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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Filtered by tag: Manufacturing

INTELLIGENT MACHINES CREATE THE NEW HEGEMONY

Published on: 20 September 2018 3 Comments

China and America reap the AI dividend

Dateline: 3 December 2030

In the last 15 years, we have witnessed the stunning rise of an exponential technology - machine learning and artificial intelligence. Like Moore's Law on steroids, smart machines and computer systems have created entirely new global industries, turbo-boosted productivity, and destroyed old, industrial age business sectors. The Economist, now a purely digital research and analysis house, estimates the 'new value' created by this phenomenon at over US$ 19 trillion globally. But a full 70% of this ...

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CHINA STEPS INTO THE BREACH

Published on: 2 August 2018

Together with India, they make a formidable pair

Dateline: 8 August 2020

The vacuum left by America's leadership crisis has been filled, but not by Europe. Power has shifted to the east, and now China is stepping up to the plate in a big way. In a world where western free market ideology has become tarnished and mean, China's economic imperialism is eagerly welcomed. Make no mistake, Russia still has command of massive resources, but its technology seems rooted in the industrial age; an economic minnow, left stranded by the tsunami of digital tech sweeping the ...

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HUMANITY TRUMPS TECHNOLOGY

Published on: 19 July 2018

Mind-reading tech worn by employees is alienating customers

Dateline: 1 May 2024

Lisa Chen's mother always said that Lisa's whole spectrum of emotions is reflected on her face. Regardless of whether she's angry or ecstatic, Lisa has always been unable to mask what she's feeling. She always felt bad about it, until now. Back in 2018 it came to light that firms in the electronic equipment, power supply and telecoms industries were using sensor-fitted hats and helmets to measure their workers' levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Based on the data, employers adjusted shifts ...

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CHINA GOBBLES UP EUROPE

Published on: 7 June 2018 1 Comment

EU shareholders are selling out - to China

Dateline: 23 April 2023

If you want to exit from a large, EU-based, multinational concern, just sell it to the Chinese. They're buying. Everything. In the last five years, Chinese acquisitions and investments in Europe have tripled, compared to the previous decade. China's 'economic imperialism' in Africa and Latin America is widely recognized and well documented, but its forays into Europe have been more stealthy. Published details of deals to acquire or invest in power and logistics, property and football clubs, are ...

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DISRUPTION DÉJÀ VU

Published on: 24 May 2018

We've seen it all before, but this time it's different

Dateline: 6 June 2020

It's just like 20, or maybe 200 years ago, but it's completely different! Disruption has always plagued established markets and societies, throughout the ages. The first waterwheel or windmill for grinding wheat into flour was disruptive technology at work; nascent and naïve, but a foretaste of things to come, in a tumultuous tsunami of ever accelerating change. Steam power and traction engines, threshing machines and cotton gins; it seemed as though there was no end to our ability to employ ...

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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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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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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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PHYSICAL NEEDS, DIGITAL SOLUTIONS

Published on: 2 November 2017

Food, shelter and clothing - they're all IT

Dateline: 3 November 2022

We're all familiar with Maslow's hierarchy, and we know that basic needs like food, shelter and personal comfort come first. But it seems information technology, that enabling force for modern civilization, was focused far up the scale, at education, entertainment and research, and of course, finance. Now the world of smart robotics and nanotech production has turned basic businesses into digital technologies. Energy is solid state solar and batteries, and traded like information on the internet. ...

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ELECTRIC CAR GLUT THREATENS WORLD TRADE

Published on: 14 September 2017 5 Comments

China accused of dumping as prices plummet

Dateline: 5 March 2029

China's success as the biggest producer of cars - mainly electric cars - the world has ever seen, has led to a problem of massive over capacity. There are not enough adults in the world, with driving skills, to drive all the cars produced every year. Admittedly many of the latest vehicles are self-driving, but at the budget end of the scale, devoid of radar and software, basic cars are just dumb machines, even if they run on batteries rather than gasoline. The shift to autonomous cars has also ...

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LIKE UBER FOR SPACE

Published on: 13 July 2017 4 Comments

Now anyone can put a sputnik into orbit

Dateline: 5 October 2020

Rocket Lab has gone fully commercial, offering launches for small satellites at a tenth of the cost of SpaceX. The 3D printed rockets are less than three stories tall, but they still make it to orbit, in just a few minutes. It's like Uber for space launches. You book your slot on the app, and get a real-time quote on your phone, which varies with the size and weight of your satellite. Most popular are cubesats, only slightly larger than a smartphone, and controlled by users on the ground. The ...

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MAKING SCIENCE FICTION A DAILY REALITY

Published on: 6 July 2017

The 'Youth-Tech' factor is reinventing our world!

Dateline: 30 July 2019

FutureWorld started talking about the impact of the 'Youth-Tech' factor many years ago - that fearless, entrepreneurial and smart young people, empowered by easy access to radical technologies, were working to reinvent the world. In so many ways, the science fiction of our past is becoming a daily reality. Just a few weeks ago the first 'Willy Wonka' elevators were installed in a Dubai high-rise (much of which, incidentally, was 3D printed). Remember the movie based on the Roald Dahl story 'Charlie ...

