In boom times for the tech industry, the bands playing the private parties and customer conferences get more recognizable. This year, acts like OK Go, Parliament Funkadelic, and the Dropkick Murphys have played for fist-pumping crowds of social media mavens, digital publishing gurus, and roboticists.
Read MoreInnovation EconomyMobile payments are good in theory, but not quite ready for primetime
Someday, a driven entrepreneur will devise the perfect mobile payment technology. You won’t need to charge it up, and it won’t require a companion app. You’ll be able to use it to purchase things from a chain store, independent boutique, vending machine, or food truck. You may even be able to fold it so that it fits into any pocket.
Read MoreKickstart thisThe miniPCR brings DNA testing to the masses
When Sebastian Kraves and Ezequiel "Zeke" Alvarez-Saavedra were growing up in Argentina, the science labs in their high school classrooms had only the most basic equipment. But the tools at their disposal were enough to spark an interest in biology that eventually led them both to Boston: Kraves received his doctorate in neurobiology from Harvard, while Alvarez-Saavedra took home a PhD in biology from MIT.
Read MoreSolve for Double XLesson #1 in succeeding in computer science as a woman? There will be trolls
Shelfie is not only an au courant name for an app, but a cool concept for these next few weeks of retail frenzy. Once you have the Android or iPhone apps, whenever there's a product you're hunting for that's out-of-stock, you use it to snap a picture of the empty shelf. The info about what's not there will be valuable to both retailers and product manufacturers, Shelfie posits. The shopper's reward? Points that can be converted into gift cards for use at places like Starbucks, Amazon, or Target.
Read MoreBudget innovationAn off-roading wheelchair made of bike parts tackles hiking trails
An engineer with an eye for cost-effective design is winning fans in the third world with an affordable wheelchair made out of bike parts. His next project: a sturdy off-road wheelchair to let riders navigate ski slopes and bike trails. Read More
When Katie O’Halloran reaches out to shake your hand, you can hear the whir before you feel her grip. It’s a slow process, and an awkward one, but because she’s waited two decades, each handshake feels like a victory. Read MoreMore of Dat to come?Cambridge-based Backupify acquired by Datto
The newest member of iRobot’s family is a disk-shaped doppelganger to the familiar Roomba vacuum cleaner. But rather than sending it scooting after dust bunnies, the company is pitching the $199 Create 2 as a programmable robot that is also an affordable educational and research tool. Read More