Category Archives: Vision

Cars Will Think for Themselves

In a rare move, the world’s 20 largest automakers have come together and agreed to make AEB – (emergency braking) technology standard on all new cars they produce by September 1, 2022.

2013-Mercedes-Benz-C-Class-2

The system varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, but it’s typically built around a camera, a laser, or a radar that’s discreetly mounted either behind the rear-view mirror or somewhere on the front fascia, as pictured above on a Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It permanently scopes out the road ahead and warns the driver if it senses that a collision with another car is imminent, and it automatically applies the brakes if the driver doesn’t react in time.

The companies that signed the agreement represent 99 percent of the new car market in the United States alone. The list of participants includes BMW, Toyota, Honda, General Motors, Ford, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, the Volkswagen Group, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Jaguar-Land Rover, Fiat-Chrysler, Volvo, Tesla, Subaru, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Mazda. The broad list ensures that consumers will benefit from AEB regardless of whether they spend $16,000 on a Nissan or $160,000 on a Porsche.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says this single move has the potential to reduce rear-end collisions in the U.S. by 40 percent. It’s also an important precedent that paves the way for car manufacturers to agree on standards for autonomous features in their vehicles without being prodded by their incumbent  governments.

Sleepy drivers take note !

To your success.

 

Steve

Nanobots Will Keep You Healthy

January is always the month for starting your New Year resolutions, Exercise ..no doubt being one of them. But what about the mental determination in keeping that body healthy and staying away from the Bagels & Doughnuts…..

……Ever thought that tech could  assist your new held desires?

Well… in the not too distant future what if you could install nanobots into your blood system to automatically and autonomously clear your arteries, thereby preventing heart disease with an army of tiny groups of magnetically charged particles that band together to break up clogged vessels…Imagine that.? An international team of researchers from the U.S., South Korea and Switzerland are already collaborating on this very task, and this year, they’ll begin trials on mice.

The nanorobot molecules will be able to deliver drugs to soften clogged arteries, then drill in to break up blockages. An MRI machine serves as the command and control center, as well as the power source for the robots; the robots are controlled by harnessing the power of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the tunnel-like machines more commonly used for X-ray imaging in hospitals. Working with the nanobots, they both steer and observe the magnetically charged bots as they navigate their way around inside the body; blasting unwanted clogs in the canals. If all goes well, human trials will commence by 2019.

As powerful computing capabilities continue to dematerialize and demonetize, it won’t be long until we have an army of robot surgeons inside our bodies, detecting cancers and unblocking arteries keeping us healthy and extending the human life cycle .

One to ponder over.

To your health

Steve

2016 – The Year of AI

Well the long festive season is over and I’m back at my desk  after a well deserved break and contemplating this New Year with renewed energy, vigour and excitement. This is going to be a great year for ideas and making new connections and sharing common visions to discover your purpose. Which leads me onto my first topic of the season and one which is going to make a lot of ripples in knowledge based industries.

Microsoft has hailed 2016 the “Year of AI,” according to its annual trend list. Microsoft asked 16 members of its technology and research team to forecast the biggest breakthroughs for 2016, and AI was the area generating the most excitement. Virtual assistants, conversation assistants, AI-enabled user interfaces and customer service AIs were some of the user cases described.

The tech giants see this era as an important step to  focus on artificial intelligence, and they’re predicting major breakthroughs in 2016 — we shall see more evidence of this technology’s rapid advancement from deceptive to disruptive growth phases as the year progresses..

In 2015, artificial intelligence went mainstream. Major tech companies including Google, Facebook, Amazon and Twitter made huge in roads into AI, almost all of technology research company predictions included AI, and declared that AI-driven technologies were the next big disruptor to enterprise software.  This makes it likely that in 2016, new inventions will increasingly come to market from companies discovering new ways to apply this wonderful technology versus building it. With game changers now having access to cost effective quality AI platforms to create new products, we’ll also likely see an explosion in new startups using AI.

Smart machines will assist employees being more productive, not replace them. Analytics industry leader, Tom Davenport, predicted that “smart leaders will realize that augmentation—combining smart humans with smart machines—is a better strategy than automation.”

Business leaders will be given the choice to use these intelligent vehicles so that AI sourced information has the option to present solutions and explain how they arrive at their answers to common problems and allow better, more efficient decisions be made as part of a companies growth.

