Demystifying and bringing the future to life

No matter where you live in the world most people agree the pace of change today is faster than it was a decade ago, and that in another decade it’ll be faster still, all of which is in no small part thanks to the fact that today we have not a handful, but hundreds of powerful, and increasingly democratised, emerging technologies materialising that when combined together, by a resurgent global culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, are spurring cultural, industrial and societal disruption on a scale, and pace, the world has never seen before.

 

Through my daily blog posts, international keynotes, and through the 311 Institute, I help bring the future to life and demystify the hundreds of emerging technologies that are helping visionaries and entrepreneurs build and shape the future. By providing audiences with the tools and critical thinking not only do I help people envision and navigate tomorrow’s threats and opportunities, I also help them lead it.

The Future of Investing, STOXX Annual Conference, London, UK, 2018

Straight From Matts Daily Blog View all
First came robots, then robotic plants that grow

First came robots, then robotic plants that grow

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Robotic plants could help find mines and pollutants buried in soil, or be used to explore alien planets for signs of organic material.   Plants are getting a lot of attention all of a sudden, whether it’s from researchers who are trying to turn them...

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Smart drug use hits all time high as people try to boost mental performance

Smart drug use hits all time high as people try to boost mental performance

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There is an increasing amount of interest in creating drugs that improve cognition and intelligence, and their use is on the rise.   The use of drugs by people hoping to boost mental performance is rising worldwide, finds the largest ever study of the trend....

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Ground transport at 760mph, HTT unveil their hyperloop passenger capsule

Ground transport at 760mph, HTT unveil their hyperloop passenger capsule

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Countries around the world reinventing mobility and transportation, and the Hyperloop is a crucial part of many countries future vision.   Elon Musk’s dream of travelling by hyperloop, essentially a Mach 1 train in a vacuum tube, is getting closer to reality as the UAE...

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Sticky, evolving botnet gets top cyber experts worried about the future

Sticky, evolving botnet gets top cyber experts worried about the future

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF A new form of modular, multi-stage malware that’s capable of infecting anything and almost everything is getting cybersecurity experts worried.   A dangerous and potentially destructive new IoT malware sample has recently surfaced that for the first time this year is not just another cheap...

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The project to rid the world’s oceans of plastic has begun

The project to rid the world’s oceans of plastic has begun

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Plastic waste is a menace at sea and on land, but an ambitious project hopes to clean up 90% of the oceans plastic waste within a decade.   Plastic waste has become a growing issue over the past decade or so which is why more...

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An immune system for the internet, new “good” malware surprises experts

An immune system for the internet, new “good” malware surprises experts

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Cyber attacks are getting out of control, but evolving, roving “good samaritan” forms of malware could become the new cops of the internet and the future of cybersecurity.   Security researchers have discovered a very odd new botnet that, rather than posing a threat, seems...

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Three people played Tetris telepathically together in world first

Three people played Tetris telepathically together in world first

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we unlock more secrets of the human brain we are slowly but surely getting better at communicating with each other telepathically.   Telepathic communication is nothing new but it’s still in its early years as a technology. The first major telepathic breakthrough came in 2012...

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Can your smartphone detect when you’re depressed? This startup thinks so

Can your smartphone detect when you’re depressed? This startup thinks so

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Mental health issues are growing in number but in many cases they go left undiagnosed or treated, this breakthrough could help change that.   Today we can use smartphones to detect cancer, dementia, eye diseases, heart disease, illness and even inherited genetic conditions, but could...

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Breakthrough solar charged battery could revolutionise the solar industry

Breakthrough solar charged battery could revolutionise the solar industry

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Despite solar power’s increasing popularity until now customers it’s been difficult and expensive for customers to store the excess energy from their solar panels to use later, meaning they often still have to be attached to the energy grid.   Recently we passed the 1...

