Archive February 2010
We had a look at where social networking has taken us and where its going including the notion of CrowdSourcing, and communal input with websites and mobile apps like Trapster, FourSquare growing by the hour.
With the time remaining we took a look at this week’s announcement by Bloom Box of a new affordable home based energy generator; iTunes 10 billionth download and what’s new in fashion shows and retailers.
We chatted our way through Bloom Box’s new technology which will, when it comes to market in aprox 5 years, be the size of a grapefruit, cost US$3,000 and create all the energy your home or office needs 24/7.
The Future of Fashion parades is one step closer with a number of the world’s leading fashion designers, including Dolce and Gabbana, live streaming their New York and Milan Fall runway shows to iPhones and other mobile devices and Vogue, the fashion magazine, releasing an iPhone app that lets you zap their print ad with your mobile phone to upload images of the latest fashion to your phone as well as take and upload pictures of your current wardrobe and then compare the two with the outcome being an online shopping spree for whatever’s missing and takes your fancy.
For the last decade I have envisioned, spoken and written about how retail would evolve and now PlaceCast has brought this dream one step closer, by producing a location based mobile app that recognises you and your buying habits and sends you promotional materials as you walk past retailers that yuo have opted in to hear from.
It may sound like a nuisance now, but this electronic spruiker is part of the retailers new arsenal of communication tools that will allow you to decide who you want to hear from and what you want to hear about and then in real time and in situ receive meaningful promotion and information contacts.
All this, competitions to guess iTunes most popular song as it celebrated it’s 1 billionth download and the word of the week – Brummagen – as well as numerous unsuccessful attempts to link to Hong Kong radio was some of the mischief that abounded in this weeks segment.
It looks like there is a new energy creating technology about to Bloom on the horizon, it’s an incredibly small and efficient power plant, called Bloom Box.
This revolutionary game changing technology believes that within the next 3 – 5 years every household in the world could own their own $3,000 grapefruit sized power plant in their backyard that will work by combining oxygen and natural gas (or solar energy) to create their own on-site on-demand electricity.
What’s fascinating and game changing, apart from the technology itself, is the possibilities it opens for clean, efficient, take anywhere / use anywhere wireless energy and the other take out is Americans – and I guess Australian’s – need two (2) boxes to generate enough energy to run all our “stuff“, European homes may need one (1) box to service each households needs, but one (1) box in India, China and other developing countries will create enough energy for four (4) homes.
Now before you write it off, the big brother of this device (larger units costing $300,000 each) are already being used at Google HQ and is backed by the same consortium that brought Google, FaceBook and other game changing technologies to us.
If this does come to market, it is the true definition of a technology that will revolutionise the way we see and think about other technologies. It has the potential to do away with large centralised energy plants, change fuel for cars and factories and with time and further evolutions shrink in size and increase in usage to power much of our future needs.
Now that the genie is out of the bottle, it is definitely worth keeping an eye out for this and the copy cat energy devices it will undoubtedly provoke.
Harvey Deegan, of 6PR radio, and I picked up on some of these themes talking about Please Rob Me a site that takes twitter feeds and fouresquare location based feeds blends them together to get a live feed of people who are away from their home’s and office’s.
Our next discussion point was an American story of a Philadelphia school placing active webcams in students laptops, as a safety measure if they were ever stolen (allowing them to take a picture of the thief). Of course this backfired, the shot taken was not of a thief but a student who hadn’t notified that his laptop was stolen and was then accused of taking drugs (as evidenced in the photo they took), whilst he claims he was eating lollies.
The follow on story was of a student posting a Facebook comment that said her teacher was the worst teacher she had ever had. This got her suspended from school, which got the school into court, where the court said the student had the 1st amendment right to state her opinion and forced the school to lift her suspension.
Technology, dating back to the invention of fire, has always been a dual edged blessing. Technology is an inanimate object waiting for us to come along and breathe life into it. We then choose whether to use it for niceness or evilness.
Discussions abound this week as Phil, Adelaine and I caught up to discuss cars powered by the material they are covered with; online privacy issues including a recent American court ruling that allowed a student to return to school after being suspended for writing negative comments about her teacher on FaceBook and the court upholding that the student had the 1st amendment right to speak her mind.
PleaseRobMe was next up as we worked through a site that brings together online messages where the author declares they are out and about and not at home.
