heard the story of Skynet (see The Terminator, T2, T3, etc.) The simple answer is that -- movies like...

Continue Reading...
Simon Cohen
October, 17, 2016
DT10: Medicine
As tech trickles in, medicine is about to hit warp speed

In the summer of 2008, I noticed a mole on my arm that seemed to be getting bigger. It was hard to tell, though. I wasn’t sure if it had actually grown -- or if I was just freaking out and being a hypochondriac for no good reason -- so I decided to have it checked out. Doing so required me to call a clinic, set up an appointment, wait for a few days, and then drive to the doctor’s office. Once I was there, a woman with more than eight years of specialized medical education look a long, hard look at the mole and asked me a series of questions about it -- but when it was all said and done, she didn’t have a definitive answer for me. Instead, she just referred me to different doctor who had more experience with melanoma, and the whole process started over...

Continue Reading...
Drew Prindle
October, 3, 2016
DT10: Computing
Quantum computing will make your PC look like a graphing calculator

Winfried Hensinger likes Star Trek. "It goes all the way back to primary school," said the director of the Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies in England. "I wanted to be science officer on the Enterprise, so I worked out in about grade five that I wanted to study physics." Today, his day-to-day work on abstract notions of quantum mechanics would make even Spock’s ears perk up. "[Quantum computing] has a huge appeal for young people," Hensinger told Digital Trends, "because it's basically science fiction." When he started in the field, it was largely confined to theoretical study. Today, the most promising projects are within reach of producing a universal quantum computer — something that was as sci-fi as Star Trek just a few years ago. "Before there were computers, I had to learn typing on a typewriter," Hensinger said with a laugh. "Life really changed when computers became available. And quantum computing could be...

Continue Reading...
Brad Jones
September, 19, 2016
DT10: Health & Fitness
Tech wrecked our bodies, but next it will make us healthier than ever

Three years ago, Kegan Schouwenburg left a comfortable gig at the 3D-printing service Shapeways to go it alone. The 27-year-old Pratt graduate left behind printing jewelry and miniatures for something infinitely less sexy: orthotics. Her nearly lifelong fascination with the space began early on, when foot problems required her mother to spend $500 to purchase a corrective pair for her young daughter. Schouwenburg cites a confluence of technological breakthroughs that have made it possible for her to launch her New York-based 3D printed orthotics company, SOLS, including computer-aided design (CAD); computer vision; Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS; and, of course, 3D printing. “[It] has improved the accuracy of patient-specific fit for orthotics, prosthetics, and implants in powerful ways,” she tells Digital Trends. “It's been a game-changer for creating complex and unique geometries possible to produce.” The explosive growth of consumer electronics over the past decade has morphed virtually every...

Continue Reading...
Brian Heater
September, 5, 2016
DT10: The Human Body
Cyborgs are already here, but the next steps will make you nauseous

When you hear the words “cyborg,” or “augmented human,” you inescapably picture Arnold Schwarzenegger as , the Borg from , or perhaps , if you’re a little older. In Hollywood, any futuristic pairing of man and machine had better be so superawesome, or so superscary, that you’d be willing to spend a good couple of hours (and dollars) being entertained by it. The crazy thing is, even though these images come from a time when technology was barely able to fake the on-screen action, we are now on the cusp of the real thing. We’re entering an age that will enhance who we are as humans in ways that go well beyond these cultural clichés. Here’s where the art and science of human augmentation is today, and a tantalizing peek at where it’s going in the not-too-distant future.

Our time as pure, natural humans has an expiration date. Sorry,...

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Simon Cohen
August, 22, 2016
DT10: Cars
For tomorrow's cars, going driverless is just the beginning

The Jetsons gave us a taste of flying cars with bubble-like glass roofs in 1962, but the car’s basic conventions haven’t changed much since then. Modern cars may have touchscreens, GPS, and collision avoidance now, but the average commuter still travels on a road paved with asphalt, still regularly fills a fuel tank with regular unleaded, still controls a car’s trajectory using a steering wheel, still brakes by pushing down on a pedal. Yet the auto industry has changed drastically, even over the past decade. Some say it merely went through a recession, but it was much more profound than that -- it was a complete transformation. Companies no one could imagine failing ended up in the history book, while players no one saw coming like Tesla are now considered disruptors. And the technology packed into the average new car has grown exponentially – there are . Why? For one...

