What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

The Top 5 BigThinkiest Technologies at CES 2013

January 11, 2013, 11:58 AM

Every year since 1967, the world's technology companies gather at the International Consumer Electronics Show to exhibit the latest flashy products they've been working on. For the tech nuts who need to experience the absolute cutting edge in consumer technology, it's the greatest show on Earth.

Here are the five biggest deals to come out of CES 2013:

4K and OLED TVs

Forget 3D TV. People don't want to attach wonky goggles to their faces just to watch television, so sales fell flat and the technology was largely ignored.

Manufacturers are instead choosing to make TVs that can 2D images of unbelievable quality. This is made possible with OLED (organic light-emitting diode) and 4K technology.

OLED isn't about resolution. Your picture will stay the same size. Instead, it's about quality. Colors will be better and the picture will be brighter.

4K, however, is all about resolution. A 4K television pumps out video at four times the resolution of today's HDTVs. The sharpness on these TVs is completely unsurpassed.

Wireless charging

We're seeing an aggressive push to say goodbye to power cords for your gadgets. You'll instead be setting them down on a charging surface, where they will wirelessly draw the electricity for themselves by way of inductive charging.

This has previously been possible with help from accessories (a special case for your phone, for example), but manufacturers are beginning to build this capability into their devices more often. Take Nokia's Lumia 920 smartphone, which comes out of the box ready to for cordless charging without any special knickknacks. Except for its charging pad, of course.

Ubuntu as a mobile OS

Generally speaking, consumers have two options in the world of mobile operating systems - Apple's iOS or Google's Android. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, but we have yet to see another mobile OS present a strong third option.

This might just change with Ubuntu. It's a Linux-based operating system already powering a small percentage of computers around the world, so surely a scaled-down build should be more than enough for your phone.

Early looks at Ubuntu Mobile show it to be extremely polished, like Apple's iOS, but also extremely open and customizable, like Android. It simply combines the best characteristics of both major OSes, which might make it too appealing to ignore.

The Electric Imp

Controlling your home over the internet will soon be as common as flipping a physical lightswitch. And it can all be done affordably with the curiously-named Electric Imp.

The $25 Electric Imp is a simple circuit board with a processor and Wi-Fi connectivity. Hobbyists and device manufacturers can teach their Imps how to do any one of a number of things by interfacing them with real-world objects. Start your coffee maker with a text message. Turn off the lawn sprinkler when it's raining. Turn on your kitchen lights when electricity is cheapest. You're limited only by your imagination.

Self-driving cars

Google was the first company to bring the idea into the mainstream consciousness, but it's by no means the only one working in the space. Audi and Toyota both have their own self-piloting automobiles that they're showing off at this year's CES.

These cars make use of GPS to know where they are, a camera array to know what's surrounding them, and computer software to interpret all of this data. The result is something bordering on magic.

These five technologies are strong contenders to shape our future and even be further developed down the road. But the consumers choose what lives and dies, so it's up to them to decide what sticks around.


The Top 5 BigThinkiest Tech...

Newsletter: Share: