10 min read

20 Metatrends for the Roaring 20s

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jan 5, 2020

In the decade ahead, waves of exponential technological advancements are stacking atop one another, eclipsing decades of breakthroughs in scale and impact.

Topics: 3D Printing AR/VR Manufacturing Sensors Entrepreneurship Finance AI Exponentials Exponential Organizations space exploration Singularity machine learning networks 5G Augmented Reality trillion sensor economy Business Models Brain computer interface internet of things Spatial Web exponential technology bci brain machine interface energy abundance future of energy smart economy trends 2020s 2020 sustainability
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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P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

P.P.P.S. Want a chance to read Peter’s upcoming book before anyone else? Join the Future is Faster Than You Think launch team (applications close on December 6th)! Get an advanced digital copy, access to our private Facebook group, behind the scenes specials, a live Q&A with Peter and Steven, and hundreds of dollars in exclusive bonuses. Click here for details.

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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.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com.

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

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

Abundance Insider: November 29th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 29, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: New haptic device for VR, socially aware algorithms, and NASA’s supermassive black hole finding.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

P.P.P.S. Want a chance to read Peter’s upcoming book before anyone else? Join the Future is Faster Than You Think launch team (applications close on December 6th)! Get an advanced digital copy, access to our private Facebook group, behind the scenes specials, a live Q&A with Peter and Steven, and hundreds of dollars in exclusive bonuses. Click here for details.

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New virtual reality interface enables “touch” across long distances.

What it is: A Northwestern University team has created a lightweight wearable patch that vibrates when activated by another user’s touch— from miles away. Using this technology, a mother was able to remotely “pat” her son on the back while video chatting him. As she touched a screen interface, this data was communicated through a haptic device on her son’s back, stimulating identical touch patterns. Most of today’s haptic feedback devices rely on batteries, requiring bulky containers that cannot fit snugly against the skin. By contrast, this new patch consists of a vibrating disk—only a few millimeters thick—that is powered by near-field communication, a wireless power transfer typically used in ID card locks. External silicone sheets protect the two inner layers of the device: one containing the near-field communication technology to power the device, and another holding miniature actuators that simulate various degrees of touch pressure. Led by physical chemist and materials scientist John A. Rogers, the team now aims to make the patch more flexible and lightweight before commercializing the device through their newly established startup.

Why it’s important: While today’s audiovisual interfaces have long captured our eyes and ears, incorporating the dimension of touch into our devices will add another layer of immersion in tomorrow’s digitally augmented world. For VR and AR devices, this haptic technology could transform virtual simulations into tactile physical environments—without any real materials. The Northwestern team’s device currently conveys only perpendicular pressure against the skin, but eventually the patch may be able to simulate even twisting motions or temperature changes. The technology will also likely expand beyond simple patches into full body suits, capable of translating touch interactions between individuals, or between game worlds and reality. The ability to see, hear, and feel in a digital simulation will drastically disrupt travel, entertainment, and human interaction.

New Amazon capabilities put machine learning in reach of more developers.

What it is: Amazon has just announced a new approach that will make machine learning models more accessible to both developers and business users. By taking advantage of tools like Amazon QuickSight, Aurora and Athena, anyone who can write in basic SQL can now make and use predictions in one’s applications without having to generate custom code. To make the process even easier, these machine learning models themselves can come pre-built from Amazon Web Services (AWS), be developed by an in-house data science team, or purchased in AWS’s ML marketplace.

Why it’s important: As explained by AWS cloud and open source executive Matt Asay, “there is often a large amount of fiddly, manual work required to take these predictions and make them part of a broader application, process or analytics dashboard.” Amazon’s initiative marks a significant step towards machine learning’s User Interface moment, removing friction and making AI’s predictive power more accessible to a large set of users. Keep on the lookout for a surge in easy-to-build applications and experiments as sophisticated Software as a Service (SaaS) products hit the marketplace.

Socially aware algorithms are ready to help.

What it is: In light of growing concern about AI’s obscure inner workings, software engineers and data scientists responsible for many of the algorithms involved in our everyday online activity have increasingly used more socially aware algorithmic structures. For instance, data scientists now use a technique known as “differential privacy” to add random “noise” to data sets, preserving the overall structure whilst obscuring individual data. This, in turn, helps to anonymize our data and thereby protect user privacy. Other techniques include the addition of fairness criteria, such that predictive models’ output—from creditworthiness to insurance-related decisions—minimize bias where possible.

Why it’s important: As machine learning algorithms are granted greater responsibility over socially consequential decisions (think: our ability to take out loans or a legal decision to grant bail), problems of privacy, bias, disinformation, filter bubbles, and transparency abound. As a result, AI engineers have begun working on algorithms’ ability to explain their decisions, overcoming their status as mysterious “black boxes.” Meanwhile, the above fairness conditions are a promising start in our pursuit to build equitable, unbiased, and evidence-based algorithms: predictive models that prove accurate without perpetuating “fake news,” racial inequalities, and a slew of other social challenges. Differential privacy, fairness conditions, and similar tweaks do result in some costs to algorithmic “utility” and error rate in the short-term. However, such initiatives will be essential for a future wherein machine learning helps safeguard equitable, systemic decision-making and privacy, while protecting against some of today’s worst institutional tendencies.

NASA finds supermassive black hole birthing stars at “furious rate.”

What it is: Scientists have now discovered a supermassive blackhole at the center of a distant galaxy cluster “furiously” birthing stars at a rate about 500 times that of the Milky Way Galaxy. Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the team of astronomers was able to observe the equivalent of trillions of Suns’ worth of hot gas cooling around the black hole within the Phoenix Cluster, some 5.8 billion light years away.

Why it’s important: Typically, the supermassive blackholes at the center of galaxy clusters are too active for star formation. They usually blow powerful streams of gas around the region, heating up interstellar hydrogen and preventing the gas from cooling down enough to trigger the creation of new stars. However, as this blackhole in the Phoenix Cluster is smaller than others, its jets are not as powerful, allowing for prolific star formation. From a scientific perspective, observations like this enable us to better understand and characterize the lifecycle of galaxy clusters and the role that blackholes play in both preclusion and creation of new stars.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com.

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

The Future is Faster Than You Think: Want a chance to read my new book before anyone else? Join the Future is Faster Than You Think launch team (applications close on December 6th)! Get an advanced digital copy, access to our private Facebook group, behind the scenes specials, a live Q&A with Steven and me, and hundreds of dollars in exclusive bonuses. Click here for details.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider AR/VR AI space exploration machine learning Artificial Intellegence Batteries nasa social responsibility haptic devices
8 min read

Abundance Insider: September 27th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 27, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: New CRISPR explorations, CTRL-labs' neural monitoring armband, and a nighttime solar panel.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Share Abundance Insider on LinkedIn | Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter | Read on Diamandis.com.

Gatwick to use facial recognition at boarding.

What it is: Following its self-boarding trial with EasyJet last year, Gatwick has become the UK's first airport to confirm it will permanently use facial-recognition cameras for flight passenger ID checks. While travelers will still need to carry passports at departure gates for the auto-boarding system to match document photos with corresponding faces, the technology’s rollout is slated to entirely eliminate the need for human checks at a range of entry points. Already, 90% of the 20,000 passengers who tested Gatwick’s new system found it “extremely easy,” and the airport reported a dramatic reduction in passenger queuing times.

