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On the Horizon Futures Report June 2014

On the Horizon Futures Report June 2014

Curated by Pamela McConathy Schied, MS, Futures Studies in Commerce, College of Technology, University of Houston; Principal, Foresight Communications Group,

Oilfield Workers Testing Google GlassOilfield Workers Testing Google Glass

As part of a new pilot project, global energy giant Schlumberger is testing a customized version of Google Glass as part of a workflow management tool for oilfield workers who go places where tablets can’t go. Schlumberger is using Glass headsets in several locations in the U.S. and  around the world with software created by San Francisco-based Wearable Intelligence.

Oilfield workers often find themselves in extremely remote areas doing dangerous and complicated jobs. Fast access to data, schematics, maps or video capture can mean the difference between life and death.

“Everything is based on information in the oil industry,” Wearable Intelligence founder Chase Feiger said. “The time it takes a field service worker to get information can increase overall cost to a company. Google Glass can provide ambient data and information to individuals in the field, improving efficiency.”

Schlumberger is also evaluating data Glass can collect, providing real-time performance metrics back to management.

Read more and watch the video demonstration —


Energy of Human MindMind-blowing Predictions from Big Thinkers

At TED2014, organizers asked speakers and attendees to predict “The Next Chapter” for the world, and forecast what might radically change society, life, technology and us in the next 30 years. Here are a few insightful responses.

“If the past 30 years were about the internet and the Web, the next 30 years will be about testing the limits of the human body infused with technology. Can we transform the way we learn? Will there be a need to spend 20 years studying when all knowledge is instantly available to all of us?” Kelo Kubu, executive director, Gamatong.

“My prediction is that we’re going to ingest information. You’re going to swallow a pill and know English. You’re going to swallow a pill and know Shakespeare. Once it’s in your bloodstream, it basically gets into the brain…This isn’t far-fetched.” Nicholas Negroponte, founder, MIT Media Lab.

“Twenty years from now, we’ll have nanobots that go into our brain through the capillaries and  connect our synthetic neocortex and the cloud. In the 2030s you’ll be able to connect directly to the cloud from your brain. Our thinking then will be a hybrid of biological and non-biological thinking,” Ray Kurzweil, inventor, futurist, CEO, KurzweilAI.

“What will blow my mind in the next 30 years is the ability to diagnose a disease before you know that something is wrong with you, treat it with medicines designed specifically for you and eradicate it so it never happens again,” Doreen Lorenzo, president, Quirky.

“I think what will blow our minds in the next 30 years will be watching the maturation and contributions of Generation Z. This is the first generation to grow up with wide access to advanced technology since their birth. I have seen kids like my godson — born in 2011 — be able to navigate a tablet computer from before he was able to form complete sentences.” Ryan Coogler, filmmaker.

“In 30 years, if energy were clean, cheap and dense, we could lift everyone out of poverty, desalinate as much water as we need, incinerate trash completely and leave large portions of the earth to nature and still live high quality, modern lives on an ecologically vibrant planet. It will take breakthroughs in energy technologies and major investments by government, civil society and business,” Rachel Pritzker, president, Pritzker Innovation Fund


Finding Intelligent Life Beyond Earth is ImminentFinding Intelligent Life Beyond Earth is Imminent

According to University of California scientists who spoke to the House Science Committee of the U.S. Congress recently, we are quickly getting closer to discovering intelligent life beyond Planet Earth. Senior astronomers with SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, an ongoing project since 1984,believe the discoveries of Goldilocks Zone planets made by Kepler, and future space telescopes such as the James Webb,” will prove once and for all that we are not alone as an intelligent, technologically sophisticated tool making culture.” The SETI astronomers also noted with certainty that non-intelligent life will be found within two decades on Mars, Jupiter or Saturn.

“The rate of change in technology and our ability to acquire information is giving folks at SETI confidence to believe after 30 years that we are very close to finding out we are not alone,” said futurist, Len Rosen in the World Future Society publication, the Futurist. “We have the computing power today, developing artificial intelligence, and through our optical and radio astronomy advances an ability to see more detail and learn more about our galaxy and the Universe.”


Future CEO1Is the City of Tomorrow Already Here?

Many of us don’t realize that real innovation is already successfully solving many of the world’s toughest challenges, such as greenhouse gases, crime and high energy costs.

Yet, in the coming years, those challenges will increase along with urban populations. The United Nations predicts by 2030, 60 percent of us will live in cities. Demand for clean air, water, energy — and convenience — will skyrocket. Can innovation keep up with these and other demands of expanding and yet, more concentrated population centers?

CNN is exploring the challenges of a growing urban landscape, and how existing and new innovations are and will take on these  and other issues. Here is an interactive run down of where things stand now.

Airline pilot restingFor Better or Worse, More Change Ahead

According to a new survey from Pew Research Center, almost two-thirds of Americans think technological change will lead to a better future, while about one-third think people’s lives will be worse as a result. For better or worse, we all can expect more change in the years to come. Regardless, expect more change. Here’s a peek into the-not-too-distant future from seven innovators most likely to drive these transformations.

Common-place in a decade:

Phones and computers that automatically do anything tedious that doesn’t require brainpower, like signing up for a web site or app; getting a top-end college education without going to a physical campus; personalized medicine — unique drugs based on your individual genes.

Going away:

Email, computer mouse, your device charger, computer keyboard, handheld phones, owning a car in an urban environment, diamond mining, drivers, auto mechanics, auto insurance, airline pilots, cash, keys.



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