A regular glimpse into our future….

oculusLots of tech news bits and pieces out there over the last few weeks, but many of them are coming back to one central technology theme – wearable computers and in this weeks regular radio segment David Dowsett of ABC Wide Bay and Capricornia and I chatted about Facebook’s recent acquisition of Oculus Rift for $2 billion, a heads up display tech company started in 2012 that has yet to produce a finished commercial product and its $19 billion payment for WhatsApp, an instant messaging service that pushes out around 29 billion messages per day and has 400 million active users.

And if we needed a case study to show what these and other allied technologies may be used for, we took a look at the most connected man on the planet who has himself connected to between 300 – 700 systems at any given time and is constantly monitoring his health and vital signs. He claims over the past few years as a direct result of the real time infomration his gotten about and from his body he has re-educated himself into better life choices, lost 100 pounds and learned to meditate.

And finally we took a look at the efforts of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to back up all of the worlds seeds and plants and house for them posterity.

As always a lively and interesting look ahead, so have a listen now and be sure to share your best future and tech news stories with me for inclusion in our next FutureTech segment.


What comes first the crime or the law?

Should legislation, laws and policing predict and resource against imminent new crime frontiers, or must they wait to see evidence of them before we legislate, enforce and police against them?

This conundrum has been with us since time immemorial and doesn’t look to have a resolution soon, but what we do know is that crime has long jumped beyond the physical world into the digital world and the combination of the two and the incredible array of new technologies ahead has made trying to answer this question even more important and ever more time sesnitive.

In our regular on air segment Tony Delroy of ABC Radio Nightline and I chatted with Victoria Police’s Chief Forensic Scientist Bryan Found about Policing in the Future, the opportunities and problems facing our society, the changing nature of crime and law enforcement and the Victoria Police Department’s innovation around the use of Forensics.

There’s so much to  cover in this topic that we could only scratched the surface, but here are the notes I took into studio with me:

  • Internet of things: if we continue to put all our objects online and make them searchable and discoverable how does this change the notion of theft and search and rescue;  with increasingly connected houses will police be able to digitally and remotely look inside our homes (and cars) when alerted to; what is acceptable street surveillance, what is acceptable personal surveillance?
  • Big data: technology is getting better at mining and interpreting information that’s online – how far do we go, do we start to predict incidents, accidents and thefts in advance of their occurrence?
  • Robots: usage of drones and robots in police work – what for and how?
  • Self-driving cars – will we need new road laws, who will be liable for accidents and compensation, what will a licence be and who will need one?
  • Wearable computers – Google Glass and others gadgets are imminent – what can we use them for, which laws cover them, can we use them for face recognition, what is acceptable to record and by whom, these devices will be able to track and record our every movement – who can / will have access to these recordings, can police access it, if so where and when?
  • Bio Metrics – fingerprint recognition/ facial recognition, iris and DNA have all become important policing tools– increasingly we are moving from a decentralised system  to an in-situ possibility for the policeman on the beat can use these tools in real time – is this acceptable?
  • 3D printing – trademark issues, copyright issues, using it for niceness not gun printing; using it for 3D printing of face composites for law enforcement

The answers to these questions and lots more, the fascinating advancement in the use of Forensics in Policing and a great range of listener questions all make for an incredibly lively and provocative segment, so have a listen now and then share your thoughts with me on the Future of Policing.

(length: 40 minutes)

Your tomorrow home…

future houseFood, water and shelter are three of our base needs and the question of shelter and homes and what they may evolve into was the topic for my chat this week with David Dowsett of radio ABC Wide Bay.

Our houses and home of tomorrow will definitely provide shelter, they will definitely be things that we have and cherish, but their structure, composition and contents are all likely to evolve.

On the back of a detailed research piece I recently concluded on the Future of Homes and a series of keynotes I’ve delivered to some of Australia’s premier building and home fit-out businesses, I explored the homes of tomorrow and what we may have and want in them.

The first major shift is our connection to our homes. Historically homes had more of a utilitarian purpose, built for shelter, warmth and food and up until the 1960’s it was predominantly the domain of the female as she prepared and tended to her family and the family used it much as a wayward stop to rest, refuel and come together.

Its other primary purpose in this period was for social status, the facade and street appeal being important and specialist reception / lounge rooms, often with plastic covered furniture, reserved for VIP guests and in which children were never  allowed.

Homes over the last few decades have become more about family usage, with large kitchens, open spaces, fewer walls, hotelesque bathrooms and en-suites and indoor / outdoor rooms high on people’s house wish list.

As we travel forward our connection to our homes will deepen and change.

For economic, social and cultural reasons many of us will be living in multi-generational homes. We will also increasingly be working from home or using our homes as a base to work from and when not physically there, we will be digitally connected to it, constantly able to reach inside and remotely turn on and off appliances, allow others temporary access to undertake repairs under CCTV conditions and engage with those that are there through a myriad of devices and on a myriad of objects.

Houses will become smaller in size as we move to a 20 homes per acre standard for many built up suburbs, as against the quintessential Australian dream of one (1) house on a 1/4 acre block. In this smaller spaces we will look for even more multi purpose rooms that can morph and change purpose as circumstance and needs change.

