The past year has seen a number of new innovative technologies gain ground. With each comes the potential to disrupt - sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse - the way we live our lives.

Al Jazeera explores some of the latest innovations that made the headlines in 2015.


2015 will undoubtedly be noted for a historic first: the landing by SpaceX of a rocket back on its launch pad, a major milestone in the drive to cut costs by making rockets reusable.

NASA spacecraft snaps first close image of Pluto

Europe's comet probe Philae surprised and delighted scientists when it woke up from hibernation, and made contact with controllers seven months after becoming the first spacecraft to land on a comet.

The first handshake between space and Earth demonstrated using new advanced robotics that allow real-time remote control.

NASA found water on Mars, suggesting liquid water is forming on the Red Planet.

The US space agency also snapped the first stunning close-up images of Pluto.

The Hubble Space Telescope celebrated 25 years of service.


2015 marked 100 years since the publication of Einstein's theory of General Relativity, which revolutionised our understanding of gravity, light and time, and paved the way for many modern technologies.

Germany launches world's largest nuclear fusion reactor

After 19 years in development scientists in Germany launched the world's largest nuclear fusion reactor, seen as a path to virtually limitless sources of zero-carbon electricity.

Researchers running the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland celebrated the first proton collisions since the particle collider was upgraded.

US scientists urged a ban on human genetic modification, which they say would allowing creation of "designer babies", and could lead to irreversible effects on humankind.


In the past year, social media giant Facebook announced that on a single day more than one billion people used the social media website, one in seven people globally.

The experimental solar-powered plane Solar Impulse 2, landed in Hawaii after a record-breaking, five-day journey across the Pacific Ocean from Japan.

Pac-man at 35: the video game that changed the world

Pac-man turned 35.

An Italian neurosurgeon announced he would conduct the world's first head transplant, and engineers in Japan broke the train speed record with a new Maglev train.

Dutch scientists revealed their say solar energy-generating road surface is more successful than expected.

A London-based company unveiled its prototype robot chef, which cooks by emulating human motions and could one day have access to an unlimited library of programmed recipes.

Source: Al Jazeera