Continue Reading...
Ronan Glon
August, 8, 2016
DT10: Virtual Reality
We have virtual reality. What's next is straight out of 'The Matrix'

In 1999, The Matrix introduced your neighbor, your dad, and pretty much every hacky-sacking college kid in the country to the idea that the real world around us … might not be so real. In the film, our trenchcoated protagonist Neo discovers that the world as he knows it is only an illusion, piped into his brain while his body sits submerged in a gooey chemical broth. Trippy. The idea that we are not really here at all -- that life is just an illusion – is as old as Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. But The Matrix had that special sauce that made this mind-bending concept palatable to high schoolers shuffling around in JNCO jeans: guns, Keanu Reeves, and a soundtrack anchored by Rage Against the Machine. “Entering the Matrix” became pop-culture shorthand for the notion that technology could eventually deliver us from our mind-numbing reality and allow us...

Continue Reading...
Nick Mokey
December, 19, 2016
DT10: Photography
How digital photography reinvented itself to become better than ever

As a photographer who honed his craft in film, Scott Mead was reluctant to go digital. Everyone was. “Early digital cameras were 3 to maybe 6 megapixels, and that didn't really translate into the availability to have very large images,” Mead said. “Whereas when you're shooting slides, hey, it’s as big as your enlarger can go, then that's how big you can actually print.” But then he tried digital, and discovered firsthand how it would revolutionize his work. Mead was working as a photographer for the automotive website Edmunds.com, in the late ’90s, and he had purchased one of the first digital Nikon Coolpix cameras to cover the Los Angeles Auto Show. “All the other photographers, they're shooting with film, and we were able to take that one little Coolpix and go from new car introduction to new car introduction, and literally scooped everyone because we were able to take...

Continue Reading...
Les Shu
December, 12, 2016
DT10: Language
Tech is upending the ways we write, speak, and even think

When you look back a decade, it’s easy to feel that little has changed. Sure, you had a different job back then, there were other shows on TV, and no one had described your shoes as “on fleek” just yet, but what’s different, really? Yet when asked to think about the year 2006, most people today would probably Google it on a smartphone. See, right then and there, you have your answer: Smartphones changed everything. Ten years ago, there was a good chance you owned a Motorola Razr flip phone, sent about 65 text messages a month to close friends, and did almost everything digital on your home computer, likely a bulky desktop PC. You talked to other people in person or over the phone, and there was only a very slim chance that you were on a social networking site. Facebook was only just opening itself up to...

Continue Reading...
Jeffrey Van Camp
December, 5, 2016
DT10: Television
Your next TV will pack more than just additional pixels

I got my first flat panel TV in 2006, a 37-inch Vizio. I set it up and installed it myself, which is pretty slick considering it took three guys to haul out the 95-lb., 32-inch JVC tube TV monster it replaced. I felt like I was on the bleeding edge of technology then, faced with tough first-world decisions like whether to watch The Office or Dexter in HD on cable, whether Netflix should deliver two or three DVDs to my mailbox in just two days flat, whether I should snap up Nacho Libre on HD-DVD or Blu-ray Disc. It’s almost comical, isn’t it? We’ve come such a long way since then. Today, I internally debate streaming Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead, OLED vs. Quantum Dots, HDR10 vs. Dolby Vision, and whether to embrace Ultra HD Blu-ray or bank on Netflix and Amazon. In another decade, we’ll be chuckling...

Continue Reading...
Caleb Denison
November, 21, 2016
DT10: Crime
From drones to body cams, tech is changing the fight against crime

We rely on the police to keep us safe, to protect us from violence, and to safeguard our property. We also accept that a certain level of crime is inevitable -- it may be technically possible to eradicate crime, but the cost of a dystopian police state is too high. As technology advances, though, the line that we draw between privacy and security is shifting. George Orwell’s vision of mass surveillance in Nineteen Eighty-Four seemed like science fiction when it was published in 1949, and even when 1984 rolled around. Today, many of its far-fetched concepts seem eerily close to reality. Technology has a valuable role to play in enabling the police, but it also raises serious legal, ethical, and moral questions. The telephone, fingerprinting, polygraphs, and two-way radios have all advanced the cause of crime detection and prevention. The universal emergency number, 911, was established in 1968. The next...

