Today’s Technology is Getting Smarter Producing Amazing New Opportunities
Most people agree that our technology is getting smarter, but most don’t realize just how smart.
Daniel Burrus is considered one of the world’s leading futurists on global trends and innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus in the highest demand as a speaker.
He is a strategic advisor to executives from Fortune 500 companies, helping them to develop game-changing strategies based on his proven methodologies for capitalizing on technology innovations and their future impact. His client list includes companies such as Microsoft, GE, American Express, Google, Toshiba, Procter & Gamble, Honda, and IBM.
He is the author of six books, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller Flash Foresight: How To See The Invisible and Do The Impossible, as well as the international best-seller Technotrends.
He has been the featured subject of several PBS television specials and has appeared on programs such as CNN, Fox Business, and Bloomberg, and is quoted in a variety of publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Fortune, and Forbes.
He has founded six businesses, three of which were national leaders in the United States in the first year. He is the CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients profit from technological, social and business forces that are converging to create enormous, untapped opportunities.
His accurate predictions date back to the early 1980s where he became the first and only futurist to accurately identify the twenty technologies that would become the driving force of business and economic change for decades to come. Since then, he has continued to establish a worldwide reputation for his exceptional record of predicting the future of technology driven change and its direct impact on the business world.
Most people agree that our technology is getting smarter, but most don’t realize just how smart. Sure, they know their smart phones have GPS capability and their smart appliances are capable of improving efficiency, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In reality, smart technology is around us every day. From surveillance cameras to clothing, today’s smart technology is watching us, helping us, and getting smarter because of us.
As an example, let’s look at in-store surveillance cameras. In the past, the video quality of those cameras was poor. Most of us can remember watching the nightly news and seeing blurry footage of a robbery and not being able to make anything out.
Today we have two things taking place that alleviate that scenario. 1) We have software that can clean up the video footage so we can see the detail. 2) We have inexpensive cameras that can replace those old, bigger cameras, and that can give us full 1080P HD video resolution at a low cost.
Now you might be thinking, “So, what? That just means the police will be able to better identify who was robbing a store.”
Actually, it’s a much bigger deal than that. With today’s smart technology, companies are tapping into these video streams and, using high-speed computer analytics, are doing shopping analyses within the store, based on the security camera footage. In other words, security cameras are able to expose a wealth of sales and marketing data.
We can see customer movements, what products they stop in front of, and how often they stop in front of them. We can see if that display at the end of the counter is working or not. At the end of each evening, we can get a report on all the traffic patterns in the store without having to watch all the video because it’s all automated. The report can show where delays are taking place in the store, where the lines are building up, where people are spending most of the time in the store, where people are not going in the store, what products are the hottest, and which aisles are being browsed and for how long. In addition, as the price of real-time analytics drops, all of the sales and marketing intelligence can be accessed as it happens and adjustments made on the spot.
And that’s just information from inside the store! When you take the camera outside the store, its uses are even more amazing.
Increasingly, we’re using cameras outside to analyze traffic patterns and to look at high-crime areas. The nation that is most advanced in this practice is Great Britain. They have cameras all over their cities and towns capturing the video of 24/7 life and using high-speed analytics to analyze traffic flows, people movement, crime, etc.
But it doesn’t stop at video footage; they’re also capturing the audio. That means they can do an audio zoom and listen to the conversation that is happening at an intersection, for example.
You might think, “Who is going to listen to all of those conversations?” The answer: No one. Since it’s digital audio, you can search the audio content for keywords and pull up the conversations that are specific to the phrases you’re searching for.
This is already happening in Great Britain. Now the question is, will it only be used there, or will other countries, including our own, start using this smart technology in the future? The answer is, of course we will be using it here and in other countries as well. So while seeing is believing, seeing and hearing something is undeniable.
Smart Technology You Can Wear
Realize that smart technology isn’t always about something you hold in your hand or a device you intentionally manipulate. Now, even the clothes you wear can have a technological component.
For example, there already is a product called “The Helmet Hero.” With it, you can take a helmet, such as a bicycle, ski, or motorcycle helmet, and mount a small high-definition camera on it that can record as HD video or capture still photography. Thanks to an SD card, you can record up to 2½ hours on a single charge.
Additionally, since one of the hard trends of technology is the ability to make things smaller and smaller, you can create high-quality video or still camera pictures from a very small lens that’s clipped to or embedded in your sunglasses, and then upload it directly to Facebook or other social media platforms. So, for example, if you’re walking on the beach or hiking a mountain, you can have that feed go directly to your video Facebook page.
