14 min read

Abundance Insider: May 10th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 10, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Agile automatons, trillion-sensor energy storage, and 3D-printed "breathing" lungs.

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

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.

Watch This Hulking Robot Play “The Floor Is Lava”

What it is: Robots are now playing sleepover games. Last year, Boston Dynamics unveiled Atlas, a humanoid robot capable of navigating a parkour-style obstacle course. Now, IHMC Robotics has developed a set of algorithms that allows Atlas to autonomously walk across wobbly cinder blocks and suspended wooden planks, a task resembling the kids’ game “the floor is lava.” Using LIDAR to build a map of the area it’s supposed to traverse, Atlas uses the algorithm to determine each step it should take to reach the other side. Atlas is successful about 50 percent of the time, and IHMC expects to increase that rate through improvements to the robot’s balance and the range of motion.

Why it's important: Advances in sensors, AI, and robotics are developing faster than you might think. Just six years ago, we marveled at Atlas' ability to walk on rough terrain, and just two years ago, it has been able to do backflips. As hardware and algorithms progress, look for Atlas-like robotics to begin serving as avatars for humans in dangerous scenarios or to explore remote destinations like Mars.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Ford Brings VR To Its Design Department With Co-Creation Tool

What it is: Ford has developed a Co-Creation tool with Gravity Sketch that allows its engineers to work on the same project in virtual reality (VR), even if thousands of miles apart. In an effort to streamline design and development projects, Ford’s new tool entirely circumvents the 2D design stage, enabling engineers across Ford’s North America, Asia and Europe design studios to plug into the same 3D virtual replica of auto models. As a result, engineers in different global markets can inhabit a standard international model in VR and implement regional preferences at minimal cost and multiplied speeds.

Why it's important: A fast-growing phenomenon in the automotive industry, the use of advanced, professional VR platforms in auto development is delocalizing, demonetizing and even democratizing a traditionally slow and expensive process. As stated by Ford, “The Co-Creation feature adds more voices to the conversation in a virtual environment, which results in more efficient design work that may help accelerate a vehicle program’s development.” However, Ford is not alone. While Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati leverages VR to help decide between projects, others such as supplier Magna implements VR to reduce costs and place engineers in different continents on the same project.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Stretchable Carbon Nanotube Supercapacitors Might Be The Future Of Wearable-Device Power Sources

What it is: With batteries dying every 3 to 10 years, how will we sustainably power trillions of sensors deployed in every facet of our lives? Researchers at Michigan State University developed highly stretchable supercapacitors that might solve this massive challenge facing the onset of a trillion-sensor economy. The supercapacitors -- an energy storage alternative to batteries -- are based on carbon nanotubes, a one-dimensional nanomaterial with exceptional mechanical and electronic properties. Using the highly flexible nature of carbon nanotubes, these supercapacitors can be isotropically stretched to over 800 percent of their initial length. Whereas prior flexible supercapacitors can only be meaningfully stretched in one direction, these new carbon nanotube energy storage devices are stretchable in two sets of directions. Multidimensional flexibility is critical to creating robust wearable and devices that can conform to nominal movement of the human body.

Why it's important: As we approach the trillion-sensor economy, we need more robust power solutions for our devices. Over 900 million batteries will need to be swapped out every day to sustain the trillion-plus sensors in service. What alternative energy harvesting and energy storage solutions do you think are most promising?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

New Video Shows 3D Printed Lung “Breathing”

What it is: Our organs depend on intricate networks of different types of blood vessels that carry vital nutrients. This complex network of capillaries is one of the main challenges in 3D printing and replicating human organs. Using a modified version of stereolithography (SLA), researchers solidified a cell-filled hydrogel into a network of blood vessels. What enabled previously unachieved vessel complexity on this project is how the researchers controlled their vessel formation. In short, they deployed an off-the-shelf food dye to block part of the SLA light source. This enabled the researchers to achieve the fine-scale resolution necessary to make functional blood vessels. Using this technology to create lung-mimicking air sacs, the researchers can: (1) pump deoxygenated red blood cells into these lab-printed blood vessels, (2) facilitate the transfer of oxygen to the blood cells, and (3) observe how much oxygen the blood cells absorb.

