A titanium driver hitting a golf ball can create a sonic boom

Home > Archives

Major trends

Some people see a trend and see a threat. Smart people see the same trend and see an opportunity! -- Jim Carroll



Supply chains? They’ll start to disappear as we move the physical production of product closer to the consumer with 3D printing, end of runway manufacturing, and tremendous innovations in last mile delivery!

I covered this trend in Muscat, Oman, when I headlined the International Roads Union conference; in this case, speaking to the significance of the innovations occurring with last mile delivery.

Think about what I’m saying here: the innovations occurring with last mile delivery are going to lead to a LOT of new innovative ideas. Watch this!

This trend doesn’t impact not just how we manufacture, and last mile delivery innovations.

The reality is that it sees the birth of entirely new companies who are busy chasing the side opportunities and innovations that come from the trend.  Such as the development of battery technology, home design, and so much more. I was busy skiing the day before posting this trend, and headed over to the local Amazon warehouse to film this clip to put this into perspective what happens as we see last mile delivery innovations.

Warning – HELMET HAIR!

Have ever watched a 2 year old go from an iPad to a flat-screen TV in the living room? They try to get the TV to respond in the same way by touching the screen, and are kind of mystified. Another take – one executive that booked me told the story of their 3 year old wandering around the house talking to all kinds of devices – and wondering why didn’t respond back like the Amazon Echo devices in their home.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty certain that the 2 year old of today is living in a different world than I do – and that being immersed in the era of acceleration, their brain synapses are evolving very quickly, in an entirely different way. Add to that the acceleration of HCI – or Human-Computer Interface technology — and you’ve got trend #17 of ’19 Trends for 2019.’

In other words, storing a part of our minds, memory knowledge in some sort of computer hard drive!

Take this to the logical conclusion – we are seeing rapid advances in research that marries our minds to off brain storage.

How might we do it? I spoke about on stage at the World Government Summit in Dubai, we might end up combining the science of data storage with optical science – and take advantage of the fact that we have learned how to stop light in in tracks!

In doing so, maybe we can put our mind inside a yottabit ball!

“All your base are being to us!” That’s what happens with the transfer of control of the future from idea-tired, change-resistant, policy-weak and narrow-thinking baby boomers to the first adult generation weaned on the Internet.

We’re witnessing the impact right now in US politics. I don’t know about you, but I’m with the 28 year old politician.

In 2019 the generational transition will take on far more significance than ever before. It’s important to understand why: we are a technological world, and many baby boomers grew up in a time that simply has not equipped them with the tools to cope. All you need to do is watch folks in the US Senate quiz tech-industry executives at a hearing to understand how far out of depth they are. I always have a lot of fun with this generation (of which I am a member) on stage.

The next generation? They are unlike any that we have ever seen before. Take a look at how I frame this reality on stage!

All Your Base Are Belong to Us“? The generation who understands the significance of the phrase are the ones who will reshape our world with the oxygen of the connectivity that they have inhaled since birth. In 2019 and beyond, they own the future. The old folks don’t.

We are in the midst of a vast, sweeping and profound generational transition, and it is one of the defining trends of our time.

All your base are belong to us”? It originated as a bad translation in a Japanese video game in 1991 but the phrase went viral in 2001, years before the arrival of viral social networks.

It’s a statement of power; it’s a comment that indicates someone knows more than you know; it’s a phrase of the next generation. Study the zeitgeist, and you would have seen it emerge at the time, and understand its’ significance. I remember seeing it emerge and go viral; I get the context whenever it has been used since.

Boomers struggle with tech – they grew up with Basic, COBOL and punch cards. My kids are 23 and 25, and they laugh at the fact I actually sold close to a million books in the ’90’s that explained the Internet to people.

I’ve been online since 1982 – I started with a 300 baud acoustic coupler. (Look it up). Even back then, I understood that connectivity would change the world. And it has, both good and bad.

But what happens when the politician who can’t manage their iPhone retires and leaves power – and the Nintendo generation takes over?  It’s happening right now. The first generation in power is mostly white, old, technologically incompetent. The next generation is diverse, connected, entrepreneurial, fast, collaborative and global.

I don’t know about you, but my hopes are with the latter.

When I spoke in Oman last November, I spent a little bit of my time on stage talking about artificial intelligence. It caught the attention of the folks from Gulf Construction, the most prestigious publication in the Middle East when it comes to the construction industry. They asked if I might put down my thoughts on the role, impact and timing of A.I. and robotics within the industry.

AI in construction? It’s simply the next step in the digitisation of the industry. As we go down the technology path, we follow its inevitable result.

 


AI In Construction – Massively Transformative
In an exclusive article for Gulf Construction, JIM CARROLL, futurist, trends and innovation expert, highlights the far-reaching impact of artificial intelligence on the construction industry.
Gulf Construction News, January 2019 (link)

Artificial intelligence (AI), the very phrase conjures up images of futuristic mechanical brains doing all kinds of intelligent work. Scare stories abound – AI and robots are going to take away all of our jobs! Science fiction scenarios paint a picture of enslaved humans being subjected to the evil whims of smart computer technology.