We will see less physical walls, more movable walls and objects that can act as barriers or dividers or provide multi usage purposes. Furniture will be more often be built specific to suit the rooms requirements and size and will do double or triple duty as they change guise and purpose to suit changing needs.

Multipurpose-room-designs-410 fusillo-wall-shelf-bike-storage House-in-Megurohoncho-13-800x600






In this new world of home, we will also be retuning to home delivery with milk and bread more often coming to your door and services such as Uber bringing a car to your door to transport you to where you need to go and Airtasker bringing people to your door to complete your chores and tasks that you don’t want to, or can’t complete yourself.

Envisioning your future  home or picking out furniture, fixtures and accessories will also become easier as builders,  interior designers and retailers start to use digital 3D immersive walk through’s, using devices like Google Glass and Oculus Rift allowing home owners to try before they buy.

There’s lots changing on the home front including 3D printing of homes and interiors and a completely alive digitally connected house of objects, walls and furniture, so take a listen now and then let me know what you’d like to see in your Home of the Future.

Where are the jobs in WA’s wheatbelt going to come from?

wheatSo much negativity about jobs in manufacturing and other industry’s at the moment, that those that have been doing it tough for a while are even more confused and despondent about where their future jobs may be, if at all.

This stark reality prompted Anthony Tilly of RadioWest 1098 to want to chat about Future Careers and where those on Western Australia’s wheat-belt may be able to look  and what to tell their kids.

Without downplaying the hardships many sectors are undergoing and will undergo, we are in the throws of an industrial revolution, changing products, industries and jobs on a mass scale. Nothing good can nor should be said about the unemployment, angst and issues this causes, nor does the reality that we have done this before in previous generations make it any easier, but as always there are jobs and employment over the horizon.

Australia is working from a position of 94% employment, and without politics attached in the last 2 years we have put on just over 2 million jobs (ABS), put on 8 jobs for every 1 lost in manufacturing and put on 5 service jobs for every 1 lost and have a health related industry that employs 1.4 million people and growing (IBIS World).

The digital world has also opened up a transparent, always on and geographically agnostic marketplace and this is part of the solution for the wheat-belt and other geographically remote areas. Websites like Etsy,  allows anyone to sell art and craft to anywhere in the world; EBay a broader range of products; AirTasker to make local people aware of your desire to undertake 1 off jobs for them and tons of others.

These are not mass solutions, but they do speak to a changing employment world, one in which the individual is more likely to become entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, changing jobs and careers as the need to upskill, be promoted, earn more and seek new challenges, where 6 careers and 14 jobs in one employment lifetime are the norm, as is working into our 70’s and 80’s.

The road ahead is different from the one we leave behind. Many of the known employment landmarks are no longer visible, but there will be new ones ahead.

Some jobs and careers will continue the same as they are now, some will change dramatically, some will fall away and other will rise, but we will work in the future, we will have careers and jobs, what will change and has always changed is what they are, the way we do them and where they are are.

Take a listen to the interview now and let me know what careers and jobs you believe are future proof.

A #3DPrinted world

3d-printing-history3D printing seems to be making the headlines more often lately as we hear about 3D printing for medicine, manufacturing, housing, foods, cars and just about everything. even though the technology has been around since the 1980’s it’s only in the last few years that it has become commercially viable with technology, need and culture combining to press the “Go” button on all things 3D printed.

In our regular look ahead David Dowsett of radio ABC Wide Bay and I looked at the past, present and future of 3D printing, industries that are set to boon because of it including art, education, manufacturing, zero gravity printing (printing in space), medicine and healthcare, building, home decor, food manufacturing and medicine and industries that might falter and fall.

Have a listen to the interview now and then share your thoughts on the future of 3D printing.

The World of #Jobs

future jobsIn a future world there may not be a retirement age, we may not all be working 9 -5 work, we may not have job descriptions and we will almost certainly not have culturally sanctioned employment certainty.

In this new landscape of employment we will work project and task, work at any age, work wherever is geographically or digitally best, come and go from employers and clients and work to a more fluid lifestyle, where work life balance and today’s social norms are culturally historical and no longer viable.

This world brings one of possibility and adventure, it mimics a pre industrial age, where we lived on the land we farmed or near the work we had, we worked when work needed to be done, where and when it needed to be done, lived with and close to family and within a community. This is not a rose colored view, times were as tough and as wonderful as they are today.

The constant is that there is and has been no perfect solution to employment and work and most probably will never be. The difference ahead is that we are moving into an era of greater choices and flexibility, where unlike the last 150 years we will not need as often many hands to make light work nor we will not need to gather together at a centralised means of production, but rather for many of us our work will be more decentralised and more fractured in its design, tasks, execution and measurement.

It is this world that James Lush of radio ABC Perth and I spoke about in our regular Saturday morning catch up. James’s  questions were thought provoking and made us both reach deeper to find threads of solutions and hints of tomorrow’s thinking.

I’d love you to have a listen to this interview and then share your thoughts on the future world of jobs.