Plan for Colonizing Our Solar System

Futurism / ET posted:

In Brief

In an interview with the Washington Post, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reveals what he thinks will be the future of humanity when we eventually colonize space. He talks about a plan for colonizing our solar system with nuclear reactors in space, populations in the millions, and more.

Developments Unveiled

While Elon Musk’s SpaceX is the public face of the private space industry, there are other major players trying to bring humanity closer to the stars. Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic has been working on its own rocket technologies, and Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has been revealing more on the work they’re doing over at Blue Origin.

The previously secretive Blue Origin has been announcing more of its milestones in its space ambitions. It successfully landed the same rocket four times in a row, with the end goal of reusable rockets that will lower space travel costs.

The company has unveiled its own rocket, the “New Glenn,” which dwarfs any of the rockets being developed today. Bezos announced that the Glenn will be ferrying astronauts by the end of the decade.

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Blue Origin

Along with the engineering developments Blue Origin has announced, Bezos has also shared his predictions on human colonization of space, in an interview with The Washington Post.

Human colonization of space

In the interview, Bezos sees humans spreading out across the Solar System. He envisions “millions of people working and living in space.” But to do this, Bezos notes that we will have to figure out how to extract and manage the resources we can get from space, since Earth alone won’t be able to provide the materials for space colonization.

Bezos also says we will have to figure out how to harness nuclear technology in space, citing it as a viable alternative to solar power that will dim out as you move farther from the Sun. In fact, moving out into space would not just be a dream, but an imperative. We will have to move heavy industry outside of Earth, in order to preserve it. He envisions the Earth being “zoned” as residential and light industrial.

But does he think we will see space colonization in our lifetime? “Not in the near term… Eventually Mars might be amazing. But that’s a long way in the future.”

Source: http://futurism.com/jeff-bezos-just-revealed-his-ambitious-plan-for-colonizing-our-solar-system/

72 common things ten years from now not existing today

72 Stunning Future Things 1

How many things do we own, that are common today, that didn’t exist 10 years ago? The list is probably longer than you think.

Prior to the iPhone coming out in 2007, we didn’t have smartphones with mobile apps, decent phone cameras for photos/videos, mobile maps, mobile weather, or even mobile shopping.

None of the mobile apps we use today existed 10 years ago: Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat, Uber, Facetime, LinkedIn, Lyft, Whatsapp, Netflix, Pandora, or Pokemon Go.

Several major companies didn’t exist a decade ago. Airbnb, Tinder, Fitbit, Spotify, Dropbox, Quora, Tumblr, Kickstarter, Hulu, Pinterest, Buzzfeed, Indigogo, Udacity, or Jet.com just to name a few.

Ten years ago very few people were talking about crowdfunding, the sharing economy, social media marketing, search engine optimization, app developers, cloud storage, data mining, mobile gaming, gesture controls, chatbots, data analytics, virtual reality, 3D printers, or drone delivery.

At the same time we are seeing the decline of many of the things that were in common use 10-20 years ago. Fax machines, wired phones, taxi drivers, newspapers, desktop computers, video cameras, camera film, VCRs, DVD players, record players, typewriters, yellow pages, video rental shops, and printed maps have all seen their industry peak and are facing dwindling markets.

If we leapfrog ahead ten years and take notice of the radically different lives we will be living, we will notice how a few key technologies paved the way for massive new industries.

Here is a glimpse of a stunningly different future that will come into view over the next decade.

All of these items were replaced with smartphones!
All of these items were replaced with smartphones!

3D Printing

Also known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing has already begun to enter our lives in major ways. In the future 3D printers will be even more common than paper printers are today.

1.    3D printed makeup for women. Just insert a person’s face and the machine will be programmed to apply the exact makeup pattern requested by the user.

2.    3D printed replacement teeth, printed inside the mouth.

3.    Swarmbot printing systems will be used to produce large buildings and physical structures, working 24/7 until they’re completed.

4.    Scan and print custom designed clothing at retail clothing stores.

5.    Scan and print custom designed shoes at specialty shoe stores.

6.    Expectant mothers will request 3D printed models of their unborn baby.

7.    Police departments will produce 3D printed “mug shots” and “shapies” generated from a person’s DNA.

8.    Trash that is sorted and cleaned and turned into material that can be 3D printed.

How long before you own the next generation VR headset?
How long before you own the next generation VR headset?

Virtual/Augmented Reality

The VR/AR world is set to explode around us as headsets and glasses drop in price so they’re affordable for most consumers. At the same time, game designers and “experience” producers are racing to create the first “killer apps” in this emerging industry.

9.    Theme park rides that mix physical rides with VR experiences.

10. Live broadcasts of major league sports games (football, soccer, hockey, and more) in Virtual Reality.

11. Full-length VR movies.

12. Physical and psychological therapy done through VR.

13. Physical drone racing done through VR headsets.

14. VR speed dating sites.

15. For education and training, we will see a growing number of modules done in both virtual and augmented reality.

16. VR and AR tours will be commonly used in the sale of future real estate.

Flying/Driving Drones

Drones are quickly transitioning from hobbyist toys to sophisticated business tools very quickly. They will touch our lives in thousands of different ways.

17. Fireworks dropped from drones. Our ability to “ignite and drop” fireworks from the sky will dramatically change both how they’re made and the artistry used to display them.

18. Concert swarms that produce a spatial cacophony of sound coming from 1,000 speaker drones simultaneously.

19. Banner-pulling drones. Old school advertising brought closer to earth.

20. Bird frightening drones for crops like sunflowers where birds can destroy an entire field in a matter of hours.

21. Livestock monitoring drones for tracking cows, sheep, geese, and more.

22. Three-dimensional treasure hunts done with drones.

23. Prankster Drones – Send random stuff to random people and video their reactions.

24. Entertainment drones (with projectors) that fly in and perform unusual forms of live comedy and entertainment.

Our driverless future is coming!
Our driverless future is coming!

Driverless Cars/Transportation

Driverless technology will change transportation more significantly than the invention of the automobile itself.

25. Queuing stations for driverless cars as a replacement for a dwindling number of parking lots.

26. Crash-proof cars. Volvo already says their cars will be crash-proof before 2020.

27. Driverless car hailing apps. Much like signaling Uber and Lyft, only without the drivers.

28. Large fleet ownership of driverless cars (some companies will own millions of driverless cars).

29. Electric cars will routinely win major races like the Daytona 500, Monaco Grand Prix, and the Indy 500.

30. In-car work and entertainment systems to keep people busy and entertained as a driverless car takes them to their destination.

31. In-car advertising. This will be a delicate balance between offsetting the cost of operation and being too annoying for the passengers.

32. Electric car charging in less than 5 minutes.

Internet of Things

The Internet of things is the network of physical devices, vehicles, and buildings embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and actuators designed to communicate with users as well as other devices. We are currently experiencing exponential growth in IoT devices as billions of new ones come online every year.

33. Smart chairs, smart beds, and smart pillows that will self-adjust to minimize pressure points and optimize comfort.

34. Sensor-laced clothing.

35. “Print and Pin” payment systems that uses a biometric mark (fingerprint) plus a pin number.

36. Smart plates, bowls and cups to keep track of what we eat and drink.

37. Smart trashcan that will signal for a trash truck when they’re full.

38. Ownership networks. As we learn to track the location of everything we own, we will also track the changing value of each item to create a complete ownership network.

39. Self-retrieving shoes where you call them by name, through your smartphone, and your shoes will come to you.

40. Smart mailboxes that let you know when mail has arrived and how important it is.

Full-body physical health scanner!
Full-body physical health scanner!

Health Tech

Even though healthcare is a bloated and bureaucratic industry, innovative entrepreneurs are on the verge of disrupting this entire industry.

41. Hyper-personalized precision-based pharmaceuticals produced by 3D pill printers.

42. Ingestible data collectors, filled with sensors, to give a daily internal health scan and report.

43. Prosthetic limbs controlled by AI.

44. Real-time blood scanners.

45. Peer-to-peer health insurance.

46. Facetime-like checkups without needing a doctor’s appointment.

47. Full-body physical health scanners offering instant AI medical diagnosis, located in most pharmacies

48. Intraoral cameras for smartphones for DYI dental checkups.

The future of computers is the mind!
The future of computers is the mind!

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Much like hot and cold running water, we will soon be able to “pipe-in” artificial intelligence to any existing digital system.

49. Best selling biographies written by artificial intelligence.

50. Legal documents written by artificial intelligence.

51. AI-menu selection, based on diet, for both restaurants and at home.

52. Full body pet scanners with instant AI medical diagnosis.

53. AI selection of movies and television shows based on moods, ratings, and personal preferences.

54. Much like the last item, AI music selection will be based on moods, ratings, and musical tastes.

55. AI sleep-optimizers will control all of the environmental factors – heat, light, sound, oxygen levels, smells, positioning, vibration levels, and more.

56. AI hackers. Sooner or later someone will figure out how to use even our best AI technology for all the wrong purposes.

Unmanned aviation is coming!
Unmanned aviation is coming!

Transportation

Future transportation will come in many forms ranging from locomotion on an individual level to ultra high-speed tube transportation on a far grander scale.

57. Unmanned aviation – personal drone transportation.

58. 360-degree video transportation monitoring cameras at most intersections in major cities throughout the world.

59. Everywhere wireless. With highflying solar powered drones, CubeSats, and Google’s Project Loon, wireless Internet connections will soon be everywhere.

60. Black boxes for drones to record information in the event of an accident.

61. Air-breathing hypersonic propulsion for commercial aircraft. Fast is never fast enough.

62. Robotic follow-behind-you luggage, to make airline travel easier.

63. Robotic dog walkers and robotic people walkers.

64. Ultra high-speed tube transportation. As we look closely at the advances over the past couple decades, it’s easy to see that we are on the precipices of a dramatic breakthrough in ultra high-speed transportation. Businesses are demanding it. People are demanding it. And the only thing lacking is a few people capable of mustering the political will to make it happen.

