15 min read

Abundance Insider: April 12th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 12, 2019

 

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

Cheers,
Peter, Marissa, Kelley, Greg, Bri, Jarom, Joseph, Derek, Jason, Nora, 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.

'Smart' Pajamas Could Monitor And Help Improve Sleep

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

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

Spotted by Max Goldberg / Written by Max Goldberg 

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

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

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

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Alexa, What's My Blood-Sugar Level?

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

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

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

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

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

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

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Innolith Energy Technology Brings 1000km EV Within Range

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

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

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

MIT’s ‘Cyber-Agriculture’ Optimizes Basil Flavors

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

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

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

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 Energy Materials Science Sensors food health agriculture healthcare materials Amazon trillion sensor economy voice assistants wearables future of food voice
15 min read

Abundance Insider: March 22nd, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 22, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: NVIDIA's latest AI artist, Google's all-neural mobile speech recognizer, and a glimpse into Tokyo's tech for the 2020 Olympics.

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. Join Peter Diamandis in Dubai, the City of the Future, for the inaugural Abundance 360 Dubai Summit on March 26 - 27, 2019. Hosted by the Dubai Future Foundation and the Crown Prince of Dubai, this two-day experience offers exponential leaders an immersive look into how technology will transform every industry. Read more about the program and apply here to join.

 

Harvard Study Unlocks A Key To Regeneration

What it is: A Harvard research team has achieved a major step in understanding how animals like lizards, worms, and jellyfish regenerate body parts. A few noteworthy results have come out of their investigation into how three-banded panther worms regenerate their entire bodies. The researchers found a “master control gene” called early growth response (EGR), which triggers changes in a complex system of 18,000 other genes during the regeneration process. Without the EGR gene turned ‘on,’ none of the other processes can happen. Humans express the EGR gene, too, and researchers know exactly how to control it. But the human version of EGR does not have the same switching effect that causes regeneration. Along with the fact that only 2 percent of our genome actively generates proteins, this study shows that the result of a specific genome depends on not only the code of the genome, but how that code is connected together.

Why it's important: Since the first human genome was sequenced at the start of the millennium, geneticists and biologists have made exponential progress in understanding how our genetic code operates. As we increase our genetic understanding of how other species regenerate, we’ll gradually extrapolate what we find into human-facing products. From stem cells to bioprinting to genetic engineering, regenerative medicine will be transformative in the decades to come.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Todd Sheerin / Written by Max Goldberg 

Nvidia AI Turns Sketches Into Photorealistic Landscapes In Seconds

What it is: Earlier this week, NVIDIA revealed GauGAN, an early prototype of what TechCrunch hails the “MS Paint for the AI age.” Using a generative adversarial network (GAN) trained on 1 million Flickr images, GauGAN can create photorealistic images from just a few lines drawn by a user. As an example, a user could click on “tree,” draw a line, and GauGAN will create an image of a tree trunk. GauGAN can do the same for the sky, sea, rock, hills, wood, and other objects. NVIDIA built the software on its Tensor-based RDX Titan GPU platform to facilitate near-real-time results, but Bryan Catanzaro, VP of Applied Deep Learning Research, thought the platform could also run on standard CPUs with a slightly longer delay. While NVIDIA hasn’t announced plans for a commercial version, it will likely release a free trial version to facilitate public experimentation.

Why it's important: As we discuss here in Abundance Insider, systems like GauGAN are rapidly democratizing the skills and hardware needed to interface with powerful AI. While a challenge remains in ensuring that these systems are trained on the right data sets, we’re approaching a time when deploying powerful AI models will be as easy as launching a new blog or website. How will you begin to use this capability to drive experimentation within your business?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Ikea Is Making Furniture Better For People With Disabilities — With The Help Of 3-D Printers

What it is: Launching its new ThisAbles project, IKEA has joined forces with nonprofits Access Israel and Milbat to create a line of products that makes furniture accessible to populations with special needs and disabilities. Aiming to make mainstream furniture accessible to all, the joint enterprise has not only identified over 130 products already suited to accommodate users with a range of disabilities, but has designed numerous low-tech add-ons. Think: oversized lamp switches, accessible handles for shower curtains and drawers, or customized hooks and couch legs. Yet while these hacks are only displayed in Israeli IKEA stores, users can now download free blueprint models anywhere in the world to 3D-print add-ons independently and on-demand.

