{Podcast} Innovation Safari The Webinar – July 2018

Flying trains, the changing transport / mobility landscape, the death of Asimov – Honda’s long serving and loyal humanoid robot, free wills and trusts, BMW’s new mobility app, Apple’s self driving car push, Mercedes self driving taxi’s, flying trains, micromobility, the global anti ageing market and the demise of religion are just some of the stories I covered in this months webinar.

On the last Friday of each month I host a FREE online webinar exploring the last 30 days of hot tech and innovation news looking for clues of what’s ahead and how business and society is evolving.

As always there are thick lashings of explanations, commentary, foresight’s and insights that weave all these seemingly disconnected threads together, into a future facing, immediately usable landscape of tomorrow and beyond.


Click here to reserve your spot on August’s Innovation Safari Webinar – Friday 31st August @ 8.30 a.m. (AEST).



CES 2017 / Hong Kong Radio 3, ABC Local, ABC Far North Qld

CES (The Consumer and Electronic Show) is the ultimate geek and nerd convention held each year, in early January in Las Vegas, attracts over 180,000 visitors who are all there to find the latest tech machinations, thinking, prototypes and products that may just become the next big thing.

This year’s show was no different, with an incredible array of must-have’s, didn’t know I needed it but now I can’t live without it and I’ll never need that on show, but more telling for me than the individual products are the overarching themes and tech directions and in a series of interviews with Hong Kong Radio 3’s Phil Whelan, Glynn Greensmith of ABC Local radio and Kier Shorey of ABC Far North Queensland I chatted about what CES 2017 tells us about the tech world ahead.

Like last year show there wasn’t one outstanding new product or category for me, but that’s symptomatic of our times with technology now moving out of its teenage years into its adulthood and instead of wild outbursts and bravado, we’re seeing a more tempered approach that’s working through what we already have and know and trying to find a better use and purpose for it.

Theme 1 is voice controlled technology, and Amazon’s Alexa seems to be the frontrunner this year with even Amazon’ expectation of 30-40 products carrying their voice assisted tech being surpassed, with its inclusion in over 100+ prototypes and products ranging from cars, to fridges, wash machines, watches and more, which given that Alexa is technically American-centric and not really available internationally makes it an interesting choice, but nevertheless it points strongly to the day when we routinely start talking to our machines and they answering back.

Theme 2 was drones available in every shape, size, colour, purpose and future promise ranging from a return of last years favourite the single manned Ehang 184 quadcopter drone to what I’m sure will become this years drone equivalent of last years must have selfie stick, the plastic lightweight and easy to use hover camera that follows you around with its 4K camera beaming back images of you from the sky to all your adoring followers and fans.

Autonomous cars and robots were also on show, again great stuff but no new standouts, although Nvidia showed strong promise with its AI capable in-car technology and level 5 autonomous driving technology.

And my favourite part of CES are the weird and wonderful gadgets on show, here’s just a few:

Kérastase Hair Coach connected hair brush,
Power Vision’s PowerRay the underwater fishing drone that lets you catch fish using your underwater drone and watch and control all the drones’ actions from the safety of your boat on your VR headset,
FoldiMate due out in the latter half of this year and able to fold all your laundry for you, and my favourite
Oombrella the smart umbrella that tells you when its raining outside (or you could just go low-tech and look outside for yourself)

Great shows – so take a listen now for more CES 2017 insights and tech overviews:

Phil Whelan Hong Kong Radio 3 – 10th Jan 2017 (11 minutes 44 seconds) .

Glynn Greensmith ABC Local Radio – It’s Just Not Cricket – 14th Jan 2017 (14 mins 22 secs)

Kier Shorey – ABC Far North Queensland – 16th January 2017 (11 minutes 08 seconds)

Getting around in 2030 – #FutureTransport \ Keynote, 4BC, ABC WideBay,

8For centuries we grew up, worked, learnt, dated, married, lived, and grew old within 25 miles of where we were born. Then came the wheel and we moved ourselves a little further, the steam engine a little further, the automobile a lot further, the airplane a hell of a lot further, but then came the internet and the necessity to travel out to see the world ceased, because for the first time ever in our existence the world now comes to us anywhere anytime on any device and we can live, see, play, work, date, learn and anything else – anywhere at any time.

This new digital space, has opened up new distribution models, new learning models, new food production models, new work models and the list goes on.