Why it’s important: Although privacy advocates have raised concerns regarding informed consent, Gatwick and other airports’ piloting of facial recognition validates the speed at which computer vision is advancing, now well in the commercialization arena. Even London’s Heathrow Airport, which has now invested £50 million in the software, claims facial recognition could reduce airport travel time averages by a third. As adjacent markets emerge around the technology (from data security to AI traffic optimization), facial recognition’s gradual rollout at airports could soon spread to countless checkpoints and transit systems, automating transit security on a massive scale. | Share on Facebook.

This “Anti-Solar Panel” Could Generate Power From Darkness.

What it is: Researchers at Stanford University have just developed a solar panel capable of generating energy from the night sky. Their method works by passively cooling one side of the panel using a technique called radiative sky cooling. Central to this latter process, a surface first radiates its thermal energy towards the sky, leaving it several degrees colder than the ambient temperature. In doing so, the panel creates a thermal difference between its cooler side and ambient temperature, allowing the panel to generate electricity. While the process currently generates only 25 mW per square meter (m2), future capacities are already expected to reach 0.5 W/m2. In practice, the researchers even demonstrated their panel’s ability to light an LED light bulb.

Why it’s important: Amidst the push for green energy, one of the biggest bottlenecks in market adoption of renewable sources like solar and wind is the time-dependent nature of energy generation. Creating a solar energy grid that works both day and night would go a long way in encouraging mass adoption, not to mention buildout of comprehensive green energy infrastructure. Commercialization of Stanford’s anti-solar panel would especially benefit remote and poorly resourced regions, granting energy independence and 24/7 consistency. | Share on Facebook.

Shanghai allows self-driving cars to carry passengers.

What it is: Shanghai is now the first Chinese city to issue permits for self-driving cars, allowing licensed firms to conduct operational tests of smart and connected vehicles carrying passengers and freight. Now bolstered by Shanghai’s first dedicated road section for autonomous vehicles (covering 65 square kilometers), SAIC Group, BMW, and Didi Chuxing were each granted licenses to operate a fleet of 50 cars in the city’s Jiading district. In order to receive permits, applying firms must have over 24,000 kilometers and 1,200 hours of passenger-less testing, no collisions incurred. Furthermore, upon receiving a license, trips are not permitted to make a profit. Yet once licensed driverless fleets operates for more than six months without incident, auto companies can apply to increase their fleet size.

Why it’s important: Autonomous driving is set to revolutionize transportation, as billions are poured annually into R&D. Now, the regulated deployment of driverless transit services in an urban environment as complex as Shanghai’s speaks volumes about the technology’s maturity. While still constrained to a designated area, numerous firms’ gradual rollout of self-driving vehicles in Shanghai will accelerate passenger acceptance and invaluable data abundance (across a test library of thousands of scenarios). Yet beyond autonomous capabilities, vehicles are joining a connected ecosystem, driven by urban-embedded sensors, tailor-made smart roads, and 5G-based transit systems. | Share on Facebook.

New CRISPR class expands genetic engineering toolbox.

What it is: Biomedical engineers at Duke University—led by Charles Gersbach and Adrian Oliver—have harnessed a new set of Class 1 CRISPR systems to edit the human epigenome. Today’s most commonly used gene-editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9, is a Class 2 CRISPR system and relies on just one Cas protein to target and cleave DNA. By contrast, Class 1 systems are more complex, involving a Cascade complex that binds the DNA, then recruits a Cas3 protein to act as the molecular scissors. The Duke research team, however, found that these Class 1 systems—which make up 90% of CRISPR systems in all bacteria on Earth—boast comparable accuracy to their more well-known Class 2 counterparts. Consequently, the researchers even discovered they could bind these Class 1 complexes to specific gene activators and repressors, demonstrating the potential to control human gene expression with remarkable precision.

Why it’s important: The Duke team’s successes open up an entirely new frontier in gene editing. While the accuracy and specific application of Class 1 systems now appear comparable to those of Class 2 systems, the former may be able to address some of the challenges researchers have previously experienced with Class 2 systems in therapeutic applications, including immune response to Cas proteins. By further investigating the differences between the two, researchers could soon determine promising combinations of various gene editing techniques, honed to target complex diseases and genetic predispositions in humans. | Share on Facebook.

Facebook buys startup building neural monitoring armband.

What it is: Facebook recently acquired startup CTRL-labs, producer of a neural impulse armband, for an estimated $500 million to $1 billion. Founded in 2015, the New York-based startup has built a noninvasive wristband, using sensors to detect arm muscle movements and convert them into digital input signals. Having raised $67 million from investors like Lux Capital and Founders Fund, CTRL-labs (and its CEO Thomas Reardon) will now work under Facebook’s Reality Labs division. A tremendous feat, CTRL’s device already allows wearers to manipulate objects on a screen by moving their hands in mid-air as if they were handling a physical object— a process called digital telekinesis. Given the technology’s maturity, CTRL-labs’ acquisition marks the first step towards commercializing noninvasive control interfaces, potentially for use in Facebook’s AR devices.

Why it’s important: Converting neural impulses into digital signals will unearth a treasure trove of digital superpowers for humans. Facebook’s AR/VR Vice President Andrew Bosworth has emphasized the technology’s potential in Oculus devices, providing a more seamless alternative controller to hand tracking or gloves. As AR balloons into a competitive and highly valuable market over the next 10 to 15 years, the dematerialization of high-precision sensors and controllers will be critical for our interaction with digitally augmented environments. Welcome to a future wherein AR interfaces and seamless controls eliminate our modern-day era of screens and keyboards. | Share on Facebook.

IKEA will produce more energy than it consumes by 2020.

What it is: By the end of this year, IKEA forecasts it will generate more renewable energy than the energy consumed by all its stores on aggregate, putting the company almost a year ahead of schedule. After investing roughly $2.8 billion in wind and solar energy over the past decade, the company has also announced plans to stock its shelves with home solar panels by 2025. Having just invested in two solar farms (in Utah and Texas, respectively) earlier this month, IKEA already has 900,000 of its own panels, installed across stores and distribution centers alike.

Why it’s important: Contributing to a sweeping trend of climate-focused initiatives surrounding the UN’s Climate Action Summit, IKEA joins a number of companies in its plan to be climate-positive (reducing more emissions than it releases) by 2030. In a newly unveiled “Climate Pledge,” Amazon’s Jeff Bezos has even staked an ambitious goal of meeting the Paris climate agreement targets a full 10 years early. Agreeing to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans for product distribution, the e-commerce giant expects to derive 80% of its energy use from renewable sources by 2024, continuing on to achieve zero emissions by 2030. As the cost of solar continues to plummet, corporate pledges to invest could be just the fuel to drive wide-scale consumer adoption of renewables. | Share on Facebook.

Want more conversations like this?

