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The Future’s So Bright

To prompt your ‘thunking’ today…

JetsonsRemember Kodak, they used to make photograph film? What happened to them will happen in many industries in the next 10 years and most people won’t see it coming.

Uber is just a software tool, they don’t own any cars, and are now the biggest taxi company in the world. Airbnb is the biggest hotel company in the world, although they don’t own any hotels.

Computers are quickly becoming better at understanding and anticipating our world. This year, a computer beat the world’s top ranked Go-player – 10 years earlier than expected.

In the U.S., IBM’s Watson can get you basic legal advice within seconds, with 90% accuracy compared to 70% accuracy when done by a human.

Watson already helps nurses diagnosing cancer; it is proving to be four times more accurate than human doctors.

Facebook now has pattern recognition software that can recognize faces better than humans.

In 2018 the first truly autonomous (self-driving) cars will appear on our roads. Entrepreneur Elon Musk has already asked Nevada and California for permission to test a train of unmanned trucks which will follow a human driven lead truck. By 2020 numerous industries will be disrupted.

Who will want to own a car anymore? You will summon a car with an app, it will show up at your location and drop you at your destination. What becomes of parking lots? Now your time lost driving will be productive time, which might mean time meditating.

Our grandkids will never take a driving test, get a driver’s license, or own a car.

Consider the impact on real estate. If drive time can be productive work time, then living outside the city is no longer a drag.

Electricity will become cheaper and cleaner. Advances in gas and coal plants, plus the exponential rise in solar energy are already impacting the market.

With cheap energy comes more abundant drinking water. When we say a place has a water shortage, quite often we mean drinking water. Desalination will boom as energy becomes available. Imagine what will be possible if everyone can have clean water?

TricorderHealth: The Tricorder X price will be announced this year. This medical device (named for the famed Tricorder from Star Trek), will work with your phone to combine data from a retinal scan, blood sample, and breath analysis.

3D Printing: The price of the cheapest 3D printer dropped from $18,000 to $400 within the last 10 years. In the same time, it became 100 times faster.

Some spare airplane parts are already 3D printed at remote airports. The international space station has a 3D printer that eliminates the need for stocking large numbers of spare parts.

At the end of this year, new smart phones will have 3D scanning possibilities. You will be able to scan your feet and order custom fit shoes from the comfort of your home.

In China, they have already 3D printed and assembled a complete 6-story office building. By 2027, 10% of everything produced will be 3D printed.

Petri dish-produced veal is already available, and will very soon be cheaper than cow-produced veal. Right now, 30% of agricultural property is used for cows. Don’t fancy veal? Several start-ups are bringing insect protein to market. It contains more protein by mass than other meats. Watch labeling for “alternative protein source”, because many people still reject the idea of eating bugs.

You will be able to use a phone app to order a cricket pizza that will be delivered in a self-driving car that was made on a 3D printer!

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