Question: What do you get when you cross developing nations with mobile phones…

November 30, 2011

Answer: The ability to jump over traditional cable dependent technology and provide health services, education, banking and communication to the most remote places on earth, using mobile phones.

It’s amazing, but true that 64% of all the world’s mobile phone users are found in developing nations and of those 80% are in rural areas, this provides a ready technology platform on which innovation and social equity can be built.

In this weeks segment, Adalaine Ng of radio ABC Australia and I take a meander through the use of how mobile phones are closing the gap between the technological have and have-nots.

Listen now:

Personal jet packs and supersonic travel

November 20, 2011

For a cool $100,000 you can soon buy your own jet-pack, only catch is that it only works over the water and has a 30 foot chord that tethers you to a small boat that travels behind you, but it is the iconic jet pack that many people associate as a symbol of having arrived in the future.

Whilst this is going on the United States this week trialled its newest hypersonic weapon that travels at five (5) times the speed of sound and makes it possible to launch a missile from anywhere on our planet and for it to arrive anywhere else on the planet within one (1 hour). This technology, used for military purposes leaves me cold, but used for commercial travel allowing us to travel from Melbourne Australia to London England in one (1) hour excites me.

This is where I always quote the great sage Maxwell Smart (Control’s Agent 86) when he said if only he had used his genius for niceness and not evilness.

These stories and the invention of the worlds lightest material being unveiled, made of tiny hollow metallic tubes arranged into a micro-lattice, that weighs in at 100 times lighter than Styrofoam, made up this weeks discussion between Perth 6PR’s Jason Jordan and myself as we look at what’s happening now, that may shape tomorrow.

Listen now:

or listen live each Sunday at 5.10 p.m. (WST).

The evolution and revolution of retail

November 16, 2011

Retail is going through an evolution on the back of a revolution.

In line with the rest of the planet and on the back of the internet, retail is going through its awkward teenager like years full of pimples, self doubt and uncertainty about tomorrow and what may be ahead.

Like a typical prepubescent the 10 years prior to the economic downturn many retailers were full of self importance, saw themselves as invincible and the centre of attention.

Come the economic downturn, consumers had less to spend and became very determined to spend it wisely.

The days of spending excess are in hiatus. Retailers have to work hard now to prove their worthiness to us and many couldn’t and can’t.

Mixed into this backdrop is the evolution of online shopping; the growing number of online shopping business models, sites and opportunities and hey presto we have a new retail environment growing out of the virtual ground.

These two factors, what’s in it for the consumer and what retail might evolve into are the topic for this weeks discussion between ABC Radio Australia’s Adelaine Ng and myself as we explore the evolution and revolution of retail.

Listen now:

Charity begins on-line

November 13, 2011

Give till it hurts is no longer an appropriate adage for giving charity, because it hurts us now – in the midst of an economic downturn – to give, but we have to keep on giving anyway.

The world of philanthropy and charity is unfortunately a thriving business. There is still great inequality in the world that needs to be remedied. There are still disasters, famines, floods and just sheer injustices that leads many on our planet to not have enough resources to get through their day nor feel certain about tomorrow.

Like all other businesses, charities are now using online as an additional tool to get their message out and get donations and resources in.

This week 6PR Perth’s Jason Jordan and I take a look at online philanthropy, new models of giving that encourage us to group shop online with profits going to the charity; play games which earn $$ for charities; become connected directly with the plight, cause and remedies and also take a look at a new group of social entrepreneurs – a tertiary qualified practitioner whose sole focus is on building not for profit businesses.

Have a listen now:

and listen each week at 4:40 p.m. (WST)

You can believe your eyes…

November 6, 2011

Zombie games players, bank ATM’s, cafes, road signs, train timetables and pictures of friends all flash before your eyes as you walk around your local suburb. No you haven’t gone completely mad, instead you’re using one of the newer kids on the technology block – augmented reality.

Jason Jordan of Perth radio’s 6PR and I chatted this week about turning your smartphones camera into a set of binoculars and pairing it with an app that let’s you find physical locations and people and then be guided on screen right to them.

These kinds of augmented reality apps together with the ability for our mobile technology to know exactly where we are on the planet (aka Geo-Aware) are also showing up in our cars as heads up displays, are being used by surgeons to guide them skillfully through the human body and by the armed forces to walk them confidently through hostile foreign terrains.

Listen to this week’s segment now to see how augmented and virtual reality apps using geoaware smartness are all a part of your mobile future.

and listen live each week at 4.40 p.m. (WST)

I will know what you’re thinking…

November 2, 2011

Technology that can read your minds, predict your thoughts and see your dreams were all part of today’s on air discussion between radio ABC Australia’s Adelaine Ng and myself, as we delved into some of the most prolific public perceptions of the future.

The flying car also got a mention, this is the perennial favourite, but the reality is far more boring; it’s been around for decades but authorities won’t allow it into the airspace.

We also had a great chat about the future of the brain and the work being done to discover how it works and how we may be able to “fix” it when it’s broken. (audio not available)