Miscellaneous

As I began assembling this list, a number of items didn’t fit well in other categories.

65. Bitcoin loans for houses, cars, business equipment and more.

66. Self-filling water bottles with built-in atmospheric water harvesters.

67. Reputation networks. With the proliferation of personal information on websites and in databases throughout the Internet, reputation networks will be designed to monitor, alert, and repair individual reputations.

68. Atmospheric energy harvesters. Our atmosphere is filled with both ambient and concentrated forms of energy ranging from sunlight to lightning bolts that can be both collected and stored.

69. Pet education centers, such as boarding schools for dogs and horses, to improve an animal’s IQ.

70. Robotic bricklayers. With several early prototypes already operational, these will become common over the next decade.

71. Privacy bill of rights. Privacy has become an increasingly complicated topic, but one that is foundational to our existence on planet earth.

72. Hot new buzzword, “Megaprojects.”

72 Stunning Future Things 9
The safer we feel, the more risks we take!

Final Thoughts

There’s a phenomenon called the Peltzman Effect, named after Dr. Sam Peltzman, a renowned professor of economics from the University of Chicago Business School, who studied auto accidents.

He found that when you introduce more safety features like seat belts into cars, the number of fatalities and injuries doesn’t drop. The reason is that people compensate for it. When we have a safety net in place, people will take more risks.

That probably is true with other areas as well.

As life becomes easier, we take risks with our time. As our financial worries are met, we begin thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, inventor, or artist. When life becomes too routine, we search for ways to introduce chaos.

Even though we see reports that billions of jobs will disappear over the coming decades, we will never run out of work.

As humans, we were never meant to live cushy lives of luxury. Without risk and chaos as part of our daily struggle our lives seem unfulfilled. While we work hard to eliminate it, we always manage to find new ways to bring it back.

Yes, we’re working towards a better world ahead, but only marginally better. That’s where we do our best work.

Source: http://www.futuristspeaker.com/business-trends/72-stunning-things-in-the-future-that-will-be-common-ten-years-from-now-that-dont-exist-today/

Is AI The Worst Mistake In Human History?

 

By John Battelle    false

One of the most intriguing public discussions to emerge over the past year is humanity’s wrestling match with the threat and promise of artificial intelligence. AI has long lurked in our collective consciousness — negatively so, if we’re to take Hollywood movie plots as our guide — but its recent andvery real advances are driving critical conversations about the future not only of our economy, but of humanity’s very existence.

In May 2014, the world received a wakeup call from famed physicist Stephen Hawking. Together with three respected AI researchers, the world’s most renowned scientist warned that the commercially-driven creation of intelligent machines could be “potentially our worst mistake in history.” Comparing the impact of AI on humanity to the arrival of “a superior alien species,” Hawking and his co-authors found humanity’s current state of preparedness deeply wanting. “Although we are facing potentially the best or worst thing ever to happen to humanity,” they wrote, “little serious research is devoted to these issues outside small nonprofit institutes.”

That was two years ago. So where are we now?

Insofar as the tech industry is concerned, AI is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed. Which is to say, the titans of tech control most of it. Google has completely reorganized itself around AI and machine learning. IBM has done the same, declaring itself the leader in “cognitive computing.” Facebook is all in as well. The major tech players are locked in an escalating race for talent, paying as much for top AI researchers as NFL teams do for star quarterbacks.

This story is sent first to readers of NewCo’s new weekly newsletter, now read by thousands of smart folks just like yourself. Want to get it first? Subscribe free here.

Let’s review. Two years ago, the world’s smartest man said that ungoverned AI could well end humanity. Since then, most of the work in the field has been limited to a handful of extremely powerful for-profit companies locked in a competitive arms race. And that call for governance? A work in progress, to put it charitably. Not exactly the early plot lines we’d want, should we care to see things work out for humanity.

When it comes to managing the birth of a technology generally understood to be the most powerful force ever invented by humanity, exactly what kind of regulatory regime should prevail?

Which begs the question: When it comes to managing the birth of a technology generally understood to be the most powerful force ever invented by humanity, exactly what kind of regulation do we need?

Predictably, last week The Economist says we shouldn’t worry too much about it, because we’ve seen this movie before, in the transition to industrial society — and despite a couple of World Wars, that turned out alright. Move along, nothing to see here. But many of us have an uneasy sense that this time is different — it’s one thing to replace manual labor with machines and move up the ladder to a service and intellectual property-based economy. But what does an economy look like that’s based on the automation of service and intellect? The Economist’s extensive review of the field is worthy reading. But it left me unsettled.

“The idea that you can pull free physical work out of the ground, that was a really good trick.” That’s Max Ventilla, the former head of personalization for Google, who left the mothership to start the mission and data-driven education startup AltSchool. In an interview for an upcoming episode of ourShift Dialogs video series, Ventilla echoed The Economist’s take on the shift from manual labor to industrialized society and the rise of the fossil fuel economy. But he feels that this time, something’s different.

“Now we’re discovering how to pull free mental work out of the ground,” he told me. “(AI) is going to be a huge trick over the next 50 years. It’s going to create even more opportunity — and much more displacement.”

Hawking’s call to action singled out “an IT arms race fueled by unprecedented investments” by the world’s richest companies. A future in which super-intelligent AI is controlled by an elite group of massive tech firms is bound to make many of us uneasy. What if the well-intentioned missions of Google (organize the world’s information!) and Facebook (let people easily share!) are co-opted by a new generation of corporate bosses with less friendly goals?

As you might expect, the Valley has an answer: OpenAI. A uniquely technological antidote to the problem, OpenAI is led by an impressive cadre of Valley entrepreneurs, including Elon Musk, Sam Altman, Reid Hoffman, and Peter Thiel. But instead of creating yet another for-profit company with a moon-shot mission (protect humanity from evil AI!), their creation takes the form of a research lab with a decidedly nonprofit purpose: To corral breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and open them up to any and everyone, for free. The lab’s stated mission is “to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return.”

OpenAI has managed to convince a small but growing roster of AI researchers to spurn offers from Facebook, Google, and elsewhere, and instead work on what might best be seen as a public commons for AI. The whole endeavor has the whiff of the Manhattan Project — but without the government (or the secrecy). And instead of racing against the Nazis, the good guys are competing with … well, the Valley itself.

One really can’t blame the big tech companies for trying to win the AI arms race. Sure, there are extraordinary profits if they do, but in the end they really have no choice in the matter. If you’re a huge, data-driven software business, you either have cutting-edge AI driving your company’s products, or you’re out of business. Once Google uses AI to make its Photos product magical, Facebook has to respond in kind.

Smart photostreams are one thing. But if we don’t want market-bound, for-profit companies determining the future of superhuman intelligence, we need to be asking ourselves: What role should government play? What about universities? In truth, we probably haven’t invented the institutions capable of containing this new form of fire. “It’s a race between the growing power of the technology, and the growing wisdom we need to manage it,” said Max Tegmark, a founder of the Future of Life Institute, one of the small AI think tanks called out in Hawking’s original op-ed. Speaking to the Washington Post, Tegmark continued: “Right now, almost all the resources tend to go into growing the power of the tech.”

Who determines what is “good”? We are just now grappling with the very real possibility that we might create a force more powerful than ourselves. Now is the time to ask ourselves — how do we get ready?

It’s not clear if OpenAI is going to spend most of its time on building new kinds of AI, or if it will become something of an open-source clearing house for the creation of AI failsafes (the lab is doing early work in both). Regardless, it’s both comforting and a bit disconcerting to realize that the very same people who drive the Valley’s culture may also be responsible for reigning it in. Over the weekend, The New York Times op-ed pages took up the issue, noting AI’s “white guy problem” (it’s worth noting the author is a ( female researcher at Microsoft). Take a look at the founding team of OpenAI: A solid supermajority of white men.

“It’s hard to imagine anything more amazing and positively impactful than successfully creating AI,” writes Greg Brockman, the founding CTO of OpenAI. But he continues with a caveat: “So long as it’s done in a good way.”

Indeed. But who determines what is good? We are just now grappling with the very real possibility that we might create a force more powerful than ourselves. Now is the time to ask ourselves — how do we get ready?

Can a small set of top-level researchers in AI provide the intellectual, moral, and ethical compass for a technology that might well destroy — or liberate — the world? Or should we engage all stakeholders in such a decision — traditionally the role of government? Regardless of whether the government is involved in framing this question, it certainly will be involved in cleaning up the mess if we fail to plan properly.

Back when AI was in early development, its single most powerful critique was its “brittle” nature: it didn’t work because it failed to be aware of all possible inputs and parameters. Now that we stand on the brink of strong AI, we’d be wise to include a diversity of opinion — in particular those who live outside the Valley, those who don’t look and think like the Valley, and those who disagree with our native techno-optimism — in the debate about how we manage its impact.

 Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ai-worst-mistake-human-history-john-battelle?trk=eml-b2_content_ecosystem_digest-hero-14-null&midToken=AQEdOM4OklaLkw&fromEmail=fromEmail&ut=0Eg8wNuushg7k1

Global Warming or is NOAA is Messing with Temperature Data Collection?

Climatologist Patrick J, Michaels writes in WSJ:

An East Coast blizzard howling, global temperatures peaking, the desert Southwest flooding, drought-stricken California drying up—surely there’s a common thread tying together this “extreme” weather. There is. But it has little to do with what recent headlines have been saying about the hottest year ever. It is called business as usual.

Surface temperatures are indeed increasing slightly: They’ve been going up, in fits and starts, for more than 150 years, or since a miserably cold and pestilential period known as the Little Ice Age. Before carbon dioxide from economic activity could have warmed us up, temperatures rose three-quarters of a degree Fahrenheit between 1910 and World War II. They then cooled down a bit, only to warm again from the mid-1970s to the late ’90s, about the same amount as earlier in the century.

Whether temperatures have warmed much since then depends on what you look at. Until last June, most scientists acknowledged that warming reached a peak in the late 1990s, and since then had plateaued in a “hiatus.” There are about 60 different explanations for this in the refereed literature.