Continue Reading...
Simon Hill
November, 14, 2016
DT10: Music
Vinyl’s revived. Streaming thrives. But can musicians survive?

I have a soundtrack that plays in my head all day long. (You do too, don’t you?) Sometimes it’s , sometimes it’s Steve Aoki, sometimes it’s The Chainsmokers, sometimes it’s The Wild Feathers, sometimes it’s Joey Bada$$. My internal jukebox veers seamlessly from modern pop to progressive rock to to vintage jazz, and all points in between — and it all sounds pretty damn good to me. Popular music has always been evolving, but over the past decade, the way it’s listened to hasn’t just evolved, it has undergone an upheaval. We’ve gone from accessing a few microgigs of tuneage on pocket-sized iPods to feasting on an essentially unlimited streaming smorgasbord. The phrase “so much music, so little time” is now quite possibly the cruelest irony of all to every born-and-bred music fan the world over. Still, musicologists like myself soldier ever onward, pressing play on whatever device technology delivers...

Continue Reading...
Mike Mettler
November, 7, 2016
DT10: Cooking
The more your kitchen evolves, the more it stays the same

If you live in an apartment building and walk through the hall at dinnertime, different scents may waft under the doors hinting at the scenes within. Maybe 3B is heating up leftovers, while 3C has had the slow cooker going all day. Meanwhile, the couple in 3D grabbed pizza on the way home, and 3E is unbagging the groceries that were just delivered to the doorstep, ready to tackle an elaborate dish recommended by a recipe app. Countless factors influence how (and how often) people cook: income, location, schedules, background, personal preference, and so on. Over the next decade, no one new gadget or device will suddenly make everyone in every kitchen start cooking the same way. Some baking enthusiasts will still make their bread in the oven and other people will grab a loaf at the grocery store, no matter how revolutionary a new bread maker might be. But...

Continue Reading...
Jenny McGrath
October, 24, 2016
DT10: Artificial Intelligence
Is the AI apocalypse a tired Hollywood trope, or human destiny?

Why is it that every time humans develop a really clever computer system in the movies, it seems intent on killing every last one of us at its first opportunity? In Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL 9000 starts off as an attentive, if somewhat creepy, custodian of the astronauts aboard the USS Discovery One, before famously turning homicidal and trying to kill them all. In The Matrix, humanity’s invention of AI promptly results in human-machine warfare, leading to humans enslaved as a biological source of energy by the machines. In Daniel H. Wilson’s book Robopocalypse, computer scientists finally crack the code on the AI problem, only to have their creation develop a sudden and deep dislike for its creators. And you're not an especially sentient being yourself if you haven’t heard the story of Skynet (see The Terminator, T2, T3, etc.) The simple answer is that -- movies like...

Continue Reading...
Simon Cohen
October, 17, 2016
DT10: Space Travel
As billionaires ogle Mars, the space race is back on

In April 2015, at a launch site surrounded by the desolation and scrub brush of West Texas, a stubby, somewhat suggestively shaped rocket lifted off from a small launch facility. There were no big crowds of observers, no phalanx of cheering staffers, no fleet of media satellite trucks to witness the event. The rocket powered its way to just over 57 miles above the Earth’s surface, where a windowed, gumdrop-shaped capsule separated cleanly from the booster section, skirted the edge of space, and began to drift back down to the ground. Minutes later, parachutes deployed, and the unmanned capsule landed with not much more than a dusty fanfare in the scrub brush and cacti near the launch site. It all looked like no big deal. But it was a very, very big deal. The rocket is called the New Shepherd, and the company that built and launched it is...

