Well, I must say I have seen cannabis make a lot of people I know very wealthy. They got in on the bubble or had inside information. I’ve had a few friends make a killing on Bitcoin when it hit $20,000 making me wish I had bought it a few years ago for $7. Oh well, I may not be great at picking trends but there are some noteworthy ones that are obvious.
Trends fall into three categories: disruptive, breakthrough and sustaining. For me, email blew the pants off snail mail and made it the first disruptive technology. I guess a breakthrough technology would be a drug to cure cancer or new-wave nuclear power, maybe fusion or fission generated. I have friends at ARC Nuclear Canada (ARCCAN) who have developed a new low cost carbon free nuclear reactor that is powered by other reactors’ waste. What? Then there are sustaining technologies like banks switching to ecommerce solutions for their customers convenience.
Disruptive technologies make me excited. They open your mind to new vistas and make you realize how clever mankind can be. There is a ton of disruption going on, but in an article I wrote about singularities in recent history, some stand out more than others. Singularities like the industrial revolution, the telephone, electricity, computers and social media have changed the world and dare I add blockchain to that illustrious list. Blockchain certainly remains hard to explain to most and seems to have a mystery to it because of its tech, and yet it will make a huge impact on our future. The top disruptive technologies I see for the next two years are:
-Internet of Things (IOT)
-Robots, drones and autonomous vehicles
-Immersive Technologies (AR, VR, MR, 360)
-Wireless Energy transfer
Blockchain makes records like those for real estate, art ownership and music copyright secure and tamper proof. There are hundreds — maybe thousands — of applications for blockchain, and some say it is bigger than the Internet. No one has control over its design and implementation, and it’s decentralized, flexible, scalable and easily programmable. It’s also transparent by design. It provides a layer of trust in a world where people are beginning to distrust everything.
The Internet of Things, aka IOT, is like that pesky ant that gets into your pantry until you realize it brought its friends and they are everywhere. A teenage girl was in the news last week after (purportedly) tweeting using her refrigerator as a connection to the internet! Her mom cut her off her devices, and she cleverly realized her refrigerator has an IOT computer device inside it. This might be a fake story, but I kind of hope it’s true! From fleet management, monitoring your fridge and your company’s supply chain, IOT is everywhere.
Robots, drones and autonomous vehicles seem like they should be on the cover of Popular Science (they were as far back as the 1930s with levitating railcars). I have my own Mavic drone, but who would have thought the military would be fighting wars from aircraft-size remote drones manipulated from thousands of miles away? As far as driverless cars, they are coming but I prefer to drive myself thank you very much. You must admit the technology is disruptive.
Immersive technologies like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), Mixed reality (MR) and even 360-degree viewing continue to grow to new levels. Wikipedia describes MR as “the merging of real and virtual worlds to produce new environments and visualizations where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.”
My friends at BluePrint Reality claim to have “the world’s most powerful solution for the broadcast and presentation of mixed reality, MixCast seamlessly blends realities together for instant sharing of virtual experiences.” When you are shooting arrows from a make believe bow in a 3D world with animals bearing down on you, that is plain disruptive and scary.
Of course, besides entertainment, the applications for these are endless from conducting training for medical operations to preparing astronauts to feel comfortable on Mars.
Cloud computing still irks me. I loved having my own programs locked in my office knowing I had purchased them and they’re all mine. Then software giants like Adobe started selling the Cloud version that came with a monthly charge. Clever on a number of fronts but, like most, while I hated it, it made sense on a business and storage point of view. Some of my friends still think it’s some kind of government plot to control us, but it is what it is.
3D printing has come a long way in a short time. From taking hours to make silly plastic bits to now creating human organs. Bioprinters are already being used to create organelles for scientific research, and there have been some impressive proofs of concept for full organs. The big problem is recreating the small capillaries carrying blood to tissue. “Our (3D printed) organs actually contain independent vascular networks—like the airways and blood vessels of the lung or the bile ducts and blood vessels in the liver,” says Jordan Miller, PhD, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and Founder of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute (AMRI) at Rice University and senior author of the Science paper.
Human/Computer Interaction is one of those big brother things. Chinese face recognition company Megvii Technology (Face++) uses AI and Machine Vision. Megvii, founded in 2011, is one of the world leaders in facial recognition and artificial intelligence technology (Forbes). The company raised $750 million at a post-money valuation of $4 billion in May 2019 and is preparing to go public in Hong Kong. While the novel tracking system biometrics and gaze tracking may make you feel like you’re under surveillance, the goal is for us to feel a little safer from those wanting to do us harm.
Collaborative technology will seem familiar, from crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, for example. While they have been around for some time, I think their importance will only grow as people realize that tech companies with product can raise significant funds. Sharing and collaborative workspaces coupled with more open source programming will make entrepreneurs more productive in office sharing environments.
Nanotechnology makes for good science fiction reading. I’ve become heavily invested and interested in quantum physics and the whole nanotech scene. Nanomanufacturing and new polymer composites make great video by enabling viscous fluids to effortlessly flow off garments, and carbon one molecule thick can seamlessly cover an object making it stronger; it gives us unlimited possibilities. I think that nano could very well be the most disruptive technology of them all that will make inroads to the very fabric of space and time. It will change not only the way we make things but how we see them.
Wireless energy transfer. We have that with those nifty iPhone chargers on your night table, don’t we? Well it’s a bit beyond that! BMW announced a couple of weeks ago that it will soon offer wireless charging in the 2019 530e iPerformance sedan. Those fortunate enough to live in one of 13 California counties may get to participate in the first residential test of inductive charging by any car manufacturer. Lighthouse dev, in Washington, DC, is developing innovative wireless power transmission systems that deliver power through beaming lasers. The use of power beaming or transmission has wide-ranging applications, including remotely powering unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to dramatically extend the maximum duration of missions. Imagine having a powered military drone that will fly forever?
As a movie buff I had to throw in disruptive entertainment technology. I’ve run across a Vancouver company that curated television shows so that as you watched them, you could access information about that cool car the villain was driving or find out where to buy the shoes the heroine had on. Content curation will give you what you want when you want it. Forget programmed cable or a PVR.
Add Li-Fi (light fidelity) to your entertainment center coupled with the newest TV and you will have the immersive entertainment no one would have dreamed possible only a few years ago. I can’t wait!
You probably have your own list of disruptive industries to add to mine. Isn’t life wonderfully disruptive?
Gary is CEO of Bizzo Management Group Inc.and Bizzo Integrated Marketing Corp. in Vancouver. London-based Richtopia placed Bizzo on the Top 100 Global Influencers in the World for 2018. He is an Adjunct Professor of Integrated Marketing & Consumer Behavior at the New York Institute of Technology, MBA School of Management (Vancouver Campus).
Equities Contributor: Gary Bizzo
Source: Equities News