Category Archives: futurism

A Super Secret Of Life: Revealed!

changeI’m going to reveal a super-secret secret of life. I know, I know, once you read it you’ll go, of course duh. But let me tell you first and then explain why people don’t believe it after.

Here is the fact:

LIFE IS CHANGE

There, I said it. You are saying, duh. Everyone knows that. But do you? Do you really? And if you know that, then why are you surprised by anything? Once you truly get it, and understand that life is change, then trust me, things will get better.

Why you ask?

I’ll tell you. If you truly believe that life is change, then nothing will surprise you. Everything that crosses your path which throws you off, won’t. And if something still does throw you off, then you know that you really still don’t believe in the above.

But even if you go so far as to say, sure I believe in the above, and are not surprised, still you worry. You worry about losing your job, your home, your spouse, your life, gaining a new job, buying a new house, having a baby, and any and all of the myriad things that will happen in your life. Some will be good and some will be bad. The fact is that whether its good or bad, it’s still change.

So how do you deal with all of the change in life, good or bad? Simple. Don’t just deal with change as it comes:

EMBRACE IT

If you embrace change when it comes, and you know it will, you can truly have a fulfilling, calm and wonderful life. And how do you embrace change? Also simple:

Do. Fail. Learn. Do again until you succeed.

Pretty simple, huh? I see people make up all these elaborate plans, and then something in life comes along and changes everything, and then they have to write up whole new plans and everything. So why do it? If life is change, how much planning can you really do? Plan your work and work your plan, may be great for some things, but it doesn’t work for life.

Don’t be afraid to fail.

Every failure is an opportunity to learn.

Retail Innovation Trends Compilation [Video]

“The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.”
- William Gibson

I put this compilation video together about 2 years ago for a presentation on the future of retail – It’a amazing how far along some of these are now in the last 2 years, and some of these are completely wrong.

Not here yet:

  • Surface style screens with table/mobile phone connectivity
  • Screens which can fold and morph into laptops
  • Folding displays that work really well. I bet they are close though…
  • Customer customized pricing per product: you walk into a store and there are no prices. You download the store app and use it to scan the item, which gives you your price. Other shoppers get their price. That would be interesting.
  • Flying cars! When the hell are those getting here!

Already here:

Probably Never:

  • Credit card size devices. As I’ll talk about in my upcoming book Our Devices, Ourselves I feel that devices hit a size wall in 2010 and displays are getting smaller, as opposed to bigger. There will be other ways of communing with our devices
  • Walking through a virtual store in a first person 3d way. Looks very cheesy in this video but what if we really kicked up the realism level through really good graphics and OculusVR style displays?
  • On cart displays. You’ll use your mobile device for all that. Maybe a bluetooth connected scanner in the handle for you to scan things and auto charge/check shopping lists. Same for navigating within a store

Completely Wrong:

What do you all think? Anything you found completely right and unbelievably wrong? Let me know, below….

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Thanks, Google For Bungeeing Us Into The Future

bungy-jumpBack in Canada, there is this yearly fair called the Canadian National Exhibition or CNE (we just used to call it “the Ex”). I think its the longest running yearly fair, its been going since 1879. They have rides and exhibits and stuff: everything from food to international products, to hobbies, flowers, you name it.

One year, they decided to add a bunch of new rides called “The Human Experience” – things like bungee jumping, a couch on bungees (couch on a slingshot), that Superman thing where they pull you up and you swoop on by. Needless to say, this attracted a lot of onlookers, most of them at the bungee jump, which was suspended pretty high up, over a air cushion. I was one of those onlookers. As I stood there, watching jump after jump (one guy was so big that he needed two cables, another girl, obviously not thinking it through, jumped in a skirt, and spent most of the time trying to hold it down) I realized that even though I started off not thinking I was going to try it, the more I say people doing it, the more I thought, yeah, I could do that. I think it was the $95 price tag that stopped me in the end.

Moral: See something crazy or weird being done by enough people, it becomes a lot less crazy and weird.

Google Glass is great. Actually, some people think its not so great, but with all of its faults, its has been great at one thing: making people start to think about wearables in a whole new way. Even though its really early days, if you ask me, Google Glass, in its current incarnation, and probably what its form factor will be when it finally launches to the public, will never be a true mass market device. It’s just a little too geeky and far out.

However, what Glass did really well was to push out the perception and the concept of wearables to the point that people are actually thinking about it. Even if Glass never gets truly popular (and personally, no matter how cool they make the headsets, and how many celebrities they get to wear them) I think that Glass will forever remain a too geeky product. But that’s perfectly fine. What’s more important is that Glass made people think that maybe someday they’d try wearables.

Glass is like a bungee jump by Google. IMHO, I think they purposely pushed the boundaries in order to stretch the imagination on what wearables could do, and help to further fire up up wearable market. IHMO, as I’ve said before, I think 2014 is the year for wearables, so if you are looking to start something, that space is ripe.

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Google Vs. Death

This is great – I’ve always been very interested in life extension – I heard Aubrey deGrey speak once on how we actually get to immortality and I thought that it was a fantastic concept and totally doable, as long as we can get push the envelope on medicine in all ways. His thesis is that is we can extend the average lifespan by 20 years, then within that 20 year extension we can figure out how to extend it another 20 years, and so on and so on – almost in a Moore’s Law kind of way, become immortal.

Of course, this involves quite a few things that many people might find unsettling, like genetic manipulation, cloning, growing replacement body parts, stem cell research etc. It’s always been my contention that we should see if we can actually accomplish something before we decide we don’t want to do it – unlike some others who would prefer to have endless dialog on the ethics or morality of improving humanity and the human condition in any way possible before we even know that its possible.

Since we’ve successfully grown and eaten a completely synthetic $300,000 hamburger, how far away really are we from growing a new liver when ours quits, or growing new limbs when we lose them, or performing genetic manipulation in utero (or even earlier) in order to eliminate disease and disorders, or even improve immune systems? Sure, there is always some danger of introducing genetic factors for preferences in looks and gender, but isn’t curing some of humanity’s worst scourges worth at least investigating the possibilities?

In person, it can be a little hard to hear Larry Page. That’s because he has nerve damage in both vocal cords: one was paralyzed about 14 years ago, the other left with limited movement after a cold last summer. This rare condition doesn’t slow him down, though it has made his voice raspy and faint. You have to listen carefully. But it’s generally worth it.

via Calico: Google’s New Project to Solve Death | TIME.com.