Abundance 360 is a curated global community of 360 entrepreneurs, executives, and investors committed to understanding and leveraging exponential technologies to transform their businesses. A 3-day mastermind at the start of each year gives members information, insights and implementation tools to learn what technologies are going from deceptive to disruptive and are converging to create new business opportunities. To learn more and apply, visit A360.com

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated news feed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

(*Both Abundance 360 and Abundance Digital are Singularity University programs.)

Topics: Abundance Insider Space Robotics Materials Science Sensors AI space exploration retail Private Space healthcare deepfakes future of retail prosthetics cancer therapeutics drug delivery extraplanetary colonies space colonies palladium therapeutics
8 min read

Abundance Insider: September 20th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 20, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: A new record in residential energy storage, bioreactors for carbon sequestration, and democratized AI toolkits.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and home in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital, a Singularity University Program, includes 100+ hours of coursework and video archives for entrepreneurs like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Share Abundance Insider on LinkedIn | Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter.

Home Energy Storage Capacity Breaks Records In US.

What it is: Marking a record high, U.S. residential energy storage capacity saw additions of over 30 MW in the second quarter of 2019. While a fall in front-of-the-meter storage additions could be responsible for Q2’s lower overall energy storage growth, the first half of the year saw an addition of over 200 MW in new storage capacity. And over just the next 5 years, some analysts forecast total storage capacity could surge up to tenfold in the U.S. Bolstered by progressive policies like the Massachusetts clean peak standard (which requires that a minimum percentage of peak power come from renewable sources), consumer interest will only increase residential capacity’s slice of the pie.

Why it’s important: While solar photovoltaics (PV) receives most of the press, storage is a critical enabler of (or bottleneck to) clean energy adoption, allowing us to stabilize the inherent volatility of wind and solar generation. Moreover, as solar nears price parity with coal and natural gas, mass growth of total energy storage capacity will allow us to democratize clean and constant electricity, regardless of geography. As stated by the U.S. Energy Storage Association’s chief executive Kelly Speakes-Backman, “The long-term growth trends of energy storage deployment nationwide are encouraging and consequential for stakeholders, and for all electricity users who want and deserve a more resilient, efficient, sustainable and affordable electricity grid.” What new innovations might we unleash after returning the 4-8 percent of global GDP currently spent on energy back to the market? | Share on Facebook.

Graphene nanoribbons lay the groundwork for ultra-powerful computers.

What it is: Materials scientists have now found a way to layer graphene nanoribbons directly atop silicon wafers. For context, graphene consists of a single-atom-thick layer of carbon and is the strongest ultra-thin material known to man. Yet graphene becomes an extraordinary semiconductor when in the form of extremely thin slices (or ribbons). Possibly even outperforming silicon in thermal conductivity and transistor drive current, these nanoribbons could thereby serve as an ideal candidate for future computers. Until today, however, researchers were unable to grow graphene nanoribbons directly on silicon, stemming their wide-scale adoption for graphene-based integrated circuits. Enter the Arnold Group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the team’s now published seminal paper, the researchers outlined their procedure of first growing a thin layer of germanium on top of silicon, and then depositing the graphene nanoribbons on this thin germanium interface. Ultimately, this method prevents graphene from reacting with silicon (to form an ineffective compound) while maintaining graphene nanoribbons’ semiconducting abilities.

Why it’s important: For decades, Moore’s Law has continued to hold true, as transistor count (in integrated circuits) doubles roughly every two years, while price has remained constant. Today, however, consumer computer technology is rapidly approaching the physical limitations of standard silicon transistors—the pillar material for modern computing infrastructure. For this reason, engineers are now turning to new materials, and breakthroughs like that of the Arnold Group could prove decisive in augmenting current computation technology and birthing ultra-fast, lower-power devices. | Share on Facebook.

Genetic mutation appears to protect some people from deadly MRSA.

What it is: Duke Health researchers recently identified a gene that appears to increase a patient’s ability to fight antibiotic-resistant staph infections. The study focused on persistent methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA), a form of staph bacteria that is resistant to most antibiotic treatments and is transferred through skin-to-skin contact or invasive procedures. Of the 68 patients compared in the study, half had persistent MRSA and half had cleared the infection from their bloodstream. After running whole-exome sequencing on these patients, the researchers found that 62 percent of the MRSA-free group had a genetic mutation on the DNMT3A region of chromosome 2p. This mutation reduces the body’s anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 response, which has been observed to cause tissue damage and even death, if overactive.

Why it’s important: In 2017, over 119,000 Americans suffered from staph infections, and almost 20,000 died as a result. Yet the disease is not solely limited to older segments of the population: the rate of MRSA in children increased tenfold from 1999 to 2008, and is still rising across the board today. Understanding the genetic factors that predispose patients to MRSA could allow researchers to develop far better treatments that exclude antibiotics entirely. Given rising levels of antibiotic resistance (particularly in highly industrialized nations), alternative therapies for common bacterial infections must be developed with haste. Studying the genome has now proven helpful in the case of MRSA, and a range of emerging gene-editing tools could soon drive medical innovation in fighting this disease and many others. | Share on Facebook.

A New Bioreactor Captures as Much Carbon as an Acre of Trees

What it is: Startup Hypergiant Industries has just released its new algae-based Eos Bioreactor, capable of sucking in as much carbon dioxide as 400 trees. But rather than consuming an acre of forest land, this bioreactor measures just 63 cubic feet—smaller than a traditional telephone box. Led by CEO Ben Lamm, the company’s technology takes advantage of algae’s remarkable photosynthetic capabilities to capture approximately two tons of carbon per bioreactor. Yet in order to prompt grassroots iterations on the bioreactor, Hypergiant even plans to make its design open source, allowing businesses and individuals to build variants for easy integration in homes and offices spaces.

Why it’s important: Over the past 800,000 years, global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have varied between 180 and 280 parts per million (ppm). In 2017, atmospheric CO2 concentrations had reached 405 ppm—a figure that could easily exceed 500 in coming decades, according to climate scientists. This sharp increase, alongside record high temperatures in just the past few decades, makes novel carbon capture methods a necessity. In the emerging realm of biological sequestration, Hypergiant’s technique not only provides a scalable solution to reducing atmospheric carbon concentrations, but does so in space-deprived metropolitan areas. Moreover, the growing algae can be harvested and used as a high-protein food source, biofuel, or textile. As numerous carbon capture and utilization (CCU) startups leap to the scene, the construction of compact, artificial carbon sinks could help us tackle one of today’s most pressing Global Grand Challenges. | Share on Facebook.

DataRobot Becomes A Unicorn By Selling AI Toolkits To Harried Data Scientists.

What it is: DataRobot—which might be dubbed an AI infrastructure company—has raised another $206 million in its latest series E round, led by Sapphire Ventures. Seeking to automate almost any traditional task within data science, DataRobot sells its software to simplify clients’ creation of machine learning models, allowing companies to deploy them in weeks (as opposed to years with an in-house team). Customers have, in turn, created over 1.3 billion models across a wide variety of use cases, from optimizing Philadelphia 76ers season-ticket renewals, to predicting which United Airlines passengers will gate-check their bags prior to flight.

