Top 11 Technologies of the Decade

The most powerful technologies take a while to mature. But when they do, they can rapidly retire mainstays that are decades old

1 min read
Cover illustration for top 11 technologies of the decade
Illustration: Michael Solita

Life was different a decade ago. Your phone couldn’t contain your entire music collection, for example, or guide you to a restaurant in a foreign city. Bomber-reconnaissance planes invariably had pilots on board. And how’s this for quaint: Your corner drugstore still stocked photographic film! The technology waves that washed away those realities spread from tremors that occurred years before: The first smartphone was unveiled by IBM in 1993, the first digital photo was taken in 1975, and the first drone aircraft flew during World War II. Clearly, the seeds of the next crop of technology staples have already been planted. Perhaps the first tender shoots can already be discerned among the pages of this issue.

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DARPA Wants a Better, Badder Caspian Sea Monster

Liberty Lifter X-plane will leverage ground effect

4 min read
A rendering of a grey seaplane with twin fuselages and backwards-facing propellers
DARPA

Arguably, the primary job of any military organization is moving enormous amounts of stuff from one place to another as quickly and efficiently as possible. Some of that stuff is weaponry, but the vast majority are things that support that weaponry—fuel, spare parts, personnel, and so on. At the moment, the U.S. military has two options when it comes to transporting large amounts of payload. Option one is boats (a sealift), which are efficient, but also slow and require ports. Option two is planes (an airlift), which are faster by a couple of orders of magnitude, but also expensive and require runways.

To solve this, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to combine traditional sealift and airlift with the Liberty Lifter program, which aims to “design, build, and flight test an affordable, innovative, and disruptive seaplane” that “enables efficient theater-range transport of large payloads at speeds far exceeding existing sea lift platforms.”

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IEEE Spectrum Wins Six Neal Awards

The publication was recognized for its editorial excellence, website, and art direction

1 min read
A group of smiling people holding two award placards in front of a backdrop for the Jess H. Neal Awards

The IEEE editorial and art team show off two of their five awards.

Bruce Byers/SIIA

IEEE Spectrum garnered top honors at this year’s annual Jesse H. Neal Awards ceremony, held on 26 April. Known as the “Pulitzer Prizes” of business-to-business journalism, the Neal Awards recognize editorial excellence. The awards are given by the SIIA (Software and Information Industry Association).

For the fifth year in a row, IEEE Spectrum was awarded the Best Media Brand. The award is given for overall editorial excellence.

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Optimize Your Lab for Hybrid Learning

Set up a hybrid teaching lab that offers professional-grade tools with seamless connectivity and productivity

1 min read

As an engineering educator, you want to enable your students with the best skillsets for success in the real-world. This means giving them hands-on experience. Now, you can empower your students to test, analyze, and share results collaboratively — whether they are in the lab or not. Download now!

See what it takes to set up a productive teaching lab that offers:

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