Take this pill-- it will call me in the morning.
Digital "diagnostic pills" may soon be available through a pharmacy near you. A biotech company called Proteus Digital Health has created a “smart pill” system that consists of a pinhead-sized sensor embedded in a placebo pill that patients ingest. FDA-approved in 2012, it connects to a battery-powered patch that monitors various health indicators from inside the patient, such as sleep, activity, respiration, and heart rate. Then periodically, the system sends its data to a designated Smartphone, likely that of a physician or other medical care professional.
Proteus is working to develop smart pills that feature both medication and sensors. Inventors of the first digital pills say doctors need a way to measure exactly how patients respond to medications over time.The first fully integrated pills are expected to be available in 2014 or 2015. Source: Fastcoexist.com
North Pole could be shipping lane by 2040
Arctic sea ice, now at record lows, is receding faster than expected and may allow for a trans-Arctic shipping path to be opened by ice breakers. Transporting goods along the Northwest Passage may be possible for the first time in recorded history, according to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, shaving thousands of miles off current routes. Obstacles to traversing Arctic waters include safety concerns, a lack of infrastructure and services in the area, and the fact that ships would be moving through largely uncharted waters. However, the opportunity to save big will likely drive activity as routes become more feasible. Source: The Futurist, Jan.-Feb. 2014
The emerging sharing economy
Americans love our stuff! And there is a massive self-storage industry to prove it -- over 2.3 billion square feet of rentable storage space. How many people do you know who can't park their cars inside their overly stuffed garages? Well, there may be hope for our hoarding habits, as a "sharing economy" emerges just in time to perform an intervention.
The concept of sharing has been around a long time (i.e. libraries), but fresh takes on the concept, such as car-, bike-, boat-, home-, clothing- sharing services have kicked off a trend that is gaining momentum, especially with Millenials. A couple of books have helped fuel the movement: What’s Mine is Yours (2010) by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers, and The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing (2012) by Lisa Gansky. Now, adding some street cred to the fewer-people-owning-everybody-accessing-stuff economy, Google Ventures and Berkshire Hathaway are backing a number of successful sharing startups. Source:FuturistSpeaker.com
Coming to a city near you
More than 50% of the world's population lives in cities. By 2050, this figure will jump to about 75%. According to MIT Technology Review's 2013 Emerging Trends Report, Smart City initiatives are underway around the world that take advantage of a networked, sensor-filled landscape where digital data is collected and processed to produce more efficient and potentially more equitable population centers. Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/
According to The Futurist's Best Predictions of 2013 published by the World Future Society, more than 6 million years' worth of video will be available to watch online by 2016. Question is, do you have the attention span or the interest? Source:The Futurist, Jan.-Feb. 2014; www.wfs.org.