Why it's important: With over 100,000 people on the U.S. organ transplant waiting list, bioprinting has the potential to solve a massive organ shortage. A few weeks ago, we saw the world’s first beating 3D printed heart. In the coming years, these individual regenerative medicine technologies will converge to enable the first full-scale, operational 3D-printed human organs.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldbberg 

Researchers Make Organic Solar Cells Immune To The Ravages Of Water, Air And Light

What it is: Researchers at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering have discovered a novel method that makes organic solar panels more resistant to oxygen, water and light, without weighing them down via encapsulation. Instead of applying a protective coating, the research team uses an adhesive tape to strip electron-accepting molecules (specifically, a fullerene derivative called PCBM) from the top surface of the solar cell’s photoactive layer. Currently, the oxidation of fullerene derivatives is a key culprit in device degradation. By removing PCBM from cells' exposed film surfaces, however, the team can thereby eliminate the challenge of oxidation by oxygen and water. In success, their process removes a whopping 94 percent of PCBM acceptor components, rendering a polymer-rich surface for multiplied impermeability.

Why it's important: Currently, organic cells are highly vulnerable to moisture, oxygen and even the very sunlight they seek to capture. However, protective encapsulation of the cell often reduces efficiency, increases unit weight and drives up costs of production. In a double win, the NYU team’s discovery fortifies organic solar cells by reduction, catalyzing scale-up and impenetrability. With a major advantage over traditional silicon solar cells, these organic iterations are highly flexible, ultra-lightweight, and are comprised of much more readily accessible materials. With a market projected to grow over 20 percent between 2017 and 2020, organic solar cells may soon find their way into our windows, screens and even mobile devices.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Brain-Machine Interfaces Could Give Us All Superpowers

What it is: Last week, the documentary film I Am Human premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, chronicling the stories of three people pursuing experimental brain-computer interfaces (BCI) to help them regain what each has lost. Stephen, who lost his eyesight in adulthood, opts to implant a chip underneath his eye that hooks to electrodes in his brain. Anne, suffering from Parkinson’s, pursues deep brain stimulation to help suppress the parts of the brain leading to tremors. And Bill, a tetraplegic after a bicycle accident, is testing out an interface to allow his brain to communicate directly with electrodes implanted in his arms and hands. The film also saves time to interview the scientists and entrepreneurs behind these developments and explore what might be possible in the near future.

Why it's important: This documentary is a reminder that the future is already here, just not evenly distributed. Several hundred thousand people are already using some form of BCI today. Early adopters must consider big risks; by recording patients as their stories unfold, I Am Human allows us to empathize with their situations. How can you use those emotional insights to deliver better services or understand challenges your customers and stakeholders are facing?  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

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 3D Printing Materials Science health healthcare Stem Cells wearables Brain computer interface mHealth bci brain machine interface
15 min read

Abundance Insider: May 3rd, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 3, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Pollution-eating artificial trees, AR contact lenses, and a "brain decoder" that turns thoughts into speech.

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

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.

Bulleit Brings 3D Printing Tech To Tribeca For A New Whiskey Experience

What it is: Bulleit Frontier Whiskey is displaying what it calls a ‘3D printed experience’ at the Tribeca Film Festival. The display includes robotic arms that ‘print’ cocktails. Essentially, as you can see from the accompanying GIF, the robot places patterns of beads infused with different cocktail flavoring into the whiskey.

Why it's important: Experiential marketing frequently brings out the most engaging displays of exponential technology. This project by Bulleit Frontier Works is a prime example of corporate innovation and tech experimentation within the food and beverage industry. From augmented reality e-commerce to artificial intelligence-powered customer service, how can your company leverage the technologies we feature in this digest to tap into new customer bases and drive more value?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Max Goldberg / Written by Max Goldberg 

Electric Car Price Tag Shrinks Along With Battery Cost

What it is: Thanks to the development of large-scale manufacturing in batteries and electric drivetrains, the cost of electric vehicles continues to drop, shortening the date for when analysts project EV’s will reach cost parity with internal combustion engines. Today, BloombergNEF projects that the crossover point is 2022, sooner than its projections of 2026 (in 2017) and 2024 (in 2018).

