1 min read

WEBINAR: The Next Manufacturing Era with Jim Heppelmann, CEO @ PTC

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 14, 2020

What is the future of digital manufacturing? What does it have to do with Augmented Reality?

Topics: 3D Printing virtual reality Augmented Reality Singularity University exponential technology video webinar
7 min read

VR’s leap into the disruptive phase

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 23, 2019

In 2016, venture investments in VR exceeded US$800 million, while AR and MR received a total of $450 million. Just a year later, investments in AR and VR startups doubled to US$3.6 billion.

Topics: AR/VR virtual reality
12 min read

Abundance Insider: August 9th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Aug 9, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Samsung's 'smart' contact lenses, gamified tree-planting, and this week's virtual conference experiment.

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.

One chip to rule them all: It natively runs all types of AI software

What it is: A team of researchers primarily based in Beijing has developed a hybrid chip that can natively run all types of AI software. Dubbed Tianjic, the chip has been engineered to combine two distinct architectural approaches to AI (machine learning and artificial neural networks), which each require fundamentally different coding schemes. In effect, Tianjic’s processing units can shift between spiking communications and binary, allowing it to perform a broad range of calculations. To demonstrate Tianjic’s versatility, the team even built an autonomous Tianjic-operated bicycle, which could successfully detect and avoid obstacles, maintain balance, perform voice command recognition, make navigation decisions under varying road conditions, and run conventional software to boot.

Why it’s important: While sometimes conflated under the umbrella term AI, machine learning and artificial neural networks have developed along different branches and enable distinct types of calculations. For this reason, today’s field is considered one of Artificial Narrow Intelligence, as most contemporary AIs are “super-intelligent” within the constraints of highly specialized problems, like pattern recognition or strategy games. However, by combining distinct AI architectures in a single chip, Tianjic and its future successors might be the vanguards of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), birthing multi-skilled machines geared to tackle any computation problem, motor skill, or pattern analysis. | Share on Facebook.
 

How Alipay Users Planted 100M Trees In China

What it is: Alibaba’s Alipay (one of China’s two dominant mobile payment platforms) has enabled users to plant 100 million trees to date via its “Ant Forest” mini-program. Since the program’s launch in 2016, over 500 million Alipay users have joined, earning “green energy” points in exchange for eco-friendly decisions, such as walking to work, using Dingtalk to hold video conferences (instead of commuting to meetings), or recycling old possessions on Alibaba’s secondhand marketplace Idle Fish. Trackable through leaderboards, these green energy points can then be used to plant trees in China’s most arid regions. So far, Alipay’s partner NGOs have revegetated 933 square kilometers of land — the rough equivalent of 130,000 soccer fields. Alipay even allows users to track satellite images of their trees in real-time and collaborate with friends.

Why it’s important: Announced in 1978, China’s “Green Great Wall” project aims to plant 400 million hectares of new forests (spanning 42 percent of China’s landmass) by 2050. Alipay’s ‘crowd’-planted trees not only comprise a growing carbon sink, offsetting China’s high emissions, but also aid in building this 4,500-kilometer ecological barrier to combat land degradation. Over the past 20 years, China and India have contributed one-third of the planet’s increased foliage, and crowd-leveraging programs like Ant Forest are fast reducing the barrier to participation. By gamifying “green” behavior and offering real-world prizes, mobile platforms hold an extraordinary power to incentivize sustainable decision-making, reshape communal mindsets, and catalyze climate solutions. | Share on Facebook.

This Week’s Virtual Conference In VirBELA

What it is: Early this week, Peter Diamandis and the Abundance Digital team partnered with virtual coworking company VirBELA to run an immersive, virtual conference experiment. Uniting over 100 participants from around the world, the summit featured embodied avatar speakers (including a keynote by Peter and exclusive XPRIZE updates), an interactive auditorium, and social recreational activities — from boat tours to seaside group conversations. Iterating on its software for next-generation remote collaboration, VirBELA strives to dematerialize and democratize the traditional office, allowing anyone to engage in team projects regardless of geography. Currently, VirBELA’s software is home to eXp Realty, a $620 million+ real estate company with over 20,000 agents and zero staffed, physical offices.