AI-powered applications will start to infiltrate companies other than technology firms. Employees, teams and entire departments will champion process re-engineering efforts with these intelligent systems whether they realize it or not. As each individual app eliminates a task, employees will automate many of the mundane parts of their jobs and assemble their own stack of AI-powered apps. Teammates eager to be  competitive will follow, along with team managers who are looking to execute on cost-cutting efforts.

With innovation progressing rapidly within large organizations in sectors such as retail, finance and pharmaceutical will focus even more efforts on remaining competitive and discovering the next big thing by forming innovation hubs. Innovation laboratories have existed for some time, but in 2016, we’ll begin to see more resources devoted to innovation  and more technologies discovered in these think tanks actually implemented across different company functions and business lines.

2016 will be a big year for AI. But what is even more significant, 2016 will bring about a major shift in the perception of AI. It will cease to be an intimidating, hypothetical set of notions and theories and will be better understood and accepted as more people realize the advantages of AI to supplement what we do to make our lives even more rewarding.

To your Success in 2016

Steve

Weed Free Soil – A Gardeners Paradise

This Weed-Killing Robot Makes Herbicides Obsolete

The Bosch BoniRob is a LIDAR-enabled robot that identifies weeds you don’t want and squashes them into the ground with impressive force. It can run for up to 24 hours at once, killing about two weeds a second.

According to Bosch, the robot is about the size of a small vehicle, and uses the same type of laser-radar vision system that Google’s self-driving cars use to navigate the world. BoniRob is programmed by being shown pictures of leaves from plants farmers want to harvest and  differentiates them from weeds. Using machine learning—a form of artificial intelligence that allows it to make decisions based on what it’s been shown—it applies its own information to what it sees when it’s in the field, stamping down only on the weeds it’s been asked to eliminate. BoniRob could potentially rid farms of the need to use herbicides or other weed killers on crops, which have been seen as potentially harmful to humans.

Machine learning systems get better with more information, so with each new weed or plant it sees, BoniRob refines its interpretation of what each of them are, getting more advanced at doing its job each time. In tests on carrot patches, BoniRob stamped out about 90% of weeds, according to “Popular Science”.
BoniRob is currently being tested on real farmland, and IEEE Spectrum says that it can run autonomously for about a whole day before it runs out of fuel. Bosch intends to rent or sell the robot to farmers looking to cut down on labour costs. According to the company, farmers today can harvest about 3-4 times what they could from the same amount of land in the 1950s, and as our population continues to increase, we’ll have to find new ways to keep growing crops efficiently and safely.

This self-driven robot shows how machine learning and sensor technology can create better, more powerful agriculture robots. One day, robots like this one will eradicate the need for herbicides and pesticides.

Imagine a  future with an army of self-driving BoniRobs could be all that’s needed to harvest our fields. Once self-driving lorries can bring the food to stores, and self-driving robots can stack it on supermarket shelves, just like in an Amazon warehouse hub; we’ll be able to have a completely self-driven robot farm-to-table meal. Future foody hipsters will be in heaven .

To your healthy future.

 

Steve

 

Harvesting Energy from our Oceans

Energy harvesting from our surroundings has now taken on another leap forward from what is a limitless supply from our oceans. For all you sun worshippers out there living near the coast; in the not too distant future you may have your household electricity being supplied by clever power stations that extract the energy stored from your local sun bathed surf.

Hawaii’s new OTEC power plant harvests energy stored in warm ocean water;

The OTEC plant cost $5 million to build and is the world’s largest power plant using this renewable and clean energy source. The project was funded and developed through a jont venture between Hawaii’s Makai Ocean Engineering, the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research, and the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) at the University of Hawaii.

It’s new technology enables  thermal energy using the temperature differential between warm surface water and deep sea cold water to turn a turbine that is used to generate electricity. As it relies on surface heating from sunlight, the supply of ocean thermal energy is practically limitless, especially in sub tropical areas where the ocean’s sea water warms up rapidly. Similar to a fossil fuel plant, the OTEC system provides this energy in a steady supply that can be notched up or scaled back quickly in response to grid demand.

 

Whilst the inital investment to get this  innovation off the ground seems small in comparison to traditional grid stations Makai still face financial hurdles. They plan to develop a site in Japan and then hopefully the collective interest will enable further expansion on what is poised to be the next must have technology for clean renewable energy.

A fantastic business which could significantly reduce our fossil fuel emissions around the globe. And one topic I’d like to discuss in our forum.