Why it's important: Demonetization will have dramatic positive effects for the proliferation of passenger EVs, the elimination of fossil fuels, and the feasibility of large-scale batteries for use cases such as shipping, construction and aircraft. This also highlights both the importance and difficulty in forecasting exponentials. Said Greg McDougal, CEO of Harbor Air Ltd, “we don’t want to be trying to get through the regulatory process after [electric aircraft] becomes economically viable, we want to do it now.”  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Scientists Develop ‘Brain Decoder’ That Turns Brain Signals Into Speech

What it is: Termed the ‘brain decoder,’ a new UCSF-developed tool can convert brain signals into a computer simulation of the vocal tract. By first simulating the movement of a speaker’s lips, jaw, tongue and larynx on the basis of brain activity in cerebral speech centers, researchers can then generate speech through a synthesizer. As part of the study, five volunteering epilepsy patients were first set up with brain-implanted electrodes and proceeded to read aloud while researchers tracked brain activity in language production regions. A “virtual vocal tract” was then created for each participant, all feeding an algorithmic synthesizer to generate dramatically accurate audio. In the words of UCSF doctoral student Josh Chartier, “We were shocked when we first heard the results — we couldn’t believe our ears.”

Why it's important: A burgeoning example of brain-computer interfaces (BCI), this brain decoder and its soon-to-come successors pose extraordinary implications for speech-impaired individuals. Up until now, the best available speech synthesis technology has been constrained to eye-tracking devices or those that map residual facial muscle movements. Words are spelled out letter-by-letter, delivered at under one tenth the rate of natural speech. Now with the promise of a clinically viable device, anyone suffering from speech loss — whether as a result of ALS, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s — may soon gain a voice for seamless communication. What other BCI applications can you think of?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by John de Rivaz / Written by Claire Adair 

Scientists Share Results From NASA's Twins Study

What it is: NASA’s Twin Study entered into its final stages of integrative research in April, publishing a summary paper in Science explaining some of the key findings from the 10 research teams involved in the effort. The study — which compared the health of Scott and Mark Kelly during and after Scott’s yearlong stay in space — gives us a better understanding of the effects of space missions longer than six months. Unexpectedly, Scott experienced some significant changes in telomere dynamics, with more long telomeres post-flight than he had previously. Scott’s overall gene expression differed somewhat from Mark's during the flight, but reverted to baseline after returning to Earth; additionally, researchers found some indication of inflammation and thickening of the carotid arterial wall, which are suggestive of atherosclerosis that may not be reversible.

Why it's important: This research will guide NASA’s Human Research Program for years to come and give insights into the planning of longer missions on the ISS, the Moon, Mars and beyond. To the extent that telomere length is an indicator of longevity, space travel may not have the same negative impact on lifespan as one might expect. This study raises many questions about why telomeres grew longer, and whether these conditions could be replicated on Earth.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by David Ormesher / Written by Jason Goodwin and David Ormesher 

Toddler Skin Cells Spark Discovery Of 2 New Diseases

What it is: Researchers from Montreal’s Douglas Mental Health University Institute and CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center have newly identified the link between a mutation in epigenetic regulator ACTL6B and two neurological genetic diseases. Prior to their joining forces, the Douglas Institute’s Carl Ernst and his team had harvested skin cells from toddlers with inexplicable seizures and neurodevelopmental deficits. By ‘reprogramming’ the skin cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), the researchers were able to make neurons from the iPSCs, compare them to healthy neurons, and thereby discover an ACTL6B mutation implicated in irregular neuronal development. As a result, iPSCs and CRISPR have now accelerated the discovery of one key culprit in the incidence of epilepsy and neurodevelopmental problems, giving way to future research.

Why it's important: Less than 10 years ago, the cost of genome sequencing was 10 times what is today. CRISPR-Cas9 had not yet been adapted for genome editing, and the reprogramming of human cells to iPSCs had only just been pioneered. Today, all three have begun to play a pivotal role in discovering the origins of disease and developmental disorders. Beyond their newfound illumination of the mechanics of cellular development, iPSCs and CRISPR genome editing allow us to identify mutations at record speeds, experiment with genetic alterations and even one day prevent mutation-resulting diseases in the first place. Welcome to an age of biological self-mastery.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

World’s First ‘BioSolar Leaf’ To Tackle Air Pollution In White City

What it is: Arborea, a startup spun out of Imperial College London, has created the world’s first “BioSolar Leaf,” a living structure capable of removing greenhouse gases and other pollutants from the air. At its core, the leaf is essentially a cultivation system for microalgae, diatoms and phytoplankton on large solar panel-like structures, which can be installed on land, buildings or other developments to improve surrounding air quality. Using the surface area of a single tree, the system can remove carbon dioxide and produce oxygen at a rate equivalent to 100 trees. The team also expects to harvest the biomass to extract additives for plant-based food products.