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This nanomebrane turns your skin into a loudspeaker

This nanomebrane turns your skin into a loudspeaker

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Displays can increasingly be placed anywhere, and now the same can be said of loudspeakers.   We all are familiar with loudspeakers; the critical element found in almost every household in one form or the other – whether they’re in smartphones, TV’s or stashed in...

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Human mini brains grown in a lab integrated with live mice brains

Human mini brains grown in a lab integrated with live mice brains

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As our ability to re-code and “improve” on nature improves so too will our ability to produce new human organs in new ways.   The future of personalized medicine will very likely involve human “spare parts,” whether they’re 3D printed on demand, grown on demand...

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Virgin Atlantic completes world’s first biofuel trans Atlantic flight

Virgin Atlantic completes world’s first biofuel trans Atlantic flight

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The global airline industry is one of the world’s heaviest polluters, and new clean sources of fuel are vital in helping the industry become more sustainable.   First Alaskan Airlines flew an aircraft using nothing more than wood pellets, but now Virgin Atlantic has gone...

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Researchers 3D print human corneas in world first

Researchers 3D print human corneas in world first

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Tens of millions of people a year go blind because of a lack of donor corneas, this work will, literally, give them a new outlook on life.   There are so many parts of the human body now that can be 3D printed that it’s...

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FDA approves first spray on skin treatment for burns

FDA approves first spray on skin treatment for burns

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Treating third degree burns today often involves skin grafts and more pain for the patient, spray on skin will put an end to that misery.   Over the past couple of years we’ve gotten increasingly good at 3D printing human skin and making artificial skin...

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BMW unveils it’s first fully autonomous motorbike

BMW unveils it’s first fully autonomous motorbike

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF While a fully autonomous motorobike sounds odd, it’s designed to improve driver safety and comfort.   Will you need a motorbike license to ride in the future? Well, maybe not. At the Miramas testing ground circuit in Provence, France, last week, BMW unveiled its first autonomous...

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Neural implants let military pilots control three jets at once with their minds

Neural implants let military pilots control three jets at once with their minds

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The future of warfare is digital and telepathic, and both types of warfare are now starting to enter the mainstream.   Asides from the fact we are increasingly entering the world where brains meets brawn, literally, and where, future cyber warriors will telepathically roam the...

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World first as scientists just turn human blood cells into human eggs

World first as scientists just turn human blood cells into human eggs

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Biology keeps surprising us, and scientists are finding amazing new ways to treat infertility and create new life.   Scientists at Kyoto University in Japan have announced they’ve made significant progress in the quest to combat infertility by creating the precursor to a human egg cell in a...

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AI is now better at diagnosing eye diseases than human experts

AI is now better at diagnosing eye diseases than human experts

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, but they’re also a window to our health.   Recently we’ve seen breakthroughs where Artificial Intelligence (AI) is better at diagnosing dementia, fatal heart conditions, inherited genetic diseases, lung diseases, pancreatic cancer, skin cancer, and even the...

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World first as Japanese rovers relay incredible photos from distant ancient asteroid

World first as Japanese rovers relay incredible photos from distant ancient asteroid

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In galactic terms Earth’s neighbourhood is huge, and we’re only just beginning to explore it.   First Japan wants to be the world’s first country to drill a hole through the Earth’s mantle, and build the world’s first space elevator, and now the Japan Aerospace...

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Scientists get funding to grow neural networks in petri dishes

Scientists get funding to grow neural networks in petri dishes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The future of computing isn’t silicon or quantum, it’s biological.   Will the computers of the future be built in factories as they are today, or will they be grown in labs like cell cultures? You might think that this is a daft question, and...

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BAE is developing a “wearable” cockpit for fighter jets

BAE is developing a “wearable” cockpit for fighter jets

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Aircraft cockpits haven’t changed much in decades, and digitising them opens up a host of new opportunities.   BAE Systems has announced that it’s looking to make the fighter jet cockpit of tomorrow a much simpler place for pilots by replacing conventional instruments and controls...