 

To the next

 

Steve

How to Launch Your Own Satellite

 

Many years ago in between jobs I launched one of the first Satellite  Radio stations ” Rock Shop Radio” from an Astra Satellite sub audio band completely free of charge. You could say it was  a bit of a favour from my old days at Murdochs Sky TV

Now you maybe thinking ..how on earth can Steve have rented time FOC on a major satellite network …well more on this in a later post!…. 😉

Admittedly space is an expensive business……

But ……If you’ve ever dreamed of developing your own Satellite and launching it into space then you maybe just a one step closer to realising your dream.  Shaun Whitehead’s very smart company  ThumbSat project has a one-stop shop solution to putting your experiment in space. It’s essentially a balloon-like design fitted-out with an array of electronic componentry such as  a microcontroller, transmitter, GPS unit and camera. For a cost of around $20,000 or so, a ThumbSat can literally “Thumb A Lift” on space rockets that have already been scheduled for launch, retrieve data and transmit it down to a number of global receiver stations for about two/three  months, and then burn up on re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.

 

ThumbSat essentially is bringing space exploration and making it affordable & available to everyone — from bedroom scientists to school & college students to even  NASA. The whole process is scaled down & streamlined so that you don’t experience the usual red tape & hurdles that characterises the usual process.

As their website proclaims Tiny Satellite = Tiny Cost = Huge Results.

A fascinating innovation that is going places.

Check it out

To your success.

Steve

Jeans That Fit – At Last

Retail is going through a radical transformation and online purchasing has seen incredible exponential growth over the last 5 years as our lifestyle becomes more mobile online. Many start ups have started to experiment with how the market will play out next – but the most fundamental area that needs addressing are “returns” and that 15 lost minutes( in the dressing room) when sizing becomes a real problem on hitting your bottom line on customer refunds. A smart US start up “LikeAGlove” hopes to close that gap & to demystify online clothing shopping using a smart fabric. Its sensor-equipped, conductive fiber-woven leggings discreetly measure a woman’s figure and create an accurate digital representation of her figure. Shoppers can then instantly browse  clothing of their choice in the exact sizes that will fit them.

This is a very important step up as a game changer ; Because of the large variance in women’s sizes between designers, it’s difficult to find a good selection of right-sized clothing online. LikeAGlove’s sensor-packed leggings make measurement accurate, private and, fundamentally easier. I see this company moving forward and partnering with other online retail disrupters out there ( maybe even me) with new ideas that get away from traditional bricks ‘n’ mortar shopping.

The company is hopeful that they’ll be able to expand the technology to include other types of clothing, like tops, dresses, and more.

If you’re in search of some seriously high-tech leggings that will simplify your search for your perfectly fitting pair of jeans, search no longer. Just grab a pair of LikeAGlove leggings.

I’ll be watching this company closer as I have a few ideas of my own that compliment the whole social shopping experience.

Hope the size works for you.

To your success

 

Steve

 

NASA – Gratis Patents For You

This was a major bold move last week; for all you budding astronauts & space entrepreneurs out there.

NASA has invited tech startups to license patented NASA tech without upfront costs in an initiative called Startup NASA. The agency eliminated initial licensing fees and minimum fees for the first three years of use, but will collect a standard net royalty fee for any products sold after that period. An online patent portfolio organizes the 1,200-plus patents into 15 categories; to get started, entrepreneurs just need to fill out an application for a desired technology.

 

“The Startup NASA initiative leverages the results of our cutting-edge research and development so entrepreneurs can take that research — and some risks — to create new products and new services,” explained David Miller, NASA’s chief technologist.

The agency will waive the initial licensing fees, and there are no minimum fees for the first three years — but once a startup starts selling a product, NASA will collect a standard net royalty fee

That said, even with royalty costs later on down the road, free and unfettered access to the agency’s patent portfolio could be well worth it to the right startup. NASA’s patents range from materials coatings to sensors, aeronautics technology, instrumentation, and more — so there’s plenty of room for innovation.

The agency has even gone the extra mile and put together a “streamlined, online patent portfolio covering 15 categories and packed with patents protected by the U.S. government.” You can seriously just browse through the patent collection online, and once you’ve pinpointed a desired technology you think you could commercialize, you can get the ball rolling by filling out and submitting application through the website.

Further information on the initiative, as well as application info, can be found on NASA’s dedicated Web page.  NASA StartUps

This is really opening the book wide to everybody that might have an idea of how to harness state of the art thinking and make a viable business. As their opener suggests ” Bringing NASA Technology Down To Earth”

I’m certainly going to check out that webpage and see where my creative mind takes me!