NOAA’s alteration of its measurement standard and other changes produced a result that could have been predicted: a marginally significant warming trend in the data over the past several years, erasing the temperature plateau that vexed climate alarmists have found difficult to explain. Yet the increase remains far below what had been expected.

It is nonetheless true that 2015 shows the highest average surface temperature in the 160-year global history since reliable records started being available, with or without the “hiatus.” But that is also not very surprising. Early in 2015, a massive El Niño broke out. These quasiperiodic reversals of Pacific trade winds and deep-ocean currents are well-documented but poorly understood. They suppress the normally massive upwelling of cold water off South America that spreads across the ocean (and is the reason that Lima may be the most pleasant equatorial city on the planet). The Pacific reversal releases massive amounts of heat, and therefore surface temperature spikes. El Niño years in a warm plateau usually set a global-temperature record. What happened this year also happened with the last big one, in 1998.

Global average surface temperature in 2015 popped up by a bit more than a quarter of a degree Fahrenheit compared with the previous year. In 1998 the temperature rose by slightly less than a quarter-degree from 1997.

Without El Niño, temperatures in 2015 would have been typical of the post-1998 regime. And, even with El Niño, the effect those temperatures had on the global economy was de minimis.

Read the full article here.

Why Big Banks are So Interested in the Blockchain Technolgy

It turns out that the blockchain technology (which drives Bitcoin) creates an environment that is easy for government to track transactions.

Blythe Masters, former major player at JPMorgan, left the bank to start the blockchain firm Digital Asset Holdings.

Masters during an interview with The Australian Financial Review explained bankster interest in the technology (my bold):

Our investors, some of whom are large investment and commercial banks, are making a major investment in Digital Asset to help us develop solutions that will address reducing risk, reducing cost, improving transparency and offering new sources of revenue…

Rregulators were understandably initially concerned about the potential for blockchain applications to bypass certain controls, their thinking has evolved…

They are learning that distributed-ledger technology brings many benefits and efficiencies to wholesale financial markets, including reduced cost, reduced counter-party risk, reduced latency, enhanced security, increased transparency, ease of reporting, and reduced errors.  These are all important to regulators.

This technology is offering regulators a bird’s-eye view into activity in certain markets that they never had before. As such, distributed-ledger technology is actually an enhancement to transparency, rather than a mechanism for bypassing it.

Bitcoin operates on an extremely dangerous platform for those seeking anonymity.

Source: EconomicPolicyJournal.com

Trends shaping the Auto Industry

Paul Gao, Hans-Werner Kaas, Detlev Mohr, and Dominik Wee look at the trends shaping the auto industry.

Today’s economies are dramatically changing, triggered by development in emerging markets, the accelerated rise of new technologies, sustainability policies, and changing consumer preferences around ownership. Digitization, increasing automation, and new business models have revolutionized other industries, and automotive will be no exception. These forces are giving rise to four disruptive technology-driven trends in the automotive sector: diverse mobility, autonomous driving, electrification, and connectivity.

1. Driven by shared mobility, connectivity services, and feature upgrades, new business models could expand automotive revenue pools by about 30 percent, adding up to $1.5 trillion.

2. Despite a shift toward shared mobility, vehicle unit sales will continue to grow, but likely at a lower rate of about 2 percent per year.

3. Consumer mobility behavior is changing, leading to up to one out of ten cars sold in 2030 potentially being a shared vehicle and the subsequent rise of a market for fit-for-purpose mobility solutions.

4. City type will replace country or region as the most relevant segmentation dimension that determines mobility behavior and, thus, the speed and scope of the automotive revolution.

5. Once technological and regulatory issues have been resolved, up to 15 percent of new cars sold in 2030 could be fully autonomous.

6. Electrified vehicles are becoming viable and competitive; however, the speed of their adoption will vary strongly at the local level.

7. Within a more complex and diversified mobility-industry landscape, incumbent players will be forced to compete simultaneously on multiple fronts and cooperate with competitors.

8. New market entrants are expected to target initially only specific, economically attractive segments and activities along the value chain before potentially exploring further fields.

Automotive incumbents cannot predict the future of the industry with certainty. They can, however, make strategic moves now to shape the industry’s evolution. To get ahead of the inevitable disruption, incumbent players need to implement a four-pronged strategic approach:

Prepare for uncertainty.

Leverage partnerships.

Drive transformational change.

Reshape the value proposition.

Source:Auto Industry

 

Future of Self-Driving Cars

Self-Driving Cars are predicted to be taking over the US highways by 2020; however, they may be facing some regulations from the government according to a story in Futurism.

At the North American International Auto Show, US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will announce plans for the development of self-driving cars. Ultimately, the government aims to speed up the process of having autonomous cars on the roads as, to date, only a few states are currently allowing these self-driving cars, which include Michigan, California, and Nevada.

The goal is to ensure that there are federal laws regarding the development of the tech.

It has been reported that the regulatory framework is scheduled to be set before President Obama leaves his office at the end of 2016.

How will this impact the plans of Car Manufacturers?

The major challenge of car companies now is the varying laws being implemented by the different states. Recently, Google was disappointed with California’s requirement of having a licensed driver behind the wheel of self driving cars at all times.

The executive director of  California Foundation for Independent Living Centres, Teresa Favuzzi, believes that the Department of Motor Vehicles was discriminating people with disabilities the ability to use these vehicles.

Despite all the grey areas, this announcement is definitely a gigantic step for the future of autonomous vehicles.

Source:Self-Driving Cars

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Now a Distinct Possibility

Futurism’s article on Hydrogen Fuel Cell provides insight into the future practicality of the cell.

A fuel cell is a device that generates electricity via a chemical reaction. This chemical reaction involves positively charged hydrogen ions (protons) and oxygen (or another oxidizing agent).

One great appeal of fuel cells is that they generate electricity with very little pollution, as much of the hydrogen and oxygen used in generating electricity ultimately combine to form a harmless byproduct—water. The technology, however, has been elusive.

Now, researchers from the University of Dundee Oxford are working with the Harwell Innovation Centre to solve the problem with fuel cells. In their work, they discovered how bacteria splits hydrogen apart to produce energy.  They believe that this new finding will be a significant step towards a more efficient hydrogen economy.

The bacteria are able to split the hydorgen using a nickel-iron (NiFe) hydrogenase. The enzyme splits hydrogen gas into protons and electrons and recombines them to form hydrogen. A similar process is used in fuel cells, but with platinum; however, nature has come up with a way to do it with nickel and iron, which are both less costly.

The researchers tested the natural process by subtly changing the amino acids in the part of the enzyme where the hydrogen reaction occurs. They removed a nitrogen atom at its heart, one that was essential to make the hydrogen reaction work. Through x-ray crystallography using the Diamond Light Source, the researchers compared the altered enzyme against the original.

Then they confirmed that reduction in activity had to be due to chemical, not physical, changes.

It was found that a Frustrated Lewis Pair applies to the enzyme.  A normal Lewis pair is composed of different chemicals that are keen to interact with each other and would so given the opportunity. In the NiFe hydrogenase, these are the atoms of nickel and iron together, and a particular nitrogen atom built into the enzyme. The “frustration” part is due to these entities being positioned close, but not close enough to interact fully. This produces an area of tension between them. A hydrogen molecule placed into this area of tension is split apart.

The next step for the researchers is to observe the actual reaction.

Source:Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Google Patents A Needle-Free Blood Drawing Smartwatch

By Arielle Duhaime-Ross writing for The Verge

Google has filed for a patent for a needle-free blood draw device that can be incorporated into a wearable, such as a smartwatch, and monitor blood glucose levels.
Google’s New Patent Application

At present, if you have diabetes, you have it for the rest of your life. But although there is no cure, it can be managed—there is treatment. To stay healthy, people who have this condition have to regularly monitor their blood glucose levels and administer insulin. This typically means at least three tests a day, everyday.

The tests require individuals to draw blood from themselves. It’s not a lot of blood; it’s just a small finger prick. But then you have to put the blood on a strip, insert it into a machine, wait to see what your levels are like, and then administer the required insulin.

Not the end of the world, but definitely not a convenience. Now, Google may have a way to change.

Current personal electronic devices already do much more than what the original versions did in yesteryear. For example, smartwatches do more than just tell time. They can also collect data about heart rate, how much exercise you do, and your stress levels. Google seems to intend to add another novel feature—taking your blood.

The tech giant filed a patent application for a “needle-free blood draw” device that can be implanted in a wearable

http://futurism.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/qscswxa9hmwkuxqlybvh.jpg

Vampire Wearable

As shown in the patent, the proposed device makes use of a gas-powered microparticle that it fires into the skin. It then draws a small vial of blood into a pressurized container. The device comes in different configurations, such as a the aforementioned wearable smartwatch, and it can be used to measure glucose levels.

This may be a better way to take blood than some current methods, as for many people, pricking themselves can be bothersome. In order to lessen the pain involved , very small needles are used in some devices. Unfortunately, they may fail to completely pierce the skin, resulting in a slight prick but no blood. This is why Google suggests the use of microparticles propelled by gas.

However, there is no telling if the device will actually be realized. The company told The Verge that they “hold patents on a variety of ideas—some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don’t. Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patents.”

Source: http://futurism.com/links/google-just-filed-patent-needle-free-blood-drawing-smartwatch/

Why governments need to ‘self-disrupt’

Columnist Mohamed A. El-Erian writing for Bloomberg, republished in Marketwatch

Technical innovation is all around us, yet countries including the U.S. don’t know how to adapt to change.

Mohamed El-Erian: ‘Western political and economic structures are, in some ways, specifically designed to resist deep and rapid change, if only to prevent temporary and reversible fluctuations from having an undue influence on underlying systems.’

One of the most difficult challenges facing Western governments today is to enable and channel the transformative — and, for individuals and companies, self-empowering — forces of technological innovation.