Continue Reading...
Bill Roberson
October, 10, 2016
DT10: Medicine
As tech trickles in, medicine is about to hit warp speed

In the summer of 2008, I noticed a mole on my arm that seemed to be getting bigger. It was hard to tell, though. I wasn’t sure if it had actually grown -- or if I was just freaking out and being a hypochondriac for no good reason -- so I decided to have it checked out. Doing so required me to call a clinic, set up an appointment, wait for a few days, and then drive to the doctor’s office. Once I was there, a woman with more than eight years of specialized medical education look a long, hard look at the mole and asked me a series of questions about it -- but when it was all said and done, she didn’t have a definitive answer for me. Instead, she just referred me to different doctor who had more experience with melanoma, and the whole process started over...

Continue Reading...
Drew Prindle
October, 3, 2016
DT10: Sports
Fans and players compete for stardom in the stadiums of the future

When I was a grade-schooler back in the early 1980s, many a fall Sunday afternoon was spent in the den, staring at a large box with little blue-clad men running around on it. My dad would curse at Phil Simms and we’d shout a sadistic “Yes!” after Lawrence Taylor ground an opposing quarterback into the turf. So it was always big news when, once every year or so, my family scored tickets to a Giants game at the perennially sold-out Meadowlands in New Jersey, where the team played. If we could survive the sclerotic turnpike without succumbing to rage or boredom, the experience of being at the actual event, in the open air, surrounded by the awesome white noise of 80,000 cheering people, was electric. But in many ways, it fell short of the living room. The repeated stops of play for commercial timeouts were far more boring and intrusive without...

Continue Reading...
David Zweig
September, 26, 2016
DT10: Computing
Quantum computing will make your PC look like a graphing calculator

Winfried Hensinger likes Star Trek. "It goes all the way back to primary school," said the director of the Sussex Centre for Quantum Technologies in England. "I wanted to be science officer on the Enterprise, so I worked out in about grade five that I wanted to study physics." Today, his day-to-day work on abstract notions of quantum mechanics would make even Spock’s ears perk up. "[Quantum computing] has a huge appeal for young people," Hensinger told Digital Trends, "because it's basically science fiction." When he started in the field, it was largely confined to theoretical study. Today, the most promising projects are within reach of producing a universal quantum computer — something that was as sci-fi as Star Trek just a few years ago. "Before there were computers, I had to learn typing on a typewriter," Hensinger said with a laugh. "Life really changed when computers became available. And quantum computing could be...

Continue Reading...
Brad Jones
September, 19, 2016
DT10: Clothing
Today we carry technology. Tomorrow we'll wear it

Before fashion existed, humans wore clothes to prevent themselves from freezing to death on cold winter nights, burning to death in the hot sun, or being slashed to death as they crawled through the undergrowth in search of the next meal. Even when fashion, branding, and commercialism spawned the first wave of trendy high-tech fabrics like Gore-Tex and Spandex thousands of years later, nothing much changed: They were still designed to keep us drier, warmer, cooler, or safer, and still a far cry from what most of us would consider smart, tech-infused clothing. Then came the smartphone. Its connectivity, millions of apps, and eventual ubiquity meant that suddenly, everyone had a handheld computer that could connect to, monitor, and control other things. It changed the way companies thought about smart products. Shoes with pedometers built in to the heel were suddenly possible. T-shirts could monitor our heartbeat. Someone even thought...

Continue Reading...
Andy Boxall
September, 12, 2016
DT10: Health & Fitness
Tech wrecked our bodies, but next it will make us healthier than ever

Three years ago, Kegan Schouwenburg left a comfortable gig at the 3D-printing service Shapeways to go it alone. The 27-year-old Pratt graduate left behind printing jewelry and miniatures for something infinitely less sexy: orthotics. Her nearly lifelong fascination with the space began early on, when foot problems required her mother to spend $500 to purchase a corrective pair for her young daughter. Schouwenburg cites a confluence of technological breakthroughs that have made it possible for her to launch her New York-based 3D printed orthotics company, SOLS, including computer-aided design (CAD); computer vision; Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS; and, of course, 3D printing. “[It] has improved the accuracy of patient-specific fit for orthotics, prosthetics, and implants in powerful ways,” she tells Digital Trends. “It's been a game-changer for creating complex and unique geometries possible to produce.” The explosive growth of consumer electronics over the past decade has morphed virtually every...

