Beyond fitness trackers and smartwatches, wearables have arguably lacked the impact and widespread adoption that the technology industry has shouted about.
Sure, the discontinued Google Glass might have been trialled at a few hospitals to assist doctors with operations, and wearables brand Vuzix has seen some of its industrial-grade smart glasses put to use in manufacturing, but few have really punched into a cross section of industries with any gusto.
Intel could change that. The company revealed a set of helmet mounted glasses at CES 2016 in Las Vegas akin to science fiction X-ray specs that can effectively see into objects such as pipes and machinery.
X-rays are harmful out of controlled environments, so Intel has worked with augmented reality company Daqri, which developed the helmet, to provide its RealSense 3D camera and Core m7 processor that can produce an overlay of wiring, schematics and problems over a piece of machinery or industrial installation.
A 360-degree array of sensors allows the helmet to track a wearer's movement and vision and provide information such as step-by-step instructions on how to carry out a task. Wearers of the Daqri Smart Helmet, as the headset has been dubbed, can effectively peer into the workings of equipment in real time.
This could save engineers and mechanics time when it comes to fixing or diagnosing problems with machinery and components, while ensuring that the work is carried out safely.
The helmet is not dissimilar to Microsoft's HoloLens augmented reality concept, but appears to be a more mature product.The wearable device is very much focused on industrial use, rather than a consumer product that has applications in the business world.
However, unlike other industrial wearables, Intel and Daqri have created a product that does not need to be used in very specific situations and could be used in all manner of industries, from heavy manufacturing and car production to high-end electronics and aerospace.
No information has been revealed about how much the Daqri Smart Helmet will cost, but it has been slated for an early 2016 release and could see wearables finally making headway in the enterprise world with compelling and flexible applications.
Tim Peake has successfully lifted off on his journey to the International Space Station (ISS), making him the first UK astronaut to head for the craft. He is also the first Briton in space on a publically funded trip.
Peake, alongside Russian commander Yuri Malenchenko and US astronaut Tim Kopra, took off at 11:03am from Kazakhstan and will reach speeds of 17,500mph en route to the ISS.
The journey to the ISS will take around six hours, and once docked and safely on board he will spend six months living some 250 miles above the Earth.
Peake's mission has been named Principia in honour of Isaac Newton, and he will conduct numerous experiments on the ISS, some on behalf of the European Space Agency and others for station partners, chiefly the US and Russia.
These range from experiments on the body and mind, to radiation and space metals and plasma.
Peake's journey to space began at the age of 20 when he joined the British Army Air Corps and eventually became a pilot. He served 18 years in the Army, with tours in Bosnia and Afghanistan and as a test pilot.
He logged over 3,000 flying hours on more than 30 types of helicopter and aircraft, all helping to make him an ideal candidate to go into space and spend six months dealing with the unique and challenging living conditions of the ISS.
Peake is not the first Brit to go into space, though. That honour belongs to Helen Sharman, who was chosen as part of a mission in 1991 funded in part by the former USSR and corporate sponsorship.
As the BBC story at the time noted, getting corporate sponsorship was not easy: "The only sponsors to come forward are Interflora, a watch manufacturer and a cassette tape company.”
No doubt a similar corporate deal would be a lot easier to secure these days.
A hefty £1bn has been earmarked by the government to fund new technology for the NHS over the next five years in order to make the massive healthcare organisation become more efficient and hit its target of £22bn in efficiency savings.
While £1bn is not a small amount of money, it is not, relatively speaking, a huge sum either when it comes to rolling out technology across an organisation that employs over a million people.
So health secretary Jeremy Hunt has commissioned former UK digital champion and all-round technology advocate Baroness Martha Lane Fox to come up with ways in which the NHS can use digital technology and services to ensure the investment is put to good to use.
"In the network age, universality, equity and quality must be at the very centre of how we build, adopt and scale new technologies in health. No one must be left behind," said Lane Fox.
With the concept of digital inclusion, whereby people have universal access to the services and benefits of new technology, at the top of the agenda, Fox came up with four main recommendations for the National Information Board.
The first is to ensure those with the most pressing health and social needs are prioritised when it comes to creating and introducing new digital tools across the NHS; given the diversity of ailments the healthcare organisation treats, this is not likely to be the most simple of tasks.
The second point is much more straightforward: the provision of free Wi-Fi in every NHS building. Of course, the NHS is the largest public healthcare organisation in the world, so that means implementing and rolling out free Wi-Fi access to a lot of buildings.
Lane Fox followed that with the recommendation that NHS staff are trained in basic digital skills to ensure that they can support patients' use of digital services.
Finally, the Baroness recommended that 10 percent of registered patients in each GP practice should be capable of using a digital service such as online appointment booking, repeat prescriptions and accessing their records by 2017.