They will not succeed unless they become more open to creative destruction, allowing not only tools and procedures, but also mindsets, to be revamped and upgraded. The longer it takes them to meet this challenge, the bigger the lost opportunities for current and future generations.

Self-empowering technological innovation is all around us, affecting a growing number of people, sectors, and activities worldwide. Through an ever-increasing number of platforms, it is now easier than ever for households and corporations to access and engage in an expanding range of activities — from urban transportation to accommodation, entertainment, and media. Even the regulation-reinforced, fortress-like walls that have traditionally surrounded finance and medicine are being eroded.

This historic transformation will continue to gain momentum as it expands in both scale and scope. But its benefits will not be fully realized unless governments take steps to empower the forces of change, ensure that the massive positive externalities are internalized, and minimize the negative impacts. Unfortunately, this is proving extremely difficult for many advanced-country governments, partly because the failure to recover fully from the recent crisis and recession has undermined their credibility and functioning.

The emergence of anti-establishment and non-traditional political parties and candidates on both sides of the Atlantic is complicating even the most basic elements of economic governance, such as enactment of an active budget in the United States. In this context, taking the steps needed to upgrade economic systems, including infrastructure in the U.S. and the incomplete union in Europe, or to meet historical challenges like the refugee crisis, seems all but impossible.

In fact, Western political and economic structures are, in some ways, specifically designed to resist deep and rapid change, if only to prevent temporary and reversible fluctuations from having an undue influence on underlying systems. This works well when politics and economies are operating in cyclical mode, as they usually have been in the West. But when major structural and secular challenges arise, as is the case today, the advanced countries’ institutional architecture acts as a major obstacle to effective action.

The political influence of financial donors and lobby groups add to the challenge. Rather than promoting actions aimed at improving the long-term well-being of the system as a whole, these actors tend to push micro objectives, some of which help the traditional, often wealthy elements of the establishment maintain their grip on the system. In doing so, they block the small and emerging players that are so vital to upgrading and transformation.

All of this serves to complicate an imperative that is relevant not just to governments, but also to companies and individuals that must adapt to changing circumstances by upgrading their structures, procedures, skills, and mindsets. Few are eager to self-disrupt, a process that takes us out of our comfort zone, forcing us to confront our long-standing blind spots and unconscious biases and adopt a new mindset. But those who wait until the disruptions are unavoidable — easy to do when governments do not mount a timely response — will miss out on the huge advantages that technology offers.

Even when governments decide to implement policies that enable economic upgrading and adaptation, they cannot do so in isolation. With technology enabling unprecedented mobility and connectivity, the jurisdictional power of nation-states is being eroded, meaning that a truly effective response — one that unleashes the full benefits of disruptive technologies — is impossible without multilateral cooperation and coordination.

But multilateralism is undergoing a transformation of its own, driven by doubts about the legitimacy of existing structures. With reforms of the traditionally Western-dominated institutions having stalled, there have been moves to create alternatives; China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, for example, competes directly with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank in some areas. All of this makes global-level responses more difficult.

Against this background, a rapid and comprehensive transformation is clearly not feasible. (In fact, it may not even be desirable, given the possibility of collateral damage and unintended consequences.) The best option for Western governments is thus to pursue gradual change, propelled by a variety of adaptive instruments, which would reach a critical mass over time.

Such tools include well-designed public-private partnerships, especially when it comes to modernizing infrastructure; disruptive outside advisers — selected not for what they think, but for how they think — in the government decision-making process; mechanisms to strengthen inter-agency coordination so that it enhances, rather than retards, policy responsiveness; and broader cross-border private-sector linkages to enhance multilateral coordination.

How economies function is changing, as relative power shifts from established, centralized forces toward those that respond to the unprecedented empowerment of individuals. If governments are to overcome the challenges they face and maximize the benefits of this shift for their societies, they need to be a lot more open to self-disruption. Otherwise, the transformative forces will leave them and their citizens behind.

Mohamed A. El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz and a member of its International Executive Committee, is chairman of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Global Development Council and the author, most recently, of “When Markets Collide.”

Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-governments-need-to-self-disrupt-so-theyre-not-left-behind-2015-10-13

And More Innovation

Portland is now powered by water pipes and flushing toilets

lucid energy, lucid, portland, water pipes, water, power, green power, green energy, hydro power

Portland residents can now generate green electricity simply by turning on their water taps and flushing their toilets. Fast Company reports that the Oregon city is using a state-of-the art system to capture energy from water flowing through the city’s pipelines. Small turbines installed inside the pipelines are turned by the flowing water, sending energy into a generator and off into the power grid.

lucid energy, lucid, portland, water pipes, water, power, green power, green energy, hydro power

“It’s pretty rare to find a new source of energy where there’s no environmental impact,” Gregg Semler told Fast Company. Semler is the chief executive officer of Lucid Energy, the Portland start-up behind the new system. “But this is inside a pipe, so no fish or endangered species are impacted. That’s what’s exciting.”

According to Semler, water utilities tend to use large amounts of electricity, so the new power generation system can help cut the cost of providing drinking water to cities. Utilities can decide whether to use the power for their own purposes, or sell the energy as a source of revenue.

“We have a project in Riverside, California, where they’re using it to power streetlights at night,” Semler notes. “During the day, when electricity prices are high, they can use it to offset some of their operating costs.”

As for Portland, one of its main water pipelines uses Lucid’s system to generate power, and though the system can’t make enough power for the whole city, the pipes can produce enough to run an individual building like a school or a library.

Unlike other forms of green power, like solar or wind, the Lucid system can produce power at any time of the day because the water is always flowing. The only hitch is that the turbines can only produce power where water is naturally flowing downward with gravity. Lucid’s pipes contain sensors that can monitor the quality of the water flowing through the pipes, making them more than just a power generating technology, which can be valuable just about anywhere.

Source: http://inhabitat.com/portlands-water-pipes-are-the-newest-source-of-clean-energy/

More Solar Innovation

V3Solar’s spinning solar cells generate 20 times more electricity than flat photovoltaics

If there’s one constant among the vast majority of solar panel designs, it’s flatness; while solar panels can be equipped to tilt to follow the sun’s path through the course of the day, there are still significant efficiency limitations to this basic design. V3Solar’s rather elegant photovoltaic Spin Cell cones aim to address that, and their current prototype was recently third-party verified as capable of generating “over 20 times more electricity than a static flat panel with the same area of photovoltaic cells.”

The V3 Spin Cell was developed through collaboration with industrial design team Nectar Design. The company believes that the Spin Cell could be a game-changer in its market. On their website V3 explains that if one places a 20x solar concentration on a flat, static solar panel then “the temperature quickly reaches 260 degrees F, the solder melts within ten seconds, and the PV fails. With the same concentration on the Spin Cell, the temperature never exceeds 95 degrees F.”

The one meter-diameter cones feature a layer of hundreds of triangular photovoltaic cells positioned at an angle of 56 degrees, encased in a “static hermetically-sealed outer lens concentrator.” The photovoltaic cone spins with the assistance of a “small amount” of its own solar-generated power which feeds a Maglev system, intended to reduce the noise generated by the cones as well as any required maintenance.

While an “array” of V3′s Spin Cell’s can occupy a very small space, relative to conventional flat panels, V3 has also conceived of a “Power Pole,” to support even greater even solar power generation in a small space, the designers explain “This is a pole that holds 10 Spin Cells, or 10KWp, in a footprint of 10 SF. The spin cells are placed with mathematical precision to make sure no Spin Cell shades another. This not only creates significantly great power density, but also removes the concern of floods and mitigates the environmental impact.”

Additionally, V3 hopes that with the dramatically reduced physical footprint of the solar cones, they might be able to “dramatically reduce the [total cost of ownership of solar farms] making more projects economically viable.” See one of the Spin Cones in action here.

Images © V3Solar

Source: http://inhabitat.com/v3solars-photovoltaic-spin-cell-cones-capture-sunlight-all-day-long/

Small is beautiful. The Nano future is coming

Advances in nanotechnology will be a key enabler of technological advance in the next decade. The integration of information technology, biotechnology, materials sciences, and nanotechnology will generate a dramatic increase in innovation. Read this Alert to see how your personal and business life might be affected pretty soon.
What is changing?

Innovation

  • Older technologies will continue lateral ‘sidewise development’ into new markets and applications .
  • Current high-visibility investments and technology breakthroughs will be needed to realize the full potential of nanotechnology.
  • Technologies like nanotechnology will be used to establish a maintenance free environment (i.e. self -cleansing glass, self-repairing concrete).
  • Nanotechnology will produce new goods with new properties at a smaller scale that may use far less resources.

Health

  • Future uses of genetic data, software, and nanotechnology will help detect and treat disease at the genetic or molecular level.
  • Modern healthcare technologies and prevention strategies will have the potential to extend the life expectancy of people.
  • Molecular ‘robots’ could be designed to enter the body and eat plaque.
  • Nanotechnology will enable lives to be saved by digestible cameras and machines made from particles 50,000 times as small as a human hair.
  • Smart nano-materials will facilitate the development of textiles that detect biotoxins.

Business

  • The global market for nanotechnologies will reach $1 trillion or more within 20 years.
  • Progress in nanotechnology will depend heavily on R&D investments.
  • Robotics, synthetic biology, nanotechnology, and molecular manufacturing really will lead to an explosion of wealth and resource availability.
  • Printed electronics and electrics will be a $335 billion business in twenty years i.e. 2029
  • Bioscience, information technology, and nanotechnology will be applied to meet agricultural and food challenges.
  • There will be 400,000 jobs in the nanotech sector across the European Union this year.
  • Nanotechnology, 3D printing, smart materials and a new generation of composites will be a $1.3trn (£805.8bn) global manufacturing battleground this year.
  • In the coming future nanotechnology will certainly have a colossal effect on the ceramics, metals, polymers, and biomaterials industries.
Implications

Transformations

  • As personalized medicine becomes more affordable expect to see the coming of age for genomics, nanotechnology, robotics, and other innovations.
  • The use of nanotechnology could herald an ‘exciting’ breakthrough for patients with heart disease.
  • Nanotechnology could completely transform conventional economic activity from healthcare and renewable energy technology to food production.
  • Applications that are likely to be widely diffused in 2025 will combine different technologies such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, materials technology and information technology.
  • New applications and reinventions will trigger market take-off and shape further development of collaborative technologies for governance and policy modelling.
  • Nanotechnology is expected to have a major impact on sustainability in the near future.

