WhyCreated a more efficient lithium-ion battery that could reduce the cost of energy storage for the electric grid and electric vehicles.Company Details
50 percentThe company claims it can reduce the cost of lithium-ion batteries by 50 percent.
WhyVindicated this year when the U.S. FDA granted permission to tell customers whether their DNA puts them at higher risk for some diseases.Company Details
1 million plus:number of customers who have consented to have their genetic information used for scientific research
WhyCreating an AI-powered store of the future with Amazon Go while expanding intelligent voice assistant Alexa into phones, cars, and more.Company Details
12,000:number of programs that software developers have published for Alexa
WhyBuilding an operating system for commercial drones, as well as a traffic control system that could increase their usefulness.Company Details
LeaderAirware’s founder and CEO also leads an investment fund that supports businesses creating technologies for commercial drones.
WhyIts innovative batteries for the power grid make this startup unusually successful in a tough industry.Company Details
BackersInclude Bill Gates, Shell.
WhyContinues to dominate research into AI while expanding innovation in phone systems, virtual reality, and self-driving cars.Company Details
40 percent:amount of energy the company says it saves applying machine-learning algorithms from its DeepMind subsidiary to cooling its data center.
WhyThis e-commerce company is the continent’s first tech company to be valued at more than $1 billion.Company Details
26Africa Internet Group operates in 26 African countries.
WhyQuickly expanding the artificial intelligence in its Alibaba Cloud platform, including industry-specific products, and launching a global electronic trade platform to build its business with small and medium-size companies around the world.Company Details
57 percent:Alibaba’s share of Chinese online commerce
WhyAdvanced manufacturing facilities it is developing rely on connected sensors and sophisticated software to improve factory efficiency.Company Details
$80 billionRecord revenue generated in 2015.
WhyDespite the high-profile loss this year of its well-regarded head of AI, Andrew Ng, the company is doing important work in the field, including leading China’s National Engineering Lab of Deep Learning Technology and Application.Company Details
1,300:number of employees dedicated to working on AI
WhyUses of its life-saving immunotherapy, Opdivo, has expanded to lung cancer, advanced renal-cell carcinoma, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.Company Details
Five yearsOne-third of patients with advanced melanoma survived for five years in a study of Opdivo.
WhySouth Korea’s largest and fastest-growing online-only retailer is innovating in mobile commerce and same-day delivery.Company Details
$5 billionCoupang’s most recent valuation.
WhyLast summer a hospital in London used Cellectis’s gene-editing technology to heal a child with otherwise untreatable leukemia.Company Details
$300 millionThough not profitable, the company has over $300 million in cash, enough to last through 2018.
WhyIts novel 3-D printing process makes it possible to fabricate parts out of a wide variety of plastics.Company Details
100,000:number of pairs of shoes Adidas will print by the end of 2018 using Carbon technology
WhyApple’s $1 billion investment, part of $7 billion raised this year, will help the Chinese ride-hailing app continue to fend off Uber.Company Details
14 millionNumber of rides its drivers complete a day.
WhyA number of Australian radiologists are now using the company’s deep-learning software to analyze x-rays.Company Details
50 percentClaims its algorithm read chest CT images 50 percent more accurately than experts in its own test.
WhyPlans to begin testing a powerful new form of gene repair in humans within two years.Company Details
$94 millionMoney raised in its February IPO, and the stock is up 85 percent since then.
WhyDespite controversies over fake news, live streaming video, and discriminatory advertising, and poor sales of its Oculus VR headset, it continues to work on interesting applications of AI and VR, and its Instagram business is singing.Company Details
20:number of natural-language data sets built into the company’s AI research tool, ParlAI.
WhyWith clients like JPMorgan Chase, Sony Pictures, and Target, it’s creating a new model for computer security on a large scale.Company Details
In the worksNew products focus on securing public and private clouds and detecting targeted e-mail attacks.
WhyMaking advances in cadmium telluride cells; building three of the five largest solar projects in the U.S.Company Details
$2.9 billion:estimated 2017 revenue
WhyWorld’s largest maker of industrial robots is incorporating machine learning.Company Details
EightNumber of hours a Fanuc robot needs to learn a task with 90 percent accuracy.
WhyThis Chinese telecommunications giant is now the world’s third-largest smartphone vendor thanks to strong sales in both premium and entry-level devices.Company Details
27.5 millionNumber of smartphones Huawei shipped in the first quarter of 2016, according to market researcher IDC.
WhyThe Oxitec division of this biotech holding company genetically engineers mosquitoes that could reduce the spread of Zika.Company Details
$174 millionAcquisitions increased sales from $8 million to $174 million in five years.
WhyExploring new technologies like blockchain and cloud AI while continuing work on important long-term challenges like quantum computing.Company Details
400:number of customers the company has worked with on blockchain applications
WhyIts large-scale desalination process is winning big contracts in China and Australia.Company Details
30 percentBy October IDE will be producing 30 percent of Santa Barbara’s water.