Hitting this target shouldn't be too difficult given that people are becoming increasingly tech-savvy. However, the people who lean on the NHS the most tend to be of advanced age and have little or no digital skills, so it's vital that the NHS can still serve users through non-digital means.
The government noted that the National Information Board is currently considering Fox's recommendations.
A technology overhaul can bring significant benefits for hospitals, as seen with the £200m IT transformation of Cambridge University Hospital with the help of HP.
Facebook founder and proud dad Mark Zuckerberg has announced that he and wife Priscilla Chan will give up 99 percent of their shares in Facebook to fund a new initiative inspired by the birth of their daughter Max.
Zuckerberg and Chan celebrated the arrival of their daughter by announcing in a lengthy post on Facebook that they want to create a world that Max can thrive in by using their immense wealth in areas such as education, healthcare and connectivity.
“Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today,” they wrote.
The happy couple will now pour the money into the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to support this goal, with a focus on “personalised learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities”.
“We will give 99 percent of our Facebook shares - currently about $45bn - during our lives to advance this mission,” the couple added breezily.
The money will be given in stages and Zuckerberg will still retain a majority stake in the company for the foreseeable future.
Nevertheless, the intention to give away such a huge amount of money in the name of charity by such a well-known tech figure is notable, and could well encourage others with frankly obscene net worth to do likewise.
Indeed, one of the first to back Zuckerberg and Chan's plans was Melissa Gates, part of the power couple that heads up the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation which is also dedicated to using the immense wealth Gates generated from Microsoft to improve the planet.
“As for your decision to give back so generously, and to deepen your commitment now, the first word that comes to mind is: wow. The example you’re setting today is an inspiration to us and the world," she wrote by way of reply on the Facebook post.
“We can be confident of this: Max and every child born today will grow up in a world that is better than the one we know now. As you say, 'Seeds planted now will grow.' Your work will bear fruit for many decades to come.”
Michael Bloomberg also praised Chan and Zuckerberg for the decision, claiming that they will never regret it. And he urged other super rich tech leaders to do likewise.
"The traditional approach to giving - leaving it to old age or death - is falling by the wayside, as it should. Mark’s decision shows that, when it comes to philanthropy, 30 is the new 70," he said.
"I share many of Mark’s philanthropic interests, especially around education and innovation, and his focus on long-term ideas and research will help create economic opportunities and promote social equality for generations to come. The only question now is: how many of his peers in Silicon Valley and beyond will join him?"
Whether other leaders, such as those at Google, Apple, Oracle and so forth, are compelled to do likewise remains to be seen, but it is heartening to see a couple with so much wealth and influence recognise at such a young age that their money can be better spent on improving the world, rather than on garish super yachts, private islands or fleets of never-driven sports cars.
3D printing is one of those alluring parts of the technology world that has people bubbling with ideas of what they can and will print.
But the time, cost and varying quality of current consumer 3D printers has meant they have yet to take the hobby and craft market by storm.
You are more likely to find 3D printers being used by startups to create cheap and cheerful prototypes; some even use 3D printing to create prosthetic limbs that are markedly cheaper and faster to produce than current alternatives.
Arguable it is in the business world, from startups to large enterprises, where 3D printing will have the most impact in the near future.
Case in point would be Ford's use of industrial 3D printers to create prototype parts to inform the design of its next range of cars.
The car maker uses 3D printing to bring to life sketched designs and 3D models of car parts created with computer-assisted design software.
The printers can rapidly and cheaply produce plastic prototypes of car parts (pictured below), such as steering wheels, gear sticks, grilles and various other bodywork parts, all of which can be assessed in the physical world by engineers and designers.
Previously the process for complex parts would be carried out using clay models that required specific tooling, moulds and specialist technicians.
This meant producing prototypes could take months, depending on the complexity of the part, as well as cost Ford a hefty amount.
While Ford still uses clay models to create scale versions of its cars and less complex car parts, it now uses laser 3D printing to create detailed plastic prototypes within days or hours, saving the firm time and money, and giving its engineers and designers more scope to optimise each part for the car.
Ford is probably a few years away from creating mass market 3D printed cars, but with 3D printing allowing for the creation of metal and plastic models, it could only be a matter of time before cars are constructed mostly from printed parts.
Big data platforms are found in a variety of industries, from manufacturing firms using analytics to identify maintenance needs in a production line, to healthcare companies crunching large databases to aid medical research.
Tennis, a game that has gradually evolved over the past 150 years or so, is not the place you would expect a big data platform to reside.
But the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) thinks otherwise, which is why the organisation has worked with Infosys to collect and analyse all the data generated during the ATP World Tour competition, from systems such as Hawkeye and statistical information gleaned from each game.
