7 min read

Abundance Insider: January 4th, 2020

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jan 4, 2020

In this week's Abundance Insider: 2020’s top space missions, first-ever quantum teleportation, and AI’s novel applications in real estate.

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The seven most exciting space missions of 2020.

What it is: Following a year of countless rocket launches and new space targets, the decade ahead is set to witness a boom in space exploration. And 2020 is giving us a head start, from robot-manned Mars missions, to private crewed missions into orbit.

What’s in store for 2020: Among this year’s four planned Mars missions––all aiming for summer launches––are NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, which will leverage new instruments to probe the possibilities of extraterrestrial life; China’s Huoxing-1, slated to study the Martian atmosphere and terrain for 90 days; the UAE’s Hope Mars Mission orbiter, which will study Mars’ atmospheric chemistry from above; and Rosalind Franklin, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos’ joint Mars rover. In the realm of private spaceflight, both SpaceX and Boeing are amidst final preparations before launching NASA astronauts aboard the Crew Dragon and Boeing Starliner, respectively, destined for the ISS. While both these missions are targeting Q1 launch dates, others––like that of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin––aim to launch crewed capsules later in the year. In the case of Blue Origin’s New Shepard, for instance, the vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing suborbital rocket is expected to take humans into space by year’s end. And when it comes to lunar missions, both NASA and China’s National Space Administration (CNSA) are racing ahead, NASA with a first (more limited) iteration of its Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion deep-space capsule, and CNSA with its Chang’e 5 lunar mission.

Physicists Just Achieved The First-Ever Quantum Teleportation Between Computer Chips.

What it is: For the first time ever, a research team led by physicists at the University of Bristol has now demonstrated quantum teleportation of information between two micrometer-scale silicon chips. Instead of relying on the flow of electrons for data transfer (as occurs in a typical computer), information was passed between the two computer chips using a quantum effect known as entanglement. In entanglement, the state of one particle is inextricably tied to the state of the other. Measuring one particle, in turn, immediately reveals information about the other. In this way, entanglement has now proved an effective method teleporting, or transmitting, data between devices without a physical electronic connection. And while still relegated to a controlled lab environment, the research team ultimately achieved high-fidelity quantum teleportation of 91 percent.

Why it’s important: While still a poorly understood phenomenon, quantum entanglement shows promising and highly consequential applications for the future of computing. As explained by Beijing University scientist and one of the study’s authors, Dr. Jianwei Wang, “In the future, a single silicon-chip integration of quantum photonic devices and classical electronic controls will open the door for fully chip-based CMOS-compatible quantum communication and information processing networks.” In effect, these early demonstrations of quantum entanglement’s utility will soon pave the way for a new generation of chips, processors, and networks, not to mention extraordinarily powerful computers.

New Tomato Ideal for Urban Gardens and Even Outer Space Created Through Genetic Editing.

What it is: A new batch of tomatoes, genetically engineered to thrive in urban landscapes, could redefine contemporary agriculture. These crops, grown by a team at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, were modified using CRISPR to mature at an accelerated pace and produce vines more densely packed with fruit. Ready to harvest in less than 40 days, these tomatoes can grow in tiered farming warehouses or converted storage units in urban settings. To achieve this feat, the SELF PRUNING (SP) and SP5G genes, which control reproductive growth and plant size, were altered to make the plants blossom and produce fruit sooner. The SIER gene, which controls stem length, was also modified to make the plants as compact as possible–– ideal for limited space in urban settings. In success, this careful curation of gene edits has yielded optimal crop growth characteristics while preserving the tomato's flavor.

Why it’s important: Over 500 million people live on land already degraded by deforestation, changing weather patterns, and agricultural overuse, according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Decoupling food production from land will reduce the harmful environmental impacts of mass farming, including land degradation and fertilizer runoff into water sources. At the same time, these plants will provide city dwellers with far fresher, more nutritious food, while generating a fraction of the transportation footprint. And from an economic standpoint, the genetically engineered crops win out as well, capable of yielding more fruit, operating year-round in climate-controlled conditions, and thereby offering unprecedented control in the food production process. Beyond the implications of this new plant on Earth, however, even NASA has now expressed interest in the technology, allowing us to envision a future wherein urbanized tomatoes (and other crops) may soon travel not only into our cities, but also beyond our atmosphere.

How AI Is Really Going To Change Real Estate In 2020 And Beyond.

What it is: By 2030, AI is estimated to add over $15 trillion to the global GDP, according to PwC. And among industries most affected, real estate holds a plethora of AI opportunities over the next decade. While many real estate firms already use virtual reality, smart contracts, virtual assistants, and voice bots to assist customers, countless unrealized opportunities remain. Susanne Eickermann-Riepe, Head of Real Estate at PwC Germany, points to four main applications of AI in real estate: (1) automating routine tasks; (2) augmenting intelligence to help people accomplish tasks more efficiently and productively; (3) expanding business intelligence to inform better human decisions; and (4) fully autonomous AI decision-making. In the wake of surging data collection, AI algorithms will also inform more effective marketing efforts, for instance predicting when a prospect might sell or purchase a property, and at what price.

