In this week's Abundance Insider: SpaceX makes history, Google and Ford team up, and lab researchers multiply real teeth in a lab.
Peter, Marissa, Cody, Maxx, Kelley and Greg
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What it is: This week, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket made a successful launch into space and returned unscathed. To date, no one else has ever landed a rocket that's gone as deep into space as the Falcon 9 has. In doing so, SpaceX renders the "traditional" launch industry obsolete.
Why it's important: Besides the history-making nature of this story, SpaceX has massively demonetized rocket launches. If SpaceX can reuse its rockets on a regular basis, it would cost just $200,000 to fuel a mission -- a tremendous cost difference from the $16 million it costs to manufacture an additional Falcon 9 rocket.
Spotted by Peter Diamandis
What it is: Gorilla Glass, commonly seen in smartphone and tablet screens, will make its way into the new Ford GT, thanks to a new partnership with Corning. The three-layer windows will be made of Gorilla Glass, traditional annealed glass and noise-absorbing thermoplastic. As a result of these tech-savvy windows, which are 50% thinner than traditional car windows, the Ford GT will lose about 12 pounds.
Why it's important: Next-gen materials -- fueled by the constant innovation in the consumer gadget space -- will soon find their way in every area of our lives. Smart home windows and thinner, lighter car windows are just the start.
Spotted by Clyde Dennis
What it is: The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved Overstock.com's plan to issue company stock through blockchain, and other organizations may soon follow suit. One of Overstock's subsidiaries has created a cryptosecurity technology that gives a "secure, transparent, reliable and largely automatic way of tracking who owns a given security at any given time," as Wired describes.
Why it's important: Overstock's cryptosecurity technology could potentially close market loopholes and eliminate the very middlemen who traditionally control the stock market. Wired also posits that the Blockchain-based technology could replace systems run by the New York and Nasdaq stock exchanges.
Spotted by Dan Swift
What it is: Google and Ford will announce a new joint venture at CES to build self-driving vehicles with Google's technology. The partnership will save Alphabet years of R&D and billions of dollars, while Ford gets the chance to leapfrog other automakers by releasing the modern version of the Model T.
Why it's important: This partnership launches the self-driving car initiative over the line of supercredibility: Google's pioneering autonomous car tech with Ford's 100+ year history in the auto manufacturing business.
Spotted by Peter Diamandis
What it is: Joint research from the Tokyo Medical and Dental University and the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology has unveiled an exciting new method to literally multiply teeth. In mouse experiments, researchers extracted teeth germs, split them and implanted the teeth into the jaw, where they then grew into two functional teeth.
Why it's important: Unlike bridges and implants, this method restores full tooth functionality. It has promising applications for young patients with conditions like Down syndrome or cleft lip, as well as the millions of patients each year who lose teeth to diseases, accidents or regular aging.
Spotted by Jeffrey Meyer
What it is: A smartphone-sized miniature sensor developed by microelectronics researchers at the University of Western Australia could one day help us identify rotten produce in the supermarket. The tiny spectrometer uses light to analyze different objects' properties, instantly determining the ripeness of fruit and vegetables.
Why it's important: This sensor dematerializes and demonetizes lab-based scientific and industrial spectroscopy. It will also undoubtedly mitigate our risk of contracting foodborne illnesses.
Spotted by Bjorn Russell
What it is: Stanford researchers have created an annotated database that can teach an artificial intelligence machine basic driving skills. The database combines laser scanning data, GPS data, visual data, and information added by human annotators, and generates a 3D environment for a Web-based driving game. While playing the game, drivers can correct data errors instantly.
Why it's important: When algorithms can train robots, and humans can train and add to the algorithm on the fly, the process of training our machine companions to assist us in everyday tasks will be cheap, easy and infinitely scalable.
Spotted by Marissa Brassfield
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