Electronics

  • Nano- technology will enable different types of electronics.
  • Nanotechnology will allow chip manufacturers to continue upholding Moore’s Law.
  • Nanoscale piezoelectric materials could provide the lowest possible power consumption for on/off switches in MEMS and other types of electronic computing systems.
  • Relying on nano-sized robotics will eventually become commonplace.

Development

  • Advances in nanotechnology will require long time horizons and continued investments in materials, platforms, and applications across manufacturingindustries.
  • Expect the greater use of new materials with an emphasis on not just boosting performance but also improving efficiency.
  • Materials and nanotechnology will enable the development of new devices with unforeseen capabilities.
  • Nanotechnology will replace most current wearable technology.
  • Discoveries in nanotechnology will lead to unprecedented understanding and control over the fundamental building blocks of all physical things.
  • Nanotechnology could be used to help reduce battery weight and lighten other products.
  • The U.S. Air Force believes that nanotechnology will have a direct application for both flight and space travel.
  • Nanotechnologies will pave the way for developing hybrid energy solutions.
  • Nanotechnology could provide solutions for sensing.
  • Nanotechnology will also spawn new technologies for manipulating DNA.

Risks             

  • Biotechnology and nanotechnology will provide greater potential for destruction.

Learn more
To find the sources and more resources on Shaping Tomorrow about ‘The Future of Your Workplace’ some of which were used in this Trend Alert, Small is beautiful – Nano futures surround you, or ask us for a customised, in-depth GIST report on this or any other topic of interest to you.  Also, click here to find out how Shaping Tomorrow can help your organization rapidly assess and respond to these and other key issues affecting your business.

Source: http://www.shapingtomorrow.com/summary/insights/423760

Six Game Changers in Six Years

In no set order:

  1. Solar costs are set to drop with new technologies and manufacturing techniques. This will  impact on the energy industry with relief of burden on coal, oil and gas sources of energy and their resultant impact on the environment. There will still be a need for electricity utilities but their role will be reduced.
  2. Online education is already making rapid inroads into traditional education processes .at university and school levels. For government this is extremely challenging as technology is rapidly ripping central control away and placing it firmly in the hands of the consumer. Education costs will decline and we will witness the old institutions crumble in the face of emerging competition and new delivery methods.
  3. Blockchain based technologies will make a huge impact on decentralizing and revolutionizing the way transactions in banking, finance and law happen. Not to mention computer programming, scientific research and communications. Blockchain technology came to public awareness with the emergence of Bitcoin. Its roots extend however from cryptography – the science of coding and decoding messages for the purposes of privacy.
  4. Climate change will not be a social or political issue in the minds of the public within 5 years. That’s not to say that change does not need to happen – a lot still needs to change to improve the quality of environment and human and planetary sustainability. Emerging technologies will help a lot and education of people in the way they treat their environment will result in significant environmental improvement even in the next 6 years.
  5. A digital healthcare revolution is commencing now where people will soon be able to monitor their own health and respond as needed. New technologies controlled from a smart phone will be able to monitor all major health aspects including ‘wet’ analysis of blood, heart, breath, urine and other sampling tests. If results warrant, your device will be able to recommend various responses including taking yourself to hospital if required or calling an ambulance in extreme cases. Once again competition and technology are making old modes of doing things irrelevant. Often these shifts are occurring where government has taken over an industry and underfunding and lack of adaption have made the industry inefficient and ineffective.
  6. The coming global depression lasting 8 to 13 years commencing anytime between now and 2018. The coming together of many factors including the level of indebtedness of liberal democratic countries, aging demographics, the inability of global economic growth to accelerate and the crushing level of regulation facing most societies. Cyclically we are also witnessing the peaking of a cycle that spans the massive growth of the west – the Industrial Revolution. As this cycle peaks after some 230 years of growth so we enter the down phase of the cycle in which contraction and liquidation of all the dead wood of that growth phase gets swept away. Thus the path is cleared allowing the birth of a new phase of human growth and development. These cycles occur at many different levels of human existence –  at the individual, societal, ethnic and nation state levels.

And here’s more on the power of Blockchain

Jim Epstein writes for Reason Magazine:

Here Comes Ethereum, an Information Technology Dreamed Up By a Wunderkind 19-Year-Old That Could One Day Transform Law, Finance, and Civil Society

Vitalik Buterin at Toronto's Bitcoin Decentral in 2014 ||| Photo by Duncan Rawlinson, Flickr, Creative Commons License

Photo by Duncan Rawlinson, Flickr, Creative Commons License.

Ethereum, the brainchild of wunderkind software developer Vitalik Buterin, who was just 19 when he came up with the idea, is the most buzzed-about project right now in the cryptocurrency community. It has attracted an all-star team of computer scientists and raised $18.4 million in a crowdfunding campaign—the third most successful of all time. And now, according to the official Ethereum blog, it’s on the verge of being rolled out to the public.Ethereum’s developers use a rolling ticker tape of bold tag lines to describe what they’re creating, including a “Social Operating System for Planet Earth,” and “the Upcoming Decentralization Singularity.”

So what is it?

Ethereum is a programming language the lives on top of a “blockchain”—a concept invented six years ago with the launch of Bitcoin. A blockchain is essentially a database that’s jointly maintained on the personal hard drives of its users—sort of like a shared Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. But transactions recorded to a blockchain are time stamped, fully transparent, and protected from tampering by hackers and thieves through an ingenious system that utilizes cryptography and community consensus. Blockchains make it possible, for the first time in history, to participate in a complex marketplace without the need for a mediating third party. The blockchain is what allowed Bitcoin to become the first form of virtual money that can be exchanged without a bank serving as an intermediary. (Read Ron Bailey’s recent piece on the blockchain’s transformative potential.)

Ethereum is an effort to apply the blockchain to a broad range of uses, though it’s not the first such attempt. Projects like Counterparty and Colored Coins have come up with clever methods of tailoring Bitcoin to facilitiate projects like a blockchain-based stock market. But Bitcoin’s blockchain was designed to handle the exchange of money, and retrofitting it to other uses requires some programming jujitsu and has inherent technical limitations.

Ethereum tries to solve this problem by layering a powerful programming language on top of a blockchain, giving it all the versatility that Bitcoin lacks.

“If you think of Bitcoin as a decentralized version of Microsoft Excel, then Ethereum is a decentralized Excel where we’ve made the visual basic macros functional,” says Vinay Gupta, the project’s release coordinator. To expand on Gupta’s analogy: With the Bitcoin blockchain, each cell on this hypothetical Excel table holds just a number; on the Ethereum blockchain, each cell is home to an entire computer program.

So what’s the advantage of hosting computer programs on a blockchain? They become much cheaper to operate because no third-parties are required to oversee their operation, and they become essentially incorruptible because their functioning is fully transparent.

The Ethereum team at Toronto's Bitcoin Decentral in 2014 ||| Photo by Duncan Rawlinson, Flickr, Creative Commons License

Photo by Duncan Rawlinson, Flickr, Creative Commons LicenseEthereum’s developers believe their project will lead to the proliferation of programs they call “smart contracts,” in which the terms of an agreement are written in code and enforced by software. These smart contracts could carry out the instructions of a complex algorithm based on data feed—such as a stock ticker. They could facilitate practically any financial transaction, such as holding money in escrow or dispersing micropayments among autonomous machines. They could be used to create a peer-to-peer gambling network, a peer-to-peer stock trading platform, a peer-to-peer social network, a prenuptial agreement, a will, a standard agreement to split a dinner check, or a public registry for keeping track of who owns what land in a city.Gupta predicts that these smart contracts will be so cheap and versatile that they’ll do “a lot of things that today we do informally,” and take on a lot of the “donkey work of running a society.”

There won’t be any big changes on the day—or year—after Ethereum is released, in part because many smart contracts will work best when the people using them keep their money in Bitcoin or other forms of programmable money. That’s because the fiat money world still depends on trusted third parties. For example, a will written as a smart contract can’t be fully automated if the money to be dispersed is entirely in U.S. dollars; a banker would need to cooperate. But Gupta predicts that fairly soon we’ll move to a world in which a critical mass of people maintain a wallet with at least a few hundred dollars worth of cryptocurrency, facilitating Ethereum’s rapid integration into the real economy.

Ethereum-based public databases, which don’t depend on widespread use of cryptocurrency, could have a more immediate impact, particularly in the developing world. Take land ownership. U.S. cities maintain software databases of who owns what land, and since our public institutions are relatively functional, these systems work well enough that there isn’t a pressing need for them to live on a blockchain.

But in the developing world, government’s basic functions are often hobbled by corruption and bureaucracy. So a public land database on a fully transparent and community-operated blockchain could make the real estate market functional in these cities. As with Bitcoin, the big challenge ahead for Ethereum is getting people to use it.

Jim Epstein is a writer and producer at Reason.

Source: http://reason.com/blog/2015/03/19/here-comes-ethereum-an-information-techn

The Blockchain: A Supercomputer for Reality

“Everything that can be decentralized, will be decentralized.”  Ronald Bailey is the award-winning science correspondent for Reason magazine and Reason.com

Block Chain Graphic

 

The blockchain is a decentralized public ledger of all the Bitcoin transactions that have ever been executed. But blockchain technology is much more than Bitcoin, as the technologist and entrepreneur Melanie Swan demonstrates in her new book, Blockchain: Blueprint for a New Economy.