Why it’s important: The future of work — and social interaction, for that matter — will soon make physical distance immaterial. As virtual reality hardware and low latency rendering improve dramatically in the coming years, digital and delocalized work environments will begin to decimate travel costs, company carbon footprints, and wasted time. Validated this week, people can increasingly experience all the benefits of conventional conferences from the convenience of a living room, at zero cost. Perhaps even more exciting, platforms like VirBELA are vastly enhancing the accessibility of today’s brightest minds, industry leaders, and cutting edge content. 

Researchers Say This AI Can Spot Unsafe Food On Amazon Faster Than The FDA

What it is: Researchers at Boston University School of Public Health have successfully trained an AI to spot unsafe food items potentially in need of recall. Aggregating nearly 1.3 million Amazon food product reviews, the team’s neural network found matches between a subset of these products and prior U.S. FDA-recalled items. The researchers’ deep learning AI, a Bidirectional Encoder Representation from Transformations (dubbed BERT), was then taught to identify language in online reviews that could confirm a food’s safety status and aid in risk stratification. Using crowd-sorted reviews, BERT AI consequently distinguished which food products had been officially FDA-recalled with 74 percent accuracy, and even managed to predict a similar fate for 20,000 additional products, now candidates for recall.

Why it’s important: Predicting and mitigating risk before losses are incurred is one of the most profitable business opportunities of the next decade. Leveraging e-commerce data, BERT’s ability to scour massive databases and classify products by risk serves as a prime example, unlocking countless implications. Regulatory processes (think: FDA recalls) can now become much more efficient as products are instantaneously flagged, bypassing a recall’s costly research phase. Within supply chain monitoring, AIs might continuously analyze real-time employee and user feedback to identify supply chain bottlenecks and inefficiencies. For end consumers, future iterations of BERT could even crowdsource decisions for quality control and assurance, as well as concise supplier feedback. Knowing your customer and listening to the data will never have been easier. | Share on Facebook.

Samsung's Patented ‘Smart’ Contact Lenses

What it is: Samsung has just been granted a U.S. patent to develop smart contact lenses capable of streaming text, capturing videos, and even beaming images directly into a wearer’s eyes. Given their multi-layered lens architecture, the contacts are designed to include a motion sensor (for eye movement tracking), hidden camera, and display unit. Current lens designs would even theoretically allow users to control their devices remotely, possibly administering commands by blinking or navigating a user interface with eye movements alone.

Why it’s important: While still immersed in the R&D phase, smart contact lenses are projected to comprise a $7.2 billion market by 2023. Perhaps one of the most promising candidates for a future of ubiquitous augmented reality, smart lenses are also increasingly feasible thanks to advances in sensor technology. Riding implications of Moore’s Law, smart sensors (and what some have dubbed “smart dust”) have shrunk dramatically in size, and could one day record and transmit everything from lens-wearers’ audiovisual experiences to auto-populated contextual information. Keep an eye out (no pun intended) for Google’s response as it works on its own smart lens revamp of the Google Glass. | Share on Facebook.

Tokyo Offers $1 Billion Research Grant For Human Augmentation, Cyborg Tech

What it is: The Japanese government has just set aside roughly 100 billion yen (or $921 million) to fund projects spanning cyborg technologies, industrial waste solutions, and augmentation for aging individuals. Planning to fund teams for the first 5 years of a 10-year support agreement, Tokyo will soon invite researchers and academics (both domestic and international) to submit proposals in 25 key problem areas. One source reports that portions of the research grant will be channeled towards "cyborg technology that can replace human bodily functions using robotics or living organisms by 2050." In light of a declining birth rate and a shrinking workforce to follow, Japan might rely heavily on such solutions to bolster economic productivity.

