Over the course of the year, we at The New York Times R&D; Lab continually share and discuss links to research, analysis, inventions and other items of interest. In 2014, we were reading about everything from sentient articles to bees as 3D printers. Here is a roundup of the year’s links, organized by topic.

*Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by the lab or The New York Times; this is simply a collection of signals and ideas we have been tracking.



  1. Living in the Futures

  2. Do Artifacts Have Ethics?

  3. The 4 Transportation Systems You’ll Meet in the Future - CityLab

  4. The Ghost of NFC Future

  5. Superfictions: Design for Social Dreaming

  6. Sex Bots, Robo-Maids, and Other Sci-Fi Myths of the Coming Robot Economy

  7. AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs

  8. Wednesday Aug. 20, 2064 — What’s Next

  9. The Technium

  10. Why Google’s secret lab gave up on space elevators, hoverboards, and teleportation

  11. ECAL “Delirious Home”

  12. Signs from the near future

  13. 15 Theses About the Digital Future: Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

  14. On the Verge of a Scientific Breakthrough…Ten Years and Counting

  15. Ray Kurzweil – How the World Will Change

  16. 5 Future Forecasts That Will Change The World



Sub-themes: responsive cities, physical-world search, object/system transparency, security vulnerability in connected objects, smart homes, quantified populations, sentinel devices, contextual public spaces, planned obsolescence

  1. Clockwork City, Responsive City, Predictive City and Adjacent Incumbents

  2. OPC Hack

  3. Robohouse tested energy use by simulating human occupancy

  4. As we may understand

  5. iBeacons: 5 UX Predictions for 2014

  6. physical-web/introduction.md at master · google/physical-web

  7. Passive Sensing Lets Smartphones Find Parking Spots

  8. The internet of things is setting up the ultimate culture clash

  9. Is Your Food Safe? Baidu’s New ‘Smart Chopsticks’ Can Tell

  10. Wednesday Aug. 20, 2064 — What’s Next — Medium

  11. A Robot With a Little Humanity

  12. Crypto weakness in smart LED lightbulbs exposes Wi-Fi passwords

  13. RetailNext, making brick-and-mortar a little more like e-commerce, raises $30M

  14. How you and I could become nodes in the internet of things

  15. Huge New York Development Project Becomes a Data Science Lab

  16. In praise of boring objects

  17. Organizing the Exploding List of Enchanted Objects

  18. Google Anticipates Serving Ads To Refrigerators, Cars And More

  19. How the Internet of Garbage Cans Will Remake Our Future Cities

  20. Why Gadgets in the Internet of Things Must Be Programmed to Die

  21. Mapping Our Interiors

  22. This Search Engine For The Internet Of Things Promises To Make Data More Meaningful To People

  23. From Selling Products to Managing Services: PARC blog

  24. A tale of two thermostats: What Nest and Ecobee teach us about connected thermostats

  25. The Internet of Vegetables: How Cyborg Plants Can Monitor Our World

  26. The internet of bees could save our food supply



  1. The 4 Transportation Systems You’ll Meet in the Future - CityLab

  2. My (autonomous) car, my safety: Results from our reader poll

  3. Google Answers Some of the Pressing Questions About Its Self-Driving Car

  4. Google’s Plan for Autonomous Cars Doesn’t Go Far Enough



Sub-themes: wearable authentication, activity/health tracking, emotion tracking, social wearables, personal drone companions

  1. How the NFL tracks everything on the field but the ball

  2. Wearable Key: Device for Personalizing nearby Environment

  3. A closer look at Ralph Lauren’s smart shirt for athletes

  4. Lechal haptic insoles

  5. Zazzi by FashionTEQ


  7. TrackingPoint Labs - Shotview App & Wearable Technology

  8. Android Wear Prototype: Quick Sharing to Pocket

  9. Nymi

  10. These Haptic Gloves Can Teach Your Brain Skills Even When You’re Not Paying Attention

  11. Lechal haptic insoles

  12. Wearable Computers and the Internet of You

  13. You don’t want your privacy: Disney and the meat space data race

  14. Google embeds camera in smart contact lens



Sub-themes: 3D printing, printable circuits, nanopower, zero-resistance electricity, supercharging batteries