Why it’s important: As AI’s early pitfalls continue to be identified and adjusted for, the time is now for real estate (typically a late-mover industry) to take advantage of the technology. Already, numerous real estate startups are jumping on the bandwagon. Take Nobbas, for instance, which offers a Tinder-like property search interface, or PropertyNest, which matches customers with listings based on their credit scores. By reducing time spent on routine tasks and offering more information about customer behavior, AI can provide considerable assistance to real estate brokers and investors in established firms as well. Key pain points to improve upon over the next decade include data availability, data quality, and standardization, yet many of these are already lessening in importance as the data-driven revolution takes hold. A meta-trend we are beginning to witness across the board, AI tools and Software as a service (SaaS) are fast becoming the most vital collaborators to human employees and entrepreneurs, whether in real estate, retail, finance, or health.

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Topics: Abundance Insider AI space exploration Real Estate Artificial Intellegence Private Space SpaceX future of real estate vertical farming genetic engineering
6 min read

Tokenizing the World with Blockchain

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 2, 2019

In almost every industry you can think of, blockchain is poised to cut out middlemen, dramatically improve transparency, and multiply the efficiency of countless transactions worldwide.

Topics: Abundance Bitcoin Abundance 360 Real Estate a360 cryptocurrencies blockchain Technology healthcare distributed ledger exponential technology future of real estate tokenizing token crypto NFTs microtransactions smart contracts ethereum
11 min read

Disrupting Real Estate & Construction

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 26, 2019

In the wake of the housing market collapse of 2008, one entrepreneur decided to dive right into the failing real estate industry. But this time, he didn’t buy any real estate to begin with. Instead, Glenn Sanford decided to launch the first-ever cloud-based real estate brokerage, eXp Realty.

Topics: Energy Abundance Materials Science AR/VR Transportation Abundance 360 Real Estate a360 virtual reality Autonomous Drones materials autonomous vehicles construction flying cars electric vehicles immersive worlds solar cells solar power cars ridesharing future of real estate future of construction new structures seasteading Boring Company floating cities future of cities
6 min read

3D Printing - 5 Anticipated Breakthroughs to Watch

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 31, 2019

Convergence is accelerating disruption… Everywhere!

Topics: 3D Printing Materials Science Manufacturing Entrepreneurship Abundance 360 Real Estate a360 materials construction entrepreneur augmented manufacturing convergence catalyzer additive manufacturing convergence
11 min read

Future of Cities Part 2: Visions of the Future

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 10, 2019

Tomorrow’s cities are reshaping almost every industry imaginable, and birthing those we’ve never heard of.

Topics: Energy Abundance Materials Science Data AI Real Estate Artificial Intellegence Autonomous Drones IoT materials connectivity solar energy trillion sensor economy autonomous vehicles China smart cities internet of things Spatial Web construction mobile devices cities infrastructure urbanization Estonia megacities microcities Dubai Xiong'an New Area traffic flying cars
9 min read

Future of Smart Cities - Part 1

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 3, 2019

Each week alone, an estimated 1.3 million people move into cities, driving urbanization on an unstoppable scale. 

Topics: Energy Abundance Materials Science Data AI Real Estate Artificial Intellegence IoT materials connectivity solar energy trillion sensor economy China smart cities internet of things Spatial Web construction mobile devices cities infrastructure urbanization Estonia megacities microcities Dubai Xiong'an New Area traffic
14 min read

Abundance Insider: July 20th, 2018 Edition

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jul 20, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Living solar cells, digitally cloned executives, and a $1B real estate company that operates entirely in VR.

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

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Inside a $1 Billion Real Estate Company Operating Entirely in VR

What it is: Launched on the heels of 2008’s historic real estate collapse, eXp Realty has beat all odds, going public this past May, surpassing a $1B market cap on Day 1 of trading, and doubling their number of real estate agents to over 12,000 across 300 markets in just seven months. Their secret? An online virtual campus for employees, contractors and thousands of agents to attend team meetings and training seminars. Glenn Sanford, eXp Realty’s founder and CEO, originally opted for a demonetized virtual model until VirBELA built out the company’s office space in VR three years ago, unlocking indefinite scaling potential.

Why it's important: Building a company within VR is a novel, accessible ways of unlocking Peter’s 6Ds to disrupt any industry. "If we were to have the constraints of physical offices, the growth we’ve had simply wouldn’t be possible," said eXp Realty’s CTO Scott Petronis. With a VR campus, you can hire anyone with Internet access, redesign your corporate office every month, throw in a luxurious bar for social events and a beach-front office for client meetings, and forget about the carbon footprint of daily commutes from Day 1.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Aaron Frank / Written by Claire Adair 

Adidas' Speedfactory Pop-Up Shows the Future of Footwear

What it is: Adidas is showcasing a glimpse of the future of personalized footwear at its pop-up Speedfactory Lab Experience in Brooklyn, NY. The pop-up brings some of the developing technology for fully-customized footwear from Adidas' full-scale Speed Factories in the U.S. and Germany. The Speedfactory has a souped-up treadmill with data acquisition equipment to provide real-time analysis of a customer’s running strides. At the store, Adidas employees acquire information about how you run that would generally be used to help select your optimal running shoe style. Adidas can also use this data to design the perfect running shoe for you.