Why it’s important: Similar to the U.S. government's $2.5 billion+ SBIR/STTR grant and seed funding program, Japan’s government is issuing a powerful clarion call to private industry and academics: an invitation to not only tackle some of the nation’s most pressing challenges, but to invest in long-term, experimental technologies set for commercialization between 2025 and 2060. As OECD nations begin to witness a dwindling birth rate, resulting labor shortages will require converging advancements in AI, robotics, and additional human augmentation technologies. Whether in pursuit of longevity extension or cyborg construction, Japan’s initiative might soon birth solutions that allow us to work longer or replace certain human labor altogether. | 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.

Want more conversations like this?

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 Future of Work AR/VR AI food Artificial Intellegence virtual reality environment capital Augmented Reality China computation future of food
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
8 min read

Convergence in VR/AR: 5 Anticipated Breakthroughs to Watch

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 5, 2019

Convergence is accelerating disruption… everywhere!

Topics: Abundance AR/VR Abundance 360 a360 virtual reality Augmented Reality film entertainment augmented manufacturing convergence catalyzer convergence immersive worlds movies edutainment
8 min read

Education at All Ages

By Peter H. Diamandis on Feb 24, 2019

Today, over 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone with access to the world’s information and near-limitless learning resources.

Topics: Education Abundance AR/VR Data AI Artificial Intellegence virtual reality XPRIZE connectivity Web 3.0 Spatial Web adult literacy retooling professional training future of education online education edtech ESL automation Learning Upgrade literacy job market mobile devices mobile learning People ForWords
10 min read

Future of Work, Free Time & Play

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 23, 2018

How we work and play is about to transform.

Topics: Future of Work AR/VR virtual reality future Augmented Reality Web 3.0 Spatial Web free time gaming storytelling future of play film
8 min read

spatial web & the future of work

By Peter H. Diamandis on Dec 9, 2018

What is the future of work?

Is our future one of ‘technological socialism’ (where technology is taking care of our needs)?

Or is our future workplace completely virtualized, whereby we hang out at home in our PJ’s while walking about our VR Corporate HQ?

This blog will look at the Future of Work during the age of Web 3.0… Examining scenarios in which AI, VR and the spatial web converge to transform every element of our career, from training, to execution, to free time.

Three weeks ago, I explored the vast implications of Web 3.0 on news, media, smart advertising and personalized retail. And to offer a quick recap on what the Spatial Web is and how it works, let’s cover some brief history:

A Quick Recap on Web 3.0: 

While Web 1.0 consisted of static documents and read-only data (static web pages), Web 2.0 introduced multimedia content, interactive web applications, and participatory social media, all of these mediated by two-dimensional screens.

But over the next 2 to 5 years, the convergence of 5G, artificial intelligence, VR/AR, and a trillion-sensor economy will enable us to both map our physical world into virtual space and superimpose a digital data layer onto our physical environments.

Suddenly, all our information will be manipulated, stored, understood and experienced in spatial ways. 

In this third installment of the Web 3.0 series, I’ll be discussing the Spatial Web’s vast implications for:

  1. Professional Training
  2. Delocalized Business & the Virtual Workplace
  3. Smart Permissions & Data Security

Let’s dive in.

Virtual Training, Real-World Results….

Virtual and augmented reality have already begun disrupting the professional training market.

As projected by ABI Research, the enterprise VR training market is on track to exceed $6.3 billion in value by 2022.

Leading the charge, Walmart has already implemented VR across 200 Academy training centers, running over 45 modules and simulating everything from unusual customer requests to a Black Friday shopping rush.

Then in September 2018, Walmart committed to a 17,000-headset order of the Oculus Go to equip every U.S. Supercenter, neighborhood market, and discount store with VR-based employee training.

In the engineering world, Bell Helicopter is using VR to massively expedite development and testing of its latest aircraft, FCX-001. Partnering with Sector 5 Digital and HTC VIVE, Bell found it could concentrate a typical 6-year aircraft design process into the course of 6 months, turning physical mock-ups into CAD-designed virtual replicas.

But beyond the design process itself, Bell is now one of a slew of companies pioneering VR pilot tests and simulations with real-world accuracy. Seated in a true-to-life virtual cockpit, pilots have now tested countless iterations of the FCX-001 in virtual flight, drawing directly onto the 3D model and enacting aircraft modifications in real-time.