While this might sound great, the newest wearable technology goes even beyond all this. For example, Adidas has created an “intelligent football boot” that can upload performance data, including your maximum speed, minimum speed, the number of sprints you took, the distance you took for each sprint, the distance you went at a high-intensity level, etc. In other words, they’ve created a true training device that keeps track of your entire training regimen. They started with football, but it will surely spread to other sports.
Going a little further, the US military has developed smart underwear. It looks just like normal underwear, but it has micro sensors that can monitor respiration, heart rate, body posture, and skin temperature. Now we can really see what’s happening with troops in the field. And since all the data can be transmitted wirelessly, we can monitor the well-being of all of the people in real time. If someone has a problem or has been wounded, we already have body monitors on them in their underwear.
Now let’s take that to the next level. If this technology works for the military, couldn’t intelligent underwear work for professional sports too? Of course. It can track hydration levels, heart rate, and other things to help coaches determine when to pull someone from the field.
Going even further, smart underwear has a medical application too. People who are having a medical problem and who need to be monitored over time can wear the smart underwear and the data can be instantly streamed to the doctor’s office for analysis. Currently you have to wear expensive monitors and report to the doctor’s office to get the information from the monitor read. It’s both costly and time consuming. But with the smart underwear, it’s quick and much less expensive.
The Next Generation of Smart
Here’s the really exciting part of all this: You may remember the old Star Trek television series, where they wore a little piece of jewelry on their shirt that they would touch to communicate with people in other parts of the ship or those who beamed down to a foreboding planet. If you think about Apple’s Siri, you’ll see that we’re actually beyond that piece of science fiction right now. With Siri, we had the first ultra-intelligent electronic agent with us at all times. Currently, we need the smart phone to communicate with our electronic agent, but soon we won’t.
Imagine wearing a piece of jewelry that you touch to activate. You might say, “Read my voicemails,” and then respond to them. You can do that now with Siri or Google voice, so why not just make it a piece of jewelry rather than a phone with a display? We don’t need to have that whole big phone with a touch screen to do this. Imagine walking around hands-free and running your day: “What’s my next appointment? Write an email. Read my messages. Where is the nearest Starbucks?”
Yes, we will see the screenless smart phone soon and it will use voice input to a Siri-like electronic agent only, and when you eliminate the screen, the size of the battery and everything else shrinks so much that you will have a device small enough to be a Star Trek-like communicator, only better.
Smartness at Your Fingertips
As our processing power, bandwidth, and storage continue to expand exponentially, we will definitely see more and more smart technologies in our life. From cameras to clothes, the wealth of information that can be gleaned, stored, and transmitted will grow exponentially as well, giving us access to new and usable knowledge that can enhance both business and life. The key question for you is: How can you and your company work smarter with these and other types of smart technologies?
It's just the current cycle that involves opiates, but methamphetamine, cocaine, and others have caused the trajectory of overdoses to head the same direction
- It appears that overdoses are increasing exponentially, no matter the drug itself
- If the study bears out, it means that even reducing opiates will not slow the trajectory.
- The causes of these trends remain obscure, but near the end of the write-up about the study, a hint might be apparent
Through computationally intensive computer simulations, researchers have discovered that "nuclear pasta," found in the crusts of neutron stars, is the strongest material in the universe.
- The strongest material in the universe may be the whimsically named "nuclear pasta."
- You can find this substance in the crust of neutron stars.
- This amazing material is super-dense, and is 10 billion times harder to break than steel.
Superman is known as the "Man of Steel" for his strength and indestructibility. But the discovery of a new material that's 10 billion times harder to break than steel begs the question—is it time for a new superhero known as "Nuclear Pasta"? That's the name of the substance that a team of researchers thinks is the strongest known material in the universe.
Unlike humans, when stars reach a certain age, they do not just wither and die, but they explode, collapsing into a mass of neurons. The resulting space entity, known as a neutron star, is incredibly dense. So much so that previous research showed that the surface of a such a star would feature amazingly strong material. The new research, which involved the largest-ever computer simulations of a neutron star's crust, proposes that "nuclear pasta," the material just under the surface, is actually stronger.
The competition between forces from protons and neutrons inside a neutron star create super-dense shapes that look like long cylinders or flat planes, referred to as "spaghetti" and "lasagna," respectively. That's also where we get the overall name of nuclear pasta.
Caplan & Horowitz/arXiv
Diagrams illustrating the different types of so-called nuclear pasta.