  1. New Battery Charges 70 Percent in Two Minutes, Lasts 20 years

  2. HTC Re camera Preview - CNET

  3. This Ant-Sized Radio Is Powered by the Messages It Receives

  4. Squink Lets You Print A Circuit Board For The Price Of A Cup Of Coffee

  5. This 3D printer technology can print a game controller, electronics and all

  6. Scientists Report Finding Reliable Way to Teleport Data

  7. A Technique for 3D Printing of Soft Interactive Objects

  8. Scientists Produce Rounded Crystals That Could Lead To 3D-Printed Pills

  9. An Internet of Everything, Powered by Thin Gadgetry

  10. Five wonder materials that could change the world

  11. USC ICT Interactive 360º Light Field Autostereoscopic 3D Display



Sub-themes: Making the invisible visible, infrastructure design and socioeconomic power dynamics, infrastructure to support autonomous systems, localized solutions vs. generalized standards, block chains, future network strategies

  1. BitTorrent wants to change the way the web is built
  2. Visions of a Techno-Leviathan: The Politics of the Bitcoin Blockchain
  3. Clockwork City, Responsive City, Predictive City and Adjacent Incumbents

  4. Security Cameras Viewable Online Due to Use of Default Passwords

  5. Manhole Covers, Street Markings, etc. in New York City

  6. Glowing Orbs Reveal GPS Strength Wherever You Take Them

  7. Endaga – Community Cellular Networks

  8. Ingrid Burrington - Crash Course in Digital Literacy

  9. The internet is fucked



Sub-themes: beyond the CMS, transparency in data journalism, structured data, drone journalism, cross-platform news experiences, creating context, sentient articles

  1. The End Of Apps As We Know Them

  2. MozFest 2014: Thinking about (and soon building) sentient articles

  3. Clay Johnson on creative technologists, designing with empathy and news as a community service

  4. How a small experiment at The Washington Post revolutionized its content management platform

  5. Pics or It Didn’t Happen: The New Crisis of Connected Cameras - The Atlantic

  6. Wearables could make the “glance” a new subatomic unit of news » Nieman Journalism Lab

  7. Drone journalism takes off to give Kenyans a new view

  8. MIT Rethinks How You Consume News

  9. True Facts, Maybe

  10. Will Virtual Reality Reshape Documentary Journalism?

  11. How some journalists are using anonymous secret-sharing apps

  12. How to design a CMS for the modern newsroom

  13. Can you turn future news events into structured data?

  14. Eventful - Microsoft Research

  15. At Circa, it’s not about ‘chunkifying’ news but adding structure

  16. How The Guardian Uses “Attention Analytics” To Track Rising Stories

  17. Now What?: Digital First

  18. Rage Against the Algorithms



  1. An Air Traffic Control System for Drones

  2. SPARKED: A Live Interaction Between Humans and Quadcopters

  3. smart atoms spaxels by ars electronica draw 3D images in the night sky

  4. Two Million Flight Hours and Beyond: Lockheed Martin Supports Army UAS Technology

  5. LAPD adds drones to arsenal, says they’ll be used sparingly

  6. Cambridge Journals Online - Drones and the Question of “The Human”

  7. Droneism: Dissent Magazine

  8. Swarms of drones could be the next frontier in emergency response



Sub-themes: Robot tourism, data liability / litigation, exaptation

  1. Fitbit Data Now Being Used In The Courtroom - Forbes

  2. Miss a Payment? Good Luck Moving That Car

  3. In this Chinese city, phone addicts get their own sidewalk lane

  4. Sue My Car Not Me: Products Liability and Accidents Involving Autonomous Vehicles

  5. Screenshots as POV

  6. Take A Tour Of The Tate Through A Robot’s Eyes

  7. LAPD adds drones to arsenal, says they’ll be used sparingly

  8. Insurance Vultures and the Internet of Things

  9. DNA forensic property marking

  10. A vast hidden surveillance network runs across America, powered by the repo industry

  11. China creates giant vending machine dispensing electric cars for rent



  1. Bitcoin: the Stripe perspective

  2. Introducing Stellar

  3. Beware of Geeks Bearing Formulas: When property becomes smart

  4. Code your own utopia: Meet Ethereum, bitcoin’€™s most ambitious successor

  5. Minimum Viable Block Chain

  6. Bitcoin Itself May Live or Die, but Cryptocurrencies Will Live On

  7. The failure of Mt. Gox could be a mortal wound for bitcoin

  8. Solarcoin Awards Coins for Solar Power Generation



Sub-themes: privacy as privilege, sub-internets with different privacy policies, crypto-phones, reputation and identity management / hacking, decaying permissions