In my keynote last week to Intelligent Transport Systems Australia I posited that our need for transportation has irrevocably changed and is currently, and for the foreseeable future, going to continue to be challenged, reshaped and re-imagined.

To view my keynote click on the central Prezi symbol wait for it to load and
then use the arrow keys at the bottom of the box to move around.

The first of these influences is the internet itself, but other change agents abound and some of them include:

Big Data which will increasingly allow us to understand what’s happening on our roads, rails,seas and skies and to make swift purposeful decisions based on up to the minute data and predictive artificial intelligence inputs, we’ve already seen Qantas and other transport companies switch over to technology intermediaries to assist their staff in making timely and “perfect” decisions.

Internet of things and connected smart cities will over the next years virtually connect all of our vehicles, traffic and cityscape objects allowing each to share with the other information about driving intent, road conditions and what’s ahead. In the very near future buses may not work to a strict timetable and set of stops, but instead you’ll be able to virtually hail it to come to get you, rather than you going to get it.

Autonomous cars within 10 years will be a serious road contender with an expectation that in 2025 1 in 4 new cars sold will be capable of being put into auto pilot, when you don’t wish to drive yourself. We’re already seeing this used in the mining industry with huge trucks being driven remotely through the outback of Australia to and from the mines and depots. Daimler announced last week their soon to be released platooning auto pilot trucks capable of  finding other trucks going in the same direction and joining them in an aerodynamic, sleek and safe convoy.

3D printers will bespoke produce goods, spare parts, clothing, food and lots more in our homes, in our retail outlets and wherever we are, leading to an eventual downturn in the need to transport goods to warehouses, distributors and retailers for storage for later hopeful consumer purchase.

The Sharing Economy and changing consumer demands is also altering the need for transportation. Car ownership is being disrupted by car sharing and car ride schemes. The growing cultural desire of having use of products, homes, offices, clothes, pets, furniture, cars, and other objects rather than owning them has spawned entirely new industries connecting those that have with those that want and in doing so is slowly taking some of the need away from transporting multiple goods along our transportation corridors.

Project and task-work is re-framing the 9-5 commute and as we increasingly change where and when we work the traditional road congestion and traffic will reshape itself.

Transport’s where, when, how, why and what are all changing, but of course we will continue to travel and in fact travel more than we ever have before, but for very different reasons and in very different ways.

But my concern is that every decision being made about our roads, highways, parking, airports, train stations, ports and transport routes are being made on yesterday’s usage, transposed onto tomorrow’s world.

If we have apps like Waze successfully using the collected wisdom of road users to redirect each car in real-time. If we have people commuting to work and elsewhere at different hours instead of within tight time-frames. If autonomous cars can pick and choose directions according to road conditions and personal preferences. If we have 3D printers printing requisites on demand and in-situ then our roads and transport decisions need to factor in these and so many other new horizon influences.

We must start to think about, set cultural rules around and legislate for autonomous cars, work though licencing and insurance needs. We need to factor in changing traffic flows and mass transportation needs, there are lots we need to do before we go to our default position of widening and expanding highways for traffic conditions that may not be present when the roads comes to reality.

We must be brave and truly factor in tomorrow’s needs and technologies before we merely default to replicating yesterdays solutions and infrastructure over and over again.

And because a futurist conversation is never complete without some science fiction transportation possibilities, here’s 3 of my favourites:

gravity train which could travel through the core of the earth and take you from anywhere to anywhere on the planet in 42 minutes and 12 seconds,

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop that will place you into a vacuum sealed tube and woosh you 6,500 kilometres in 45 minutes at the speed of 1,223 kilometres per hour.

and the space elevator a long desired piece of kit, that now has Obayashi Corp in Japan saying it may be possible from 2030 onwards as carbon fibre improves enough to allow them to set a thin vertical track that will allow us to hop in an elevator and spend 7 days travelling up to the nearest space station or space hotel.

These were just some of the questions I posed and future landscapes I explored with the worlds smartest transportation thinkers at their conference and with my regular audiences on 4BC and ABC radio WideBay, so have look at my keynote (above) and have a listen to the interviews and then share your thoughts on what you think, or want, in tomorrow’s transport system.