And in an expansion of our virtual senses, several key players are already working on haptic feedback. In the case of VR flight, French company Go Touch VR is now partnering with software developer FlyInside on fingertip-mounted haptic tech for aviation. 

Dramatically reducing time and trouble required for VR-testing pilots, they aim to give touch-based confirmation of every switch and dial activated on virtual flights, just as one would experience in a full-sized cockpit mockup. Replicating texture, stiffness and even the sensation of holding an object, these piloted devices contain a suite of actuators to simulate everything from a light touch to higher-pressured contact, all controlled by gaze and finger movements.

Source: Wired

When it comes to other high-risk simulations, virtual and augmented reality have barely scratched the surface. 

Firefighters can now combat virtual wildfires with new platforms like FLAIM Trainer or TargetSolutions. And thanks to the expansion of medical AR/VR services like 3D4Medical or Echopixel, surgeons might soon perform operations on annotated organs and magnified incision sites, speeding up reaction times and vastly improving precision. 

But perhaps most urgent, Web 3.0 and its VR interface will offer an immediate solution for today's constant industry turnover and large-scale re-education demands. 

VR educational facilities with exact replicas of anything from large industrial equipment to minute circuitry will soon give anyone a second chance at the 21st century job market.

Want to be an electric, autonomous vehicle mechanic at age 15? Throw on a demonetized VR module and learn by doing, testing your prototype iterations at almost zero cost and with no risk of harming others. 

Want to be a plasma physicist and play around with a virtual nuclear fusion reactor? Now you’ll be able to simulate results and test out different tweaks, logging Smart Educational Record credits in the process.

As tomorrow’s career model shifts from a "one-and-done graduate degree" to continuous lifelong education, professional VR-based re-education will allow for a continuous education loop, reducing the barrier to entry for anyone wanting to enter a new industry.

But beyond professional training and virtually enriched, real-world work scenarios, Web 3.0 promises entirely virtual workplaces and blockchain-secured authorization systems.

Rise of the Virtual Workplace & Digital Data Integrity

In addition to enabling an annual $52 billion Virtual Goods marketplace, the Spatial Web is also giving way to “virtual company headquarters” and completely virtualized companies, where employees can work from home or any place on the planet.

Too good to be true? Check out an incredible publicly listed company called eXp Realty.

Source: Glassdoor

Launched on the heels of the 2008 financial crisis, eXp Realty beat the odds, going public this past May and surpassing a $1B market cap on day one of trading.

But how? Opting for a demonetized virtual model, eXp’s founder Glenn Sanford decided to ditch brick and mortar from the get-go, instead building out an online virtual campus for employees, contractors and thousands of agents.

And after years of hosting team meetings, training seminars, and even agent discussions with potential buyers through 2D digital interfaces, eXp’s virtual headquarters went spatial.

What is eXp’s primary corporate value? FUN! And Glenn Sanford’s employees love their jobs.

Source: Hypergrid Business

In a bid to transition from 2D interfaces to immersive, 3D work experiences, virtual platform VirBELA built out the company’s office space in VR, unlocking indefinite scaling potential and an extraordinary new precedent:

Foregoing any physical locations for a centralized VR campus, eXp Realty has essentially thrown out all overhead and entered a lucrative market with barely any upfront costs.

Delocalize with VR, and you can now hire anyone with Internet access (right next door or on the other side of the planet), redesign your corporate office every month, throw in an ocean-view office or impromptu conference room for client meetings, and forget about guzzled-up hours in traffic.

Throw in the Spatial Web’s fundamental blockchain-based data layer, and now cryptographically secured virtual IDs will let you validate colleagues’ identities or any of the virtual avatars we will soon inhabit.

This becomes critically important for spatial information logs — keeping incorruptible records of who’s present at a meeting, which data each person has access to and AI-translated reports of everything discussed and contracts agreed to.

But as I discussed in a previous Spatial Web blog, not only will Web 3.0 and VR advancements allow us to build out virtual worlds, but we’ll soon be able to digitally map our real-world physical offices or entire commercial high rises too.

As data gets added and linked to any given employee’s office, conference room or security system, we might then access online-merge-offline environments and information through augmented reality.