Why it’s important: While almost every major corporation (and numerous SMEs) have long begun investing in AI R&D (not to mention recruitment of AI engineers and data scientists), services like that of DataRobot are actively democratizing access to sophisticated tools. We might even think about this as a possible inflection point in machine learning and AI’s user interface, now far more accessible. As a number of infrastructure startups—from Domino Data Labs to Algorithmia—pop up, ML’s use in business optimization problems is quickly becoming ubiquitous, quick, and easy. | Share on Facebook.

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Topics: Abundance Insider Space Robotics Materials Science Sensors AI space exploration retail Private Space healthcare deepfakes future of retail prosthetics cancer therapeutics drug delivery extraplanetary colonies space colonies palladium therapeutics
9 min read

Abundance Insider: September 14th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 14, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Mixing cement in space, Facebook's initiative to battle deepfakes, and a new candidate for targeted cancer therapy.

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

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A prosthetic leg that can sense touch makes it easier for amputees to walk.

What it is: Researchers from ETH Zurich and the Universities of Belgrade and Freiburg have made it easier for above-the-knee leg amputees to “feel” surfaces again, putting them on surer footing and eliminating phantom limb pain. To do so, the team embedded sensors at the knee and sole of a prosthetic leg, further implanting four intra-neural electrodes into the residual nerves of the wearer’s thighs. Next up, algorithms were used to convert prosthesis sensor data into electrical signals. With sufficient training, patients were ultimately able to translate these signals into real-time sensory data, whether of motion in the knees or feet touching the ground. After just a 3-month trial, both volunteers found the process of walking with neurofeedback far less physically and mentally demanding than with conventional prosthetics. While one of the volunteers reported an 80 percent reduction in phantom limb pain, the other found it entirely eliminated by the end of the trial.

Why it’s important: Every year, about 185,000 lower extremity amputations are conducted in the U.S. alone. Yet beyond phantom limb pain and drastically reduced agility, amputees are exposed to 2.2 times higher risk of death from cardiac events than the average population. On a technical level, this breakthrough represents the first attempt at embedding sensors in prostheses for above-the-knee amputees— a far more challenging feat than below-the-knee cases given higher motion data requirements. As connected sensors, machine learning, advances in computation, and BCI converge in remarkable new ways, the age of neurally-linked and agile prosthetics is right around the corner. | Share on Facebook.

Smart grocery cart startup Caper bags $10 million.

What it is: Charging ahead with its AI-enabled self-checkout shopping carts, grocery cart startup Caper has now secured $10 million in Series A funding. An alternative to Amazon Go, Caper leverages computer vision and sensors in a futuristic shopping cart that allows users to effortlessly scan items as they drop them in. Yet as Caper requires no retrofitting of retail stores with sensors and AI, the startup’s shopping equipment can be easily rolled out (no pun intended) at countless grocery chains given the low accompanying costs.

Why it’s important: As sensors and computing power plummet in cost, and multi-purpose AI services permeate retail equipment, it is now easier than ever before to make marketplaces smart, personalized, and highly adaptive. As a result, scanning technologies and retailer-collected consumer data will begin to save buyers both time and decision fatigue. In the process, new markets—principally, cybersecurity and IoT—will skyrocket in importance. Not only will retail spaces require data protection layers for user privacy, but IoT networks for streamlined online-merge-offline (OMO) experiences. | Share on Facebook.

Astronauts make cement in space for the first time.

What it is: Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) have now successfully mixed cement off the Earth, studying microgravity’s effect on materials construction. Examining concrete’s potential use in space colony infrastructure, the ongoing Microgravity Investigation of Cement Solidification is the first to determine how cement in microgravity leads to unique microstructures. Demonstrating several prominent differences from cement samples processed on Earth, the researchers’ spacefaring cement was more porous. Yet further study has yet to determine how the material’s microstructure in low-gravity environments will affect the strength of concrete.

Why it’s important: One of the best candidates for space colony infrastructure, concrete is a highly sturdy building block that could protect future Martians or Moon-trotters from extreme temperatures and radiation. Yet perhaps one of concrete’s greatest advantages involves cost and flexibility: if cement can indeed behave properly in low-gravity environments (as is being studied on the ISS), this key ingredient could be mixed with rocks and dust on Mars, or lunar regolith (i.e. moon dust). On the heels of concrete’s successful production in microgravity, we might one day source our building materials from space, constructing the first-ever extraplanetary shelters at far lower cost. | Share on Facebook.

Facebook is Challenging Researchers to Build a Deepfakes Detector.

What it is: Facebook’s AI engineers are now teaming up with researchers from Microsoft and prominent academic institutions in a “Deepfake Detection Challenge.” While current methods can identify forged media, tedious vetting is often required by human experts, and automated tools for catching deepfakes are only just appearing. In an effort to counteract these deepfakes (think: videos of forged politician speeches you’ve likely seen on the Internet), Facebook is building an extensive data set of highly realistic fake videos of its own. Featuring paid actors doing routine tasks and speaking on neutral topics, these clips are used to test deepfake detection tools that can distinguish real footage from falsified audiovisual data. By pooling expertise and granting a prize to the winning team, Facebook is maximizing the AI research community’s upper hand against deepfakes and misinformation.

Why it’s important: More convincing than ever before, deepfakes are beginning to pose severe consequences— eroding our trust in online media, or possibly even prompting disputes and counterattacks in response to misinformation. As advances in machine learning give way to far more realistic image and video manipulation, some of which target real-life individuals, our ability to automatically flag and block fakes is more vital than ever before. At a macro scale, Facebook’s creation of benchmarks could even expand far beyond deepfakes, providing every user with transparency on news quality, media truthfulness, and countless other criteria. | Share on Facebook.

Precious metal flecks could be a catalyst for better cancer therapies.

What it is: A team of researchers at the University of Edinburgh and Spain’s Universidad de Zaragoza have now developed a way to target cancer cells with fragments of palladium. A key metal ingredient in motor manufacturing, electronics and the oil industry, palladium has long been a research candidate for aiding in cancer treatment. Yet until now, researchers have had no way of delivering minute fragments of the metal to affected areas. As a result, the team turned towards exosomes: bubble-like pouches that transport proteins and genetic material between cells. By creating artificial exosomes derived from lung cancer and glioma-associated cells, the researchers built a molecular shuttle system that could deliver palladium catalysts to primary tumors and metastatic cells. Once inside the cell membrane, these palladium fragments can then activate chemotherapy drugs, destroying cancer cells from within.

Why it’s important: In a remarkable win for cancer research, the researchers’ success proves that artificial exosomes can act as biological Trojan horses, delivering aggressive cancer therapeutics without harming healthy cells. As explained by Universidad de Zaragoza Professor Jesús Santamaría, “This has the potential to be a very exciting technology. It could allow us to target the main tumour and metastatic cells, thus reducing the side effects of chemotherapy without compromising the treatment.” As new methods of targeted drug delivery enter the testing phase, our ability to treat disease without compromising patient health will be a key driver in extending the human healthspan. | Share on Facebook.

Water found on a potentially life-friendly alien planet.