Continue Reading...
Brian Heater
September, 5, 2016
DT10: Military
From cyberwarfare to drones, the future of conflict is electronic

Innovation can take many forms: Today’s computers are faster. Space travel is cheaper. Artificial intelligence is smarter than ever before. The military is … well … While the details on Intel’s latest processors or LG’s new OLED technology remain a simple Google search away, the uniquely secretive processes of the United States military make it tough to know what’s truly cutting edge. Much of the work happens behind closed doors, and even when an innovation is made public, layers of classified details often prevent us from ever knowing the full story. We may learn about battery-powered exoskeletons for soldiers from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), or real-life railguns that shoot hunks of metal at blistering speed, but the projects we don’t learn about may be even wilder. So what has true military innovation looked like over the past decade? How are our soldiers equipped today? And what should...

Continue Reading...
Rick Stella
August, 29, 2016
DT10: The Human Body
Cyborgs are already here, but the next steps will make you nauseous

When you hear the words “cyborg,” or “augmented human,” you inescapably picture Arnold Schwarzenegger as , the Borg from , or perhaps , if you’re a little older. In Hollywood, any futuristic pairing of man and machine had better be so superawesome, or so superscary, that you’d be willing to spend a good couple of hours (and dollars) being entertained by it. The crazy thing is, even though these images come from a time when technology was barely able to fake the on-screen action, we are now on the cusp of the real thing. We’re entering an age that will enhance who we are as humans in ways that go well beyond these cultural clichés. Here’s where the art and science of human augmentation is today, and a tantalizing peek at where it’s going in the not-too-distant future.

Our time as pure, natural humans has an expiration date. Sorry,...

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Simon Cohen
August, 22, 2016
DT10: Dating & Relationships
Tinder will look quaint beside the future of digital dating

Your parents didn’t meet on Tinder. Their parents didn’t either. Maybe they met in an algebra class or a Jewish youth group. Maybe they grew up next door to each other or maybe their parents arranged the whole thing. At no point during the process did anyone pull a phone out of their pocket and swipe right. But microprocessors evolve, products iterate, paradigms shift … and the next thing you know, falling in love is forever changed. Vox recently analyzed data from 35 years’ worth of wedding announcements in The New York Times, and found that “online” now ranks as the third most common way people meet — second only to “school” and “mutual friend.” In the older-than-40 age range, it creeps into the second spot. Even more remarkable than the speed with which such services became mainstream is our willingness to fess up: Maybe it wasn’t so much Continue Reading...

Brian Heater
August, 15, 2016
DT10: Cars
For tomorrow's cars, going driverless is just the beginning

The Jetsons gave us a taste of flying cars with bubble-like glass roofs in 1962, but the car’s basic conventions haven’t changed much since then. Modern cars may have touchscreens, GPS, and collision avoidance now, but the average commuter still travels on a road paved with asphalt, still regularly fills a fuel tank with regular unleaded, still controls a car’s trajectory using a steering wheel, still brakes by pushing down on a pedal. Yet the auto industry has changed drastically, even over the past decade. Some say it merely went through a recession, but it was much more profound than that -- it was a complete transformation. Companies no one could imagine failing ended up in the history book, while players no one saw coming like Tesla are now considered disruptors. And the technology packed into the average new car has grown exponentially – there are . Why? For one...

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Ronan Glon
August, 8, 2016
DT10: Introduction
Introducing DT10, our look back at a decade of tech, and into the future

When calendars turned over at the beginning of 2006, there was no Tesla, Tinder, or Twitter. Hell, there wasn't even an iPhone yet. And Digital Trends was just an idea rattling around the heads of a couple of ordinary geeky guys from Oregon. Ask them why they did it and you’ll get the most honest answer you’ll ever get from a businessman. “We loved gadgets,” co-founder Ian Bell says. “Why wouldn’t we start a tech site?” “Ian and I met at a mutual friend’s wedding in the buffet line to get food,” says Dan Gaul, co-founder of Digital Trends. “He was talking to a guy about a phone [the guy] had that wasn’t even on the market yet. Ian said, ‘Man I’d love to get my hands on cool stuff like that.’ I said I’d build the website if you get the products.” So the pair scrimped and saved and...

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Jeremy Kaplan
August, 5, 2016