Why it's important: The most exciting developments in exponential technologies occur at the intersection of disciplines. As we saw last week with the creation of transparent wood, biology and materials science are converging to deliver solutions to some of our largest challenges in the areas of environmental health and food production.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

DARPA: This Smart Contact Lens Could Give Soldiers Superpowers

What it is: Researchers at French engineering school IMT Atlantique have developed the first smart contact lens that includes a standalone, flexible microbattery. In this version of the prototype, the flexible battery can power a small LED for several hours. Impressively, near-term iterations of this small-scale device will be able to receive visual information wirelessly via radio signals. In the long term, these lenses are slated to form the backbone for next-generation augmented reality eyewear.

Why it's important: Eventually, smart lenses like these will have profound implications for industry (from manufacturing to healthcare) and everyday life. DARPA and other government agencies are particularly interested in how this smart contact lens breakthrough will help them augment soldiers’ operational capabilities. What new capabilities and ‘superpowers’ are you excited to access when smart contact lenses hit the consumer mainstream?  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 Materials Science health Artificial Intellegence environment healthcare Augmented Reality Stem Cells wearables Brain computer interface mHealth electric vehicles marketing nasa
17 min read

Abundance Insider: April 26th, 2019

By Peter H. Diamandis on Apr 26, 2019

In this week's Abundance Insider: Tesla robo-taxis, eco-friendly transparent wood, and Alphabet's Wing drones get FAA certification.

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

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.

P.P.P.S. I am looking for a talented university student with an exceptional ‘Hacker’ skillset to join me this summer for an out-of-this-world internship experience. Do you know any talented university student entrepreneurs, innovators, and makers who would be a great fit for the role? Please share. Click here to learn more and apply now.

Tesla Takes Aim At Uber And Lyft With Plans To Roll Out 1 Million Robo-Taxis By Next Year

What it is: This week, Elon Musk revealed that Tesla plans to roll out autonomous Robo-Taxis by next year. While he acknowledged the massive regulatory hurdles ahead for this project, Musk said that “Next year for sure, we will have over 1 million Robo-Taxis on the road.” Once rolled out, Tesla owners will be able to offer their cars onto the ‘Tesla Network’ via the Tesla mobile App, so that other people can use it in a ridesharing fashion similar to Uber and Lyft. Tesla estimates Tesla owners will be able to earn over $30,000 per year from offering their car as a Tesla Network Robo-Taxi. “The fundamental message that consumers should be taking today is that it is financially insane to buy anything other than a Tesla,” he said.

Why it's important: Earlier this year, Lyft saw a massive IPO with a current market cap of over $16 billion. Uber is expected to go public with a valuation of over $90 billion. Now, Tesla is entering the game to disrupt this already-disruptive industry. With millions of autonomous-ready cars already on the road, Tesla is well equipped to transform the ridesharing landscape. With its new autonomous plans, Tesla is set to dramatically undercut Uber and Lyft ($0.18 per mile vs. $2 to $3 per mile), a boon to Tesla owners and ridesharing customers alike. Billions of dollars worldwide are being pumped into R&D to make autonomous cars commonplace. How will you leverage this colossal opportunity?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Claire Adair / Written by Max Goldberg 

Alphabet’s Wing Drones Get FAA Approval For U.S. Package Delivery

What it is: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has awarded Alphabet-owned drone delivery startup Wing the first Air Carrier Certification. With this certification, the U.S. officially joins Canberra, Australia, where Wing has been testing delivery drones since 2014. The permit enables Wing to deliver goods from local businesses to homes, even flying over civilians and out of the drone operator's line of sight. In “the coming weeks,” Wing will begin a pilot program in the Blacksburg and Christiansburg areas of Virginia.

