MindBullets is a part of the global FutureWorld Network, constantly sensitive to changes in the technological, economic, social, political and business landscape. The MindBullets Contributors scan this rapidly changing environment for clues about possible future trends. The results of this synthesis are combined by our contributors into an on-going series of MindBullets: News from the Future - with a summary emailed to you every Thursday and the complete MindBullets data base available online to explore each scenario in more detail. Exciting scenarios of alternative futures based on breakthrough thinking today. A powerful tool to help you learn from the future - a new MindBullet every week!

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FEMTECH: IS IT A BUBBLE?

Published on: 19 April 2018

The market for non-male tech gadgets and apps is exploding

Dateline: 1 May 2023

It's official. If you want to be the next tech giant, make sure you're aiming at the Femtech market. And it's even better if your company is run by women too! For years, actually decades, the personal computing and IT sectors were dominated by products and services created by men for men. About the only application where women were heavily involved was word processing, and later, desktop publishing. That's all changed, but the big names in tech startups are still heavily biased to the male gender, ...

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WIRELESS INTERNET REINVENTED

Published on: 12 April 2018 1 Comment

5G is more than just a speed upgrade - it's mission critical

Dateline: 4 April 2020

It's finally here, and 5G mobile broadband isn't just a quicker internet - it's going to save us from the future! You'll forgive me for being a bit cynical, but we all remember the hype surrounding 4G wireless broadband, how it would solve all our congestion problems, and allow us to watch live-streamed video on our phones. Then finally the LTE (Long Term Evolution) demos began, and it looked so cool. And then another wait, while the handset makers caught up, until Bingo! you could get an iPhone ...

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WHERE HAVE ALL THE DEALERS GONE?

Published on: 5 April 2018

Who killed the retail auto showroom?

Dateline: 7 April 2022

Buying a new car is often the second most important financial decision we make, after buying or building a home. It's a rite of passage for many middle class adults; it shows you have arrived, you've achieved a life-stage milestone. It's not a decision taken lightly, or driven by impulse. You've had a feeling for some time, that you might be getting close, so you've been checking out your options. Which models make for a sweet ride, and fit with your self-image? If you're at all interested in cars ...

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SLEEPING BEAUTIES HEAL THEMSELVES

Published on: 29 March 2018 1 Comment

The answer is more than a good night's rest

Dateline: 7 March 2021

Remember the classic doctor's advice? "Take two aspirin and call me in the morning." It often worked, as after a restful night made more comfortable by the analgesic, you no longer needed the doctor the next day. Since then self-administered remedies have come a long way, and many of us have smart devices and wearables that monitor our health and well-being, providing us with personalized recommendations for preventative as well as curative therapies. But how do we maximize the benefits of a good ...

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INNOVATION IS NOT A GOOD IDEA

Published on: 22 March 2018

It's about working on a really great problem

Dateline: 5 April 2023

You might have a great idea, and be obsessed with it, to the extent that you can't sleep, can barely eat, and all your conscious hours are spent on thinking how you can improve on this idea, and share it with the world. Stop. This is not how innovation, truly great, disruptive innovation, works. It's all very well to be obsessed; but be obsessed with a problem, a real problem. Like how to feed the world, or solve water scarcity, or make a car that gets 100 miles to the gallon, and costs 1,000 ...

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SPICE TRADE TAKES ON A NEW FLAVOUR

Published on: 15 March 2018

Reverse direction is the new normal as Silicon Valley dominates

Dateline: 21 March 2025

Do you remember the tea clippers plying the oceans or the camel trains bringing exotic spices from the east? Probably not, but those were important trade routes in their day. Flavours and fragrances have always had global appeal. Since then, coffee and tea cultivation has migrated all over the world, and artificial flavouring has dominated commercial food production. There's still a demand for the real thing, like organic vanilla from tropical islands, but it commands a hefty premium. Flavours and ...