Bitcoin participants begin by creating  a digital wallet that generates their Bitcoin address and their public and private keys. A person’s public key can be obtained and used by anyone to encrypt messages intended for that individual. The encrypted message can be deciphered only by using the recipient’s private key. Bitcoins are exchanged for products or services when someone encrypts a message thatessentially says, “I give the right to spend this money to the person who owns the private key corresponding to this address.” The blockchain then publicly records this activity.
The blockchain doesn’t have to be confined to tracking Bitcoin activity. Swan persuasively contends that the advent of the blockchain platform as “a universal, permanent, continuous, consensus-driven, publicly auditable, redundant, record-keeping repository” is a technological game-changer as significant as the creation of the Internet. Since it is a decentralized public ledger, the blockchain enables the trustless transfer and accurate recording of all transactions and documents.
The result is, in Swan’s words, “a new paradigm for organizing activity with less friction and more efficiency.” By cutting out the gigantic layers of government and corporate rules and bureaucracies devoted to tracking and authenticating identities, contracts, transfers of money, exchanges of tangible and intangible goods, and the ownership of property, blockchain technology can dramatically reduce the transaction costs of all sorts of activities.
Swan acknowledges that this technology is not yet mature, but her survey of some of the exciting new tools that are being explored and exploited by developers will give readers a good idea of its potential. “Smart property,” for example, refers to physical property whose ownership is registered in the blockchain and thus controlled by whoever has the private key. In other words, property rights can be cryptographically defined and self-enforced by code. The owner can sell it simply by transferring the private key to another party.
Swan also envisions that physical properties registered on the blockchain could become “smart matter” embedded with sensors, QR codes, NFC tags, iBeacons, and the like. Access to property could be implemented using smartphones to unlock doors to houses, hotel rooms, or rental cars by affirming a user’s digital identity as encoded in the blockchain.
Blockchain book
RileyThen there are smart contracts. The startup Ripple Labs envisions contracts coded on the blockchain in which parties agree that specified transactions take place when certain inputs are received by ” smart oracles.” The oracles consist of code that can sign a cryptographic key pair if or when a contractual condition is met. Smart contracts require less trust between parties because they are autonomous, self-sufficient, and decentralized. (The science-fiction writer Daniel Suarez envisioned a set of smart contracts operating autonomously and taking over the world in his brilliant novel Daemon.)
The blockchain ledger and the archives registered on it must be able to be stored and communicated when needed. Storj is just one of several peer-to-peer encrypted storage network services that enables users to transfer and share data without relying on a third-party data provider. Storj works by paying community members to store encrypted files on their extra hard drive space. Storj estimates that it can drop of the cost of data storage by a factor of 10 to 100. Meanwhile, the Proof of Existence virtual notary service anonymously and securely stores an online distributed proof of existence for any document.
Swan goes on to explain the operation of decentralized applications (DAPPs), decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), decentralized autonomous corporations (DACs), and decentralized autonomous societies (DASs). The Bitcoin blockchain is a good example of a DAPP. The ongoing development of an open-source blockchain that aims to enable the ridesharing service LaZooz is example of a DAO. It is an entity without owners and without central servers, existing on the smart phones and computers of its community of users.
A DAC might be thought of as an automated nexus of contracts that can engage in activities such as leasing assets, hiring people, and securing debt or equity to achieve the goals set out in its mission statement. Notionally, DACs operating under a set of publically available business rules would be incorruptible and more trustworthy than human-run firms. As Dan Larimer of Invictus Innovations explained in The Economist: “Although DACs can still be designed to have a robotically inviolable intention to rob you blind, to enter the open source arena they must be honest about their plans to do so.”
Blockchain technology can also empower people to make end runs around oppressive governments. As Swan notes, blockchain technology facilitates pseudonymous transactions outside the visibility, tracking, and regulatory purview of states. Anti-censorship applications are being developed. The Alexandria DAPP, for example, “preserves the integrity of the historical record. It taps into collective, on-the-ground reporting by scraping Twitter as events unfold and prevents after the fact censorship by archiving the information on a blockchain.” Namecoin is an alternative domain name system registration process that cannot be controlled by any government.
And the DAS? Swan gets a bit vague here about what she means by “the idea of putting the nation-state on the blockchain,” largely because blockchain technology has not yet been implemented by government agencies. Indeed, federal functionaries will hate some of the proposals that Swan mentions, due to their libertarian implications. Still, services now offered by governments that could be moved to the blockchain include “an ID system based on reputation, dispute resolution, voting, national income distribution, and registration of all manner of legal documents such as land deeds, wills, childcare contracts, marriage contracts, and corporate incorporations.”
Swan evidently believes that a modern world transformed by the wide application of increasingly autonomous blockchain technologies will become ever more productive without the need for human involvement. Hence her interest in “national income distribution,” in which the earnings from autonomously operating blockchain enterprises are divvied up among citizens. Blockchain government would also be a lot smaller and cheaper, since most commercial activities would be overseen, regulated, and resolved on the blockchain. Ultimately, as blockchain venture capitalist David Johnston declares, “Everything that can be decentralized, will be decentralized.”
There is much more in this slender book, including speculations about how blockchain technologies could be used to monitor public health, crowdfund projects, provide community supercomputing, upload personal mindfiles, and even birth artificial intelligences. Swan acknowledges that many of the projects she outlines may well never really get off the ground. Nevertheless, she makes a strong case that we are at the dawn of a blockchain revolution.

Source: http://reason.com/archives/2015/03/06/the-blockchain-a-supercomputer-for-reali

US Patents Signal End of Pesticides and GMO

Paul Stamets patents “universal biopesticide” that Big Ag calls “the most disruptive technology that we have ever witnessed.”

Headline by 

When my boys were young, I once asked each of them what would they ask for if they could have anything in the world. Sean, eight years old, a very pragmatic soul with five planets in Taurus, responded, “a million dollars.” Aquarian Colin, on the other hand, age six, and now inventor of the Garden Tower Project, piped up, “A magic wand!”

Has Stamets patented the magic wand?

Jefferey Jaxen  writing for ZenGardner.com

Mushroom-spore-printing

Humanity is facing a problem. Our immediate environment is riddled with pesticides. They are making us unhealthy faster than we can study the effects. In addition, these pesticides play large roles in the massive bee deaths and decline of soil health. The companies that profit from making these pesticides have made it clear they won’t stop. Our petitions to the EPA and FDA are mostly ignored due to revolving door leadership between pesticide makers and government regulators. Is there an answer? Yes there is!

SMART Pesticides

Paul Stamets, the world’s leading mycologist, filed a patent in 2001 that was purposely given little attention. In the words of pesticide industry executives, this patent represents “The most disruptive technology that we have ever witnessed.” The biopesticides described in the patent reveals a near permanent, safe solution for over 200,000 species of insects and it all comes from a mushroom. After what is called ‘sporulation’ of a select entomopathogenic fungi (fungi that kill insects) the area becomes no longer suitable for any insect(s) the fungi are coded for. In addition, extracts of the entomopathogenic fungi can also steer insects in different directions.

This literally is a paradigm shift away from the entire idea of pesticides. Instead of having an aim to kill all problematic insect, a farmer could simply disperse a solution of pre-sporulation fungi amongst the crops. The insects would then simply live their lives around the crops paying no attention to them. This simple idea flies in the face of the current, poorly thought-out, practice of spraying ever increasing amounts of pesticides on resistant bugs. Going further, this biopesticide would also eliminate the need for round-up ready GMO seeds and BT seeds that grow the pesticides in the crop needlessly endangering us, the consumer. Perhaps the most enticing element of this biopesticide fungi is that it’s essentially free. According to the patent, it can be “cultivated on agricultural waste.” We are looking at a 100% safe, natural technology that literally can end all GMO and pesticide manufacturers overnight with a new class of SMART Pesticides.

“The matrix of pre-sporulating fungi can optionally be dried, freeze-dried, cooled and/or pelletized and packaged and reactivated for use as an effective insect attractant and/or biopesticide.” –Paul Stamets Patent for Mycoattractants and mycopesticides

Optimism Empowers

Even if we stop pesticide spraying now, scores of new research is confirming that our environment, food, soil, and bodies already carry traces of the chemicals. If the chemicals are so bad for us, there would be signs by now right? These are two common rebuttals from pesticide companies and individuals that don’t care to do their research. It’s okay, there just happens to be a patent to help with those issues as well. The US patent filed in 2003, once again from Paul Stamets, describes the utilization of a fungal delivery system for the purpose of

“ecological rehabilitation and restoration, preservation and improvement of habitats, bioremediation of toxic wastes and polluted sites, filtration of agricultural, mine and urban runoff, improvement of agricultural yields and control of biological organisms.”

In addition, there are many out there currently providing solutions to remove/detox any potential pesticide chemicals from the human body. Strategies like community gardens, urban forests, and the resurgence of permaculture are springing up rapidly to pave the way towards a steadily growing number of pesticide free dinner tables and families.

Time to Make History

On a bigger scale, GMO food and pesticides are merely symptoms of an opposite consciousness that is rapidly changing. Put another way, these symptoms are the unwanted gifts from out of control corporations that, by definition, have no empathy towards the needs, health, or life of The People. As Neil Young mentioned in his Starbucks Boycott, pesticide companies like Monsanto are, for the most part, not public-facing companies. As we are witnessing now with GMO brands, a boycott can severely damage their bottom line (lifeblood) but will not eliminate their business model. Due to the fact that they spend untold millions lobbying (purchasing) our politicians and regularly operate revolving doors between public and private positions means that only a paradigm shift will eliminate the entire industry. At that moment, which is approaching, pesticide manufacturers can decide if they would like to cease being the problem and assist in the solution.

The good news is that whatever decision they choose won’t matter. A shift in consciousness around pesticide and GMO use eliminates their influence and knocks them off their fictitious monetary pedestals they believe to be sitting on.

References:

Paul Stamet’s Patent: Pesticide & GMO Solution
Paul Stamet’s Patent: Agricultural Waste Solution
6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save The World TED Talk
Neil Young Starbucks Boycott Statement Organic Food Demand Exploding

Source: http://www.zengardner.com/us-patents-signal-end-pesticides-gmo/

 

Books and longreading: a farewell to Prometheus

By Andrey Mir writing for Human-As-Media:

Book reading as fire usage: What is more important, the result or the process?

