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)

Who’s watching the drones & HK’s top IT awards / Hong Kong radio 3

article-webgraf-1127A near miss between a drone and a London bound British Airways passenger jet was the start of this weeks chat with HK3’s Phil Whelan looking at drones and how we might keep them away from planes, trains and automobiles and whatever else they shouldn’t be near.

The sky’s are full of non commercial recreational drones and in theory there are guidelines around where they can be flown including flying below 400 metres, keeping your drones where you can see them, not flying within 5 miles of an airplane, not flying near people or stadiums and in America your drone should be registered.

These are all useful guidelines but for the amateur drone pilot these rules and knowing how far away planes may be are not top of mind and for the malicious and thrill-seeker they only add to the sport of putting drones where they shouldn’t be.

In commercial terms there is a new industry and range of products emerging that block drones from flying in specified areas and will see more of these electronic no-fly zones established over the next few years, but for now it seems that we are stuck with ever increasing numbers of drones buzzing around us.

Our chat soon turned to the recent HKICTA awards and a look at the 2016 Best Smart Hong Kong awards recipients.

1st prize went to Well Being Digital for its’ dynamic real time heart rate measurement technology – ActivHearts, which allows you to use your earphones and wrist watch to obtain an accurate heart rate in real-time.

Second prize went to Viewider, which finds the best price and deals on a range of merchandise and the Pokeguide App won gold in the public service section for an app that lets you know which MTR train compartment is the best for you to get into.

All in all a mixed bag of worthy winners, but Phils’ dilemma is where’s the invention, where’s the new?

As always a great chat, have a listen now (15 minutes 26 seconds) and then share what you think Hong Kong inventors should be working on.



What can Robots really do? / Austereo

101245423-robot.530x298Every day there seems to be a new Robot doing something that we used to do ourselves, so this week Austereo’s Anthony Tilli and I chatted about the reality of what robots can and might do for us.

Aged care is a really great place to start and most of these are coming out of Japan, which has a growing elderly population, decreasing numbers of human aged care workers and a long time love affair with technology, which gives us robots that can wash hair, robots that monitor dementia patients and exoskeletons that human carers can wear to give them super strength and the ability to easily pick up and move patients around.

Police, army and rescue services have also picked up the pace with sniffer bomb robots and drones that can be sent into hazardous spaces and conditions amongst many other new pieces of tech and are also beginning to explore the use of artificial intelligence to predict issues and deploy people and resources accordingly.

As always a great chat, have a listen now (3 minutes 49 seconds) and then share the robot you’d most like to see invented.




#CES2016 – the 6 trends that will dominate the year ahead ( #2016trends ) / Austereo, ABC Local, ABC Far North

_DSC0661 CES (Consumer Electronic Show) 2016, Nerdvana, has ended for another year and Las Vegas has said goodbye to 170,000 visitors and 3,631 exhibitors all itching to get a glimpse of the year ahead in tech gadgets and retail offerings and also looking for the dots to connect to figure out what’s lies further ahead.

There were a number of clear categories this year and in this weeks regular ABC and Austereo radio segments I explored some of these and also what may be next and after next.

The overriding theme for me this year was that we have crossed over the threshold away from having and owning to using and doing.

This new ambient state of being assumes technology exists and is readily available, just like electricity, gas and water, which means we no longer get as excited about the form factor of it anymore and instead it’s all about the experience – what can it do to make my life more interesting, easier or better.

So here are my top 6 CES trends and what they mean to you…

1. Cars of the Future – this display has gone from a garage sized hall a few years ago, to a mega display that brings many of the existing automotive players to town and even more interestingly the “wannabees’ like Apple and Google as well. No surprise cars are going autonomous eventually, but on the road to autonomy will be a whole heap of interesting incremental changes including electric cars, cars that park themselves, everything connected cars including Apple Car Play and Android Auto and every third-party provider of new shiny auto industry toys.

Get set for the biggest revolution in cars since we first saw them on our roads just over 100 years ago.