Why it's important: By pairing customized add-ons and 3D printing technology, we can transform almost any mainstream product into one that accommodates the unique needs of users with a range of disabilities. While retailers could design creative hacks in-house, publicly released 3D blueprints would democratize products for any customer, multiplying the range of everyday goods usable by people with disabilities. And just as customers can request tweaks to IKEA’s add-ons, firms might even crowdsource design ideas and feedback, honing product solutions for specific use cases and consumer needs.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Robot Assistants From Toyota And Panasonic Prep For The Tokyo Olympics

What it is: Against the backdrop of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, tech giants including Toyota and Panasonic are working with the organizing committee to showcase a variety of exponential technologies, namely robotics. Toyota will use around 16 autonomous Human Support Robots and 10 Delivery Service Robots to assist spectators with directions, grabbing objects from the floor, or in delivering food. Panasonic plans to showcase about 20 of its power assist exoskeletons to help visitors with luggage and similar lifting tasks. Robotics firm ZMP is hard at work to deploy an autonomous taxi fleet to ferry athletes and spectators around the city. Finally, on the renewables front, NTT has nearly completed an effort to create all of the athletes’ medals from recycled e-waste. Further pilot projects in solar roads and parking lots are underway to help Tokyo meet its goal of powering the Games entirely from renewable sources.

Why it's important: Often, the exponential technologies we need to create abundance are already here but not evenly distributed. Similar to how XPRIZE structures its incentive challenges, this public-private effort from Japan reminds us that sometimes the only thing we are missing is the right catalyst and compelling occasion to overcome initial hurdles.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Google AI Blog: An All-Neural On-Device Speech Recognizer

What it is: Google has just announced the roll-out of a novel breakthrough in speech recognition: its all-neural, on-device recognizer that will power speech input in Gboard. In a new feat for AI, the recognizer’s ML model is trained using RNN transducer (RNN-T). This technology works by continuously processing input samples (voice speech), and outputs symbols as you speak — in this case, characters of the alphabet. The real leap, however, has to do with the storage size required by Google's algorithms. While previous cloud-based speech processing took up 2GB of storage, Google has successfully shrunk its speech algorithm storage demands down to 80MB, rendering its recognizer small enough to fit on your smartphone, and work offline.

Why it's important: In the past, speech recognition programs would have to record inputs, send a request from your device to a remote server, and then wait for a response to translate your sentences into text. Aside from the delays that result from cloud-based processing, this meant that speech algorithms could only allow you to type with your voice while online. By decimating storage requirements, however, Google has now eliminated the burdens of network latency and unreliable service, as its RNN-T recognizer outputs words the second you utter them.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Aaron Levin / Written by Claire Adair 

Stanford Medicine Announces Results Of Unprecedented Apple Heart Study

What it is: Researchers at Stanford Medicine recently revealed the results of a U.S. study of over 400,000 people in all 50 states to evaluate the Apple Watch’s ability to detect atrial fibrillation (AFib). Conducted in partnership with Apple, the eight-month study is the largest of its kind to ever be performed. The results: 0.5 percent of patients received notifications that something might be wrong, and 84 percent of these patients were in AFib at the time of the notification.

Why it's important: As Peter discussed in his Longevity & Vitality blog series, sensor and data abundance are transforming healthcare and medicine. The Apple Watch is Apple’s foray into the world-changing trend of mobile-as-a-medical-service. This study affirms the impact of wearables. For the first time in human history, we can detect early warning signs far before medical issues become deadly; as we live longer, how will you use your added health span to create an exponential impact?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg / 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 Robotics AI Artificial Intellegence healthcare biotech voice assistants Genetics regenerative medicine voice