What it is: A super-Earth about 111 light-years away from our planet, K2-18b has now been found to contain water vapor in its atmosphere. Falling within what’s known as its star’s habitable zone, the exoplanet exceeds 8 times the mass of Earth. While current models predict an effective temperature of -100 to 116 degrees Fahrenheit, K2-18b might even have an equilibrium temperature comparable to that of our own planet, if as reflective as Earth. To determine these stats, astronomers used years of Hubble Space Telescope data to monitor K2-18b’s transits around its sun, examining how the star’s light shines through the exoplanet’s atmosphere. Determining visible signs of water vapor, which absorbs near-infrared light at specific wavelengths, two separate teams independently confirmed the finding.

Why it’s important: As explained by University College London astronomer Angelo Tsiaris, “This is the only planet right now that we know outside the solar system that has the correct temperature to support water, it has an atmosphere, and it has water in it—making this planet the best candidate for habitability that we know right now.” If valid, the astronomy teams’ conclusions make K2-18b the first-ever confirmed exoplanet with water vapor clouds. Beyond prompting follow-up missions and research on potentially life-supporting exoplanets, discoveries like that of K2-18b fundamentally transform the way we think about our place in the universe, as well as our role in exploring its depths. | Share on Facebook .
 

What is Abundance Insider?

This email is a briefing of the week's most compelling, abundance-enabling tech developments, curated by my team of entrepreneurs and technology scouts, including contributions from standout technology experts and innovators.

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At Abundance 360, a Singularity University program, 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. If you'd like to be considered, apply here

Abundance Digital, a Singularity University program, is an online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated newsfeed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

Topics: Abundance Insider Space Robotics Materials Science Sensors AI space exploration retail Private Space healthcare deepfakes future of retail prosthetics cancer therapeutics drug delivery extraplanetary colonies space colonies palladium therapeutics
11 min read

Musk vs. Bezos: The Great Migration into Space

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 19, 2019

We are witnessing the next great space race… but this time, it is not the U.S. vs. USSR. This race is between Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.

Topics: Space Energy Abundance Transportation space exploration Abundance 360 a360 Blue Origin Private Space SpaceX solar energy solar cells solar power cars multiplanetary species
6 min read

Private Lunar Lander – Reflections on SpaceIL Mission

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 14, 2019

In September 2007, I was joined on stage by Larry Page, Buzz Aldrin, and the deputy administrator of NASA to announce a $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE.

The challenge we set was for a private team to build and launch a vehicle that could fly and land on the Moon, send back photos and videos, rove half a kilometer, and send back more photos and videos.

Here is a throwback video to the announcement:

 

In late February 2019, twelve years later, SpaceIL launched its lunar-bound Beresheet spacecraft on top of a SpaceX Falcon 9.

Beresheet brought the XPRIZE logo with it into space, and snapped these two selfies, one during its translunar trajectory, and one on its way to the Moon’s surface: 

Image: (Right) A Beresheet selfie taken on its six-week journey from the Earth to the Moon. (Left) A Beresheet selfie taken a few kilometers above the Moon, just moments before the vehicle’s unplanned kinetic disassembly.

I traveled to Israel this past week to join the SpaceIL team in Beresheet mission control for this historic attempt. 

This blog is my reflection on the electrifying mission of the first private lunar spacecraft.

Why Did We Launch This Prize, and Why Did Google Fund It?

We created the Google Lunar XPRIZE to achieve two primary goals:

  • To inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and innovators to take moonshots.
  • To spur affordable access to the Moon and give space entrepreneurs a legitimate platform to develop long-term business models around lunar transportation.

Mission Accomplished

While the SpaceIL mission didn’t achieve a soft landing on the Lunar Surface, there is much to be proud of and to celebrate:

  • The Hero’s Journey of the SpaceIL Team: Imagine three young entrepreneurs who passionately and naively set out to land a mission on the Moon. No funding and no hardware experience. They would go on to raise $100 million, and to build the Beresheet spacecraft with a team of fewer than 50 engineers.
  • A Visionary Funder: We also celebrate the vision and passion of Morris Kahn, a South African-born, Israeli billionaire who was so moved by the passion of the SpaceIL Founders that he committed nearly $50 million to fund the hardware development and launch.
  • The Impact on Children & Adults: Having spent the last week in Israel, I know that team SpaceIL and the Beresheet spacecraft were known by every schoolchild and on the lips of everyone in conversation. Everywhere I’ve traveled in Israel over the past week, people young and old congratulated the XPRIZE Foundation over and over again for inspiring this mission.
  • Making History: The Beresheet spacecraft made history more than once on its exciting journey, including: (1) Being the first private company to orbit the Moon and touch the Moon’s surface; (2) Making Israel the seventh nation (behind the U.S., Russia, China, Japan, the European Space Agency, and India) to orbit the Moon, the fourth country to attempt a soft landing on the Moon, and the fourth country to touch the Moon’s surface.

Giving the $1M Moonshoot Award

MOONSHOTS ARE HARD. 

Taking moonshots is by definition difficult, and the outcome of SpaceIL’s mission goes to show that these world-changing prize competitions are far from easy to win. 

At the same time, space in particular is extremely hard… for now.

Ultimately, Anousheh Ansari (XPRIZE CEO) and I decided to give the team a $1 million 'Moonshot Award,' despite their “kinetic disassembly,” as an encouragement for them to continue the pursuit of their mission, and to launch Beresheet 2.0.

See the video announcement of our $1 Million Moonshot Award to SpaceIL!

And on the heels of my Tweet that announced the $1 million Moonshot award, the world responded with overwhelming support… 

If at first you don’t succeed… try, try again.

Space exploration and failure are intimately linked: nearly every nation and company to reach for the stars has first failed spectacularly at their direct objective.

In the 1950s, between the U.S. and Russia, it took 10 attempts before the first manmade probe (the Russian Luna 2) reached the Moon’s surface.

In recent years, SpaceX failed three times before they successfully launched their Falcon 1 rocket on their fourth attempt.

Yesterday I personally spoke to Morris Kahn, and was thrilled to hear his announcement on nationwide TV. 

“... In light of all of the support that I’ve got, from all over the world, and the wonderful messages of support and encouragement and excitement, I’ve decided that we are going to actually establish Beresheet Shtaim [Beresheet 2].

We are going to actually [build] a new spacecraft, we’re going to put it on the moon, and we’re going to complete the mission…” -- Morris Kahn

The team’s courageous persistence to the point of success is a powerful testament that will continue to inspire millions of children and innovators in Israel and across the globe.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, SpaceIL and Beresheet propelled the private space industry into a new era.

I am grateful to the SpaceIL team for their dedication and courage in pursuing the goal of the Lunar XPRIZE and connecting millions of children across the world to science, technology, engineering, and space.

I am proud that the XPRIZE Foundation is supporting Beresheet 2.0 with a $1 million award and can’t wait to see Beresheet 2.0 land on the Moon.

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Topics: Space space exploration XPRIZE Private Space SpaceX spaceflight moonshot Moonshots moon exponential technology SpaceIL
3 min read

GOOD LUCK! Private Lunar Lander -- SpaceIL XPRIZE Team

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 11, 2019

Today is a great day for innovators, entrepreneurs and dreamers.

Today, April 11th, the Israeli SpaceIL spacecraft calledBeresheet (which means ‘Genesis’) will attempt to land on the Moon’s surface in the Sea of Serenity around 9:45pm(Israel Time)… 11:45am PT / 2:45pm ET.

