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 Exponential Minds’ Future Trends – McRobots Destroy Cashiers we look at McDonald’s shares hitting an all-time high, MEGAPROJECTS, lessons from Amazon’s Whole Foods acquisition, DNA captured splitting for the first time on video, and the future of fashion.
McDonald’s hits all-time high as Wall Street cheers replacement of cashiers with kiosks
McDonald’s shares hit an all-time high on Tuesday as Wall Street expects sales to increase from new digital ordering kiosks that will replace cashiers in 2,500 restaurants. Cowen raised its rating on McDonald’s shares to outperform from market perform because of the technology upgrades, which are slated for the fast-food chain’s restaurants this year. McDonald’s shares rallied 26 percent this year through Monday compared to the S&P 500’s 10 percent return.
See more at CNBC
The World’s Future MEGAPROJECTS (2017-2040’s)
A documentary on eight of the most ambitious mega-projects currently under development around the world, featuring: Istanbul’s building boom (Turkey); the Mission to put a human on Mars; the effort to develop Lagos (Nigeria); Africa’s unprecedented clean energy opportunity; the project to probe the nearest Earth-like exoplanet; Atlanta’s stadium of the future (Georgia, United States); India’s effort to modernize its highways; and China’s unprecedented One Belt One Road, “New Silk Road” initiative.
The big lesson from Amazon and Whole Foods: Disruptive competition comes out of nowhere
I doubt that Google and Microsoft ever worried about the prospect that a book retailer, Amazon, would come to lead one of their highest-growth markets: cloud services. And I doubt that Apple ever feared that Amazon’s Alexa would eat Apple’s Siri for lunch.
For that matter, the taxi industry couldn’t have imagined that a Silicon Valley startup would be its greatest threat, and AT&T and Verizon surely didn’t imagine that a social media company, Facebook could become a dominant player in mobile telecommunications.
But this is the new nature of disruption: disruptive competition comes out of nowhere. The incumbents aren’t ready for this and as a result, the vast majority of today’s leading companies will likely become what I call toast—in a decade or less.
Note the march of Amazon. First it was bookstores, publishing and distribution; then cleaning supplies, electronics and assorted home goods. Now Amazon is set to dominate all forms of retail as well as cloud services, electronic gadgetry and small-business lending. And its proposed acquisition of Whole Foods sees Amazon literally breaking the barriers between the digital and physical realms.
Read more at Vivek Wadhwa’s Blog
Scientists Capture DNA Replication On Video for the First Time
Scientists have captured video footage of DNA replicating for the first time. The video reveals that the process is more chaotic than once believed and prompts new questions about how the cell prevents mutations.
This video shows replication of individual pieces of double stranded DNA. This is the first time individual steps in DNA replication — arguably, the fundamental process of life on Earth — have been observed directly.
Each glowing strand is a piece of double helix growing by replication at the left-hand end. They move at different speeds and stop and start. Dark gaps in the line are single-stranded DNA where one polymerase failed to attach (the fluorescent dye only binds double-stranded DNA).
Some surprises come out of being able to observe replication directly. For example, the two polymerases involved in replication (one for each strand) aren’t coordinated. They stop and start at random, but overall they move at the same average speed, so everything works out. This stochastic model is quite different from a smooth-running, coordinated machine usually imagined.
The future of fashion
The fashion industry’s impact on technology has not yet surpassed its high point of 1804 with the invention of the mechanical loom. As the world’s first programmed machine, the Jacquard loom revolutionised manufacturing, predating and inspiring Babbage’s inventions, and forming the basis for modern computing.
In the intervening centuries, the fashion industry, now valued at $2.4 trillion, has not relied on research and development to stay competitive and today’s manufacturing would be familiar to any 19th-century Luddite.
“We make a shirt the same way we did 100 years ago and it’s insulting,” according to Kevin Plank, founder of sportswear brand Under Armour. But this is set to change. Mr Plank, among others, is asking: “How can we use technologies to make a better product and produce it more efficiently?”
Read more at Raconteur