Disrupt-O-Meter - InformationWeek

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Hardware & Infrastructure


A look at emerging technology that's Disruptive -- and that isn't.

Stanford University engineers are developing a robot that can build an Ikea bookcase with a hammer and screwdriver--a feat of dexterity that even many engineers would find difficult. The project follows a Stanford team's successful design of a robot car that tore over 132 miles of desert last year without human intervention. Both projects point to recent advances in artificial intelligence systems that more closely mimic the human brain.
disruptive dial: medium

Wal-Mart might understand supply chains, but the retailer has a thing to learn about hip social networking sites. The company launched a MySpace-like site that's designed to appeal to teen back-to-school apparel shoppers, whom Wal-Mart has named "Hubsters." But the retailer screens content, won't let kids e-mail each other, and has made the site revolve around Wal-Mart clothing pitches.
disruptive dial: low

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