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THE NEXT BIG THING IS A MASHUP

Published on: 25 May 2017 1 Comment

Combinatorial tech evolves to constant mashups

Dateline: 21 May 2020

A few years ago, all the tech gurus talked about amazing new technologies that would disrupt businesses in all industries. One common theme was that these technologies all relied on digital processing power, and the advances being made in computing and communications were behind the explosion of innovation on all fronts. Looking at internet-of-things, massive data analysis, deep learning and artificial intelligence, all the way through to 3D printing and self-driving cars; even blockchain and the ...

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ONE BELT FOR A NEW WORLD ORDER

Published on: 18 May 2017

China leads the push for Globalization 2.0

Dateline: 4 July 2035

It's taken two decades, but the demise of the United States as top nation was predicted way back in 2015. Now China is firmly #1 in economic terms, and the west looks decidedly lower-middle class. The global power shift to the east has been driven partly by demographics, but also by China's determination to expand its sphere of economic influence, and to co-opt key nations en route. Central to this ambition was the 'One Belt, One Road' initiative, which links up dozens of nodes from Guangzhou to ...

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CYCLING ON A RECYCLED CYCLE

Published on: 4 May 2017 4 Comments

There are 29 million bicycles in Beijing - and that's a problem

Dateline: 29 October 2019

The craze for 'dockless' share bikes in China and elsewhere soon led to a massive problem; piles of discarded bikes all over big cities, clogging up sidewalks and alleyways, malls and stations. The boom in bike manufacture, almost exclusively in China, accelerated, as bicycles essentially became disposable items. With large, automated production runs, producing a standardized bike every 10 seconds, the price per unit plummeted further. Cycle manufacturer Fushida and others together now produce ...

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HOORAY FOR THE MACHINES! THEY'VE CREATED MILLIONS OF NEW JOBS

Published on: 17 March 2017 4 Comments

Fears of jobless growth recede as markets demand new human skills

Dateline: 17 June 2023

The prophets of doom have been hard at work for the past decade, telling us that automation, robotics and machine learning are going to destroy jobs and leave millions of people unemployed and destitute. The reality has been somewhat different! Yes, some jobs have been taken over by the machines. But they're the dirty and dangerous jobs that most people did not want to do. Who wants to be a farm labourer or a production-line worker? It also true that many higher-level jobs have changed. AI systems ...

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WALLS GO UP, TRADE COMES DOWN

Published on: 23 February 2017 3 Comments

Global downturn follows isolationist resurgence

Dateline: 7 March 2021

Brexit, Trump and now Le Pen. As the old, established economies turn inward and nationalist, global trade and co-operation suffer. It's been left to the new, New World, what used to be called Emerging Markets, to carry the torch of free trade. As Tim Harford notes: "The first and most fundamental insight is that all human civilisation is built on some sort of trade." ALL human civilisation. Productivity and progress rely on exploiting comparative advantages with trade, to everyone's gain. But the ...

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CREEPY CRAWLIES CLEAN THE HOUSE AND POOL

Published on: 8 December 2016 1 Comment

Combining biotech with 3D printing and robotics creates quantum leap

Dateline: 7 December 2019

Another breakthrough has been revealed, this time in the arcane science of biobotics; not bionic appliances for humans, but organic robots. These are machines built with ceramics, metals and living tissue - usually cells cultured from lab rats. Biobots are not really living machines like radio controlled cockroaches or zombie moths. Rather they are a combination of biological material like muscle and synthetics like silicon, controlled by electronics, enzymes and light pulses. In 2016, scientists ...

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LET YOUR SHIRT FIX ITSELF

Published on: 29 September 2016

Self-repairing clothing works like magic

Dateline: 26 November 2019

With Millennials lacking basic needlework skills and only thinking of Twitter when you say 'thread' - someone had to come up with a sewing solution that is so easy, even the laziest among us would have no excuse. Researchers at D-IT in Paris have created a detergent that can infiltrate torn or damaged clothing fibers and enable them to re-attach. Just use cold water, a spoonful of Mendy (provisional name) and 25 minutes later your sweater will really be as good as new! Mendy was developed from an ...

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DASHY FACTORY TO BE MOVED AND RESTACKED LIKE LEGO

Published on: 14 July 2016

New construction models will enable reassembly in 21 days

Dateline: 27 June 2021

After a massive flood, caused by a higher-than-expected rise in sea-level for this year, the Bangladeshi textile industry has been mired in chaos. The behemoth factory of Indami textiles is a mess of drenched material and soiled garments. Critical machinery has also been rendered totally useless. They have cancelled all orders and are only expected to be back in production six months from now. Fortunately, not everyone remained unprepared. The owner of the small, but always nimble Dashy factory ...

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Filtered by tag: Manufacturing