Why it's important: Personalized footwear is an excellent test case for the production capabilities of 3D printing. A good shoe must be tough and durable, yet flexible and lightweight, and meet the wearer's expectations for support and comfort. Imagine shoes custom-fitted to each of your feet, with the style tailored exactly to your taste. How will this disrupt traditional footwear, the retail experience, and related accessories like shoe inserts?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Skye Lininger / Written by Max Goldberg 

VRgineers New Pro Headset XTAL Features AutoEye IPD and Leap Motion

What it is: Prague-based VRgineers has just released the world’s most visually accurate professional VR headset ever, the crystal-clear XTAL. Targeting enterprise platforms for engineering and design professionals, the XTAL boasts a 5K resolution (nearly double that of the HTC Vive Pro) and 170º field-of-view. Enabling voice commands via a built-in microphone and voice recognition software, the XTAL is also geared with AutoEye technology that seamlessly aligns the headset’s lenses with your eyes. It's the first headset to feature an embedded Leap Motion sensor, tracking your hands as they interact freely with the VR scene, no controllers needed.

Why it's important: As Abundance 360 member and VRgineers cofounder Martin Holecko told us exclusively, the headset’s smart tracking, unmatched resolution and wide field of view are critical catalysts to VR’s mainstream use in “design evaluation, virtual prototyping, virtual product configuration, remote employee training [and] simulations of activities such as driving and flying.” Carmakers from BMW to Audi are using the XTAL headset to accelerate designing, prototyping and evaluating new car models. And as VR and AR headset shipments are predicted to reach nearly 100 million units in 2021, VRgineers is now expanding into architecture, training, and vivid simulations that may soon let any enterprise design everything from intricate office spaces to commercial aircrafts at minimal cost.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Martin Holecko / Written by Claire Adair 

UBS Digitally Cloned Its Chief Economist So He Wouldn't Miss His Meetings

What it is: Swiss investment bank UBS is leveraging AI technology built by FaceMe to digitally clone Daniel Kart, the UBS Chief Economist. FaceMe used over 120 HD cameras to generate a rendering of Kalt. Powered by FaceMe’s customer-service AI -- which Kalt trained to match his answer set -- the digital-clone can interact with multiple customers via video call at once. Kalt trained the AI economist's algorithms; accordingly, the AI won't answer any questions it wasn't specifically trained to answer. The project, dubbed UBS Companion, is “trying to find the best possible combination of human and digital touch.”

Why it's important: While physically cloning our DNA to produce carbon copies (literally) of ourselves isn't feasible today, digitally cloning narrow parts of our persona is. What if you could train an AI chatbot that looks like you, talks like you -- and, most importantly, thinks like you -- to answer questions just as you would? Eventually, we’ll all have an army of digital clones that we can deploy to answer questions in our personal and professional lives, allowing us to multiply our impact.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Jay Plourde / Written by Max Goldberg 

Living Solar Cells Can Produce Energy in Bad Weather

What it is: Researchers at the University of British Columbia have created living solar cells capable of producing electricity even in bad weather and low light. To get there, the team engineered E. coli to produce lycopene, a known light harvester, and coated them with a semiconductor. As the lycopene degrades and gives off electrons, a current is generated. The method is a 10x cost improvement over similar efforts, but more interestingly, it's equally effective in low-light conditions. While early stage, many applications are evident, such as powering sensors in mines or other remote locations where direct sunlight is sporadic at best.

Why it's important: Notice the combination of materials science with genetic engineering. What other problems can we address by combining disciplines, or changing our mindset to view technology silos as tool sets?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

First 3D Color X-Ray of a Human Using CERN Technology

What it is: Mars Bioimaging, a company spun out of CERN, has developed a 3D scanner capable of creating full color X-ray images. Based on the Medipix3 imaging chip family developed for particle accelerators and the Large Hadron Collider, the scanner enables better visualization through extremely high resolution scans. When coupled with algorithms for generating 3D images and color coding based on energy levels, MARS is able to visualize different body parts such as fat, water, calcium, and disease markers. In clinical settings so far, this is enabling improved diagnostics and personalized treatments in areas as varied as cancer and heart disease.

Why it's important: Yet another impressive development in our quest for increased health span and improved understanding of physiology and disease. Zooming out, it's also another great reminder of innovating based on first principles, which often generates breakthroughs across disciplines and industries.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

What is Abundance Insider?

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.

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Topics: Abundance Insider Energy 3D Printing AR/VR AI Real Estate Artificial Intellegence virtual reality adidas solar cern
2 min read

Celularity raises $250M to develop cell therapies

By Peter H. Diamandis on Feb 15, 2018

A startup that wants to use stem cells to keep us living longer just raised $250 million

Business Insider - February 15, 2018

Topics: Real Estate
7 min read

Revolutionizing Construction + Real Estate

By Peter H. Diamandis on Feb 12, 2018

If you could design any structure, free of all constraints, what would you envision?

Topics: Real Estate