Will you do the same as now the agency is encouraging innovation and expediting dramatic breakthroughs; so you have a chance to make your mark on the world stage.

What a great platform as a discussion point.

Time to make your own “One Giant Leap for Mankind”

Join me

Steve

Life Begins —————————–At The End of Your Comfort Zone

I love this one..its so true and yet most people just don’t get it .

The reason why is that it takes just as much effort to stay where your are …”Stuck”….. as it is to cross that eternal divide and make a change.

There’s a great meme you’ve probably seen this before – “Do what other people won’t so you can live like other people can’t” – This is so true ! Being an entrepreneur takes effort ..there’s no two ways around it. Effort in ….Freedom Out!

You expel just as much energy doing nothing and staying average as like everybody else ..and yet you’d be surprised that once you make the jump it becomes second nature and you end up using less energy to start something new. It’s like building a muscle …the more you exercise it the stronger it gets .

If you think of life as the journey towards our purpose, our true calling, is the fulfillment of our true potential.

Most of us live our lives within the limits that we have set for ourselves regarding what we are capable of achieving.

These limits are born out of fear, anxiety, social upbringing and staying with the pack. We dread what lies beyond what we already know. People are not even ready to imagine a situation where they overcome these fears & chase their dreams. They’re all to quick to find excuses as to why they can’t do something.

You need to get it into your head  that there is no human endeavour that is impossible for you.

You don’t need to always stand on the sidelines and admire those triathon runners( I used to be like this). You could be running it too. You can write a novel. You can do a speech and receive a standing applause from admired followers( I’ve done this). You can learn to fly an aircraft( Done it already)  ..you can start that business idea thats been knawing at you for years( yes do that too) ..  you can a make a million dollars …..Yes Definitely.

The first step is to step over the fear. Get out of your comfort zone. Everything you have is within you.

Most people live out their lives in their comfort zones. Afraid to change, afraid to step out, afraid of the unknown, they stay where they feel safe and where they know all the rules of the game.

The best way to beat this is to embrace change even before it comes knocking on your door.

When you realize that you’ve been in the comfort zone for too long, when you recognize that your growth is stagnating, when you realize that you have not done anything new or exciting with your life for the last year. That’s the moment you need to make the leap of faith. There is a famous quote by Theodore Roosevelt which sums it all up ;-

” Far better is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take ranks with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight of mediocrity that knows neither victory nor defeat”

One of the best ways to avoid falling prey to the lure of comfort is to use it against itself. Be aware of the time when life seems to be too comfortable. Look at the situation with the understanding that you are capable of achieving anything.

Most of the time, what we call comfortable is what our mind conditions us to believe is comfortable. Most of the time, we settle in our comfort zones, we are settling for that mediocrity. Those boundaries that your mind constantly reminds you to not cross, those were placed there by your mind itself, and they do not in any way represent your potential.

And when you recognize this, and deliberately push at the limits you have set for yourself, you start seeing that there is a whole new sphere of life out there, that is far more personally rewarding than what you were satisfied with earlier.

Make changes enormous changes to your life. Learn where you want to take your life and move in that direction. Start with a few steps at first ..maybe by altering your daily routine …shake things up a bit by introducing an element of risk.  Do something everyday, each week that scares you …you’ll get a sense of feeling alive. I’m not suggesting you immediately go out & try sky diving… even though you’ll value life a whole lot more. But try things that raise your heart beat …go speak with a stranger, sprint to work instead of walk, drink water instead of coffee…… 

If that calls for a career change, do it. If that calls for a change in a relationship, do it. If that calls for a change in where you live, do it.

Make the changes that you were afraid to make all along.

Realize the limits you have placed upon yourself. Push them. Break them.

Let go of the limiting beliefs and thought patterns that don’t serve you in attaining your goals.

“Remember, what ever makes you comfortable… never lets you grow”.

To you all making a success of yourselves

 

Steve

Your Heads’ In The Clouds

This post will literally blow your mind …And I mean ….Literally!
It has been predicted recently that not far from now, our opportunity & capacity for learning and gaining knowledge will grow exponentially to stratospheric heights.

” In the 2030s,” said Ray Kurzweil( a brilliant scientist from Google), “we are going to send nano-robots into the brain (via capillaries) that will provide full immersion virtual reality from within the nervous system and will connect our neocortex to the cloud. Just like how we can wirelessly expand the power of our smartphones 10,000-fold in the cloud today, we’ll be able to expand our neocortex in the cloud.”
Having your head in the clouds” will no longer be a term used for ridiculing unrealistic thinking.

