Interesting concept that blends autonomous vans and drone deliveries to change the way food and supplies can be delivered to your home. It is rumored that UPS is already set to be testing drone deliveries from trucks today. Localized deliveries versus those requiring long hauls will be a question as state regulators look to offset traffic violations, etc.
It is set to be one of the world’s most ambitious sustainable building projects and its called the Dynamic Tower. Designed by David Fisher and originally set to break ground in 2010, the Dynamic Tower seeks to become the first completely sustainable residential building in Dubai.
It will stand 1,375 feet tall with 80 individual residences and another 48 floors dedicated for wind turbines. Each residence will be able to rotate 360 degrees and will cost an estimated 30Million per unit. But just think of all you will save on your electric bills every month. The building is said generate 10x’s more power than it will need through wind and solar capture.
It’s a crazy design feat for sure and frankly we shouldn’t be surprised it’s being built in Dubai, given the insatiable appetite for pushing boundaries of architecture and design. If success, however, the Dynamic Tower concept could unlock significant opportunities for residential design around the globe.
WattPad has brought forward a breakthrough idea with it’s new mobile app called Tap, that changes how story stories are told using text messaging format. In short, users of the service can read a variety of free and paid story stories on the mobile phones in text format, almost as if they are reading someone else’s text messages. The form factor by nature makes stories more digestible and builds natural curiosity to “tap” to see what happens next in the thread. Tap now has more than 45Million users worldwide with over 250Million stories having been consumed.
The service has a number of subscription levels and clearly is focused on their individuals who are looking to consume content in a different form or are bored during their daily commutes. WattPad (the owner) has been working its way along Hollywoods biggest content producers to inked deals enable access to content and potentially bigger things.
It’s known as the EHang 184 AAV …the AAV standing for “Autonomous Aerial Vehicle” and it was first debuted in CES 2016 with the promise of changing personal mobility forever. Well…reality may soon arrive over the skies of Dubai in July if the reports are correct.
We are talking about a drone on steroids using many of the principles that have made flying a Quad Copter so common place. That said…I think it will be your thrill seekers who will most likely want to be the first to experience pilot less travel. I would imagine for a price, they will have an opportunity to strap themselves into a single seat, electric pod capable to taking them to any GPS coordinate within about ~30 miles. Reality is you can’t go too far given the estimated top speed of 60 MPH and have a battery life of roughly 23 mins.
The EHang 184 is already being tested in Nevada in preparation.
Microsoft announced Project Sangam as part of its Future Decoded event in Mumbai. Sangam means “coming together” in Hindi which is the very notion of this initiative as it demonstrates the first commercial venture between Microsoft and LinkedIn, which it purchased for $26.2 Billion deal last year.
Microsoft has ambitions for fundamentally changing the way people look, train and interview for jobs in India, heavily focused on the high tech resource pool available now. Microsoft will allow users to enroll in the program by simply signing up for a Skype Lite account known as Aahaar. This is Microsoft’s revised version of Skype that is optimized for low bandwidth and lower costs phones. Once they have established a profile, users will develop a basic background profile which will be automatically loaded into a LinkedIn profile. User can now search for roles and see what expertise needed for various jobs. They can instantly access a variety of training and learning materials associated with those roles and take online courses (even downloadable for offline) for certification. If successful, they receive a virtual certification which is added to their profiles and immediately searchable. When it’s time for an interview, the employer can simple request a video chat or call their private Aadhaar phone number.
It appears that Microsoft has applied machine learning to the exercise as well, building upon India’s centralized database of all citizens, to decipher best fits, given backgrounds, previous employment, expertise and beyond. Clearly, Microsoft is bridging the gap between what employers want and skills required to make a better future.
MIT Technology Review recently shared an interesting piece entitled “The Relentless Pace Of Automation” which highlights the profound impacts of AI on how we work and what jobs will be ripe for takeout.
As previously noted, autonomous cars are advancing literally everyday and it is estimated they are being positioned to threaten or alter 2.2M to 3.1M jobs in the US alone. What’s more staggering to me is that an estimated 1.7M of those jobs are driving long haul, tractor trailers. Highlighted in the article is a story about Uber’s test last October where it had one of its self driving trucks make a beer (Budweiser) delivery 200 kilometers away on the interstate while the driver spent the majority of the time in the sleeper bed, simply monitoring things via an automated system. This same capability has already been commercialized in Germany with large truck deliveries growing at an exponential rate. They are safer, less likely to make erratic movements on the road and frankly more pleasant than the truckers i encounter.
Further highlighted in the article is a reference to President Obama’s top economic and science advisers report on “Artificial Intelligence, Automation, And the Economy” which highlights the impacts from proliferating AI across industry. The report suggests we are not headed for a catastrophe anytime soon, however it does highlight the need to ensure these populations of workers have a place to go and an opportunity to remain employed. These are the larger societal issues we will all have to deal with as robots take hold.
It appears the government continues to push for advancing India’s banking and commerce industries with the launch of it’s latest QR based mobile payments solution. As you know, India has long been reliant upon a cash based society and has been making a number of changes to the system to help migrate more transactions to digital. IndiaQR is an example of the latest attempt to bring mainstream consumer value propositions to the country.
Concept is not new, nor truly a breakthrough, but does show how fundamental technologies can be re-purposed. IndiaQR lets consumers connect bank account information to a unique QR code that they present at POS. Store owners can either scan using a POS scanner or now simply use and app and scanner on their own phone to collect funds instantly. It is rumored that the solution was built by the global payment networks (Visa and Mastercard) and RuePay.
Significant investments are being made to establish a merchant acquiring network in India that will enable all sorts of next generation end to end payment solutions. These investments are being made by private companies looking to move people quickly to digital payments and then begin to monetize them.
It’s not hard to imagine a world that will enable consumers to simply scan codes when paying each other, paying merchants and or collecting funds in a B2B capacity.