To do this Infosys provided the ATP with a customised version of its Information Platform, a cloud-based data ingestion and analytics service designed to mix real-time data with historical information to enable the public, media and players to see a range of information based on games and tournaments, all displayed through a web portal or app.
For example, you can compare the serves of different players during an all-important break point, or see how different players apply topspin.
Infosys and the ATP wanted the platform to serve information that can get tennis fans more engaged in the games, provide the media with extra insights beyond the action on the court, and give players more information on their performance.
Serving such data is one thing, but the clever part of the Infosys Information Platform is the way it can tap into historical data from ATP tennis matches and five years' worth of Hawkeye replay data and apply machine learning to effectively predict the outcomes of games.
This required Infosys to train the machine learning algorithms to understand the nuances of tennis rather than the operations of enterprises, but the platform itself is created from a host of open source components put together by Infosys and controlled through a user interface that hides the complexity below the surface.
You could argue that adding predictive analytics to tennis erodes some of the fun of watching a tightly contested match, but what it does showcase is the flexible applications of the Infosys platform and the ways in which big data analytics can be applied to all manner of things.
Infosys has capitalised on this flexibility by basing the Information Platform on open-source engines and frameworks such as Hadoop and Apache Spark, commonly used in the IT and enterprise world, thereby enabling the platform to be deployed across numerous sectors without requiring masses of retooling and integration.
Further adding to this flexibility is the ability to deploy the Information Platform in the cloud or on-premise, with support for global cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
Looking for extra-terrestrial life is not usually associated with big data analytics and IBM technology, and is usually left to enthusiastic stargazers and people who may have been in the Mojave desert for too long.
But the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute begs to differ. SETI was showcased as an IBM customer at the company's Insight 2015 conference in Las Vegas, and makes use of IBM's Cloud Data Services and Apache Spark to analyse huge amounts of data harvested from the Allen Telescope Array in California.
SETI's goal is to find obvious narrow-band aspects of radio signals that differ from background astrophysical and human signals.
Dr Jill Tarter, holder of the Bernard Oliver Chair at SETI, said that four years of listening to signals has resulted in a collection of 100 million signals and a vast amount of raw data on the frequencies to which they relate.
This has given SETI a large database of signals that it has identified as interference from humans and non-alien sources.
SETI uses a combination of analytical resources in IBM's Cloud Data Services portfolio and Apache Spark to query this data and determine whether SETI may have missed something in the recorded interference.
The institute also uses this combination of cloud-based analytics and in-memory framework to find faster ways to diagnose signals.
"Capabilities like Apache Spark are opening up these previously unexplored data sets. We want to do what we've been doing faster and we want to do things that we didn't know we could or should do. Ultimately, we want to be able to analyse that overwhelming fire hose of data flowing from antennas. We want to listen better. We want to really find a signal," said Tarter.
So while such data processing and analytics tools have been championed as a way for enterprises to derive business-boosting information from data, they could also help discover whether humanity is alone in the universe. After all, the truth is out there.
'Don't be evil' has long been Google's motto, enshrined in its code of conduct while the firm casually rebuffs a litany of Right to be Forgotten requests and antitrust probes, while eroding individual privacy down to a wafer-thin margin.
But since Google created its own parent company in the form of Alphabet, the motto now applies only to the core divisions of the search firm, such as YouTube and Android, while other areas have a new set of rules to follow.
Revealed on its investor pages Alphabet's code of conduct includes rules dictating that employees should "avoid conflicts of interest", "obey the law" and the pithy "ensure financial integrity and responsibility".
"Employees of Alphabet and its subsidiaries and controlled affiliates should do the right thing - follow the law, act honourably and treat each other with respect," it said.
We could extrapolate from this that Alphabet's employees are now allowed to be evil so long as it is legal. Somewhere someone is rubbing their hands in glee.
X, Alphabet's experimental division, also falls under this new code of conduct, and those with an active imagination could foresee a future of drones and driverless cars doing what they please on public highways, given that it is now legal for them to do so.
Alphabet also offers its senior members a kind of get-out-of-jail clause just in case they act evilly and against the law.
"Any waivers of this code for directors or executive officers must be approved by our board," the code of conduct said.
There are clear demarcations between the rules to which Google and Alphabet employees must adhere, notably over pets. Google has declared itself pro-canine: "We like cats, but we're a dog company."
Alphabet has no preference on pets, but will no doubt frown on employees bringing in endangered white rhinos, what with their movement strictly prohibited.
Perhaps this could see a strong separation in the division. Google may end up sporting a workforce of nice yet reckless do-gooder dog lovers, akin to the calamity prone Wallace of Gromit fame.
While Alphabet's future ranks could be formed of disciplined, cat-stroking evil geniuses, adept in working legal loopholes. Think lawyers merged with Connery-era Spectre Bond villains.