  1. Security Cameras Viewable Online Due to Use of Default Passwords

  2. Exclusive: Hundreds Of Devices Hidden Inside New York City Phone Booths

  3. [The Rise Of The Crypto Phone Popular Science](http://www.popsci.com/article/gadgets/rise-crypto-technology)
  4. Facebook is convinced this man is his mother

  5. Cyborg Unplug

  6. BitTorrent’s Chat Client Unveiled

  7. Forget Glass. Here Are Wearables That Protect Your Privacy.

  8. Privacy Badger

  9. Beacons, marketing and the neoliberal logic of space, or: The Engelbart overshoot

  10. The Internet With A Human Face

  11. A vast hidden surveillance network runs across America, powered by the repo industry

  12. You don’t want your privacy: Disney and the meat space data race

  13. :: Blackphone ::

  14. The Rise Of The Crypto Phone



Sub-themes: Hertzian personal space, presence-based consensus, presence-based authentication, body as network node, controlling personal visibility to networks

  1. Splinternet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


  3. For When You’re Inciting A Revolution Or In A Disaster, A Way To Send Mobile Messages Completely Off The Grid



Sub-themes: algorithm bias / ethics, deep learning, impulse response modeling, post-mortem data markets, personal data transactions, engineered filter failure, real-time decision modeling

  1. The Three Breakthroughs That Have Finally Unleashed AI on the World

  2. Who did what?: Identifying actions in video by building a grammar of subactions

  3. Extracting audio from visual information

  4. Advances in Artificial Intelligence Will Let Software Extract Personal Data from Our Online Photos

  5. Chainsaws, Gunshots and Coughs: Our Smartphones Are Listening

  6. Corrupt Personalization

  7. Chicago’s Police Computer Predicts Crime, But Is It Racist?

  8. It’s time to engineer some filter failure

  9. Rage Against the Algorithms



Sub-themes: haptics, gestural UI, AR, trust as a design value, evolving reading / consumption interactions, designing for underrepresented audiences, haptic Hertzian visibility

  1. The End Of Apps As We Know Them - Inside Intercom

  2. Calm Technology

  3. As we may understand — Medium

  4. iBeacons: 5 UX Predictions for 2014

  5. Pixar Vets Reinvent Speech Recognition So It Works for Kids

  6. Stepping Down: Rethinking the Fitness Tracker - The Atlantic

  7. Duet: Exploring Joint Interactions on a Smart Phone and a Smart Watch - YouTube

  8. What Are “Nearables,” And Why Is Ideo So Excited About Them?

  9. Prototyping and Boundary Objects

  10. Burying the URL

  11. Sensory Fiction

  12. How Magic Leap Is Secretly Creating a New Alternate Reality

  13. Tongueduino

  14. Birdly

  15. Lechal haptic insoles

  16. Weight and Volume Changing UI

  17. An iPad Mini Case with Shape Shifting Buttons Will Make Typing on a Touch Screen Much Faster

  18. AllSee Gestures

  19. Ultrahaptics

  20. ATAP Project Tango – Google

  21. These Haptic Gloves Can Teach Your Brain Skills Even When You’re Not Paying Attention

  22. Soon your text messages could smell like curry



Sub-themes: body as network node, cyborgs, biological computation / networking, networked biology, body-powered gadgets, assistive tech → augmented tech, emotional augmentation, synthetic biology, organic-synthetic sensing

  1. Harvard cracks DNA storage, crams 700 terabytes of data into a single gram

  2. Architecture-by-Bee and Other Animal Printheads

  3. ‘Electronic skin’ equipped with memory

  4. A Gold Gadget That Would Let You Stop Heart Attacks With a Smartphone

  5. A 3D-Printed Ultrasound Cast That Looks Awesome and Heals You Faster

  6. Here’s That Extra Pair of Robot Arms You’ve Always Wanted

  7. BBC - Future - The people with ‘animal powers’

  8. DNA forensic property marking

  9. Boston Company Developing Synthetic Organs



  1. All Dressed Up For Mars and Nowhere to Go

  2. A Japanese drink company is putting the first billboard on the moon



  1. What We Talk About When We Talk About What We Talk About When We Talk About Making

  2. Psychometrics on Vimeo