Tomorrow: A Sneak Preview
FROM BERKELEY TO BANGALORE, HERE'S WHERE TO GO FOR AN ADVANCE LOOK AT EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES IN USE TODAY.
By Anders Lotsson

(Business 2.0) – Where are the best places to see how tomorrow's cutting-edge technologies will change the world? That depends on what technology you hope to see. Thanks to globalization, outsourcing, and digital telecommunications networks, the teams that work on emerging technology projects are often spread across several time zones. Take the much-touted effort to develop hydrogen-powered vehicles. Once limited to a few visionary entrepreneurs, the quest now includes most of the world's major automakers and several leading petroleum companies.

Yet virtualization will take you only so far. To succeed commercially, a new technology needs a physical place where small-scale beta tests can be conducted and, ultimately, where real customers can use it in the marketplace. That's why anyone interested in hydrogen vehicles should visit Iceland--home to the world's first hydrogen filling station. It also explains why Western disease-control experts pay such close attention to Angola; in a country prone to devastating epidemics, the effectiveness of vaccines designed to combat Ebola and Marburg will be easy to assess.

We scanned the globe to find destinations like these--places that provide the best vantage points for observing how important new technologies are taking shape. Some are still confined to the lab. Others, like Wi-Max wireless broadband, are almost ready for prime time. Some enjoy high-profile corporate backing, while others are almost invisible--like the village in Colombia where scientists have dramatically reduced fossil fuel use by adapting engines to run on biodiesel refined from local palm trees. On the foldout pages that follow, you'll find Business 2.0's guide to the world's most interesting hot spots for emerging technologies, and the companies that are bringing them to reality.

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