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YOU'RE NEVER ALONE WITH A CLONE

Published on: 8 March 2018

When your intelligent assistant is a digital you

Dateline: 11 March 2035

There are two types of cloning; biological clones of a plant or animal, and digital copies of data, programs, or even an entire system. Microsoft has just announced a breakthrough - digitally cloning your brain. But the vision for this new service goes far beyond just making a backup of your memories, in case you become forgetful. They want to energize your personal robotic assistant with a digital copy of you. Think of it as a full-size Mini Me. A humanoid robot with artificial intelligence, that ...

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WE WANTED TELEPORTATION

Published on: 1 March 2018

We got VR glasses instead

Dateline: 7 May 2024

We wanted flying cars. All we got were passenger drones, eventually. We were hoping for limitless fusion energy; instead we got solar panels. Everybody did. The future doesn't always deliver on our hopes and dreams. We dreamed about cheating death, an elixir from the fountain of youth, that would keep us forever young. Instead we have developed CRISPR and stem cells that keep us healthier in old age, but we still get old. That's the thing about the future. Our sci-fi fantasies and high tech ...

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I THINK I'M GOING SLIGHTLY MAD

Published on: 22 February 2018

It's finally happened, according to my smartphone app

Dateline: 8 March 2021

That's the thing about our phones, they listen to everything we have to say. That fact alone might drive you nuts, but even if it keeps your conversations private, your phone can learn a lot about you, just by listening to how you speak. It's called metadata and there's a lot of it; who you called and how often, when you called and for how long, your location when you called, and so on. Phone companies and law enforcement have been making use of metadata for a long time; even without recording your ...

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THE GARDEN OF REASON (OR IS IT TREASON?)

Published on: 15 February 2018 1 Comment

Urban farming is here to stay, and that's a good thing, isn't it?

Dateline: 1 March 2021

For some time now, various cities have been experimenting with vertical farming, rooftop farming, and even basement farming with LED lighting. Now it's maturing into a fully-fledged industry, just like fish farming. Farming without land, or even soil, sounds like a contradiction in terms, but hydroponics is not a new idea - it's just become more profitable. Being physically close to the consumers is the ultimate competitive advantage. Beyond the need for land, traditional farming has to contend ...

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NO LAWYERS REQUIRED

Published on: 8 February 2018

Smart contracts threaten legal industry

Dateline: 23 January 2020

Now that the open source blockchain known as Hyperledger Sawtooth has gone commercial, there's no need for lawyers and attorneys to draw up legal agreements and contracts. Your PA or AI assistant can do it for you, online and for free. Hyperledger is a platform which can run your customized Smart Contract app. Once installed, a smart contract automatically performs routine tasks, like paying the rent, and validating that it's been received. Using technology similar to bitcoin, the smart contract ...

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CONTROLLING THE DIGITAL ECONOMY

Published on: 1 February 2018

Government tries to follow the money

Dateline: 1 February 2021

Now that the bulk of the so-called 'capitalist political economy' operates on digital platforms and through digital channels, it's inevitable that government wants more influence and control. But will it work? In the aftermath of the dotcom boom, everybody wanted more access and better networks, and it wasn't long before broadband came to be regarded as a basic human right. Wireless networks and smartphones connected everyone else, and suddenly the whole world was on the 'net! Sure, some ...

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MAGIC MIRRORS MAKE MARKETING FUN

Published on: 25 January 2018 1 Comment

Augmented reality selling seals the deal

Dateline: 26 January 2023

How do you let someone test a product or article of clothing without using samples? A virtual reality demo, that's how. And to highlight your product on a cluttered shelf, you would use augmented reality to add visual cues, and data. This is the new world of Digital Reality, a blend of VR, AR and well, just normal 'reality'. And whether it's through a smartphone, digital glasses or an in-store display, digital reality is becoming big business. A customer walks past your magic mirror, and suddenly ...