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Scientists have created an ultrasound patch to monitor your vital health

Scientists have created an ultrasound patch to monitor your vital health

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Having access to ultrasound is like having a window into your body, and now it’s on a patch.   Earlier this year we heard how scientists from the University of California San Diego in the US had developed a flexible ultrasound patch that allows users to see...

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The internet is splintering in two, one led by the US the other led by China

The internet is splintering in two, one led by the US the other led by China

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As individual nation states look to assert their dominance on the global stage we are witnessing the early stages of a splintered internet with multiple standards.   The internet is disappearing, being replaced instead by a fabric of connected devices, like wearables and sensor systems,...

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Breakthrough increases solid state storage capacity by a thousand fold

Breakthrough increases solid state storage capacity by a thousand fold

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The world is storing more data than ever before and that’s a trend that will only increase, so we need revolutions in storage not evolutions.   Recently we’ve seen breakthroughs in storage technology that allow us to pack more than 215 Petabytes of information into...

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Futurist Keynote, London: The Future of Superyacht Design, SuperyachtNews

Futurist Keynote, London: The Future of Superyacht Design, SuperyachtNews

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the superyacht industry hots up and competition intensifies superyacht companies have to work harder to stay at the leading edge of design trends.   Firstly, I’d like to thank the team at RWD, a superyacht design company in the UK, and Feyi and Rory from...

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Doctors will soon be able to track your health through walls using your wifi

Doctors will soon be able to track your health through walls using your wifi

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Imagine being able to have your health and emotions monitored wirelessly wherever you were, whether it’s in your house or even out in the street, that’s the promise of this new technology.   Imagine a box, yes, that’s it, similar to the wifi router you...

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Graphene breakthrough opens the door to terahertz computer chips

Graphene breakthrough opens the door to terahertz computer chips

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Graphene’s weird properties could help create computer chips that are thousands of times faster than today’s chips.   Today’s silicon based electronic CPU’s, like the ones sold by AMD and Intel, operate at clock rates of several hundred gigahertz, hence the GHz acronym given to...

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Unhackable “Quantum Alphabet” encryption ushers in new era in cybersecurity

Unhackable “Quantum Alphabet” encryption ushers in new era in cybersecurity

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Noone likes hackers, so everyone is trying to find ways to create the ultimate unhackable system, and this breakthrough in quantum mechanics could be one of the most promising.   In the wake of countless data breaches there has been a dramatic rise in the...

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World’s first AI government policy maker gives China a diplomatic advantage

World’s first AI government policy maker gives China a diplomatic advantage

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF AI will play an increasingly central role in both government policy making and governing as China rolls out their first AI policy maker.   If you’re a foreign policy maker with a government then, whether you like it or not, you’ll soon be working with...

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Estonia becomes the world’s first virtual nation capable of rebooting itself

Estonia becomes the world’s first virtual nation capable of rebooting itself

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Technology is showing us how ancient the concept of the traditional nation state is, and as virtual nations take shape being able to reboot them in times of war is crucial.   How do you reboot an entire country? It’s an odd question, but in...

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Mine hunting bees tracked with Lidar help farmers boost crop yields

Mine hunting bees tracked with Lidar help farmers boost crop yields

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Bees help pollinate nearly 75 percent of our crops, this new system can track their progress and predict deadly colony collapses before they happen.   You might expect to hear an angry buzzing when honeybees have been disturbed. But some apiarists reckon they can also...

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US Marines 3D printed new barracks using the world’s largest 3D printer

US Marines 3D printed new barracks using the world’s largest 3D printer

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The way we make buildings hasn’t changed much in thousands of years, so it’s time for a faster, cheaper alternative to take center stage.   Recently a family in France were the first family to move into a 3D printed house, and the benefits of...

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This creative AI paints like the old masters

This creative AI paints like the old masters

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We’re always told ai cannot be imaginative or creative, but human creativity can be cloned.   Recently art made by Artificial Intelligence (AI) software has become a field in its own right and it’s become quite a niche market in certain circles. As a result...