Long reading was previously considered a way of transferring knowledge. But nowadays linear reading is becoming much shorter. The culture of information consumption is changing, along with the format of knowledge accumulation, transfer and perception. At the emotional level this is seen as cultural degradation.

But do we really need long texts for storing and transferring knowledge? Maybe it is nothing more than an old habit?

In his book The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man, Marshall McLuhan analyses a quotation from Geoffrey Chaucer according to which the status of a student in the 14th Century was gauged by the number of books he has… written. In fact, the “books” the medieval students “wrote” were notes of what their professors said. The more summaries a student made, the more highly educated he was considered. Real books were very expensive, and so the cheapest way to have a book in the prepress era was to write down what wise men said or copy wise thoughts from other [written] books. Books were the product and the certificate of one’s diligence. Universityvstudentsvstillvtake notes during lectures.

When the first books were printed, professors denounced their appearance as the degradation of education. McLuhan mentioned that professors were horrified: Imagine that students no longer need to take down notes because they can buy a book instead! They denounced this as the desecration of knowledge. It was impossible to imagine that one could acquire knowledge without spending long hours writing down every word the professors said, but simply by buying a book. Nowadays it’s like downloading a research paper from Google instead of going to a library for reference material.

In fact, you can get as much knowledge by reading a printed book as by writing down what your professor says, but quicker and in a different way.

This could be a side effect of the progress of civilization: You get the same result in a simpler way. The best example is fire and the way we use it. It is said that the use of fire is what distinguishes men from animals. Mowgli from The Jungle Book may be weaker than some animals, but he is stronger than all of them because he can handle fire. The fire which Prometheus gave to the people contrary to the gods’ will allowed the human race to rise above all others on Earth.

Today we hardly ever use open fire in our life. We don’t use open fire to warm ourselves or to cook food. Ancient men would be outraged to see that we get fire by clicking a lighter. They believed that this sacred procedure should be preceded by two days of ritual dancing and the whispering of incantation to a heap of twigs. Omitting this process was simply not the done thing, but now it is, this disregard for open fire does not cause a culture shock because its gradual withdrawal from our life took a long time. Thousands of years passed from the time when lives depended on fire to the era when people see open fire several times a year and hardly ever use it.

So culture could be said to represent the long hours of a solemn ritual involving twigs and sparks. Culture grows out of the trouble we take to acquire a desired technology. Culture is the gap between a need and its satisfaction. Technology is narrowing this gap, and in the process it affects culture, or at least culture as it was understood in the past, culture that was associated with long rituals. That’s what causes the feeling that we have lost the fundamental essentials.

But what if long reading is like making fire: no longer necessary? What if we can get a comparable result quicker, which is very important, considering the uppermost importance of time?

New forms of packaging knowledge were created by multimedia and journalism, the first profession to face the digital challenge. Moreover, social media now offer super-fast and super-simple ways of information acquisition and transfer which the long text cannot rival. The long text and thick books are still seen as attributes of the intellect and knowledge. But statistically, the new synthetic format, which can be described as fast’n’fun because it does not have a permanent carrier, is rapidly winning the battle with the long text for people’s time and attention.

In the past, the long text had the monopoly on conveying a meaning primarily for technical reasons. When information is transmitted through physical media such as paper, it is easier to systematize and store in the form of books (scrolls are a different matter; the use of scrolls or books for transferring information predetermined the path of civilization’s development).

The print-era man can easily visualize an average book, a “thin” book (an entertainment book or magazine) and a “thick” book (which is usually an intellectual book the meaning of which is difficult to understand). “Thick” volumes were the most valuable kind of books. This content hierarchy showed that valuable content was inaccessible for ordinary people (“thick” books were expensive and difficult to read). In other words, the value of the long text supported the monopoly of palaces and temples. Monopoly on the long text equaled monopoly on power.

These technical parameters gave rise to the idea that the long text/book is a sacred object. At the everyday level, this implied that thick books contained important information. This can explain the awe for the long texts. Because of the books’ format, education was a long and difficult process, and so the long text also symbolized the diligence of those who manage to read books through to the end. Diligence and the ability to focus one’s attention on any particular subject for a long time are important characteristics of the value hierarchy of the hard-copy era.

But technology has moved forward. Everything has become fast’n’fun, but the sanctity of the long text continues to govern our behavior and opinions.

The focus on the long text of the print era is waning. The multimedia are reviving the audiovisual perception of life that was prevalent in the prepress era, though at a higher level of development. Audiovisual information and even long stories are now easier to store and propagate, something which the prepress people could not do and which we learned to do thanks to the invention of paper and books.

The transition period will not be easy. There will be an inevitable loss of knowledge due to the change of formats and carriers. Not everything that could be put in the long copy can be transformed into the fast’n’fun format. Will anyone even try? The new language of culture is being used to produce a new meaning rather than to convey the past knowledge. Long reads will become like Latin, the dead language of classical knowledge.

People will find it difficult to accept this change, because for the past 5,000 years the humankind used the long text as the main carrier of knowledge. But progress logically moves towards simplification. Evolution is not a mountain you climb, but a vortex that sucks you in. You can and must resist this. I would even say that it is the duty of all people of the long-copy era. But any efforts to do so will be in vain. Books will survive as part of the vintage fashion and an element of elite consumption. But they will lose – they are already losing – their role as the main carrier of knowledge.

In a more distant future, the gadgetization of the human body will lead to the creation of a third signal system, the elements of which we can see in the growing interactivity in infographics, visual semantic objects, augmented reality, and the like. And then it will not be the word that will be the semantic carrier (actually, the word is a rather awkward intermediary between the mind and the meaning), but the directly induced emotion or sensory perception of the semantic object. Our future is being created in the experiments with induced perception at 4D and 5D cinemas, not to mention cognitive interfaces.

Is there a place for books in this future? Now Prometheus has given people a device connected to the web.

Source: http://human-as-media.com/2014/05/16/books-and-longreading-a-farewell-to-prometheus/

12 Emerging Trends that Everyone Missed at CES

Futurist Thomas Frey blogs :

Every year that I attend CES in Las Vegas I reach a point of sensory overload. It’s not just from all the people, lights, noise, and smells, but an overload of product strategies and emerging trends for the coming year.

With everything from R2D2 showing up outside the convention center, to meeting celebrities on the showroom floor, or coming face-to-face with a Paul Bunyan-sized electronic game-playing running shoe by Sketchers, or walking into a booth full of the coolest Chinese technologies ever made but not being able to talk to anyone because they don’t speak English, it’s not possible to describe all the sensations a person will experience at an event like this.

Everyone will experience CES in their own unique way, and the impressions they walk away with will help define their understanding of the world to come. Big time decisions are being made by the impressions made here.

As events go, it’s one of the largest in the world, attracting a record 170,000 people, including 45,000 from other countries. Out of 3,600 exhibitors, 375 of them were startups, with special attention being paid to them in an exhibit area called Eureka Park.

In so many ways, CES sets the tone for the global economy, with tens of thousands of private meetings being conducted in the background forcing more deals to be cut in a shorter period of time than virtually any other event on the planet.

Walking across the exhibit floors is quite a mind-expanding experience. Since I tend to use a radically different set of lenses to experience this show, I walked away with some rather unusual perspectives.

For this reason I’d like to mention twelve of the trends that everyone seemed to have missed at CES.

CES in 1967

History of CES

The first CES was held in June 1967 in New York City. It was a spinoff from the Chicago Music Show, which until then had served as the main event for exhibiting consumer electronics. The event had 17,500 attendees and over 100 exhibitors; the kickoff speaker was Motorola chairman Bob Galvin.

Competing for a while with CES was and event known as COMDEX, a computer expo held at various locations in the Las Vegas Valley, each November from 1979 to 2003. In 2001, the show was sold to Key3Media, a spin-off of Ziff Davis. Reeling from the 2000 economic downturn, Key3Media went into a Chapter 11 in February 2003 making that years show the final chapter in COMDEX history.

As a result, the Consumer Electronics Show has consolidated both COMDEX audiences with their own to make it the standard bearer for new product launches in consumer technology.

12 Emerging Trends that Everyone Missed

It’s easy to report on all the new technology that made its debut at CES. However, the more interesting stories, at least in my mind, are the less obvious shifts in business that can be derived from reading between the lines.

After spending a few days digesting everything, here are a few key observations about the world ahead.

 

Empty casinos at CES

1.) Traditional Gambling Usurped by Video Games – Even though the gambling industry is trying to tell the world it’s fine, the numbers simply don’t add up. In its 2013 State of the States report, the American Gaming Association reported that 39% of people age 21-35 spent time in casinos, with 90% saying they planned to return. Around the same time, a survey of 3,000 young adults in 16 markets in the Northeast found that only 18% of those under 35 had visited a casino in the past year.

At CES, I walked through dozens of major casinos along the strip and never once did I see a casino operating at more than 15% capacity. The biggest event of all in Vegas and the number of empty seats could fill several giant football stadiums.

However there could be a light at the end of this tunnel of gloom. Since young people would much rather play fast-action rapidly-advancing video games, and gambling laws for slot machines and roulette tables haven’t changed much since the 1950s, the best option may be to build large video game tournament centers and allow people to bet on the action, similar to betting on college basketball.

If casino owners in Vegas were to pick up on this idea, and you heard it first here, major hotels throughout the city could be retrofitted into a video game tournament centers, where every major title from Call of Duty, to Middle Earth, Bayonetta, Wolfenstein, and Destiny would have annual competitions. Las Vegas could once again reclaim it’s position, only this time with a new kind of gambling that appeals in a huge way to today’s young people.

2.) Formation of the Underground Economy for Flying Drones – Flying drones are hot! With over 100 exhibitors at CES showing off the latest in drone tech and the FAA saying the whole industry needs to hold tight until sometime in 2017, the only direction this industry can possibly go is underground. 