Imaging showing up at your building’s concierge and your AR glasses automatically check you into the building, authenticating your identity and pulling up any reminders you’ve linked to that specific location.

You stop by a friend’s office, and his smart security system lets you know he’ll arrive in an hour. Need to book a public conference room that’s already been scheduled by another firm’s marketing team? Offer to pay them a fee and, once accepted, a smart transaction will automatically deliver a payment to their company account.

With blockchain-verified digital identities, spatially logged data and virtually manifest information, business logistics take a fraction of the time, operations grow seamless and corporate data will be safer than ever.

Final Thoughts

While converging technologies slash the lifespan of Fortune 500 companies, bring on the rise of vast new industries and transform the job market, Web 3.0 is changing the way we work, where we work and who we work with.

Life-like virtual modules are already unlocking countless professional training camps, modifiable in real-time and easily updated.

Virtual programming and blockchain-based authentication are enabling smart data logging, identity protection and on-demand smart asset trading.

And VR/AR-accessible worlds (and corporate campuses) not only demonetize, dematerialize, and delocalize our everyday workplaces, but enrich our physical worlds with AI-driven, context-specific data.

Welcome to the Spatial Web workplace.

Join Me

(1) A360 Executive Mastermind: This is one of the key conversations I’ll be exploring at my Executive Mastermind group called Abundance 360. The program is highly selective, for 360 abundance- and exponentially minded CEOs (running $10M to $50B companies). If you’d like to be considered, apply here.

Share this with your friends, especially if they are interested in any of the areas outlined above. 

(2) Abundance-Digital Online Community: I’ve also created a Digital/Online community of bold, abundance-minded entrepreneurs called Abundance-Digital. Abundance-Digital is my ‘onramp’ for exponential entrepreneurs – those who want to get involved and play at a higher level.   Click here to learn more.
Topics: Future of Work AR/VR cryptocurrencies blockchain Artificial Intellegence virtual reality Augmented Reality Web 3.0 Spatial Web office
8 min read

The Spatial Web - Part 2

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 18, 2018

Converging exponential technologies will transform media, advertising and the retail world. The world we see, through our digitally enhanced eyes, will multiply and explode with intelligence, personalization and brilliance.

Topics: AR/VR Media + Press retail cryptocurrencies blockchain Artificial Intellegence virtual reality advertising Augmented Reality distributed ledger internet of things digitization Web 3.0 democratization mixed reality the Internet Spatial Web the Web decentralization news
10 min read

The Spatial Web - Part 1

By Peter H. Diamandis on Nov 11, 2018

The boundaries between digital and physical space are disappearing at a breakneck pace. What was once static and boring is becoming dynamic and magical.

Topics: AR/VR cryptocurrencies blockchain Artificial Intellegence virtual reality Augmented Reality distributed ledger internet of things digitization Web 3.0 democratization mixed reality the Internet Spatial Web the Web decentralization
14 min read

Abundance Insider: October 26th, 2018

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 26, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Molecular computing biosensors, space botany, and fine dining in virtual reality.

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. On November 7th, Abundance Digital will be streaming an exclusive webinar with Tony Robbins. Join us at 12pm PDT to hear Tony and Peter dive in to their initiatives in human longevity and discuss how exponential technologies affect our human purpose. Sign up here. 

Healthy Mice With Same-Sex Parents Born For First Time

What it is: In a new breakthrough for reproductive science, researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have now successfully bred mice with same-sex parents. Born to two mothers, a litter of 29 healthy mice were able to live to adulthood, some even birthing their own offspring. While scientists have previously bred mice with same-sex parents, a mammalian reproduction phenomenon known as “imprinting” has yielded serious birth abnormalities. To overcome this, Dr. Zhou and his colleagues used haploid embryonic stem cells (ESCs), which contain only one set of chromosomes, and deleted specific genetic regions that produce the imprints which turn off paternal or maternal genes. By combining this edited stem cell with an egg cell, the team conferred complete genetic material to a well-formed embryo.