2. Virtual Reality – this year marks the beginning of this new retail category and is definitely 2016’s Christmas stocking stuffer. Manufacturers including Samsung, Sony, Occulus Rift and others have brand new shiny headsets being released in the first half of this year, with pricing ranging from $30 – $600.These digital magical carpets will allow you temporarily escape the physical world and enter a “world of pure imagination”. For the first time you’ll be able to experience the internet, touch knowledge and feel facts as your mind and a headset takes you anywhere to experience anything without your body ever leaving home.

As great as Virtual Reality is Augmented Reality will eventually be the bigger industry and dominant technology, because long-term we don’t really want to walk around in a completely artificial digital world with the real world hidden away, what we want is for both the real and virtual worlds to co-exist.

3. Drones – last year seemed to be dominated by them, but wait there’s more. We’ll be droning about drones for at least another year as the CES goes wild for drones with ever conceivable and even some far-fetched drone uses including a manned drone available from Ehang capable of taking a single person up between 350 metres and 3 kilometres for a flight length of 23 minutes, but before you get too excited you’ll need 2 things, first $250,000 and second to get a government authority anywhere on earth to let you fly it.

This year we’ll see and hear lots of companies like Australia Post, Amazon, Pizza Hut and others trialing this delivery tech and eventually one of them might make it work, but there’s still a tonne of government regulation to get through and business models to prove.

4. Video Streaming – one of the larger breakout sections this year was video streaming pushed along by Netflix’s announcement to extend their services to 170 additional countries. This year we’ll see You Tube try to step up to the commercial video streaming plate, as well as see new tech including 4K and 360 degree videos and virtual reality.

Behind all of this is the forever fracturing of free to air and centralised content distribution.

It is now about whatever, whenever and on whichever device, as the tower of Babel falls and the world becomes a universal always-on TV set pulling content from everywhere and making it available to evrybody.

5. Smart Homes – The world of science fiction is fast becoming science fact as the world of objects steadily connect themselves to the internet and Internet of Things appliances abound. Samsung announced their new smart fridge and it seems every other stand boasted about its tech’s ability to remotely and intuitively turn things on and off and open and shut for you.

Give it a few years and this tech will seem as ordinary as social media is today.

6. Personal Robots – I’ve been waiting for this one since I read my first sci-fi novel, watched the Jestons and saw my first Star Trek episode, we may not yet be at the human looking android robot stage yet, but this year we will see the first retail available set of personal robots ranging from those that do not move at all but do speak and interact with you, to those that have some moving parts, to those that zip around your home.

This is early days for this industry sector and it is not so much this years offerings that excite me, but the possibilities of what the next few generations of robots might be and do.

As always lots more to talk about and in these on air radio segments I cover the CES in more detail, so have a listen now..

Phil Staley – ABC Far North – 18 Jan 2016 – (17 minutes  55 seconds)

Glynn Greensmith – ABC Local – It’s Just Not Cricket – 16 Jan 2016 – (17 minutes 0 seconds)

Anthony Tilli – Southern Cross Austereo – 11 Jan 2016 – (6 minutes  16 seconds)

Happy 2016 / 6PR, ABC Canberra

h2016 Australian elections, Olympic games, leap year, personal robots, drones, artificial intelligence, toasters talking to fridges, cars that drive themselves, and so much more are going to be a part of a 2016 and on this first morning of this brand new year I caught up with 6PR Perth and ABC Canberra’s breakfast shows to chat all things new, shiny and different.

Click here for my 2016 predictions, have a listen to these two segments and then share your predictions for 2016.

ABC Canberra – 1st January 2016 (13 minutes 52 seconds)

6PR Perth – 1st January 2016 (10 minutes 51 seconds)

What you already need to know about 2016 / ABC Local Nightlife

Nightlife_28_Dec_15_2016_trends This time of year is always a great time to take stock of what we have achieved in 2015 and what we may get up to, have and want in 2016, and tonight in my regular on air Nightlife radio segment Jennifer Fleming of ABC local and I did just that.

2015 had a lot of firsts, ranging from incredible pictures of Pluto, Tesla’s car software upgrades, Jeff Bazos and Elon Musk both successfully landing space crafts back on earth and windows 10 sedate launch are just some of my highlights, others include a machine that turns human waste into drinking water and sneaker technology designed specifically for people.