The researchers' computer simulations needed 2 million hours of processor time before completion, which would be, according to a press release from McGill University, "the equivalent of 250 years on a laptop with a single good GPU." Fortunately, the researchers had access to a supercomputer, although it still took a couple of years. The scientists' simulations consisted of stretching and deforming the nuclear pasta to see how it behaved and what it would take to break it.
While they were able to discover just how strong nuclear pasta seems to be, no one is holding their breath that we'll be sending out missions to mine this substance any time soon. Instead, the discovery has other significant applications.
One of the study's co-authors, Matthew Caplan, a postdoctoral research fellow at McGill University, said the neutron stars would be "a hundred trillion times denser than anything on earth." Understanding what's inside them would be valuable for astronomers because now only the outer layer of such starts can be observed.
"A lot of interesting physics is going on here under extreme conditions and so understanding the physical properties of a neutron star is a way for scientists to test their theories and models," Caplan added. "With this result, many problems need to be revisited. How large a mountain can you build on a neutron star before the crust breaks and it collapses? What will it look like? And most importantly, how can astronomers observe it?"
Another possibility worth studying is that, due to its instability, nuclear pasta might generate gravitational waves. It may be possible to observe them at some point here on Earth by utilizing very sensitive equipment.
The team of scientists also included A. S. Schneider from California Institute of Technology and C. J. Horowitz from Indiana University.
Check out the study "The elasticity of nuclear pasta," published in Physical Review Letters.
Scientists think constructing a miles-long wall along an ice shelf in Antarctica could help protect the world's largest glacier from melting.
- Rising ocean levels are a serious threat to coastal regions around the globe.
- Scientists have proposed large-scale geoengineering projects that would prevent ice shelves from melting.
- The most successful solution proposed would be a miles-long, incredibly tall underwater wall at the edge of the ice shelves.
The world's oceans will rise significantly over the next century if the massive ice shelves connected to Antarctica begin to fail as a result of global warming.
To prevent or hold off such a catastrophe, a team of scientists recently proposed a radical plan: build underwater walls that would either support the ice or protect it from warm waters.
In a paper published in The Cryosphere, Michael Wolovick and John Moore from Princeton and the Beijing Normal University, respectively, outlined several "targeted geoengineering" solutions that could help prevent the melting of western Antarctica's Florida-sized Thwaites Glacier, whose melting waters are projected to be the largest source of sea-level rise in the foreseeable future.
An "unthinkable" engineering project
"If [glacial geoengineering] works there then we would expect it to work on less challenging glaciers as well," the authors wrote in the study.
One approach involves using sand or gravel to build artificial mounds on the seafloor that would help support the glacier and hopefully allow it to regrow. In another strategy, an underwater wall would be built to prevent warm waters from eating away at the glacier's base.
The most effective design, according to the team's computer simulations, would be a miles-long and very tall wall, or "artificial sill," that serves as a "continuous barrier" across the length of the glacier, providing it both physical support and protection from warm waters. Although the study authors suggested this option is currently beyond any engineering feat humans have attempted, it was shown to be the most effective solution in preventing the glacier from collapsing.
Source: Wolovick et al.
An example of the proposed geoengineering project. By blocking off the warm water that would otherwise eat away at the glacier's base, further sea level rise might be preventable.
But other, more feasible options could also be effective. For example, building a smaller wall that blocks about 50% of warm water from reaching the glacier would have about a 70% chance of preventing a runaway collapse, while constructing a series of isolated, 1,000-foot-tall columns on the seafloor as supports had about a 30% chance of success.
Still, the authors note that the frigid waters of the Antarctica present unprecedently challenging conditions for such an ambitious geoengineering project. They were also sure to caution that their encouraging results shouldn't be seen as reasons to neglect other measures that would cut global emissions or otherwise combat climate change.
"There are dishonest elements of society that will try to use our research to argue against the necessity of emissions' reductions. Our research does not in any way support that interpretation," they wrote.
"The more carbon we emit, the less likely it becomes that the ice sheets will survive in the long term at anything close to their present volume."
A 2015 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine illustrates the potentially devastating effects of ice-shelf melting in western Antarctica.
"As the oceans and atmosphere warm, melting of ice shelves in key areas around the edges of the Antarctic ice sheet could trigger a runaway collapse process known as Marine Ice Sheet Instability. If this were to occur, the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) could potentially contribute 2 to 4 meters (6.5 to 13 feet) of global sea level rise within just a few centuries."
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