Each week Nikolas Badminton, Futurist Speaker, summarizes the top-5 future looking developments and news items that I find to be inspiring, interesting, concerning, or downright strange. Each day he reads through dozens of blogs and news websites to find those things that we should be aware of.
In Future Trends – Counterfactual Quantum Communication we look at new ways of communication, Apple’s new HQ (wow!), how modern prototyping is changing, A prototype computer with 160TB of memory, and why Amazon is eating the world.
Scientists Achieve Direct Counterfactual Quantum Communication For The First Time
Quantum communication is a strange beast, but one of the weirdest proposed forms of it is called counterfactual communication – a type of quantum communication where no particles travel between two recipients.
Theoretical physicists have long proposed that such a form of communication would be possible, but now, for the first time, researchers have been able to experimentally achieve it – transferring a black and white bitmap image from one location to another without sending any physical particles.
If that sounds a little too out-there for you, don’t worry, this is quantum mechanics, after all. It’s meant to be complicated. But once you break it down, counterfactual quantum communication actually isn’t as bizarre as it sounds.
First up, let’s talk about how this differs from regular quantum communication, also known as quantum teleportation, because isn’t that also a form of particle-less information transfer?
Well, not quite. Regular quantum teleportation is based on the principle of entanglement – two particles that become inextricably linked so that whatever happens to one will automatically affect the other, no matter how far apart they are.
But that form of quantum teleportation still relies on particle transmission in some form or another. The two particles usually need to be together when they’re entangled before being sent to the people on either end of the message (so, they start in one place, and need to be transmitted to another before communication can occur between them).
Read more at Science Alert
Inside Apple’s Insanely Great (or just insane) New Mothership
ON A CRISP and clear March day, more than five years after Jobs’ death, I’m seated next to Jonathan Ive in the back of a Jeep Wrangler as we prepare to tour the nearly completed Apple Park, the name recently bestowed on the campus that Jobs pitched to the Cupertino City Council in 2011. At 50, Apple’s design chieftain still looks like the rugby player he once was, and he remains, despite fame, fortune, and a knighthood, the same soft-spoken Brit I met almost 20 years ago. We are both wearing white hard hats with a silver Apple logo above the brim; Ive’s is personalized with “Jony” underneath the iconic symbol. Dan Whisenhunt, the company’s head of facilities and a de facto manager of the project, comes with us. He too has a personalized hat. It is an active construction site on a tight deadline—the first occupants are supposedly moving in within 30 days of my visit, with 500 new employees arriving every week thereafter—and I felt a bit like one of the passengers on the first ride into Jurassic Park.
Read more at WIRED
The Ins, Outs, Ups and Downs of Modern Manufacturing
Short run, small scale manufacturing is becoming more popular and more accessible these days. Because the price of CAD software, prototyping and short-run additive manufacturing has continued to fall, just about anyone with a bit of training can begin designing. But just because you have the skills to design doesn’t mean that a design is going to come out perfect on your first go. Inevitably, something will go wrong in the model or prototyping or manufacturing stage. The trick to transforming a design into a manufacturable product is to try to foresee these issue before they appear, and design around them.
In this article I’ll be taking you through a design assignment that I got from Roopinder Tara, Director of Content at ENGINEERING.com. Just in case you need to know, I’ve been designing products for performance artist and small design firms for the past four years, and I’m also an instructor at my local community college where I occasionally teach students about mechanical design, prototyping and manufacturing.
Read more at Engineering.com
HPE unveils ‘world’s largest’ single memory computer
A prototype computer with 160TB of memory has been unveiled by Hewlett Packard Enterprises.
Designed to work on big data, it could analyse the equivalent of 160 million books at the same time, HPE said.
The device, called The Machine, had a Linux-based operating system and prioritised memory rather than processing power, the company said.
HPE said its Memory Driven Computing research project could eventually lead to a “near-limitless” memory pool.
“The secrets to the next great scientific breakthrough, industry-changing innovation or life-altering technology hide in plain sight behind the mountains of data we create every day,” said HPE boss Meg Whitman.
“To realise this promise, we can’t rely on the technologies of the past, we need a computer built for the big data era.”
Read more at BBC
Why Amazon is eating the world
My first company, an auto parts manufacturer, sold to Amazon both as a vendor (where Amazon issues purchase orders for bulk product) and as a “Marketplace seller” (where Amazon takes a cut of a third-party sellers’ products sold on Amazon.com) — so I have some insight into Amazon’s internal operations and initiatives that aren’t often publicly discussed.
I’ve followed AWS and Amazon’s other various offerings for some time, as well, and Amazon as a company has become something of a personal obsession of mine. I have some further thoughts on Amazon and the impending retail apocalypse that I wanted to share for those who are interested in the overall future of retail.
Consensus is that we’ve hit a tipping point and the retail industry is finally seeing some major collateral damage from Amazon’s monster growth — and mainstream/non-tech news has started giving this a lot of coverage. There is a lot of discussion about whether Amazon’s advantage is sustainable or whether other retailers (namely, Walmart) will be able to mitigate Amazon’s dominance as they start to replicate Amazon’s model.
Read more at TechCrunch