Demistifying the future

No matter where you live in the world the majority of people agree that 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 articles and talks around the world I help demystify the hundreds of emerging technologies that are helping visionaries and entrepreneurs build the future and disrupt the status quo, and I provide audiences with the tools and critical thinking that help them envision and navigate tomorrow’s threats and opportunities.

The Future of Disruption, Oxford University Lecture Series

Straight From the Newsdesk View all
UBeam uses sound to wirelessly charge phones on stage, confounds critics

UBeam uses sound to wirelessly charge phones on stage, confounds critics

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF More companies are showing interest in wireless charging and the pace of development and investment in the sector is accelerating, but this is one wireless charging technology that the experts say shouldn’t work, but it does.   Unlike Energous, a company that a few weeks...

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Wirelessly charged smart underpants hit the floor at CES

Wirelessly charged smart underpants hit the floor at CES

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As we become ever more reliant on the electron shuffling marvel that is electricity, we’re rapidly getting to the point where we no longer have to tether all our gadgets and devices to our wall sockets to charge them.   This year could well prove...

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Washing machines get a whole lot greener thanks to new Xeros polymer bead system

Washing machines get a whole lot greener thanks to new Xeros polymer bead system

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Doing the laundry uses lots of detergent, energy and water, and creates grey water by product, but Xeros’ new polymer bead washing system cuts this down by over 80 percent.   Sometimes it’s easy to forget that products we take for granted, and use every...

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Special Report: The Future of Smartphones 2020 &Beyond

Special Report: The Future of Smartphones 2020 &Beyond

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF The global smartphone market is huge, and heavily contested. In this 20 year “Horizon Paper” I look into what the future of innovation for the platform looks like, what it could look like, and discuss what’s next. Read the report online or download it here....

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LG unveils their giant rollable 65 inch and 88 inch Crystal Sound OLED TV’s

LG unveils their giant rollable 65 inch and 88 inch Crystal Sound OLED TV’s

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Display and sound technology are starting to progress, and the fixed formats we’re used to are going to one day be replaced by more flexible, integrated systems.   Last year Samsung showed off their new 11k display with naked eye 3D effect, and Panasonic showed...

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America’s most powerful supercomputer is building superior AI’s

America’s most powerful supercomputer is building superior AI’s

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF It normally takes human data scientists and the best AI’s weeks to build neural network software, but ORNL’s Titan supercomputer is building them in a day, and the AI’s it’s producing are far superior to anything humans can create.   Last year, in a world...

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Scientists have created the world’s first wormhole in a lab

Scientists have created the world’s first wormhole in a lab Hot

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Wormholes that transfer electromagnetic signals, energy and other “stuff” via an unknown dimension are the stuff of science fiction, but they also have practical applications in healthcare, apparently.   Sci-fi fans around the world have long been waiting for the news that we can, finally...

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Researchers unveil self-charging fabrics that could power tomorrow’s Smart Clothes

Researchers unveil self-charging fabrics that could power tomorrow’s Smart Clothes

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As transistors and computing devices continue to shrink it is inevitable we’ll bake more computing power into our clothing, and all that extra compute will need some way to power it.   Today, the majority of smart clothes we use to monitor a person’s vital...

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ShiftWear’s custom E-Ink kicks bring clothing to life

ShiftWear’s custom E-Ink kicks bring clothing to life

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF E-Ink has many applications outside of just being able to help you read novels on your Kindle, and when combined with other technologies it could just be what we need to move away from smartphones and onto the “next” platform.   If you’re one of...

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Harvard revolutionises camera technology, invents Metalense

Harvard revolutionises camera technology, invents Metalense

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Centuries after they were first invented most lenses are still made of plastic or glass and Harvard’s new metalense will revolutionise the industry and let us make cameras and lenses that, eventually, will be just atoms thick.   Metalenses, flat surfaces that use nanostructures to...

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MIT’s new Smart Tattoo is like having a doctor on your arm

MIT’s new Smart Tattoo is like having a doctor on your arm

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Wearables might not have taken off as much as anyone hoped but companies are still experimenting with new technologies that help us monitor and track our health better than before.   Apparently there’s a common problem with health-tracking devices like smart watches and the other things that...

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Re-imagining retail, Robomart unveil their autonomous, mobile shop concept

Re-imagining retail, Robomart unveil their autonomous, mobile shop concept

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As society starts to get used to the idea of autonomous vehicles it’s giving companies the opportunity to re-imagine entire industries.   As companies start to realise that the future of transportation will inevitably be autonomous there are an increasing number of start-ups, as well...

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Toyota’s autonomous vehicle concept signals the death of the car

Toyota’s autonomous vehicle concept signals the death of the car

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF By 2040 the concept of the car will be dead, replaced instead by autonomous multi-modal pods, and this is Toyota’s vision of a possible future.   As we begin to stare the death of the car in the face, with even companies like Audi realising...

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MIT’s Rapid Liquid Printing technology could be the future of furniture

MIT’s Rapid Liquid Printing technology could be the future of furniture

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF 3D printing will undoubtedly change how the world makes goods, but it’s still expensive and slow, now we’re seeing a slew of new technologies that are trying to speed up manufacturing and change the game.   Coming hot on the heels of another new 3D...