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USING GRAVITY TO SEE BLACK HOLES

Published on: 18 January 2018

New attempt to observe the unobservable

Dateline: 2 February 2022

For decades scientists have speculated about the nature of black holes, but their existence has never been proven - yet. The theory says supermassive stars that have collapsed on themselves exert such powerful gravitational force, that even light can't escape; hence the name 'black holes'. We know that light and other forms of electromagnetic waves like radio and X-rays travel at constant speeds, depending in their wavelength. But what travels faster than light? Perhaps gravitational waves. Gravity ...

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POD RACING TAKES OFF

Published on: 11 January 2018 1 Comment

Racing flying cars is a thing

Dateline: 12 January 2020

It's exhilarating, it's dangerous, and it's happening. Contrary to common sense and good advice, young geeks are taking part in a dangerous game, racing against each other in real life, flying machines. Passenger Optimized Drones, or PODs are the nearest thing we have to flying cars. The problem is, they don't have wheels, so they're not cars, and the batteries don't last long enough for a serious journey, so they're not really useful for travel; and with only one passenger (or pilot) they're more ...

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WHO TURNED OFF THE NIGHT?

Published on: 4 January 2018

Greenpeace calls for light curfew to bring back the dark

Dateline: 9 January 2023

What happened to those lovely dark nights, when all the stars came out? They're gone, along with hurricane lamps and black outs. Now that LED lighting has conquered the world, seen from space our planet is a bright, glittering jewel at night. Even darkest Africa is filled with a billion points of light, and more's the pity. It's unnatural and astronomers hate it. The obsession with climate change has waned, and activists are focusing heavily on pollution, especially light pollution. They want ...

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EARLY START TO THE NEW YEAR

Published on: 28 December 2017

Ringing in the changes ahead of schedule

Dateline: 29 December 2020

There's something significant about 1/1/21. Maybe it's just the symmetry of the numbers that has got everyone excited; remember Y2K, and all that fuss over nothing? Well, now that this millennium is turning 21, there's another hullabaloo. Like we're all suddenly adults. Whatever the reasons, all over north America people are planning a double New Year's party, and both 31 December and 1 January are public holidays. They'll be saying a nostalgic farewell to 2020, a year that promised and brought so ...

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INSTANT OBJECTS

Published on: 21 December 2017 1 Comment

Printing holograms - in seconds

Dateline: 16 December 2020

Let's say you need a couple of shiny, glittery baubles for your festival tree, or maybe something to fix the garden hose. Now, if you can imagine it, it's there in seconds! Back in 2017, scientists at MIT demonstrated that it was possible to print things in 3D resin, using lasers and a holographic image. Starting with a beaker full of photosensitive liquid polymer, they exposed the resin to a set of three intersecting lasers, which caused the liquid to harden, but only at the point of maximum ...

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IT'S GOING TO BE A COLD, DARK CHRISTMAS

Published on: 14 December 2017 4 Comments

Climate change reversal catches almost everyone by surprise

Dateline: 21 December 2025

It's almost a decade since those 'hottest years on record' culminating with the 2016 El Nino. But no-one expected it to cool down this rapidly. In 2017, Parisians and other rich communities were still throwing money at the problem of 'global warming', convinced that the modern warm period was spiralling upwards. That was the year it snowed in Mexico and blizzards shut down major EU airports. On top of that, we all thought we'd reached peak electricity, and consumer power consumption would decline ...

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SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY: HAND IT TO THE MACHINES

Published on: 7 December 2017 1 Comment

When AI and chips are the best researchers, let them get on with it

Dateline: 8 February 2021

There's only so much a scientist can do. Which is why we all use smart agents to do most of our research for us. Smart software can read and parse papers many thousands of times faster than any human. A typical example is fingerprint identification or facial recognition. Computers are just way more efficient at matching patterns. But what happens when you are looking for new data in real time? How do you program that? Nano Global has released their first version of Nanobit, a system-on-a-chip that ...

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