WhyAcquisitions in computer vision and AI show it’s serious about adapting to new technology.Company Details
46 percent:portion of revenues derived from areas beyond PC chips
WhyAfter a drop in sales last fall, unveiled a new machine, NovaSeq, that will be capable of sequencing 48 entire human genomes in two and a half days—and could one day push the cost of genome sequencing down to $100.Company Details
$850,000:price of the cheaper of its two NovaSeq models
WhyIts virtual-world simulation platform is used to create VR software and test driverless cars.Company Details
FundingAndreessen Horowitz is a major backer.
WhyThe Japanese messaging app is quick to add innovative features, such as group calls for up to 200 people, and plans an IPO this year.Company Details
218 millionNumber of monthly active users.
WhyMaker of electronic building blocks has accelerated its growth with new funding, new investors, and new distribution.Company Details
$299Basic kits sell for $99 to $299.
WhyIts fast-growing cloud business has reduced the software giant’s reliance on PC sales. Its expanding team of quantum computing experts hopes to develop commercially viable products to compete with efforts by Google and IBM.Company Details
$15 billion:projected annual revenue for its commercial cloud business
WhyIts computer-vision chips are making mobile devices and drones smarter.Company Details
On the radarDrones using Movidius technology can sense obstacles to avoid collisions.
WhyA leader in making driver assistance technology such as collision warning systems for clients including Tesla, General Motors, and Volkswagen, among others, it is working on advances that will enable fully autonomous cars.Company Details
600Number of employees who are annotating the images used to train its autonomous driving system.
WhyUsing RNA interference to create alternatives to conventional GMOs.Company Details
$1.5 billionMoney invested last year in research on new biotech traits, genomics, and more.
WhyContinues to tweak its chips, originally developed for gaming, to help develop breakthrough technologies like deep learning and autonomous driving.Company Details
$3 billion:spending on R&D to create its new data-center chip
WhyFood giant has jumped into microbiome research, working to develop “healthy gut” products.Company Details
$2 billionAt a slow time for its core food business, its nutritional therapies division has reached $2 billion in annual revenue in its first five years, and more strong growth is predicted.
WhyTwelve years and $200 million in the making, its inexpensive, portable genetic analyzer has been successfully tested from Antarctica to space and shows promising for on-the-spot diagnostic testing, germ monitoring, and more.Company Details
882,000 letters:record length of a single DNA strand read continuously by one of its machines
WhyHas begun first human trials of optogenetics, using light-triggered genetic changes to restore some vision to people with retinitis pigmentosa.Company Details
$12 millionRevenue raised from foundations and private investors as well as the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
WhyIts smart batteries, which include software to manage energy use and can store energy for later, are transforming the electricity market in Germany.Company Details
25 percentElectricity on its system is 25 percent cheaper than the electricity on the grid, according to the company.
WhyIts software makes it possible to analyze one of the world’s largest genomic data sets.Company Details
11,000Number of patients that have contributed 33 cancer types and subtypes to its Cancer Genomics Cloud.
WhyThe workplace communications app burrows more deeply into workplaces. Now you can use your Slack login for all the software your company uses.Company Details
Three millionNumber of daily active Slack users.
WhyChanging the economics of space travel with its successful landing and recycling of rockets to be recycled for multiple tripsCompany Details
10 percent:price discount being considered for customers who agree to fly their payloads on reused rockets
WhyBuilding out its advertising business by partnering with Viacom to sell ads and with Nielsen for marketing campaign data.Company Details
10 billionNumber of videos that are seen on the app every day.
WhyIts blindness treatment could be the first gene therapy approved in the U.S. to treat an inherited disease.Company Details
1 in 30,000:estimated number of individuals affected by the disease, Leber hereditary optic neuropathy
WhyTurning its insanely popular chat platform WeChat into a virtual operating system featuring mini programs.Company Details
50 percent:proportion of WeChat’s 770 million daily users who are on the service at least 90 minutes a day
WhyThis money-transfer service, with a peer-to-peer model for sending money abroad, aims to charge lower fees than traditional players.Company Details
$750 millionMoney TransferWise helps users exchange every month.
WhyIts flexible tool for diagnosing abnormalities more quickly has FDA approval for certain uses, including detecting a fungus that causes sepsis.Company Details
35Number of customers who now use the company’s bench-top diagnostic system.
WhyWhile advancing autopilot technology in its Model S and X cars, the company is taking electric vehicles mainstream with its $35,000 Model 3 car, which already has 400,000 pre-orders.Company Details
50 percentAccording to CEO Elon Musk, drivers have a 50 percent lower chance of having an accident when driving with Tesla Autopilot.
LeaderRoboticist Gill Pratt is CEO of the Toyota Research Institute.
WhyLaunched by well-regarded researchers and funded with venture capital backed by Chinese and U.S. pharmaceutical companies, it will sequence anyone’s genome for just $1,000 and interpret it, too. In 2017, it started offering to sequence newborns in China.Company Details
1,250:number of conditions, risks, and traits it will tell parents about in their newborns