2016 was where we headed next with a look at the technology horizon and the rise and rise (pun intended) of drones and their various uses; driverless cars; personal robots (or personal assistants) like Jibo, Pepper, and Furo that are set to come to a home near you in 2016, the collaborative or sharing economy including Uber, airbnb and others and Artificial Intelligence becoming more common with apps and devices predicting what you may want to know and providing it to you on your mobiles and other tech ahead of you asking for it, or even thinking about it.

We also turned our attention to food trends including foraging which is the search for ultra local edible weeds, plants and produce, shared tables, glocal and others.

We were joined on-line by numerous listeners including: John who wanted to know if driverless cars could be used by the visually impaired – answer not yet and most probably not until 2030, but definitely in the mid future horizon; Johnathan who was looking for cattle mustering drones (and if you’re interested in them drop me an email to morris@businessfuturist.com and I’ll send you some links); Laury who rightly corrected us and asked us to use the term quadcopter instead of drones and Dan who wanted to know what fueled drones and kept them in the sky and on track.

A really good chat, great callers and a terrific subject, well worth a listen (41 minutes 24 seconds) and then I’d love to hear your predictions for 2016.

Recycle and refresh your business thinking / Dandenong Journal, StarCommunity.com.au

think01 reprinted from a story by Casey Neill in the Dandenong Journal

THE future is all about flexibility, businesses at the SEBN Christmas Industry Breakfast have been told.

“I want you to think of yourselves as a recyclable bottle,” global business futurist Morris Miselowski said at Sandown Racecourse in Springvale on Thursday 3 December.

The morning’s 190 guests donated cash to buy Christmas gifts for those less fortunate, to be distributed through agencies including Dandenong Community Aid and Advice Bureau.

The generosity continued when Simone Hackett from State Schools Relief Fund (SSRF) spoke about how money from the Take a Swing for Charity golf day had supported struggling students.

Golfers raised more than $44,000 at the SEBN event in February, which helped SSRF to dress 679 students at 17 schools within Greater Dandenong in $95,977 worth of clothing this year.

SSRF will also be the recipient of next year’s golf day proceeds, which are scheduled for Monday 22 February at Sandhurst Golf Club.

Mr Miselowski told breakfast guests that some of today’s most successful companies had no assets – driver service Uber owns no cars, accommodation service Airbnb owns no hotels.

He expects this trend towards “using rather than owning” to continue.

Tomorrow’s jobs will include tasks not yet imagined.

Mr Miselowski said everyone would be employing a transhumanist designer within 10 years – a human resources role assigning tasks to humans and robots.

Other roles of the future will include vertical farming and genome specialists, 3D prosthetic engineers and machine linguists.

Accountants and auditors, retail sales assistants and library technicians are among those on the way out, Mr Miselowski said.

He said employing many people in one space from 9am to 5pm weekdays would become anachronistic, and businesses would instead have a small team they could add to when necessary.

Wearable devices will continue to increase in popularity, he said, to the point where in 10 years everybody would be wearing nine devices at any given time.

“The world is increasingly based on data,” he said.

Mr Miselowski said more inanimate objects would be hooked up to interact with and understand humans.

Homes will recognise that their owners are about to arrive and open the garage door, turn on lights and more.

“And next year will be a huge growth year for drones across the planet,” Mr Miselowski said.

But don’t worry: “This is not robots taking over the world.”

“There will still be humans at every touch point.

“At the core we are still humans. We still have need for all the products and services in this room.”

He said today’s tsunami of new technology would calm down in 10 to 20 years.

“We’re seeing so much that is so different,” he said.

Autonomous cars could be a matter of years from dominating roads, dramatically reducing – if not eliminating – road deaths.

Mr Miselowski said they’d also remove the need for driver’s licences and so improve transport accessibility for the disabled, elderly and young.

The more efficient mechanised driving would also be better for environment, he said, and less stressful for commuters.

Look it’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s a #drone – 4BC, ABC Wide Bay, ABC Far North, Southern Cross Austereo WA

40 uses for dronesThe number of drone related media releases, stories, contacts and media requests I have had over the past few weeks has gone into overdrive.