Why it's important: Delivery drones will transform how we move products around the planet. These vehicles remove the energy inefficiency of moving heavy steel trucks simply to deliver small packages. They also enable rapid point-to-point delivery of essential goods (e.g. medicines, blood plasma), creature comforts (e.g. toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo) and, importantly, takeout food and groceries. With on-demand autonomous delivery, what essentials will you order directly to your door?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

This “Transparent Wood” Could Cut the Cost Of Heating Your Home

What it is: A research team led by Celine Montanari at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has invented a type of transparent wood that can absorb and release heat, making it an ideal construction material for energy-efficient buildings. To advance previous work in transparent wood -- created by removing the lignin from Balsa wood and replacing it with an acrylic to provide strength -- the team added polyethylene glycol to the acrylic, which melts under high temperature and hardens as it cools. According to Monetary, 100 grams of this transparent wood material with the polyethylene glycol inside can absorb up to 8,000 joules of heat, which is roughly what a 1W bulb can produce in two hours.

Why it's important: Materials science and biology aren’t just converging in health sciences, but in construction and manufacturing. Produced at scale, this transparent wood could revolutionize energy-efficient architecture. What technology breakthroughs in adjacent industries might solve a challenge in your business?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Claire Adair / Written by Jason Goodwin 

FDA Grants First-Ever Clearances To Detect Bradycardia And Tachycardia On A Personal ECG Device

What it is: AliveCor, the company pioneering portable ECG monitoring with KardiaMobile, announced this week that it has received FDA clearance for the detection of Bradycardia and Tachycardia, two arrhythmias that are not Afib and between 40-50 or 100-140 beats per minute, respectively. As expected, patients often become frustrated when results from their ECG devices deliver “inconclusive” or “undetermined.” While low and high heart rates are often benign — such as during sleep (low) or exercise (high) — delivering a clear classification provides patients and their doctors more insight into their care.

Why it's important: Thanks to advances in sensor technology, machine learning, and the ubiquity of smartphones, we're witnessing an explosion in wearables that deliver health insights outside of the hospital and emergency room. (KardiaMobile retails for $100 online and via Amazon.) As FDA and other regulatory agencies continue to foster trust in the market, look for similar announcements in other conditions.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Just 10% Of U.S. Plastic Gets Recycled, But A New Kind Of Plastic Could Change That

What it is: Achieving a number of difficult design specs, researchers have just developed a plastic with special chemical properties that make it perfect for repetitive recycling. Most notably, the plastic has a chemical bond that allows easy separation from additives and conversion to a pure, reusable end product. A tweaked type of glass-like plastic called vitrimer, the material is held together by dynamic covalent diketoenamine bonds that require significantly less energy to break than those of traditional plastics. Yet while a solution of water and a strong acid at room temperature is all that is needed to break down the plastic into its constituent parts, the plastic is also safe from decomposition ahead of schedule, giving it the edge of biodegradable plastic without risk of easy degradation.

Why it's important: Today, a mere 10 percent of all plastic waste is recycled in the U.S., while the remaining refuse continues to populate waterways and landfills at an accelerating pace. Scientists project that a staggering 8 million metric tons of plastic pollution make their way to oceans each year, enough to place 5 grocery bags of plastic waste on every foot of every nation’s coastline. Current plastics and traditional recycling methods produce precious few materials with any value to commercial manufacturers. However, by chemically redesigning plastics to render their recycled constituent parts as good as new, we might be on the alchemist’s cusp of turning trash to treasure. Could this new material be our long-awaited miracle plastic?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Waymo Is Building A Self-Driving Car Factory In Detroit

What it is: Alphabet subsidiary Waymo has just announced its selection of a Detroit-based facility to serve as the company’s first dedicated factory for autonomous vehicles. Aiming to move into the facility by mid-year, Waymo will partner with American Axle & Manufacturing to repurpose what was most recently used as a sequencing center for a local parts supplier. Soon to undergo a tremendous upgrade, the factory will next serve as a manufacturing site for SAE Level 4 autonomous vehicles, those driving forward Waymo’s autonomous ride-sharing fleets. Granted approval by Michigan Economic Development Corporation in January, the factory will now be able to build out thousands of self-driving cars under Waymo’s partnership with Magna, including autonomous versions of the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE and the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivan.

