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’ The Future of Holographic Love we look at virtual relationships in Japan, IKEA buying into the gig economy, Tesla’s potential, Microsoft and Facebook’s 4,000-Mile-Long Subsea Cable, and Google Maps turning users on to product improvements.
In Japan, Finding Love in a Hologram
Meet Hikari, an anime virtual wife, and Eisuke, a virtual boyfriend who plays to a masochist fantasy, these are products of a multi-million dollar industry that’s sprung up in response to Japan’s relationship crisis. In episode three of the Bloomberg video series Love Disrupted, we look at the characters invented to fill the romantic void in Japanese lives.
Ikea has bought TaskRabbit
Swedish home goods giant Ikea Group has bought TaskRabbit, according to sources close to the situation.
The price of the deal could not be determined, but the contract labor marketplace company has raised about $50 million since it was founded nine years ago. Sources added that TaskRabbit will become an independent subsidiary within Ikea and that CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot and its staff would remain.
Sources also noted that Ikea would add capital to the company, although that amount could not be determined. TaskRabbit, which is now profitable, will also be able to strike other partnerships, such as one it already has with Amazon.
TaskRabbit is one of the best-known startups in the so-called “gig” economy that links freelance workers with jobs, from handymen to movers to assistants. It has about 60 employees, but over 60,000 independent workers use its platform.
Read more at Recode
By 2023, Tesla Could Have Millions of Cars on the Road
More and more Tesla vehicles are predicted to hit the road in the coming years — and that may give the company a serious edge in the competition to develop better, smarter self-driving cars.
More than 200,000 Teslas are on the road right now, each providing the company with data it can use to improve its machine-learning technology. However, now that the Model 3 is in production, the number of Teslas on the road could explode. Business Insider reports that Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas told clients, in a note on September 26, that he believes that the company will hit as many as three million Teslas on the road by 2023. We’ll already have 300,000 Teslas on the road by the end of 2017, and a predicted 531,000 by the end of 2018.
Read more at Futurism
Microsoft and Facebook’s 4,000-Mile-Long Subsea Cable Has Been Completed
The most technologically advanced subsea cable to ever cross the Atlantic is manufactured and travels 4,100 miles from Virginia Beach, VA to Bilbao, Spain reaching depths of 11,000 feet below the surface and having the staggering ability to deliver 160 terabits-per-second which is more than 16 million times faster than the average home internet connection.
Google Maps is turning its over a billion users into editors
Google has begun to further tap into the power of the crowd in order to improve its Google Maps application, the company announced this morning. This is being done through the introduction of a number of features that will allow users to more easily share location details, as well as confirm edits suggested by others. Many users had already seen these changes rolling out, but today Google is making them official – an indication that the broader rollout is completing.
While Google says that it makes “millions” of updates to Maps every day, it’s still not enough to ensure that every location has the most accurate, detailed information. That’s why it’s turning to users to help it improve the mapping service.
The company has expanded users’ ability to both add missing places to Google Maps or correct business information through its Google Maps iOS and Android applications, as well as in Google Search. You may have already noticed options for “Suggest an Edit,” or “Add a Missing Place,” for example, which allow you to make your contributions.
Read more at TechCrunch