Just give a thought to it for a moment ……2030 is only 15 years away…
Directly plugging your brain into the internet? Upgrading your intelligence and memory capacity by orders of magnitude?
This post is about the staggering (and fascinating) consequences of that possible future.
The implications of a connected neocortex are quite literally unfathomable. As such, any list one can come up with will pale in contrast to reality… But here are a few suggested ideas to get the ball rolling.

Head-to-Head Communication
This will deliver a new level of human intimacy, where you can truly know what your lover, friend or child is feeling. Intimacy far beyond what we experience today by mere human verbal exchanges. Forget email, texting, phone calls, and so on – you’ll be able to send your thoughts to someone simply by thinking them.

Yahoo on the Brain – Instantaneous knowledge at the speed of thought!
You’ll have the ability to “know” anything you desire, at the moment you want to know it. You’ll have access to the world’s information at the tip of your neurons. You’ll be able to determine complecated maths formulae in seconds. You’ll be able to navigate the streets of any cities, naturally. You’ll be able to hop into a helicopter and fly it perfectly( no mean feat). You’ll be able to communicate in different languages effortlessly.

Scalable Intelligence
Just imagine that you’re in a bind and you need to solve a problem (rapidly). In the future world, you’ll be able to scale up the computational power of your brain on demand, 10x or 1,000x, 10,000X… in much the same way that algorithms today can spool up 1,000 processor cores on Web Servers.

Living in the Virtual World
If our brains can truly connect at high bandwidth, you will be able to circumvent our current sensory internal organs (eyes, ears, touch) to the point where brain’s sense of reality can be driven completely by a computer gaming engine – a multimedia world. Likewise, the connections would exist in the motor cortex of your brain as well. When you move your limbs, picture a corresponding set of virtual arms moving perfectly in the virtual world.

Extended Immune System
Ray goes onto suggest how we already have intelligent scientific devices, the size of blood cells that kill disease. They are called T-cells. They can recognize an adversary and attack it; In the future, nanorobots will be able to communicate wirelessly, download applications when new pathogens arrives, and attack cancer, cancer stem cells, bacteria, viruses, and all the disease agents. They can also work on metabolic illnesses like diabetes. They could also protect healthy levels of everything you need in the blood, including nutrients, and basically heal and fundamentally replace weakened organs.

Downloadable Expertise
The old derogatory saying “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Will be a thing of the past as we will become experts in everything – We’ll be able to do anything. Need to perform unexpected emergency surgery? Just download the ER doctor program. Need to learn a new foreign language? Download it. Want to repair your old car motor engine? Download the mechanic module. In fact, you probably won’t even need to download it (which takes up memory), you’ll probably just “stream” resources from the cloud.

Expanded and Searchable Memories
We’ll be able to always remember everything that ever happened to us (because we’ll store our memories in the cloud), and we’ll be able to search that memory database for useful information. When our memories will become searchable, we’ll also be able to make them contextual by cross-referencing our diaries, journeys, mediacal info, current news, weather conditions, and anything else that might be relevant to that particular moment in time.

A Higher-Order Existence
Ray talks about how a connected neocortex will bring humanity to a higher order of existence and complexity – expanding our palate for sensation, culture, humour, creativity, expression, and individuality. He says, “We’re going to be funnier. We’re going to be sexier. We’re going to be better at expressing loving sentiment. We’re going to add more levels to the hierarchy of brain modules and create deeper levels of expression. People will be able to explore very deeply some particular type of music in far greater degree than we can today. It’ll lead to far greater originality, not less.”

While this future may sound imaginary to many, let’s remember that exponential technologies are initially deceptive, before they become disruptive.
And today, there are many labs around the world working on molecular machinery, that allow us to edit our own genome, and brain-computer interfaces (through cortical implants and in the field of optogenetics).
So what if these fields of technological progress double every 18 months? In 15 years (2015 – 2030), we will have a 1,000-fold improvement over today. What does a future one thousand times better look like? Perhaps it’s what Ray predicts…
If this future becomes reality, connected humans are going to change everything…You’ll be able to fulfil your potential in every area of your life!
We need to discuss the consequences in order to make the right decisions now so that we are prepared for the long-term.
This is the sort of conversation that really lights my fire and one I’d like to explore further within a mastermind group. So come and join me.

To you all “slipping the surly bonds of earth” and soaring amongst the clouds

Steve