Why it's important: While those mice born to two fathers (using similar methods) survived only a few days, there is evidence that genetic imprinting works similarly in human reproduction, albeit involving different genes. The findings also mark a tremendous leap in understanding genetic barriers to same-sex mammalian reproduction — and offering hope that they might one day be eliminated. As both gene editing and embryonic stem cell research continue to advance, we might one day unlock new paradigms in human reproduction.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Claire Adair / Written by Claire Adair 

DNA-Based Molecular Computing Will Pave The Way For Programmable Pills

What it is: Researchers at the University of Chicago aim to harness untapped information about how our cellular systems work by deploying a series of DNA-based molecular computing circuits. The researchers propose that specific arrangements of these molecular logic gates can give specific analog signals of the concentration of the molecules as they are released over time, opening up the information contained in the temporal portion of our cells’ communication mechanisms. Accessing the time-dependent information of these cellular signals is akin to knowing the tune of a song, rather than solely the lyrics.

Why it's important: As we approach a trillion-sensor economy by 2020, the quality and versatility of these sensors is critical. This research is evidence that rapid improvements in biosensor technology are bringing us deeper layers of data. This higher-order, temporal microbiology data is what we need for meaningful long-term studies of our bodies, and for the development of real-time monitoring and treatment systems. What physiology do you want to precision-monitor -- and therefore optimize, treat, and/or understand -- on a molecular scale?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg / Written by Max Goldberg 

New Material Could Up Efficiency Of Concentrated Solar Power

What it is: Scientists have identified a material that could dramatically boost the efficiency (and lower the cost) of concentrated solar power. Using mirrors or lenses to focus large amounts of solar thermal energy onto a small area, concentrated solar power involves converting concentrated sunlight to heat up a working fluid, usable to drive turbines. Promising an expected efficiency boost of over 20 percent, steam can even be replaced with supercritical carbon dioxide. But temperatures required of over 1,000 Kelvin also promise to melt many metals or cause them to react with CO2. In a new feat balancing high heat transfer rates and chemical and heat resistance, researchers have refined a composite material called tungsten and zirconium carbide. These materials are extremely effective heat conductors, each with a melting point of 3,700K and the ability to form a complementary pairing.

Why it's important: Boasting much greater resilience than currently used metals, this zirconium carbide and tungsten composite has remarkable economic implications, requiring much less of the material for an effective heat exchanger. Concentrated solar has the tremendous advantage of superior heat storage, allowing the technology to generate power 24/7. By integrating storage in the process of energy production, concentrated solar might pose a more stable way of harnessing the sun.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Virtual Reality Makes Food Taste Better

What it is: Our senses and memories play an important role in how we perceive taste. But it’s not always easy or cheap to put someone on a plane, for example, to run an experiment. Enter researchers at Cornell, who recently used virtual reality to address this problem. They asked 50 participants to eat the same piece of blue cheese in three VR settings: a virtual sensory booth, on a cow farm, or on a park bench. As expected, participants rated a significantly higher pungency of the cheese in the cow barn versus the bench or sensory booth.

Why it's important: As the costs of VR continue to drop, we’re seeing an explosion of new use cases that extend well beyond gaming. While many applications focus on augmenting our abilities to understand complex systems or to collaborate, many others are also tied to cost savings, which should accelerate even broader adoption and catalyze experimentation.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

75% Of People Think This AI Artist Is Human

What it is: A team at Rutgers has created AICAN, an artificial intelligence system trained on 80,000+ works of art over the past 500 years, representing the entire Western canon. It can generate images at the click of a button, without human control. Using what they call a Creative Adversarial Network, or CAN, AICAN generates images of surprising sophistication that 75 percent of humans would never attribute to an AI. The system also generates its own titles, such as “The Birth of Venus” or “St. George Killing the Dragon.”