Why it's important: Bridging the time gap between Detroit’s vehicle-sprouting heyday and the start of a self-driving era, Waymo’s soon-to-be refitted facility marks a committed first step in the scale-up of autonomous ride-sharing fleets. After the recent launch of Waymo One this past December in the Phoenix area, the limited commercial robotaxi service has already expanded at a remarkable pace, hinting at a paradigm shift in the way consumers view car ownership. And as autonomous ride-sharing launches begin to spread across the country and to urban centers abroad, Waymo will be one of many giving rise to a new age of personal transportation.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Meet The 5 Winning Prototypes In Phase II Of The $2M GoFly Prize

What it is: GoFly, the $2M+, two-year global competition to create a safe, quiet, and ultra-compact personal flyer, just awarded prizes to five teams across the globe for their winning prototypes in the latest phase of the competition. Through partnerships with Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, and 20 international aerospace organizations, GoFly is reinventing the future of transportation. GoFly’s 3,500 Innovators from 103 countries are creating their jet packs, flying motorcycles, human-carrying drones, and futuristic flyers-- all culminating in next year's Final Fly-Off when the teams gather to showcase their innovations and fly them for the world.

Why it's important: GoFly's Phase II announcement brings us one step closer to making the dream of human flight a reality. With the convergence of breakthrough technologies and recent advances in propulsion, electrics, rapid prototyping, sensors and control systems, and lightweight materials, GoFly’s engineers are leveraging these technologies and GoFly’s mentorship platform to create transformative mobility. When the GoFly Final Fly Off takes place next year, these personal flyers will have the ability to transform the way first responders provide aid in natural disasters, packages are delivered, commuters move from home to office, recreational users fly for fun, and athletes participate in all new flying sports. The Final Fly-Off is a year away, so for those interested in forming a GoFly team, please contact info@goflyprize.com.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Nidhi Chaudhary / Written by Gwen Lighter 

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 Materials Science health Artificial Intellegence environment healthcare Drones self-driving cars wearables mHealth electric vehicles
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
9 min read

The Future of Insurance

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 14, 2018

We profit from it, we fear it, and we find it impossibly hard to quantify… risk.

Topics: Sensors Entrepreneurship AI health blockchain Artificial Intellegence healthcare IoT connectivity trillion sensor economy autonomous vehicles self-driving cars smart cities industry loans distributed ledger wearables internet of things insurtech digitization insurance connected home devices
13 min read

Abundance Insider: October 5th

By Peter H. Diamandis on Oct 5, 2018

In this week's Abundance Insider: Flexible blood-pressure wearables, Snapchat’s social shopping supremacy, and buying coffee with your data.

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.

A Stretchy Stick-On Patch Can Take Blood Pressure Readings From Deep Inside Your Body

What it is: A team of researchers led by Sheng Xu at UC San Diego is working on a patch that can continuously measure someone’s central blood pressure, touting dimensions no greater than a postage stamp. The stick-on silicon elastomer patch emits ultrasonic waves that penetrate the skin and reflect off tissue and blood underneath. Once sent back to the sensor, these reflections are then communicated to a laptop, which processes all blood pressure data instantaneously. Although most effective when placed on the neck, the wearable device has been found capable of continuously and accurately monitoring central blood pressure from multiple contact points, sensing deep beneath the surface of a patient’s skin.

Why it's important: While the patch’s current iteration must be wired to a laptop and power source, it's the first known wearable device that begins to approximate the current gold standard for measuring central blood pressure -- a much more invasive technique requiring a catheter inserted near the heart. Long term, as such devices advance in accuracy and go wireless, monitoring heart conditions as well as other vital organs will become an automatic, everyday convenience, allowing doctors to keep an eye on patients with conditions like hypertension, without posing an infection risk. And as suggested by Sheng Xu, such ultrasound patches could yield results even outside the body, helping to find small cracks in complex mechanical parts, for instance.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Claire Adair 

Snapchat Lets You Take A Photo Of An Object To Buy It On Amazon

What it is: Confirming rumors from earlier this year, Snapchat officially released its visual search feature, developed in partnership with Amazon. By pointing your Snapchat camera at a barcode or object and pressing on the camera screen, users are taken to an Amazon link showing them the object or similar ones that can be purchased via Amazon. The idea here is to make it easier to find and buy objects that you either don’t know the name of or find difficult to describe. At a tactical level, this is a boon for Snapchat as it looks to turn around recent losses and keep users engaged.

