Friday Futures: the birth of innovation, flying taxis and drone swarms

Image credit: iurii /

Welcome to Friday Futures, our weekly guide to the latest visions of The Future from around the web. This week: the birth of innovation; smart doorbells; copper futures; flying taxis; drone swarms and the leaning Tower of Pisa.

Innovation began 78,000 years ago

Scientists have excavated the Panga ya Saidi cave site, in the coastal hinterland of Kenya. The excavations and analyses represent the longest archaeological sequence in East Africa over the last 78,000 years. Read more…

Your smart doorbell just became your Neighborhood Watch

The standalone app allows you to get in touch directly with law enforcement — a local police force, or private security company — and notify them of anything fishy going on in your neighborhood, as Motherboard reports. Read more…

A material 50 times denser than copper interconnect tech

Engineers at the University of California, Riverside, have demonstrated prototype devices made of an exotic material able to conduct a current density 50 times greater than conventional copper interconnect technology. Read more…

Uber’s flying taxi has plans, but not much else

If you trust the folks with their eyes tilted upward and their hands waving in the air, flying taxis could be a traffic panacea, leveraging the third dimension to make room for everyone. Read more…

Now criminals are using swarms of drones to baffle police

Criminals are no longer restricted to burner phones, guns, and getaway cars. They’re finding new, sophisticated ways to smuggle contraband, conduct counter-surveillance, and retaliate against those who threaten their schemes. Read more…

How we can help our bodies fight disease

Even when you’re asleep, your brain is on. It’s constantly communicating with every part of your body. We know some of the basics of how this works, but to be honest, most of it is still pretty mysterious. Read more…

Here’s how the leaning Tower of Pisa doesn’t topple

Why has the Leaning Tower of Pisa survived the strong earthquakes that have hit the region since the middle ages? This is a long-standing question that experts in earthquake engineering and soil-structure interaction have now solved. Read more…

(Compiled by Alex Leslie; Edited by John C. Tanner)

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