In the two-plus years since the first TR100, the “state of innovation” has undergone a radical transformation. Long gone is the dot-com phenomenon-whatever that was-as is the irrational exuberance over telecom and e-commerce. Biologists have completed a draft of the human genome, offering a starting point for an entirely new way of practicing medicine. Nanotechnology has progressed faster than even its most rash advocates imagined, promising everything from ultrafast computers to cheap and quick diagnostics. And information technology continues to permeate almost everything we do-be it through biometric safeguards for “homeland security,” tiny sensors for monitoring roadways, or the networked home.
In the following pages, Technology Review identifies and explains today’s dominant trends in information technology, biomedicine, transportation and nanotechnology. Needless to say, prognosticating the future of technology is a risky business. But we dared to, after talking to dozens of experts in each field and many of this year’s TR100 members (whose names appear in bold)-today’s leaders and tomorrow’s stars. The result is a snapshot of the technologies that will transform industries or create new ones in the next five to ten years. This is the state of innovation in 2002.
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