Only the U.S., Soviet Union and China have ever accomplished this feat.  SpaceIL will be the first private lander ever! 

Remarkably, the SpaceIL team built their lander with less than 50 engineers/entrepreneurs.  They are backed privately (principally) by Morris Kahn.

The mission has its roots in the $30MM Google Lunar XPRIZE which was announced in September 2007, attracting 26 teams from 7 nations to pursue this bold mission.  

When Google partnered with the XPRIZE Foundation, the primary purpose was to help inspire moonshots and to encourage the next generation of engineers and innovators to look towards the heavens, dream and do.

To Mr. Kahn, your philanthropy and support of SpaceIL is truly admirable.  To the SpaceIL team (Founders: Yariv Bash, Yonatan Winetraub, Kfir Damari), what you have built with such as small engineering team is unprecedented and will no doubt chart the path towards a new generation of low-cost scientific lunar landers.   Thank you all for the millions of children your efforts will inspire.

Today, while I’m at Mission Control in Tel Aviv (at IAI HQ), I, along with the world, will be watching and hoping for Beresheet’s successful landing!  

To watch the SpaceIL Landing go here:  http://www.visit.spaceil.com/

For more info on XPRIZE go here: www.xprize.org

MORE ON SPACEIL:

SpaceIL is a non-profit organization established in 2011 aiming to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon. The organization was founded by three young engineers: Yariv Bash, Kfir Damari and Yonatan Winetraub who answered the international challenge presented by Google Lunar XPRIZE: to build, launch and land an unmanned spacecraft on the Moon. SpaceIL was the only Israeli representative. In October 2015, SpaceIL reached a dramatic project milestone by becoming the first team to announce a signed launch contract, that symbolizes an actual "ticket to the Moon". In January 2017, SpaceIL became one of the competition’s five finalists. The competition officially ended with no winners in March 31, 2018, after Google ended their sponsorship. The XPRIZE Foundation has continued with a $1M “Moonshot” Award.


SpaceIL is actively working to create an Israeli "Apollo Effect.” SpaceIL is committed to inspiring the next generation in Israel and around the world to choose to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). 

© PHD Ventures, 800 Corporate Pointe, Culver City, California, 90230, United States
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Topics: Space space exploration XPRIZE Private Space spaceflight Moonshots moon SpaceIL
14 min read

Abundance Insider: April 5th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 5, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Barista bots, ultrafast phone charging, and disposable delivery drones.

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

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and hone in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital includes 100+ hours of course work and video archives for entrepreneurs, like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Baristas Beware: A Robot That Makes Gourmet Cups Of Coffee Has Arrived

What it is: To bring ‘connected coffee’ to the mainstream, coffee startup Briggo engineered a robotic coffee barista called Coffee Haus. The goal of the Coffee Haus project is for customers to quickly order their ideal cup of coffee via a smartphone app, receive a notification when the cup of joe is ready, and then pick up a cup of coffee that is precision-engineered to the customer's specifications and preferences. Through a robust array of inbuilt sensors, the Briggo bot manages almost every aspect of the coffee experience, from milk temperature to the usage rate of coffee cup lids. Briggo’s complex robotics and robust sensor and IoT technology converge to output as many as 100 cups of made-to-taste coffee in an hour.

Why it's important: While the future of food is filled with impactful exponential technologies, consumers will likely directly interact with robotics first. Practically speaking, the 100 cups of coffee Briggo’s system outputs in an hour is about equal to the production rate of 3-4 baristas combined. Unlike human baristas, though, Briggo’s system does not take a salary or experience fatigue, and all of its actions are predetermined and monitored. (A larger social question emerges: When a robot prepares and delivers you a gourmet steak dinner, would you still leave a tip?)  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

McDonald’s Uses A.I. To Tempt You Into Extra Purchases At The Drive-Thru

What it is: Dynamic Yield, an Israel-based artificial intelligence startup, has partnered with McDonald's to deploy its "decision technology" within electronic menu boards at over 1,000 drive-thru locations within the next three months. The smart menu boards will dynamically change based on fators like the user's existing order, the weather, and how busy the restaurant is. McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook plans to eventually roll the technology out to all 14,000 U.S. restaurants and international locations, perhaps even with inbuilt license plate recognition to incorporate a customer's recent orders.

Why it's important: In 2018, McDonald's generated almost $6 billion of net income serving around 68 million customers per day. This represents a massive data set on which to train machine-learning algorithms. Leveraging this abundance of data to personalize and streamline the customer experience will no doubt add to the $4.2 billion in free cash flow McDonald's reported at the end of 2018. What gold lies in your company data -- and how can you use it to make better business decisions?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Marissa Brassfield 

Xiaomi’s 100W Charger Fills A 4,000mAh Battery In 17 Minutes

What it is: Xiaomi has developed a superfast 100W charger that takes a 4,000mAh battery — almost twice the capacity of an iPhone X — from zero to 100 percent in just 17 minutes. Details on the technology are still under wraps, particularly around heat dissipation, battery life, and whether it's tied to a specific manufacturer, but this represents an almost 2X improvement over the previous best.

Why it's important:  Rechargeable batteries have become ubiquitous in everyday life. Just as next-gen batteries and charging networks will eliminate "range anxiety" in electric vehicles, this 100W charger could similarly remove location barriers for cellphone users. How might a charger of this nature transform humanitarian efforts, or help researchers maintain 24/7 uptime in remote or inaccessible regions?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

These Autonomous Bots Battle Blazes Too Dangerous For Firefighters

What it is: As part of a five-year Japanese project to design responses to disasters in energy and heavy industries, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHi) has created a Water Cannon Bot capable of fighting blazes autonomously in hard-to-reach and otherwise dangerous locations. The Cannon Bot and its companion Hose Extension Bot are built on farm buggy frames and can deliver foam or water at 4,000 liters per minute at 1 megapascal (MPa) of pressure. The duo is part of a larger autonomous system that includes surveillance and reconnaissance technologies onboard a larger transport vehicle to help fight the blaze.

Why it's important: Autonomous robotics are rapidly improving, and we’re seeing a large number of early use cases in areas deemed too dangerous for humans. (Think failing nuclear reactors or space exploration.) Watch for these to potentially ease public concerns around automation, and generate insights for expansion into new, less-dangerous use cases. How can you use this approach in your own endeavors?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Disposable Delivery Drones Pass Test With US Marines

What it is: Under contracts with DARPA and the U.S. Marine Corps, Logistic Gliders Inc. has developed a single-use, autonomous glider resupply system that can carry up to a whopping _1,800 pounds_ of supplies. Constructed from low-cost plywood, the disposable glider’s two versions (LG-2K and the smaller LG-1K) are projected to cost as little as a few hundred dollars each if cleared for mass production. Suited for long distances, the gliders are first launched from a larger aircraft and then either fly and navigate autonomously or are operated by a remote pilot. Granted new flexibility, the drones can even fly through urban environments, jungle canopies, or almost any low-altitude clearing, delivering critical supplies precisely where needed.