Australia Post’s announcement that they would trial drone deliveries in remote areas brought the story back to Australia and although this is a great thing for them to trial and definitely part of a future landscape for them, I am skeptical if there is real intent or just hype behind this announcement.

On a side bar the more interesting things in Australia Posts’ announcement is their trial of 3D printers in their retail stores and their $20 million innovation and invention partnership with Melbourne University, but back to drones…

In last week’s regular segment with Hong Kong Radio’s  Phil Whelan we chatted about why Wal-Mart, Google, Facebook, Amazon and others  are all going crazy over #drones, and what the imminent American drones registration legislation might mean for drone registration worldwide, but equally as fascinating is the seemingly endless list of ingenious tasks people are already using drones for including:

Cattle Mustering


Emergency Medical Delivery

How about drones finding and fixing street potholes.

What about Police taser drones, or how about criminals using drones to spy on whether police vehicles are coming?

The list is endless and we are just at the beginning of this revolution.

I’m not quite convinced that we will have to swat away swarms of these pesky electronic mosquitoes in our near future, although 1 million recreational drones are expected to be sold in the USA and 50,000 in Australia this Christmas, but we will definitely become increasingly comfortable with their presence as they move from remote and regional, hard to get to, war-torn and disaster areas into our cities and towns.

Have a listen to these interviews and then share your thoughts and uses for drones.

David Dowsett – ABC Wide Bay – Monday 2nd November – 8 minutes 39 seconds

Phil Staley – ABC Far North – Monday 2nd November – 15 minutes 50 seconds

Anthony Tilley – Austereo WA – welcome on board as a regular Tuesday 3rd November – 5 minutes 34 seconds

Clare Blake – 4BC – Tuesday 3rd November – 17 minutes 21 seconds

#Drones on Hinch Live / Sky Business TV

IMG_7609 (2)What do drones, Australia Post, Amazon, Walmart, Google and Facebook have in common?

It appears a lot, with all of them (and many others) ramping up their efforts to use drones for delivery of everything from parcels to the internet.

In my regular catch up with Sky Business’s Derryn Hinch we explore what drones are, some of the many ways they may be used in the near future and debate the question of whether drones should be registered.

Here come the #drones / Hong Kong Radio 3

imagesWhat do drones, Amazon, Walmart, Google and Facebook have in common? It appears a lot, with all four ramping up their efforts to use drones, but not all in quite the same way and in this week’s regular catch up with Hong Kong Radio 3 ‘sPhil Whelan we chatted about the future of drones and discovered a strong Hong Kong drone connection.

Both Walmart and Amazon have applied to the USA’s FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) asking permission to trial drone delivery and with a Walmart store within 5 miles of 70% of America’s population and Amazon continuing its online onslaught, both have much to gain if they can innovate the logistics chain and have drones deliver.

Google is also looking at home delivery drones through Project Wing, but it’s most recent application to the FAA comes from Project Titan, a project started by an aerospace company they bought last year, that wants to use drones to provide internet access and data harvesting around issues including deforestation.

Facebook’s Aquila project wants to launch a solar powered drone, capable of 90 days of continuous flying, capable of providing internet access to remote areas.

It will take some time for the FAA to resolve if and how to allow Walmart and Amazon access to the sky, but Facebook and Google’s projects using far fewer, less obtrusive, drones being used for internet provision and eye in the sky services may receive approval sooner.

Aside from its commercial use, private drones are on the rise.

And here’s the Hong Kong connection – 90% of all drones sold around the world started life in Shenzhen and are shipped out of Hong Kong with 70% of those built by DJI.

FlyCam HK, Hong Kong’s largest drone retailer, claims there are 5,000 drones being flown around HK and not surprising when you look at the laws, or lack of them, that allow any drone weighing 7 kilograms or less to be flown without a licence.

There’s growing excitement around these flying robots and what their capable of and next week we’ll look at the industries most likely to have and benefit from drones first, but first have a listen to this week’s segment and then share your thoughts on the future of drones (15 minutes 07 seconds).

for Australia’s current drone laws click here