The Solar Impulse is getting ready for a promotional cross-country flight before embarking on a trip around the world. But the tech that has gone into it is already having an influence across a wide range of industries.
You know the computerized voice that intones "Terrain! Terrain! Pull up!" when Tom Cruise is about to crash his plane in Mission Impossible 2? It's real; a company called Honeywell invented it. They followed it up with the SmartView "synthetic vision system," which extends the terrain-warning system into a 3-D visual display based on GPS data of every runway on earth (some of which Honeywell purchased from cash-strapped Russian spy agencies).