This video by Microsoft portrays a unique and interesting idea of what they think the future of tech is and what company's all around the world would like to...
Geoff Ellis's insight:
The technology presented in here may not be just 5 years away. But 10 is reasonable. All this technology is feasible and undergoing research.
But this technology will come, and along with Virtual Reality, will change the way we interact with the world, and each other. Communication will be like never before.
What if you could sit down in your office, and join 2 dozen other people from around the world in a virtual meeting. Or attend and interact with lectures in University, from home.
The touch technologies and transparent displays will increase productivity. Imagine being able to program your own touch interface, so that your finger strokes will allow you to manipulate data. The technology is already here. It will simply become far more ubiquitous!
AUSTRALIA'S 800,000 solar-powered homes should be slugged more to plug into the main electricity grid, so as to reduce costs for other families, energy distributors say.
Geoff Ellis's insight:
This will be a disruptive technology in the very near future. As battery capacity increases and the cost of photovoltaic cells decrease, while overall becoming more efficient, more and and more people will switch.
While this is positive for the environment, it will also potentially create a social divide. As fewer people remain reliant on the existing energy grid the cost of maintaining the expansive grid and running power plants, will split among fewer and fewer citizens, which means costs will go up, or greater taxes will go to subsidize the power.
The irony being the people least likely capable of upgrading to solar systems will ultimately be the ones paying to support the archaic system.
But there will become a point where solar will be built into all existing buildings, and this will benefit all.
Why waste your drive time doing the actual driving, when technology can be your chauffeur? The century-old auto culture is on the verge of radical change, and you can thank Google for where it's headed.
Driverless cars are certainly the future of the auto industry, but they still have a ways to go to ensure they can be completely autonomous, and safe at the same time.
While removing the human factor in driving would likely make the roads much safer overall, there are aspects of every day driving that require a thoughtful eye and a quick touch. Can a car tell the difference between someone standing at the side of the road and not about to cross illegally or dangerously? How about reacting to a non-autonomous car driving dangerously close or cutting you off. Or even rock slides in mountainous areas can be a danger. These are all potential issues that the technology will need to be able to deal with to become main stream.
By Larry Kotlikoff and Rob Shavell Our Social Security columnist Larry Kotlikoff and Rob Shavell make an economic argument for Bitcoin. Photo courtesy of Flickr user Rene Walter. Most Mondays on Making Sense, we turn to Larry Kotlikoff for Social … Continue reading →
Geoff Ellis's insight:
This article points out some very important facts on bitcoin in the current economy.
What will make crypto-currencies popular is the fact that no one person or group has arbitrary control over the value or inflation and deflation of the currency. It is a purely market driven commodity based on supply and demand.
Now while bitcoins are heavily compared to against the US Dollar in terms of value, and most transactions are between those two currencies, in the event of a USD financial crises, the two currencies aren't actually linked by any means.
Google has signaled its interest in using Bitcoin, and it's asking users for feedback on how to proceed. Almost any move by Mountain View could send the value of the cyrptocurrency even higher than it already is.
Geoff Ellis's insight:
This is slightly outdated despite being only 2 months old. In the last 2 months bitcoin has had some significant setbacks with hacks, theft, and loss of bitcoins by major players in the industry. Among them one of the largest bitcoin exchanges and a leader in the market lost millions of dollars worth of bitcoins to theft due to an issue with their service, and possibly the protocol itself. They have since gone out of business and filed for bankruptcy. There are a number of such businesses facing similar issues.
That said, aside from the hiccups over the last few months, bitcoin has remained fairly stable at an exchange of 550-650$ USD per bitcoin.
Bitcoins are here to stay. It's a distributed network, and as long as users have investments people will be pushing the service regardless of any external forces. However if many more events like these occur, businesses such as google will be far more hesitant about backing the service. The bitcoin looked like it was going to have a strong future in legitimate business not too long ago but until its security and reliability is pushed that future may still be a ways off.
I disagree with a significant portion of this article. It is correct in suggesting that current technology is not at the stage where we can meet all our goals.
However, that technology is constantly being improved upon and will no doubt be at that stage. The capacity that we have now is significantly more advanced than the technology we had even 10 years ago. In another 10 years the technology will be exponentially greater.
Battery capacity will improve, photovoltaic cells will be more receptive. We can't expect things to always materialize as we create the idea, but as we come up with new idea's, we develop the technology to make it a reality.
Using 3D laser lithography, a team of German scientists have created micro-truss and -shell structures from ceramic polymer composites that exceed the strength-to-weight ratio of all engineering materials, with a density below 1,000 kg/m.
This is the future of manufacturing. The only question now, is whats the limit? How big of a machine can we print? An automobile? A small Jetliner? Or about about entire structural components of a bridge? It won't take us long to figure it out, this technology is exploding at an exponential rate.
As a child watching Star Trek, even just 15 years ago, the concept of a "replicator" was fascinating. Almost any object could be made almost instantly as you needed it. Now while the underlying technology is fundamentally different in how they would function, the overlying concept is so similar. And its now doubt only a matter of time that we move from existing 3d printing materials to something a little more atomic.
LAST week, a news agency reported that employees of a design company in Taiwan are cycling through the streets of Taipei and turning discarded plastic cups and bottles into pieces of art on the spot with an ordinary bike festooned with pumps, wires, tubes and display panels and a 3D printer.
Geoff Ellis's insight:
There is no doubt that 3d printing will have an immense impact on our society in the next 5-20 years and beyond. It has begun as a more specialised industry that was more of a niche. However as prices of materials and manufacturing of the devices drops, it will expand from high end company's, to smaller and smaller businesses, and ultimately it will likely become as ubiquitous in every home, much like a computer, tv, or phone.
It will ultimately affect every major manufacturing industry, from car components to fashion to simple household components. Businesses will primarily use them for pre-fabrication modelling and regular people eventually will use them for everything from small purchases, home repairs, to whatever they can download off the internet.
It will also reduce the dependence on external markets like China, Malaysia, and others for simple, smaller objects that will be easily printed at home.
But probably the most significant advantage of accessible 3d printing will be the ability for the regular person with grand ideas to develop and prototype idea's without the need of a manufacturing facility to create the samples and alpha/beta versions of whatever their product may be.
They are here, and they will stay. There will certainly be some working out to do in the next couple of years, as countries attempt to regulate it, and the security is refined.
There are already other alternatives out there, with a greater focus on security and scalability. There are also hundreds of others that offer a range of improvements or simply their own branding.
While there is not a particularly large network of businesses accepting cryptocurrencies at the moment, the concept is a viable way to combat social issues around the world. These issues range from horrid banking systems in western countries to oppressive regimes in the middle east, not to mention a potentially stable method of managing currency in areas like Greece or the American Sioux tribe where there are significant economic issues.
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