Why it's important: For the time being, the element that AICAN misses in its art is the social context or desire to make a political statement, something still distinctly human. That will likely change as we begin to refine our quantification of values like creativity. With that in mind, how will artists, and you, use systems like AICAN and its progeny as tools for self-expression?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Space Crops Could Get Boost from Plant Hormone, Study Finds

What it is: On Earth, a plant-fungal symbiotic relationship helps plants absorb nutrients from low-nutrient soil; in return, the plant keeps the fungus healthy by feeding it with carbohydrates. However, this symbiotic relationship degrades in microgravity. University of Zurich researchers promoted this plant-fungal symbiosis, even in microgravity, by treating the plant-fungal system with a synthetic version of the hormone strigolactone. Experiments determined that given this treatment, the plant and fungus were able to thrive even in low-gravity and low-nutrient environments.

Why it's important: One of the key challenges of Moon and Mars mission planners is producing food on other planets. Shipping soil millions of miles from Earth and producing artificial gravity are limited by the laws of physics, so explorers will need to leverage engineering to achieve sufficient crop yields, using entirely alien resources. This research out of Zurich is one of many studies focused on extraterrestrial agriculture. Even on the Moon and Mars, there’s an abundance of resources -- we just need to figure out how to efficiently use these resources to host human life (and one day, civilizations).  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

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 Energy Materials Science AR/VR Artificial Intellegence virtual reality materials solar energy nano technology Genetics
22 min read

Back-to-School Thoughts: Future of Education

By Peter H. Diamandis on Sep 9, 2018

As kids worldwide head back to school, I’d like to share my thoughts on the future of education.

Topics: Education AR/VR AI Technology Artificial Intellegence virtual reality future
13 min read

Abundance Insider: August 3rd, 2018 Edition

By Peter H. Diamandis on Aug 3, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Cell-sized sensing robots, personalized VR horror games, and the first 5G smartphone antennas.

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. Enjoy Abundance Insider? Discuss these weekly articles and connect with other Abundance-Minded people in the Abundance Digital Community! Click here to learn more and sign up.

Cell-Sized Robots Can Sense Their Environment

What it is: MIT researchers are using materials science to build micron-scale robots able to sense, record, and store information about their environment. These tiny robots, about 100 micrometers in diameter (approximately the size of a human egg cell), can also carry out preprogrammed computational tasks. The sensing and computing electronics are made of two-dimensional graphene and transition-metal dichalcogenides. These tiny electronic circuits are laid down on micron-sized colloidal particles, which maintain the necessary rigidity yet are still light enough to stay suspended in a liquid environment.

Why it's important: Cell-sized robots will be transformative for in-situ measurements of hard-to-reach places like sewage and oil pipes, or in vivo biological systems. Imagine hundreds or thousands of these micro-bots injected into one end of a flowing system, acquiring data about oil homogeneity, composition, and other fluid measurements. Last week, we featured Rolls-Royce's new insect-sized maintenance and inspection robots, another signal that the age of nanotechnology is upon us.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

This VR Horror Game Is Exactly as Scary as Your Body Can Handle

What it is: Bring to Light, a VR horror game developed Red Meat Games, may be the first game to incorporate the use of biometric sensors. By pairing with a heart monitor such as the Polar H10 of Scosche Rhythm, players have the option to allow an AI within the game to turn up the 'creep factor' based on heart rate. For example, adding more shaking doors as players walk past in an abandoned subway shaft.

Why it's important: We’ve seen countless examples of VR’s potential to deliver fully immersive experiences. It seems only natural, particularly in the context of games, to incorporate the growing set of biometric sensor data to deliver more precise experiences. How do you see this applying in non-game uses, such as the 'fear of heights' applications discussed last week?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

IBM Patenting Watermark Tech to Protect Ownership of AI Models

What it is: In an effort to protect intellectual property associated with AI model development, IBM is researching methods of watermarking using Deep Neural Networks (or DNNs). To embed the watermark, the team has developed three algorithms so far which either embed meaningful content, irrelevant data samples, or noise in the into the training data sets. So far these have been successful at delivering an "unexpected but controlled response," validating ownership without the need to access the parameters of the model directly.