Yeah, theres something very ironic about a highly visible industry involving flying objects creating an underground economy, but since the FAA doesn’t have an enforcement division, and since the operators will soon be miles away from where the machines are flying, it becomes a low risk crime.

That, coupled with a drone industry that is progressing at an exponential rate, while the FAA is still operating with a linear progression mindset, means that we’ll be seeing the equivalent of policemen blowing whistles running down the street trying to stop hyper jet drones flying at 2,000 mph in less than two years.

3.) First Generation Mood-Casters – The Internet of Things had a huge presence at CES as well as vendors offering every kind of Smart Home tech imaginable. The one thing both of these emerging industries has in common is their quest to make life more manageable for everyone.

But here’s the problem. Everyone is different.

So while giving people have access to 10,000 options for controlling the lights in their house or giving them streaming access to a million new songs, video games, or TV shows may sound appealing, all these decision points adds more stress to a person’s day, not less.

There is, however, a solution – Mood-Casting.

If every smart device were able to tap into the mood of people it came into contact with, it could easily make the decisions for them. The good news is that much of today’s wearable technology is giving off the signals necessary for these devices to instantly fine tune their decision-making processes.

For example, if a person walked into a room and the lighting was too harsh, sensors could read common stress indicators and keep making changes to the brightness, color, and intensity until it reached an optimal level.

Mood-Casters could be used to play the perfect music while working out, driving, or trying to relax. Every fire in a fireplace could be altered in both color and brilliance to match the desires of those nearby. Restaurants could adjust the smells in their dining rooms until they were optimized for guests on a moment by moment basis. (i.e. people may prefer a different smell while eating appetizers as opposed to eating dessert.)

Health tech everywhere at CES

4.) The Rise of the Healthcare Circumventionist – Healthcare is a hierarchical industry with doctors firmly entrenched on the top rung. It is also one of the world’s most lucrative industries. The entrepreneurial community knows this and has been plotting for years to find ways to tap into these revenue streams.

Doctors, in general, are not a big fan of the hundreds of medical devices coming out of the woodwork that are designed to circumvent their authority.

They’re even less of a fan of the big data analysts, who have never once studied medicine, that are telling them what to do.

In just a few years, many people will be switching from going in for a “medical checkup” to having a “health analytics screening.”

With hundreds of new entries into the emerging wearable tech industry coming out of the woodwork, in just a few years, most people will be able to make their own diagnosis before ever setting foot in the doctors office. The piece that entrepreneurs will have the greatest difficulty prying away from doctors is their ability to write prescriptions. But that too is destined to be undermined with technology work-arounds.

Have you met your virtual self?

5.) Becoming One with My Virtual Self – Every time I look at the Internet through the rectangular screen on my desk I wonder what it would be like to have a screen 10 times bigger. Better yet, what would it be like to eliminate the screen altogether.

In many ways, CES has been this ongoing competition to see which big industry player can cram the most TVs into their exhibit space in the most interesting fashion. Seeing more than a thousand 4K TVs integrated into one massive 40’ high video wall is impressive to say the least.

The days of “observer based” television is on the verge of being replaced with immersive VR, and eliminating the limitations of the viewing screen is only the first of 10,000 steps towards having the observer integrated into the entertainment experience.

Recent studies have shown that VR users can feel like they’re part of what’s happening just by being able to view they’re own hands. Viewable hands will lead to other viewable body parts, as well as friends, pets, and other non-real characters.

Just as 3D television is now loosing its annoying glasses, over time, virtual reality will loose the goggles and be blended into our real life experiences, with an entirely new genre’s of entertainment entering the fold.

6.) Smart Things Vs Smarter Things – In much the same way toy companies began giving a voice to every fuzzy and plastic creature in play land, companies are finding it increasingly easy to make intelligence the differentiator in virtually every new product.

With everything from connected toothbrushes, to smart heated insoles for your shoes, belts that automatically readjust themselves, and helmets that autocorrect their venting system to keep a person’s head cool, the Internet of Things is providing wireless intelligence and connectivity to everything we interact with.

At the heart of the Internet of Things is a micro sensor industry where every new kind of sensor will create an entire new industry, and the sensors themself are becoming exponentially cheaper, smaller, and more ubiquitous.

Projections show the world breaking the trillion sensor barrier in less than 10 years, and the 100 trillion sensor milestone around 20 years from now.

Sensors are meaningless if not connected to other parts of the “anatomy,” and that’s where MEMS (microelectronic mechanical systems), very small machines, come into play. MEMS are the devices that power everyday things like the Pebble Watch, smart light bulbs, and real-time blood-sugar monitors.

Even though the amount of “intelligence” being added to devices today is still primitive, the trend is towards a universe where devices become aware of changes made by other devices and respond accordingly.

Technologies like Intel’s button-sized Curie device is a step toward integrating far more processing power into wearable tech and its field of sensors.

All this integration is setting the stage for the emerging operating system battlefield.

The OS battles have already begun

7.) The Emerging Operating System Battlefield – In general terms, an operating system is the software operating in the background that manages hardware and software resources and provides a set of common services to make everything run better.

Today’s most common operating systems include Android, iOS, Linux, and Microsoft Windows. Each one has its own feature set that makes applications easier to build and more uniform.

The need for new types of operating systems became apparent when smartphones started entering the picture a decade ago.

As smart technology begins to enter nearly every field, the need for new operating systems has never been greater, and companies are racing to fill the void.

To give you some examples, the operating system for driverless cars will be distinct and different than the operating system for flying drones. At the same time we are seeing a need for separate operating systems for smart homes, the Internet of Things, wearable technology, health tech, learning tech, and robots.

Every unique operating system will have its own unique privacy and security issues, industry standards, language biases, and feature sets.

Those who control the rules of the game will have a huge advantage over everyone else. The OS wars are still in their infancy, and most of the winners will be decided over the next five years.

Portable 3D laser scanner from Z Corporation

8.) Molecular-Level Scanners to Drive Tomorrow’s 3D Printing Industry – The 3D printing world is gaining lots of attention, but often lost in the shadows is a rapidly developing scanning industries with capabilities few ever imagined.

Not only will future scanning technologies be able to scan shapes with nano-scale precision, they will be able to parse exacting details of materials used in every molecule-thick layer of the object being scanned.

This means that someone will eventually be able to scan a smartphone, and with a multi-material 3D printer, reproduce the entire device in exacting detail.

For bio-printing, this means a person that has their finger cut off can have a replacement one printed and surgically connected in a way that few, if any, will know the difference.

IntelliPillow

9.) Shapeshifting Smart Products – When I first saw the IntelliPillow, a shapeshifting sensor-driven pillow that automatically knows when you’re sleeping on your side or back and adjusts itself accordingly, it reminded me of the columns I wrote on smart shoes and smart car seats over a decade ago.

The three things that the human body interacts with the most in life are the chairs we sit in, the shoes we walk in, and the beds we sleep in. People will pay dearly for any technology that can optimize any of these three friction points.

Using sensors to monitor layers of pressure, and either expanding gels or air systems to compensate for the changing conditions, shapeshifting products are destined to be all the rage in the coming years.

Bang & Olufsen ‘BeoSound Moment’

10.) Touch-Responsive Surfaces – As I came across the Bang & Olufsen ‘BeoSound Moment’ device, I realized I was looking at the world’s first touch-sensitive wood interface.

Extending far beyond glass touch screens of the past, touchable wood opens the door for any number of other touch sensitive surfaces like rock, stone, tile, or even concrete.

But who says we need to confine our thinking to hard surfaces. Will we be creating touch-sensitive carpets, leather, clothing, and upholstery? The answer will soon be an unequivocal yes.

11.) 3D Printing Combined with Robots Paves the way for Large Scale 3D Sculpting & Design – When 3D printing goes mobile, it opens the door for an entirely new kind of design and architecture.

If we can imagine a 3D printer that drives over, refills its tank with material, drives back and precisely extrudes the material into place, you’ll begin to understand the potential here.

Now, consider 100 or 1,000 mobile printers, either mounted on ground based or flying drones, working in swarms to build an entire building. That day is not too far off.

Most large structures of the future will be built this way. This will include everything from cruise ships, to baseball stadiums, hospitals, bridges, skyscrapers, hotels, apartment complexes, and giant sculptures.

Gone are the days of constrained thinking. Tomorrow’s mobile 3D printer technology will unleash a world of creative possibilities unlike anything we’ve ever imagined.

12.) The Massive Growing Need for Micro Colleges – Every new technology creates a need for more training. Very often it ends up being niche learning that takes place in-house with existing employees. But we’re also seeing a growing refinement of industries driving the need for huge new talent pools that currently don’t exist.

Whether its virtual reality, specialized 3D scanning, 3D printing, mobile apps, Internet of Things, flying drones, or reputation management, the need for tech-savvy fast-to-adapt talent pools is growing, and growing quickly.

This is also an area where traditional colleges have missed the boat. Their attempt to put everything into a 2-year or 4-year framework has left the largest untapped opportunity ever for short-term full-immersion courses that help workers reboot their career.

The rapid growth in coding schools such as our own DaVinci Coders is only a tiny slice of a much larger Micro College pie that will get created over the coming years.

Final Thoughts

In the futurist world, trends are often based on loose signals derived from a few key data points and overlaid on some future timeline.

The trends I’ve described above are a combination of empirical evidence, past observations, industry research, and a fair amount of conjecture on my part.

In many cases, the 1+1=3 formula I use comes from a Situational Futuring technique I’ve been developing over the past few years.

There is great value in this line of thinking because it unlocks possibilities, and more importantly for both individuals and businesses, it can unlock key competitive advantages in a world where differentiation is always a hard fought battle.

As always, I‘d love to hear your thoughts. Please take a moment to weigh in on these and other topics that you find interesting.

Source: http://www.futuristspeaker.com/2015/01/12-emerging-trends-that-everyone-missed-at-ces/