Why it's important: A significant achievement in the longstanding pursuit of advanced drone delivery technology, these Marines-tested gliders could soon outpace both ground-based delivery drones in speed, and air-dropped supply parachutes in cost. As explained by principal investigator Marti Sarigul-Klijn, “Gliders dropped from a cargo aircraft could greatly outdistance any ground-based unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for cargo logistics,” particularly given the long range of glider-carrying aircrafts. With a now-multiplied range, cargo weight capacity, and ultra low cost, Logistic Gliders and similar drone technologies offer tremendous promise for everything from low-cost, high-volume humanitarian aid supply to precise commercial drone deliveries.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Google And University Researchers Are Using Deep Learning To Discover Exoplanets

What it is: As AI joins forces with today’s leading astronomers, one convolutional neural network, AstroNet K2, has helped researchers discover two new exoplanets among a trove of NASA’s Kepler telescope data. Building upon research by Google AI’s Chris Shallue and Harvard astrophysicist Andrew Vanderburg, AstroNet K2 has helped overcome a major obstacle in analysis of Kepler’s data. Given a mechanical malfunction that rendered the telescope incapable of focusing on a single part of the sky, sporadic data collection has made it difficult for astronomers to identify the best exoplanet candidates. Now, while the neural network still returns numerous false positives, it has reportedly achieved a 98 percent accuracy rate in test data sets of images with promising characteristics.

Why it's important: While AstroNet K2 cannot yet be entrusted with detecting and identifying planet candidates entirely on its own, the neural network and its successors will likely prove decisively valuable in the pursuit of exoplanet discovery. By rapidly sifting through tomes of Kepler imaging data, AstroNet K2 massively reduces the number of signals for human astronomers to analyze, making the collaborative process much less time-consuming. Now the first-ever neural network to be successfully applied to K2 data, AstroNet K2 will be open-sourced after further refinement, enabling a broader AI community to dive in.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

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.

Want more conversations like this?

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. If you'd like to be considered, apply here

Abundance Digital is Peter’s online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated newsfeed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

Topics: Abundance Insider Space Robotics AI space exploration Artificial Intellegence Drones Batteries Genetics future of food
12 min read

Abundance Insider: March 30th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 30, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Record-breaking CRISPR engineering, apple-harvesting robots, and an advanced prosthetics hand.

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

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

P.P.S. Want to learn more about exponential technologies and hone in on your MTP/ Moonshot? Abundance Digital includes 100+ hours of course work and video archives for entrepreneurs, like you. Keep up to date on exponential news and get feedback on your boldest ideas from an experienced, supportive community. Click here to learn more and sign up.

Toyota's Planned Moon Rover Has 18x The Range Of A Tesla Model S

What it is: Japanese automaker Toyota and JAXA, the Japanese space agency, recently announced a collaboration to further develop lunar mobility technology. The partnership commits more resources to accelerate and develop a pressurized lunar rover powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. Using Toyota’s fuel cell technology, the vehicle will have an anticipated cruising range of 6,214 miles, nearly equivalent to the entire circumference of the Moon and more than double the width of the United States. Using the ‘live off the land’ principle of in-situ resource utilization, the hydrogen fuel cells allow the rover to readily refuel from rich hydrogen and water deposits on the Moon, without the need to bring added fuel for the rocket launch.

Why it's important: This partnership demonstrates the massive terrestrial impact of space exploration. From the invention of CMOS imaging sensors to freeze-dried food, space continues to catalyze hyper-impactful innovation for use on Earth and beyond. By developing its fuel cell technology for the demanding environment of space, Toyota will also inevitably demonetize and democratize these innovations for its global consumer base.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg / Written by Max Goldberg 

Doctors Wired A Prosthetic Hand Directly Into A Woman’s Nerves

What it is: For the first time ever, doctors in Sweden have successfully wired a sentient prosthetic hand directly into a patient’s nerves. With an osseo-neuromuscular implant, the recipient can now control the prosthetic’s fingers with her mind and even perceive tactile sensations. To achieve this extraordinary feat, surgeons placed titanium implants in the patient’s forearm bones and connected an array of sixteen electrodes to her nerves and muscles. This enables both extraction of signals to control the prosthetic hand and a corresponding sense of touch. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology and biotech firm Integrum AB additionally built the prosthetic hand with unparalleled dexterity, now pictured tying shoelaces and even typing on a computer.

Why it's important: Coordinated by European prosthetics research program DeTOP, this breakthrough has remarkable implications. Up until now, prosthetic hands have been stifled by limited dexterity and sensory feedback, requiring users to rely on vision for everyday use. By implanting electrodes directly into a user’s nerves, however, researchers can now electrically stimulate them similar to the way in which a biological hand conveys information. Such technology not only dramatically enhances dexterity but could also drive development of robotic devices that seamlessly interface with our bodies. No longer partially connected tools, prosthetic limbs are now integrating directly into our biological architecture, revolutionizing the way we communicate with technology.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Gaz Alazraki / Written by Claire Adair 

Photos From NASA's Opportunity And Curiosity Rovers Reveal 15 Martian Objects That Resemble Mushrooms

What it is: As published in the Journal of Astrobiology and Space Science, images from NASA’s rovers Curiosity and Opportunity reveal evidence of life, specifically algae, lichens and mushrooms growing and emerging from Martian soil. According to the authors, the mushroomlike structures such as stems and stalks -- spotted by the hundreds -- aren’t something created by known geologic forces on Earth. While evidence isn’t confirmation, when coupled with additional of evidence of seasonal fluctuations in methane on Mars, this suggests there may be existing life on Mars.

Why it's important: Better data, enabled by increasingly powerful sensing technology, is giving us an unparalleled glimpse into environmental conditions around the universe. This new knowledge recalibrates researchers' understanding of the fundamentals for life, and will no doubt spur additional exploration and data-gathering activities. What long-held assumptions about the universe will we confirm or challenge in the decades ahead?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Claire Adair / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Abundant’s Apple Harvesting Robots Get Their First Commercial Deployment

What it is: This week, Abundant Robotics announced its first customer, and the first commercial use case of its apple-harvesting robots. To commercialize its technology, Abundant overcame a handful of complex technical challenges simultaneously, including image recognition of harvestable apples, picking the fruit without damaging it, and real-time autonomous navigation of different orchards. Over the three years since Abundant Robotics’ launch, partnering with orchards around the world to acquire real-world data during product development and testing was critical to accelerating the robots’ commercial viability.

Why it's important: From lab-grown meat to genetically engineered crops, digital agriculture is transforming the global food supply chain. This news from Abundant Robotics further validates the wide-ranging applications of converging exponential technologies like robotics, artificial intelligence and big data to help feed the planet.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg / Written by Max Goldberg 

Genome Engineers Made More Than 13,000 CRISPR Edits In A Single Cell

What it is: Setting a groundbreaking record for large-scale genome editing, researchers at Harvard have just published a method that enables genetic alterations at thousands of loci per cell. Having developed a set of dead-Cas9 base editor (dBEs) variants, the researchers can now circumvent cutting open the DNA double helix at multiple locations, a traditional cause of cell death when too many edits are made at one. By instead using base editors to replace individual genetic letters, the scientists have successfully made 13,200 genetic alterations to a single cell without destroying it in the process.