Why it's important: While this method won't be able to detect models used only on internal networks, this is an step towards the protection of IP associated with AI. As AI’s begin to serve as larger and larger source of competitive advantage, look for this and related research to grow in importance.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Peter Diamandis / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Taobao Leads New Ecommerce Trend: Livestreamed Shopping

What it is: As livestreaming grows inceasingly popular in retail marketing, China’s Taobao is stepping up to the plate. Part of Alibaba’s online marketplace subsidiary, Taobao’s Global Buy division reportedly has 16,000 livestreaming agents overseas, and Alibaba aims to surpass 50,000 within the year. Heavily used by daigou agents -- Chinese expats who buy name brands abroad and resell domestically -- these livestreaming mediums are expanding far beyond the Louis Vuittons and Pradas of the world, now beginning to cover everything from handmade jewelry to unknown local cuisines.

Why it's important: While reflective of a general trend towards influencer marketing, livestreaming as a shoppers' platform is also quickly bringing about democratized merchant-consumer interaction -- real-time dialogue that remains largely relegated to brick-and-mortar stores for high-end customers. But as millions of new Chinese users come online and domestic purchasing power skyrockets, many seek a more intimate shopping experience: asking questions in real time, witnessing tomorrow's newest products as they’re explored live, and even building loyalty and rapport with brand ambassadors.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Qualcomm Unveils First mmWave 5G Antennas for Smartphones

What it is: 5G satellite constellations will provide us with a bleeding-edge, global, high-speed internet, but our mobile devices still need a mechanism to receive information from this network. To tackle this engineering demand, Qualcomm has unveiled its QTM052 antenna -- the first one of its kind in the 5G market -- which is designed to be small enough for manufacturers to seamlessly incorporate into existing phone antenna layouts. Qualcomm’s 5G Snapdragon modem can support up to 16 of these antennas to ensure the phone always has a signal, no matter how the user holds it.

Why it's important: Global 5G satellite constellation coverage is only one piece of the 5G puzzle. We still need devices capable of connecting to these networks. Qualcomm’s solution is one step closer to connecting the world. The network effects of a fully connected species will have profound implications on our ability to create a better future.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

GM Launches Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Service

What it is: Last week, General Motors launched a new peer-to-peer car rental service with pilots in Chicago, Detroit and Ann Arbor. Built through GM’s Maven car-sharing platform, ‘Peer Cars’ will soon be available to all 150,000 program members -- newly minted “prosumers” who can now earn a passive income with an idle asset. Securing each peer-shared vehicle through GM’s $1 million insurance policy, Peer Cars will allow any GM car owner (with a 2015 model or later) to rent out a vehicle the minute it’s left unused, reportedly earning 60 percent of each rental. And on the flip side, eligible lessees can now tap an untapped resource, on-demand, at minimal cost.

Why it's important: Joining the on-demand car sharing model of startups like Getaround and Turo, GM’s Peer Cars marks the next era in transportation’s share economy. While Uber has electrified efficient transit without any inventory, platforms like Peer Cars are now employing unused vehicles without even necessitating a driver. This means GM car owners can truly gain a passive income, sharing idle assets without stepping foot in a vehicle. But far beyond offsetting one’s auto investment, peer car-sharing represents an exciting step towards zero ownership -- a future of self-driving cars, personalized, lightning-fast, and available at anyone’s doorstep.  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 Robotics AR/VR AI retail Artificial Intellegence virtual reality e-commerce nanotech nano technology ibm
10 min read

Abundance Insider: July 27th, 2018 Edition

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jul 27, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: AI-equipped hotel rooms, plane-repairing robo-beetles, and Amazon's VR kiosks.

Topics: Abundance Insider Robotics AR/VR AI retail Artificial Intellegence virtual reality Amazon e-commerce
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.

Cheers,
Peter, Marissa, Kelley, Greg, AJ, 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.

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.

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 Energy 3D Printing AR/VR AI Real Estate Artificial Intellegence virtual reality adidas solar cern
8 min read

Mind-Blowing -- My VR Fireside Chat in High fidelity

By Peter H. Diamandis on Jun 24, 2018

Two weeks ago, I gave my first virtual reality presentation -- a virtual fireside chat with my friend Philip Rosedale, the CEO of High Fidelity and creator of Second Life.

Topics: AR/VR High Fidelity virtual reality