The next batch of major tech disruptors are… / Curtin radio

I love catching up with tech guru Jason Jordan  and this week I got to chat with him live on air on Curtin Radio as we reminisced about tech of old and speculated about tomorrow’s tech.

I kicked off with my notion that we are all Homo Cyborgs irrevocably and organically enmeshed with technology, and that the holy grail now is not the technology itself, but rather what it can do for us.

We chatted about the demise and rise of the music industry as a metaphor for business in general.

10 years ago the industry seemed on its knees, people were pirating and nor paying, music abounded but money was difficult to make, today most have succumbed to a subscription model (spotify, itunes and others) music is everywhere, bands are on the road, there have never been more live concerts, the industry is decentralised and discovery is easier and allied industries are profitably rising.

We explored autonomous cars, Elon Musk, Artificial Intelligence, the sharing economy, virtual, augmented and mixed reality and tonnes of other stuff.

This was a really interesting chat charting the past, present and future of tech and humans and well worth a listen (8 mins 25 secs).

So how’d my 2016 predictions do? / Perth 6PR

Every year I put out a list of what I think the major tech issues and gadgets are likely to be for the year ahead and this week 6PR’s Chrissy Morrissy took me through last years list to see how we’ve progressed, what’s come about and what hasn’t.

My 3 main thoughts on the tech we’d see in 2016 were:

Augmented (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are set to boom in the first half of next year with all major manufacturers promising new VR products and most under $US400. This may take a while to show its true potential, but it is definitely a new frontier that’s here to stay.

Ambient technology and device consolidation will start its journey next year, as technology becomes as ordinary as electricity and gas, and becomes more about what it can do for me rather than the fact it exists. In this same thought devices will begin to become agnostic with users switching often from one to the other, making choices based on situation and purpose, rather than on wow factor.

Personal Assistants, in the form of robots, that listen to you and talk back will begin their journey to purpose next year with releases like Jibo hitting our retail stores for around the $US2,000 mark. These in the early stages will read emails and texts, announce callers and generally  interact with us, they are not yet the robots of our science fiction dreams, but they are the first line in an evolution that may one day bring us the robot butler, we supposedly can’t live without.

Happy to say I got 3 for 3 they’re all on the scene, all in various stages of usefulness and all still largely untapped.

Listen in as we discuss where each of these and my other predictions are at and how and where they’re being used already as well as a look ahead at what we can expect to see, have and do in 2017 (24 mins 51 seconds)


2016’s top 10 good, bad and ugly tech / ABC Far North

top-10-tech-2015It’s always fun at this point in the year  look behind us and review the years best and worst tech’s and this week ABC Far North’s Kier Shorey and I explore my top 10 list of good, bad and ugly tech, 2016 style.

1. Headphones disappear – Apple continues to do what it does best, unilaterally decides what we need and then try to convince us their right. This year they decided, that because 48% of all device listening is done through Bluetooth headsets, that it was the right time to get rid of the hole in the phone that lets us plug our headset in and free up the space for something else. This has, as usual, come with huge outcries, 3rd party dongles and Apple temporarily reducing its own peripherals to help existing users overcome, but behind it all Apple stands strong on its decision and we resist change.

2. Fake news becomes the news – hoaxes, scams and false stories been around for ever, but this year they became mainstream when Zuckerberg was blamed for Trump’s win by allowing fake news stories to circulate through Facebook. Interesting because yes fake stories abound and we need to be mindful of where information is coming from, but what fascinates me is that so many people are calling for social media to practice Censorship and decide what should and shouldn’t be seen and read.

3. Samsung Galaxy 7 Note burns – fascinating look at how a big brand copes with a big problem and how enveloped the world becomes when a piece of tech goes bad. Will Samsung lose it reputation and sales moving forward. my guess is not, bring on Samsung 8.

4. Self driving cars are revving up their engines – this year self driving transport moved from science fiction to science fact with lots of media conversations and car and non car brands and everyday people all finally accepting that driverless cars, buses and trucks are coming to a road near us within the decade. Stay tuned in 2017 for more talk, more cars and more debates around “how we make it so”.

5. Hacking our nightmares – Bad people breaking into good people’s premises and stealing their possessions is not new and online this is no exception with cybersecurity becoming the hot topic of the year as we saw the Census site taken down, Government and retailer portals compromised and a recent Mirai botnet targeting the Internet of Things, this story. Unfortunately this story is only set to gain momentum in 2017 and beyond.

6 Facebook goes live – not since the advent of Skype have we seen such an uptake of personal live broadcasting and now Facebook Live lets us easily share with the world what we’re seeing and experiencing. This first person point of view reporting is already becoming the norm and is taking us to places and sharing experiences that we have never had access to before, Voyeurism or Visionary? – you decide

7 No one wants Twitter – Despite its big brand status, Twitter is having difficulty monetising its site and also finding someone to buy it. This unfolding story is a lesson into today’s unicorn corporations, well-known, well used, great on-paper value, but too often not profitable and unsaleable in its current form.

8 VR seen everywhere, but nowhere – Big year for Virtual Reality with lots of brands offering headsets for sale, but as is often the case with new tech it takes a while for it to find its purpose and place. Next year will be a year of conversations of why do we have it and what do we need it for, but behind the scenes the groundswell will continue to rise as this infancy tech slowly begins to find its way and purpose.

9. Uber everything – wherever we turned this year it seems Uber, used both as a noun and a verb, was there, doing it, promoting it, touting it, fighting it or being used as the yardstick for somebody else’s great innovation or thought – is any publicity, still good publicity it seems Uber thinks so.

10 Transport gone Hyperloopy – the story of the year in transport has to be Hyperloop, the vacuum tube train capable of doing speed of 750km per hour, has left the station this year and gone from being a geek dream to a Sheik reality with Dubai and several other countries all vying to be the first to have their own fast train.

As always a great chat, so listen live (15 minutes 03 seconds) and then add your thoughts to the best and worst of this years tech.


Augmented. Virtual and Mixed Reality / ABC Far North


Oculus Rift, Facebook’s $2 billion, Augmented Reality headset goes on retail sale this week in the States and seems destined to bring this industry into the mainstream. Ahead of this and the imminent release by numerous other headset manufacturers ABC’s Far North Kier Shorey and I took a look at this new tech and what is may be capable of.

Augmented Reality adds additional information on top of the a real world – things head up display on a car, Virtual Reality closes of the real world and takes you to a digital world and mixed reality does a bit of both depending on your need and what’s being viewed. These tech’s have been around in sci-fi for 100+ years and yes we’ve been promised them for just as long, but we are now in the sweet spot where tech, computing power and dreams have met and the tech is on taking an industry that’s worth US$2.54 billion today to an estimated US$13.5 by 2020.

The sues for these headsets are endless ranging from education, recreation, , medical, retail, tourism, sport, media and the list will continue to grow, but at its core its an output device that lets us experience and bet a part of data and information in a way never before possible.

It’s early days, its messy, still a bit expensive and not a deep catalogue of experiences, but this will change and these new devices will be in most people’s homes and offices within 5 years and will be the equivalnet of the mobile phone that not too long ago nobody needed and today can’t live without.

So have a listen as Kier and I explore some of the uses and potential of this new technology (11 minutes 56 seconds)…





#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)