The purpose the site creators claim is to bring attention to the amount of possibly harmful information that we tell the world about ourselves – my comment der (never put on line what you wouldn’t shout in an open marketplace), but don’t we as consumers of this information have to take some responsibility for using this info for niceness and not evilness. They’re not wrong in their underlying warning, I just hope it doesn’t stop the technology which has beneficial meaningful purpose.
Gremlins in the ABC wiring meant we couldn’t cross to Hong Kong despite many valiant attempts, so we just kept on and covered a really interesting new website – ChatRoulette – it generates 1 on 1 webcam connections between you and another randomly chosen user. Fascinating story and use of technology and invented by a 17 year old Russian teenager.
All this, word of the day competition, laughs, lots of technical gremlins and great conversations.
A: An eReader on steroids
eReaders have been around for a few years now, but they have not had much traction, especially in Australia.
With the upcoming release of the iPad and more importantly the slew of clones and devices it will give birth too and what I am sure will be a continued and exponential user revolution towards portable devices, the e-reader is set to become mainstream in the next 12 – 24 months.
The next challenge then is great portable device content.
Consumers don’t want the digital version of the print magazine, they want a true immersive, rich and interactive experience.
Take a look at how Wired Magazine takes up this challenge.
This week I caught up with Harvey Deegan of Perth radio’s 6PR to chat about sending virtual roses and chocolates for Valentines Day, after all it is Valentine’s Day.
This small gesture is adding up to a growing trend of people sending virtual gifts to each other through their social networks and an industry that this year in the United States alone will turnover USD$1 billion and in the next 3 years will grow to become a USD$15 billion industry. Social networks like China’s QQ (China’s and arguably the world’s largest online social network) are already turning over $700 million profit per year from virtual sales.
The conversation then moves on to talk about Google Buzz, tweeting dogs and what a business futurist actually does to fill in his day.
Recorded live 14th February 2010.
Phil Whelan of Hong Kong Radio joined us later to discuss the top 5 Chinese Technology trends for the Year of the Tiger, why BBC news tells its staff to embrace social media, find out how dogs can Twitter and the social media experiment that will see a man lock himself in a box for 30 days.
Word of the day competition, song of the day, great conversations and more make this another laugh filled and entertaining segment.
Google has just released its newest foray into Social media – Google Buzz.
It will be automatically available to all Google GMail users and is scheduled to be rolled out over the next 3 – 4 days.
Yeah I know that’s obvious, but for many it seems like only yesterday and 40 years from now we will be sitting in the year 2050 thinking back to 2010 and trying to convince ourselves that 2010 was the good old days we all yearn for.
We will believe that :
2010’s property prices were cheap.
2010’s family values were traditional and exemplary.
2010’s communication tools were rudimentary and simple.
2010’s education system was better equipped to upskill our children for what lies ahead.
What a load of nostalgic twaddle.
The next 40 years are going to both evolutionary and revolutionary.
The discussion this week on my 6PR radio segment with Brendon was about how the Australian Government sees the next 40 years.
In their recently released Intergenerational report, the Government tells us our population will increase to 35.9 million an increase of over 50% (as of today our population is 22,144,950), as high as this seems I’m betting we’re going to be closer to 39 million.
They rightly claim that at the moment (2010) we have 5 people working to support every Australian over 65 years of age and in 2050 we may have 2.7 people working to support every 1 person over 65 years of age.
Our ageing population means that we will have double the number of 65 – 84 year olds we have now and quadruple the number of people we have now that are older than 85.
Our population growth will slow down to annual rate of 1.2%, slightly less than the 1.4 we have had for the last 40 years.
We will have climate change issues and water issues to contend with that are vastly different from today’s
To this I add just a few basic assumptions:
Our technology will also have advanced, medical breakthroughs will have found work arounds and cures for many of today’s common ailments and killers, but we will have discovered a new range of illnesses related to our longevity and changing environmental issues.
Our work will be different with many of us in careers and jobs we can not fathom today, working very differently, using the entire globe as our backyard and remaining in work well into our 70’s.
The world over the next 40 years will in many ways be vastly different and incomparable to today, I still maintain that in the next decade will we progress 100 years and in the next 40 some 500 years in technology, but in many ways we will be the same, a humanity working to “better understand” our relevance and purpose and playing with a whole new set of toys to do it with.
Our challenge then for the next 40 years is how best can we use the small insight we have of what lies ahead to achieve our ambitions and create our own exquisite future.
Listen in as Brendon and I chat our way through this discussion and try and figure out what it all means, how it will actually effect us and who and how are we going to pay for it all. Recorded live 7th February 2010.