We always intend our ”Winners & Losers” coverage to be part of a larger discussion about what makes a good technology project. In that spirit, we ask all of you to go online [/jan07/ winvote] to cast your ballot for which of our five winners you find the best as a commercial prospect and which seems likely to do the most good for humankind, regardless of financial considerations. These votes aren’t just for fun; they will determine the two winners that will receive special awards at the annual EE Times ACE Awards ceremony, in April at the Fairmont Hotel, in San Jose.

This year, we are taking that open-forum idea further with two new features. First, the ”you tell us” category of projects (ones we found intriguing but couldn’t clearly identify as winners or losers) has gone online: [/jan07/youtellus]. We’ve made it easier for you to tell us and your fellow readers what you think. Second, we have invited three prominent technology watchers—Gordon Bell, T.J. Rodgers, and Nick Tredennick—to comment on our winners and losers in this issue. Look for their pungent comments in the sidebars in each article.

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Special Report: Top Tech 2021

After months of blood, toil, tears, and sweat, we can all expect a much better year

1 min read
Photo-illustration: Edmon de Haro

Last January in this space we wrote that “technology doesn't really have bad years." But 2020 was like no other year in recent memory: Just about everything suffered, including technology. One shining exception was biotech, with the remarkably rapid development of vaccines capable of stemming the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year's roundup of anticipated tech advances includes an examination of the challenges in manufacturing these vaccines. And it describes how certain technologies used widely during the pandemic will likely have far-reaching effects on society, even after the threat subsides. You'll also find accounts of technical developments unrelated to the pandemic that the editors of IEEE Spectrum expect to generate news this year.

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