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vFuturist in Vienna: The Future of FMCG and Innovation, Henkel Innovation Summit

vFuturist in Vienna: The Future of FMCG and Innovation, Henkel Innovation Summit

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF In the next decade the world of FMCG will be irrevocably altered by the new technologies and autonomous retailers who design, manufacture and deliver goods autonomously, at speed, and on demand.   This Monday I was supposed to be delivering a keynote in Vienna, Austria,...

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New: The 2018 Griffin Emerging Technology Starburst, and 2018-2017 compare

New: The 2018 Griffin Emerging Technology Starburst, and 2018-2017 compare

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Technology is a tool, and when it’s combined with innovation and entrepreneurship it can help us change the world and improve the lives of everyone who lives on this blue marble we call Earth, and as our technologies become more powerful and sophisticated our ability...

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Orii uses bone conduction tech to build the phone of your childhood dreams

Orii uses bone conduction tech to build the phone of your childhood dreams

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As our devices morph into wearables and other formats, and become smaller, we’re going to have to start thinking beyond the screen and embrace new ways of using them.   Last year I heard about a company called Sgnl, a wristwatch company that had figured a...

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Nanogenerator breakthrough can generate electricity from the blood in your veins

Nanogenerator breakthrough can generate electricity from the blood in your veins

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As researchers continue to develop micro-machines and implanted medical devices that live within our bodies we might need to find new ways to power them.   Humanity has been generating electricity from flowing water for millennia using everything from watermills to huge hydro-electric dams, but...

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SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy assumes launch position ready for maiden flight

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy assumes launch position ready for maiden flight

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF If humanity is to reach for the stars then space exploration needs to become easier and more affordable and this is a big step to achieving those goals.   Elon Musk this week announced that SpaceX is almost ready to launch its most daring rocket...

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UK government’s plan to use AI to rate schools hits opposition

UK government’s plan to use AI to rate schools hits opposition

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF There is no doubt that AI is a powerful tool that can help improve outcomes, but using it to rank and rate individuals and organisations is still seen by many as a step too far.   Artificial Intelligence (AI) is quickly, it seems, making its...

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Hundreds of US banks just adopted an automated cyber defense framework

Hundreds of US banks just adopted an automated cyber defense framework

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF As the volume and severity of cyber attacks increases, and as AI powered cyber attacks emerge, this is the first major step towards large institutions automating their cyber defense.   Experts in the cyber security field are all too aware that we are rapidly approaching...

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Ingenious new bot discovers hacks companies haven’t told their users about

Ingenious new bot discovers hacks companies haven’t told their users about

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Many of your online accounts have already likely been compromised but very few companies own up to the fact, putting you and your data at risk,but now a bot can tell you which companies have been hacked – even if they don’t want you to...

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MIT researchers read a neural networks mind to boost its performance

MIT researchers read a neural networks mind to boost its performance

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Neural networks are incredibly powerful and increasingly capable but they’re a black box, now a team from MIT has figured out a way to read their minds.   Neural networks, which learn to perform computational tasks by analysing huge sets of training data, have been...

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Researchers have taught robots to predict the consequences of their future actions

Researchers have taught robots to predict the consequences of their future actions

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to predict the consequences of our actions is a vital human ability, and until now it’s one that robots have sorely lacked.   We tell our children all the time that their actions have consequences, and today, as you’d more and more robots are capable...

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AI can now beat polygraph tests to tell when you’re lying

AI can now beat polygraph tests to tell when you’re lying

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Being able to tell when someone is lying is important, but as with any technology authorities will have to know where to draw the line between just cause and violating a person’s rights to privacy.   Scientists have long known this, our pupils widen ever...

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3D printed living inks breakthrough could revolutionise manufacturing

3D printed living inks breakthrough could revolutionise manufacturing

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Bacteria have some amazing capabilities and soon we’ll be able to harness them to help us 3D print and create new exotic materials and products like never before.   This week researchers unveiled a new kind of 3D Printing platform that, rather than using the...

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AI can identify dangerous lung diseases as well as trained doctors

AI can identify dangerous lung diseases as well as trained doctors

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Chest diseases claim millions of lives a year and being able to diagnose them faster will potentially help doctors save hundreds of thousands of lives.   Artificial Intelligence (AI) is starting to make a dent in the multi-trillion dollar healthcare industry, from being able to...

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DARPA drops $4m to build the world’s first unhackable ‘self-reconfiguring’ computer system

DARPA drops $4m to build the world’s first unhackable ‘self-reconfiguring’ computer system

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Cyber attacks are becoming the pandemic of the 21st Century, and as the number of AI fuelled cyber attacks increase matters will only get worse, but now DARPA hopes a new reconfiguring “Rubik’s Cube” computing system will stop hackers in their tracks.   This week...

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MIT breakthrough creates glowing plants that could replace street lights

MIT breakthrough creates glowing plants that could replace street lights

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF Around a fifth of all the world’s energy production is consumed by lighting, but in the future glowing plants could help provide us all with an infinite, renewable source of light.   Plants at the moment are getting the royal treatment. They’re being turned into...

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New holographic printing technique is thousands times faster than regular 3D printing

New holographic printing technique is thousands times faster than regular 3D printing

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF 3D printing is revolutionising the world of manufacturing, but it’s still slow. This new technique, which prints objects using light, is thousands of times faster.   3D printing, also known as Additive manufacturing, is an amazing technology that’s helping revolutionise a range of industries, from...

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