2007's Tech on the cutting edge

While most of the emerging technologies discussed in this special report found their way into products and business implementations this year, many cutting-edge technologies were just getting their start in universities and research labs around the world. Here are just a few of the technologies that are poised to make a business impact in the future. Bionics While 2007 saw Jaime Sommers return to prime-time TV as the "Bionic Woman," bionics made some very significant advancements in the real world, helping people regain functionality from lost limbs and sometimes even providing improved capabilities. Nanotechnology In the classic original vision of nanotechnology, micromachines repaired everything and replicated themselves. That vision is still a distant dream, but nanotechnology-based materials are making a big impact on many different industries through the creation of lightweight and powerful materials and the enabling of next-generation energy sources. Next-gen user interfaces More than 20 years after the Mac brought the GUI to the masses, the vast majority of us still interact with our computer using a mouse and keyboard. Several new technologies, however, are poised to change the way people interact with their PCs--from devices that track eye movement to supersensitive touch interfaces to gesture-based systems similar to what Tom Cruise used in the sci-fi film "Minority Report." Robotics Robotics have made some impressive inroads in the last year. They're no Rosie from "The Jetsons," but robotics are serving well in the form of home systems such as the Roomba, and in robots that take on some of the most dangerous tasks in military, search-and-rescue and toxic-cleanup environments.

robotsWhile most of the emerging technologies discussed in this special report found their way into products and business implementations this year, many cutting-edge technologies were just getting their start in universities and research labs around the world. Here are just a few of the technologies that are poised to make a business impact in the future.

Bionics

While 2007 saw Jaime Sommers return to prime-time TV as the "Bionic Woman," bionics made some very significant advancements in the real world, helping people regain functionality from lost limbs and sometimes even providing improved capabilities.

Nanotechnology

In the classic original vision of nanotechnology, micromachines repaired everything and replicated themselves. That vision is still a distant dream, but nanotechnology-based materials are making a big impact on many different industries through the creation of lightweight and powerful materials and the enabling of next-generation energy sources.

Next-gen user interfaces

More than 20 years after the Mac brought the GUI to the masses, the vast majority of us still interact with our computer using a mouse and keyboard. Several new technologies, however, are poised to change the way people interact with their PCs--from devices that track eye movement to supersensitive touch interfaces to gesture-based systems similar to what Tom Cruise used in the sci-fi film "Minority Report."

Robotics

Robotics have made some impressive inroads in the last year. They're no Rosie from "The Jetsons," but robotics are serving well in the form of home systems such as the Roomba, and in robots that take on some of the most dangerous tasks in military, search-and-rescue and toxic-cleanup environments.

eWEEK's Look Back at the Emerging Technologies of 2007

The Year In Emerging Technology: 2007 We take a look at the emerging technologies that were announced or started to gain traction in 2007 and identify the technologies that are most likely to deliver important improvements for all businesses.

The Biggest Emerging Technology Disappointments of 2007 When a product or technology is still emerging, it's hardly fair to call it a flop. But it isn't too early to be disappointed by some of the failures of promising technologies.