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15 min read

Abundance Insider: April 12th, 2019

Apr 12, 2019

Abundance Insider

In this week's Abundance Insider: Smart sleepwear, herbaceous cyber agriculture, and a new wonder material.

Peter, Marissa, Kelley, Greg, Bri, Jarom, Joseph, Derek, Jason, Nora, Claire and Max

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'Smart' Pajamas Could Monitor And Help Improve Sleep

What it is: Researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst developed self-powered “smart” pajamas that monitor heart rate, posture and breathing. This highly cross-disciplinary project packs five sensors into a lightweight, unobtrusive form factor. The team tapped into materials scientists to develop the energy-harvesting, self-powering materials and computer scientists to process the abundance of data. The team estimates this technology could make it to the mainstream by 2021 for under $200.

Why it's important: We are in a wearables co-evolution, in which humans are incorporating increasingly powerful wearable technologies into their physical survival, longevity and everyday habits. This booming industry is having a massive impact on the $29 billion sleep industry. From the Oura Ring to smartwatches and sensor-equipped mattresses, we are collecting massive amounts of important sleep data. These smart pajamas could help more robustly collect and analyze full-body sleep behavior. What might you learn about yourself based on your sleep data? | Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg / Written by Max Goldberg


Meet Borophene, The Boron-Based 2D Wonder Material That Is A Close Cousin Of Graphene

What it is: Borophene is a single layer of boron atoms that combine to form 2-dimensional lattice structures of varying shapes. Predicted in the early 1990’s but not produced until 2015, its properties are just now being characterized — and the results are impressive. Stronger and more flexible than graphene, borophene is a good conductor of heat and electricity, and can be superconducting. According to Zhi-Qiang Wang at Xiamen University in China, “its conductivity, the material’s high theoretical specific capacities, excellent electronic conductivity and outstanding ion transport properties” make it a great candidate as an anode for Li, Na, and Mg batteries. And because hydrogen atoms stick or adsorb easily to borophene, it also shows potential for hydrogen storage and other water-based energy cycles.

Why it's important: As with graphene, we must discover how to produce borophene at scale. If successful, however, a wide range of applications become possible, ranging from battery storage breakthroughs to new environmental sensors for gases like formaldehyde and ethanol. As more characteristics are defined, keep an eye out for new applications that might benefit your MTP. | Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin


Alexa, What's My Blood-Sugar Level?

What it is: Amazon’s Alexa home assistant recently received a major medical update. Now, Alexa devices can securely handle users’ sensitive medical data. The new features include connecting to wireless blood glucose monitors, scheduling doctor’s appointments, and passing on prescriptions and follow-up instructions from your doctor after a visit. With personal data privacy a growing concern, Amazon is aiming to achieve compliance with HIPAA and other federal patient data standards.

Why it's important: Data is 21st century gold, especially in healthcare and longevity. Recognizing the importance of healthcare data, massive tech companies like Apple, Google and Amazon are heavily investing in the industry. Will you entrust Alexa with your personal medical records? | Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg


Idaho Power Announces Record-Low Price For Power From Solar Farm

What it is: Idaho Power has secured a 20-year deal to buy power from a 120MW solar farm built by Jackpot Holdings at $21.75 per megawatt-hour (MWh). This brings the price to a mere 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), a record low for solar in the United States. Idaho Power will be able to use its existing transmission lines coming from the North Valmy coal plant in Nevada, set to be retired in 2025. Getting to 2.2 cents per kWh requires using the federal solar Investment Tax Credit, but even without the subsidy, the average should be around 3 cents per kWh, roughly half of the 6 cents per kWh average for utility-grade solar just two years ago.

Why it's important: As Singularity University Energy Chair Ramez Naam notes, in two more doublings, we’ll see solar prices in the Western U.S. cheaper than the fuel price of natural gas plants — without subsidies. Considering the simultaneous phase-out of legacy fossil fuel infrastructure, we are well on pace to achieving abundant, cheap, and clean sources of energy. What new opportunities open up when power costs are no longer a constraint on your investment decisions? | Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin


Innolith Energy Technology Brings 1000km EV Within Range

What it is: A key catalyst for electric vehicle (EV) technology, Innolith AG has just announced its work on the first-ever 1,000 Wh/kg rechargeable battery. In success, the Innolith Energy Battery would thereby be able to power an EV for over 1,000 km (or over 620 miles) on a single charge. While current battery technologies typically employ a transition metal oxide cathode and a graphite anode, which both depend on the intercalation of lithium ions, the cathode material restricts the battery’s capacity and energy density. By instead using conversion reaction materials, Innolith AG has developed an innovative cell chemistry mechanism that gives way to cell-level energy densities never before possible.

Why it's important:  Innolith’s novel Energy Battery has unprecedented implications for the future of EVs. By both eliminating reliance on rare and expensive materials, and achieving an unparalleled energy density, Innolith AG will be able to dramatically slash costs of battery technology, driving down barriers for EV popularization. Its use of a non-flammable inorganic electrolyte would also make it the world’s first non-flammable lithium-based battery for EV use — a tremendous feat for enhanced safety. As synthesized by Innolith AG CEO Sergey Buchin, “Consumers want an adequate range on a single charge in an affordable EV, and confidence that it is not going to catch fire.” This breakthrough might be the answer. | Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair


MIT’s ‘Cyber-Agriculture’ Optimizes Basil Flavors

What it is: In a soil-breaking study out of MIT's Media Lab and the University of Texas at Austin, researchers have now used machine learning to optimize artificial climate conditions for a more flavorful basil. Aiming to automate farming, the researchers use cyber-agriculture, or contained agricultural environments, to play with patterns of light, water, nutrients, temperature and other ecological variables, thereby changing the phenotypic expression of plants. Applied to basil, the team’s machine learning model determined that 24/7 exposure to UV lights would increase flavor concentration, and sure enough: after following the model’s “climate recipe,” experimental basil saw doubled flavor-producing molecules, dramatically increasing its tang.

Why it's important: A remarkable application of machine learning and cyber-agriculture, this climate-optimized flavor-bursting basil demonstrates that Artificial Intelligence can even be applied to sensory experience and culinary refinement. With the growing need for large-scale, accessible and intelligent food production, vertical, hydroponic and AI-optimized farming methods will become ever more critical for feeding the next billion. And as cyber-agriculture allows us to tune and tweak environmental growth conditions, machine learning can help us optimize everything from plant mass, edible yield, nutrient density, and even flavor. | Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair



This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by Marissa Brassfield in preparation for Abundance 360. Read more about A360 below.


At Abundance 360, Peter's 360-person executive mastermind, we teach the metatrends, implications and unfair advantages for entrepreneurs enabled by breakthroughs like those featured above. We're looking for CEOs and entrepreneurs who want to change the world. The program is highly selective. Apply now for Abundance360 Summit if you'd like to develop an Abundance Mindset

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Peter H. Diamandis

Written by Peter H. Diamandis


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