Why it's important: Combined with Pinterest’s Lens Visual Search Tool and Apple’s embedded AR features in iOS12, this speaks to a broader trend of AI and AR sliding into daily life almost unnoticed. How will you use the growing number of AI, AR, and ML services to improve the services you provide?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Eye-Tracking Tech Lets You Control A Drone By Looking Where You Want It To Move

What it is: Research engineers from NYU, the University of Pennsylvania, and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory have created a way to guide a drone with only a pair of eye- and gaze-tracking glasses. Using a pair of Tobii Pro Glasses 2, the team used a neural network to detect head orientation and gaze to determine where the user is looking, giving the drone a waypoint in 3D space without the need for instrumentation in the overall environment.

Why it's important: The most immediate application lies in radically simplifying the user interface, allowing people with very little experience to safely operate drones. As the researchers note, longer-term plans are to incorporate gesture and vocal interactions into the setup, enabling new ideas for anticipatory human-robot interfaces.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Jason Goodwin 

Umbra Composit Could Scan The World In 3D To The Detail Of A Single Grain Of Sand

What it is: Umbra is redefining rapid visualization of 3D objects, structures, and landscapes. Last year, the company unveiled a tool called Composit, a software for viewing complex 3D models in the cloud. The core of Umbra’s cloud services enables anybody, anywhere to upload and share complex 3D environments. The Umbra team now says that they can create 3D models of entire cities, with resolutions as fine as a grain of sand. Umbra plans to crowdsource the image capture of cities by leveraging people with smartphones. Umbra recently announced a partnership with Helsinki to produce a high-resolution, textured 3D mesh. The team’s long-term goal is ambitious: generate a high-resolution 3D map of the entire planet -- potentially a formidable rival to Google Maps.

Why it's important: Cloud-based 3D modeling can digitize and delocalize hardware limitations, allowing engineers and designers anywhere in the world to take advantage of powerful graphics software. Additionally, as Peter discusses, we are rapidly approaching a trillion-sensor economy -- this story is further evidence that anyone, anywhere with a smartphone can contribute to a massive global information project.  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

The First “Social Network” Of Brains Lets Three People Transmit Thoughts To Each Other’s Heads

What it is: University of Washington researchers have created BrainNet, the first brain-to-brain communication network that allows multiple parties to interact using only their thoughts. Researchers used electroencephalograms (EEGs) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which effectively give researchers the ability to read and write brain signals, respectively. The three participants whose brains were connected played a modified Tetris-like game, only communicating through EEG, TMS, and a binary set of 15 Hz and 17 Hz light bulbs.

Why it's important: For the first time in human history, researchers (and biohackers) are able to augment the human body with better senses and cognitive capabilities. Brain-computer interfaces will dramatically augment the world. What new sensory, computation, or communication capabilities are you most excited to gain?  Share on Facebook

Spotted by Marissa Brassfield / Written by Max Goldberg 

No Cash Needed At This Cafe: Students Pay The Tab With Their Personal Data

What it is: Testing a new form of barter near Brown University in Rhode Island, Japanese-owned Shiru Cafe is an unconventional coffee shop where data, not cash, is the preferred currency. Trading personal data for cups of coffee, students visiting Shiru give their names, phone numbers, email addresses, academic majors, and — likely of greatest interest to Shiru — their professional interests and intended career choices. Shiru’s corporate sponsors pay the cafe for access to its clientele via logos, apps, digital ads, surveys and in-person barista promotions.

Why it's important: While Shiru reportedly doesn't release specific student data, Shiru’s aggregate data on students — if cleaned and optimized — represents a data-driven recruitment center. Maximizing data throughput with student-coveted goods (paid for by a third party) is itself a new business model, brokering personalized professional connections using one of the most important assets on a modern company’s balance sheet: data. And with a history of prominent corporate sponsors like Microsoft, Nissan, and Suzuki, Shiru sets a promising precedent for those looking to better leverage customer data and pursue top talent.  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 Sensors Artificial Intellegence biotech wearables Brain computer interface