4BC Clare Brady – 19 May (21 mins 21 secs) and thanks to all the listeners who phoned in – great questions and let’s keep talking

ABC radio – WideBay –  David Dowsett – 18 May (7 minutes 9 seconds)

Pushmi-Pullyu #futurecars | ABC Wide Bay

tfx v03 farmlan-homepagebannerHover-boards and flying cars are the two things I get asked about everyday and although they have sort of been invented they are still waiting for their time and opportunity, but what is not waiting is the next enormous evolution in motor vehicles.

David Dowsett of ABC Wide Bay and I in our regular segment chatted about what’s just down the road for our humble motor vehicle including the current rise of semi autonomous cars now available with added features like brake assist, self parking, heads up displays, radars, GPS, Bluetooth connectivity and others all of which we take for granted, but have only been available in our cars for 10 years or less.

push-me-pull-youThe next step in our march to fully autonomous cars, is a bit like Doctor Dolittle’s pushmi-pullyu, a car that you can drive, or it can drive you.

This transportation evolution is being heralded by every car manufacturer on the planet as well as some new disruptive non car manufacturers like Google, Tesla and Apple, with an expectation that today’s prototype will be the highways reality within 10 years.

These new cars will be software centric, have constantly moving dynamic displays instead of fixed buttons that anticipate what you need and offer to you before you know you need it and the ability to upgrade augment and change the virtual interior of the car, its performance and function by software add-ons, updates, patches and fixes.

In this brave new world of machine driving will we need a drivers licence? Who will be responsible for accidents? Who will lose points for bad driving and who will ultimately be responsible for what happens inside and outside the car?

Have a listen to the segment now and then share your thoughts on tomorrow’s driving landscape…

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)

Tomorrow’s Cars

It’s always a great interview when Radio ABC Perth’s James Lush is asking the questions and in this weeks regular catch up, we chat about the future of cars and transportation from now through to 2055.

Right now we have connected cars on our roads that use our mobile phones Bluetooth to form a bridge between to the digital world and receipt of information on board.

On the horizon and in some showrooms already we can already buy semi-connected cars that may park themselves, check road conditions, alert us to issues and undertake other routine tasks, but the real fun starts in just a few years from now.

Some time in the next five (5) years we are likely to see autonomous cars that can drive themselves come on to our roads. A number of manufacturers are well on the road to building these and even Google has a prototype that’s clocked up some 400,000+ hours of on road tests.

These kinds of advances, herald in the next evolution in an incredible 120 years automotive history.

We are told that by 2025 semi autonomous cars (which will only account for about 15% of all cars sold worldwide)  will result in 1.8 million road deaths globally, a 15% increase in fuel efficiency, reduced wear and tear on our cars and roads and likely to change road usage and habits.

Fuels were also on the table for discussion this morning with the reality as stated in this CSIRO forecast being that petrol through to 2055 will still be our major fuel.




Have a listen to the full chat and let me know your thoughts on tomorrow’s transportation.



Home James!

Future-CarsOne of the most often asked questions I get asked is about flying cars and although we’re not quite there yet we are a long way down the road towards getting a whole lot of new shiny cars that do some pretty magic stuff.

On the back of a series of keynotes I delivered in the last month around Australia on cars of tomorrow to automotive roof body’s and a number of large and well know fuel distributors, David Dowsett of ABC radio and I set off on our discussion this week to explore where cars are headed and what fuels we might use in 5, 10, 20 year from now.

Along the way we chatted about how many cars in Australia we have now and in 2020 and the three sorts of cars we are and will be buying in the next decade and my belief that we will not drive cars in 10 years, but rather ride in mobile devices.

Connected cars are already around and becoming a standard for many buyers as they demand to be able to connect up there smart phones and tables and surf the world whilst driving.

We are already starting to get a number of car manufacturers that have gone beyond this with vehicles that park themselves, accelerate, brake, anticipate road conditions and a whole lot of other cool stuff, these are known as semi autonomous cars.

The next big push, due around 2020 are autonomous cars – cars that can drive themselves. Much like an airplane pilot these cars will allow you to hand over the controls of the car to your own on-board digital chauffeur – James. Every car manufacturer on the planet is working toward this goal and the thought is that by 2022,20% of all of the worlds cars will be capable of autonomous driving.

This ushers in a new world of transport and heralds in the beginning of a huge shift in the way we travel, where we travel and when and is set to revolutionize some industry’s, decimate others and even change where and how we live.

Have a listen now and then share your thoughts on the future of the car.