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Windows are the perfect lens-less cameras for AI and VR headsets

Windows are the perfect lens-less cameras for AI and VR headsets

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Researchers have re-thought cameras from the point of view of today’s AI’s, and what they’ve created is as innovative as it is revolutionary.   Cameras used to be their own devices with lenses and film and trips to the drug store to get the pictures...

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A robot taught itself how to identify and manipulate objects autonomously

A robot taught itself how to identify and manipulate objects autonomously

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Robots that can autonomously identify and skill-fully manipulate objects without needing to be previously trained could revolutionise the robotics industry.   Human dexterity is an impressive skill that requires both our body’s fine motor skills and highly efficient visual acuity, and despite recent advances from...

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Telepathic warfare takes center stage as US military bets big on neuro tech

Telepathic warfare takes center stage as US military bets big on neuro tech

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Today’s brain machine interfaces are rudimentary or require invasive surgery, this program could bring brain interfaces to the masses and be the next step in human-technological evolution.   Until now the advanced and cutting edge neuroscience programs at DARPA, the self proclaimed mad science wing...

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Collapsing bee colonies prompt researchers to build robo bees

Collapsing bee colonies prompt researchers to build robo bees

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We rely on bees to pollinate nearly 75 percent of our crops, but as colonies continue to collapse researchers are looking for new alternatives to pollinate crops.   Food security continues to come under the spotlight which is why we’ve recently seen research that uses...

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World’s first space elevator hitches a ride to the ISS to begin first trials

World’s first space elevator hitches a ride to the ISS to begin first trials

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The cost of getting astronauts and cargo into space is still astronomical, a space elevator could eliminate the need for costly rocket launches and democratise access to space.   Let’s be honest, launching things into space with rockets is a pretty inefficient way to do...

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Blockchain startups are lining up to decentralise and revolutionise the internet

Blockchain startups are lining up to decentralise and revolutionise the internet

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF We think the internet is already decentralised, but the internet as we know it is evolving, and tomorrow’s internet will be truly decentralised.   An increasing number of people want to fix the flaws of the internet by decentralizing it, including Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the father...

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DeepMind’s AI now has human like 3D vision

DeepMind’s AI now has human like 3D vision

WHY THIS MATERS IN BRIEF As we come to rely on robots and automated systems more in our daily lives their ability to accurately perceive our world is crucial.   If I showed you a single picture of a room it’s likely you’d be able to tell me about it...

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A teenagers revolutionary algorithm busted quantum computings greatest promise

A teenagers revolutionary algorithm busted quantum computings greatest promise

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Quantum computers promise amazing performance gains over classical computers, but a new algorithm just put the ball back in the classical computer’s court.   A teenager from Texas has single handedly taken one of the biggest advances promised by the first generation of quantum computers...

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Scientists make biodegradable plastic from sugar and carbon dioxide

Scientists make biodegradable plastic from sugar and carbon dioxide

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Plastic has turned into the scourge of the environment, and companies are tripling their efforts to find viable environmentally friendly alternatives.   Society is producing more waste plastic than ever before and it’s polluting our oceans and contaminating our drinking water. By all accounts by...

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California replaces three coal fired power stations with battery systems

California replaces three coal fired power stations with battery systems

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Grid scale energy storage is now a viable economic alternative to coal fired power stations designed to top up the grid during peak demands.   Grid scale energy storage is going to get a big boost after California officials, who also recently announced that Los...

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A family in France become the first family to live in a 3D printed house

A family in France become the first family to live in a 3D printed house

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As 3D printing improves it will continue to revolutionise the way we make everything from clothes to homes.   It was always going to happen, and now it finally has. First came 3D printed houses in Dubai, who want 25 percent of all new houses to...

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World’s first digital teacher starts work teaching kids about energy

World’s first digital teacher starts work teaching kids about energy

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF AI, avatars and bots will play an increasingly central role in the future of education, and Will is the first teacher of his kind.   It’s back to school time for millions of children around the world and you know what that means – it’s...

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