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August 26, 2013

Future-CarsOne of the most often asked questions I get asked is about flying cars and although we’re not quite there yet we are a long way down the road towards getting a whole lot of new shiny cars that do some pretty magic stuff.

On the back of a series of keynotes I delivered in the last month around Australia on cars of tomorrow to automotive roof body’s and a number of large and well know fuel distributors, David Dowsett of ABC radio and I set off on our discussion this week to explore where cars are headed and what fuels we might use in 5, 10, 20 year from now.

Along the way we chatted about how many cars in Australia we have now and in 2020 and the three sorts of cars we are and will be buying in the next decade and my belief that we will not drive cars in 10 years, but rather ride in mobile devices.

Connected cars are already around and becoming a standard for many buyers as they demand to be able to connect up there smart phones and tables and surf the world whilst driving.

We are already starting to get a number of car manufacturers that have gone beyond this with vehicles that park themselves, accelerate, brake, anticipate road conditions and a whole lot of other cool stuff, these are known as semi autonomous cars.

The next big push, due around 2020 are autonomous cars – cars that can drive themselves. Much like an airplane pilot these cars will allow you to hand over the controls of the car to your own on-board digital chauffeur – James. Every car manufacturer on the planet is working toward this goal and the thought is that by 2022,20% of all of the worlds cars will be capable of autonomous driving.

This ushers in a new world of transport and heralds in the beginning of a huge shift in the way we travel, where we travel and when and is set to revolutionize some industry’s, decimate others and even change where and how we live.

Have a listen now and then share your thoughts on the future of the car.

Money, money, money

August 16, 2013

$1 notePaper money and coins seem so old fashioned now.

In Australia we began the march towards plastic money in 1974 with the introduction of the first mass credit card – BankCard and towards digital banking when online banking became possible in 1998.

At both those events the mass outcry was “we will never use this”, but we have and we are very content.

In this radio interview we explore the Less-Cash society phenomenon and a future where banking and financial transactions will no longer be done via plastic credit cards and instead live inside our mobile devices and eventually into inhabit the digital nether-regions as they magically appear and disappear a myriad of devices, walls and holograms just when you need them.

Have a listen to this, the rising digital economy including BitCoin and Ven and my belief that we will soon see a global digital currency emerge to carry on from where PayPal, Visa, MasterCard and others are currently placed.

Eat it, or not

August 6, 2013

synthetic hamburgerBy 2050 the demand for meat will have doubled across the globe, but we will have less water, land and farmers to grow it with.

Given that it’s unlikely we will decrease our universal appetite for animal protein, nor will we unfortunately get any better at sharing what we already have and making it go further, so how will we solve our ever-growing problem for meat production?

One solution that’s gaining momentum is to take an exponential leap and grow meat in a laboratory, without ever having to raise any livestock.

Dr Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands and his team, including his benefactor Google’s Sergey Brin have just demonstrated the first commercial lab grown hamburger, after almost a decade of experimentation.

It started life as a mere handful of muscle cells taken from the shoulder of a cow, before being transferred to a petri dish, smothered in nutrients and left to grow to 20,000 strands that formed this AUS$434,166.29 hamburger.

Although the taste was not quite there, the mouth feel and texture were and with the addition of a bit more fat (which is present in every hamburger) we could in 7 – 10 years have a viable contender for our dinner plates.

This new technology should be able to produce the equivalent of 50,000 tons of meat from these same 10 cells within 2 months and has the tacit approval of PETA.

The argument here is not whether this new form of food will eventually do away with farming livestock (because it won’t), but whether this can in time become one part of our everyday food chain and find a place in some of our shopping baskets and my guess is, it will.

This was a popular topic and here are some of the radio interviews I did on it:

Jill Emberson – ABC

Tim – ABC

David Dowsett – ABC Wide Bay