Why it's important: Given that many genetic elements are repetitive and capable of copying themselves, large-scale, one-stop genome editing could one day eliminate all copies of a retrovirus for safe and universal organ transplants. Gene technologist George Church has even envisioned the creation of human organ and tissue supplies with revised genomes that are immune to all viruses. According to the Harvard team, this ‘recoding’ process would involve about 9,811 precise genetic modifications. With the newfound ability to target all copies of a given genetic element, imagine ‘recoding’ supplies of your own cells, now rendered universal and safe for future transplantation.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

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.

Want more conversations like this?

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. If you'd like to be considered, apply here

Abundance Digital is Peter’s online educational portal and community of abundance-minded entrepreneurs. You’ll find weekly video updates from Peter, a curated newsfeed of exponential news, and a place to share your bold ideas. Click here to learn more and sign up.

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Topics: Abundance Insider Space Robotics space exploration healthcare biotech Genetics mars moon prosthetics
5 min read

Moonshots, Grit & Virgin Galactic’s Spaceflight

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 16, 2018

Moonshots are hard.

Topics: Space Entrepreneurship space exploration XPRIZE Private Space persistence Virgin SpaceShipTwo grit spaceflight Virgin Galactic
13 min read

Abundance Insider: June 29, 2018 Edition

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 29, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Pain-sensing e-skin, expert-level AI debaters, and the first robotic eye surgery.

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

P.S. Send any tips to our team by clicking here, and send your friends and family to this link to subscribe to Abundance Insider.

AI Bots Trained for 180 Years a Day to Beat Humans at DOTA 2

What it is: OpenAI, a research project led by Elon Musk and Sam Altman, built and trained a team of AI agents that can beat the top 1 percent of players at DOTA, a massive online strategy game. The AIs were trained under very narrow conditions, particular to a dumbed-down version of DOTA2. What’s especially cool about this OpenAI bot is that it learned to play DOTA with long-term strategy — winning hourlong multiplayer games.

Why it's important: These same types of AI can be used to solve complex real-world problems that are similar to video games, like managing transportation infrastructure. It takes 12,000 to 20,000 hours to become an expert. With training speeds of up to 180 years of training per day, an AI can achieve expertise in just over 100 hours of training. This event showcases the power of an AI to perform tasks dramatically more efficiently than humans, and evolve infinitely faster.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

A Robot Just Operated On A Human Eye for the First Time

What it is: Researchers from the University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences have created the first robotic system, PRECEYES, to operate on a human eye. Inserting the robot just under the pupil via an incision less than 1 mm in size, the surgeon then operates it via a joystick, which eliminates the inevitable hand tremors that even the best surgeons cannot avoid. The robot conducted two routine procedures -- removing a membrane from the retina and dissolving hemorrhages under the retina -- and in both cases, the result was as good or better than unassisted surgery.

Why it's important: From dental implants to the da Vinci system, many robotic surgeons under development are beginning to perform as good as (or better than) the world’s best human surgeons. Not only should this improve outcomes and drive down cost, look for this to democratize access to procedures which were previously thought impossible.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Aryadeep S. Acharya / Written by Jason Goodwin 

AI Learns the Art of Debate with IBM Project Debater

What it is: IBM’s AI system Project Debater recently engaged in live public debates with humans for the first time ever. Facing 2016 Israeli national debate champion Noa Ovadia, Project Debater debated the question of whether “we should subsidize space exploration.” Mastering the formalized debate structure (entirely unscripted) on a challenging and controversial topic, IBM’s AI won over a majority of audience members, who thought Project Debater enriched their knowledge more than its human counterpart. Progressing to a second debate against debate expert Dan Zafrir, Project Debater continued to provide strong evidence within topics on which it had never been trained, a major indication that we are moving towards AI systems that can tackle complex issues without prior screening.

Why it's important: Project Debater marks an extraordinary leap towards several goals in AI: mastering language, data-driven speech writing and delivery, nuanced listening comprehension to boil down long chunks of speech into key claims, and modeling complex human dilemmas. Now able to learn across myriad disciplines, Project Debater can screen and select evidence with remarkable accuracy to help us build strong arguments and make well-informed decisions. This ability to navigate a messy, unstructured world is a major jump from AI systems that use predefined rule sets to master various board games. As Project Debater progresses, it may soon assist us with everything from evaluating a financial thesis to presenting evidence-based pros and cons for government policies.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Morgan McDermott / Written by Claire Adair 

Prosthetic Hand Can Sense Pain Using "Electronic Skin"

What it is: Scientists from Johns Hopkins University have developed an electronic skin, or “e-dermis,” that can fit over a prosthetic hand. Built with two layers that together mimic receptors in our body, this engineered skin captures a range of touch sensations, including the complex feeling of pain. Working with an amputee volunteer, researchers applied electric pulses to stimulate the participant’s nerves, as he offered feedback on sensations in his phantom hand. Researchers then used these stimulation patterns to provide sensory feedback to the volunteer’s brain as he interacted with different objects using his prosthetic hand.

Why it's important: Touch is a highly complex sense made up of many components, including pressure, vibration and temperature, and over a dozen different channels are required for perceiving it. For about a decade, researchers have attempted to crack the code on the neurophysiology behind touch and how to apply this research to clinical uses. Now, we can finally begin to grant sensory experience to patients with a range of prosthetics. The ability to sense pain could be useful for robots, allowing them to distinguish objects that are potentially damaging as they interact with the physical world.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Blue Origin to Start Selling Suborbital Spaceflight Tickets Next Year

What it is: Blue Origin, one of the biggest players in the new commercial space race, announced that its New Shepard launch vehicle will be open for commercial ticket sales in 2019. Beyond announcing their planned manned flights and 2019 sales target, details on pricing and the experience are scant.

Why it's important: 2018 has already been a huge year for commercial spaceflight, with successful tests from SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, and now this accelerated timeline from Blue Origin. This represents a fraction of a percent of what the next five years will hold in commercial spaceflight. Soon, we'll see regular passenger rides to space, an economy form around space tourism, and the advent of space industrial activities like manufacturing.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

Biohacker Who Implanted Opal Card Into Hand Escapes Conviction

What it is: In New South Wales, Australia, a biohacker named Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow recently had his conviction overturned for implanting an Opal metro chip into the back of his hand. Transport authorities claimed that because he wasn't able to present his ticket to officers when asked, he had violated the terms of service. The Judge disagreed, arguing that he was not tampering to avoid payment.

Why it's important: As new technologies empower people to create and experiment in previously unanticipated ways, we'll see a variety of legal and social conundrums like this emerge. Linear systems like government legislation are clashing with exponential technologies and tools. How will regulations, service-level agreements and terms of service keep up with the pace of change?  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.

Want more conversations like this?

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. If you'd like to be considered, apply here

Know someone who would benefit from getting Abundance Insider? Send them to this link to sign up.

Topics: Abundance Insider Space space exploration Blue Origin Private Space DOTA robots electronic skin surgery
2 min read

Podcast Episode 41: The Next Gold Rush is in Space

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 8, 2017

September 8, 2017

Peter and Dan discuss entrepreneurial commercial space. Why is this happening now? Which companies are the most exciting to watch?

Topics: Space Podcast Exponential Wisdom space exploration