Using a computer with your brain… and energy storage make list of tech game changers

Super light cars and national-scale electricity storage have been named among the top 10 emerging technologies of the year. The World Economic Forum has picked out the ideas and devices […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Super light cars and national-scale electricity storage have been named among the top 10 emerging technologies of the year.

The World Economic Forum has picked out the ideas and devices it reckons will reshape the future.

It includes computer interfaces operated by the power of thought and a new technique for extracting metals along with drinking water from the sea.

The inclusion of grid-scale electricity storage suggests how key this is to future energy supply because of the rise of renewable energy.

The Forum reckons a “fundamental breakthrough” to store surplus energy from unpredictable sources such as the sun and wind is “close”.

With ever more attention paid to transport’s carbon footprint, lighter cars – and so needing less fuel – also made the list.

These designs – using carbon-fibre reinforced composites – are as much as 40% lighter than older models, stronger and more easy to recycle, offering the prospect for huge energy savings, according to the Forum.

Martina Larkin, Senior Director and Head of the Network of Global Agenda Councils, World Economic Forum said: “2014 will be a crucial year for these technologies. Close cooperation between governments, industry and academia is essential to harness their potential”.