Continue Reading

Simply put, megacities are the future. This results in new careers, new infrastructure, new innovation, new trends! Cities own the future, and the impact will be everywhere. One example? The acceleration of vertical farming concepts!

But there is a bigger trend at work here: and that is, by watching the big trends, you can discover how the essence of innovation within an industry is changing. With that, I bring you the impact of vertical farming.

Much of the vertical farming innovation is occurring in megacities, in Africa and elsewhere. Here’s a clip from December 2018, where I’m on stage at an agricultural conference, talking about vertical framing, desert farming, and floating cow farms!

Why does this trend matter? Because mega trends matter! Megatrends drive mega change, and no where is this seen than with the growth of urban cities. That’s trend #5 for today.

Watch the big trends, and you get a real sense of how the source of innovation is shifting. Such as within the world of agriculture.

Simply put, megacities are the future. This results in new careers, new infrastructure, new innovation, new trends! Cities own the future, and the impact will be everywhere. One example? The acceleration of vertical farming concepts!

Much of the vertical farming innovation is occurring in megacities, in Africa and elsewhere. Here’s a clip from December 2018, where I’m on stage at an agricultural conference, talking about vertical framing, desert farming, and floating cow farms!

Worldwide, there is a massive migration of urban populations to cities; the majority of the world’s population will live in less than 30 mega-cities by 2025. With that trend comes fascinating challenges with water, waste treatment, energy and other infrastructure. We can expect accelerating R&D in each of these fields as global society steps up to the challenge presented by ‘hyper-urbanization,’ and the birth of entire new lines of business involving “mega-city’ infrastructure support services.”

Why is this trend important? Because a lot of money will go into redefining these megacities for the future. Those trends will leak everywhere else… and so a farmer in Iowa will find that his or her future is, to a degree, being determined by the fact that a farmer in Ghana, Africa, will increasing be in a city, and will define one of the biggest trends in the world of farming.

There’s an important lesson in innovation from all of this – specifically, ‘your future might no longer be invented here!” It’s by watching the big trends, learning what they mean, and how they are accelerating change, that you can discover new pathways to the future!

I’ve had several keynotes recently where companies in the manufacturing, transportation, automative and financial industry have asked me to come in and help them sort of what is going on with Bitcoin, Blockchain, the Internet of Things, and business model disruption.

That’s typical of the type of highly customized keynote that I take on. What caught the attention of these clients, leading to keynote bookings in Las Vegas, Montreal, Vail and elsewhere, was my keynote topic, “Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Bitcoin and the End of Money: Understanding the Ultimate Disruption“. Learn about the that topic here.

With that, here are two clips that give you the essence of what you need to know.

First, BitCoin. Seriously, it’s just funny.

Second, Blockchain and the Internet of Things? Massive. 10 years from now, we’ll look back and go, “Whoah!”

If you are in any industry, you need to understand how the Internet of Things and blockchain are coming together, and what it means. As I state at the end, “you don’t need to understand how it works – but you need to understand what it does” in terms of disruption of your industry.

The folks at Hiability decided they needed to share with their customers and their industry the fast trends which are disrupting their world. They are one of the world’s leading provider of on-road load-handling equipment, intelligent services, and digitally connected solutions.

And so they found me.

The result was this article, appearing the Hiability Magazine last month. Enjoy!

The intro? “The future belongs to those who’re fast,” says Futurist Jim Carroll, one of the world’s leading futurists and an expert on trends and innovation. As the line between technology companies and traditional companies blur, everything we know about business from retail to inventory all disappear. How can the logistics, transport and material handling sector cope with this eventuality? Let’s fine out.”

Read the PDF, or click on an image. The full text follows below.

 

The future Is Now!
Hiability Magazine, September 2018
by Payal Bhattar

The future belongs to those who are fast’, says Jim Carroll, one of the world’s leading futurist and trends & innovation expert. As the lines between technology companies and traditional companies blur, everything we know about business from retail to inventory will disappear. How can the logistics, transport and material handling sector cope with this eventuality? Find out.

—-

Imagine a world where production lifecycles are collapsing, where inventory is passé and where companies can mass customize products and send them immediately and directly to consumers. Imagine all this not a harsh reality but a huge opportunity that is knocking at the doors of businesses worldwide.

The logistics sector is the heart of this big disruption. Driven by new technologies like blockchain, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Artificial Intelligence, robotics, 3D printing and analytics. This ‘Amazon effect’ means that we are building a massive new logistics system to get goods directly to people’s homes from factories.

Why store a product when it can be mass customized and sent to the consumer right away through 3D printing and end-of-runway manufacturing? If inventory as a concept disappears, what happens to the very concept of logistics? We will also see neighbourhoods in the future with drone-delivery pads on the driveway. As retail disappears, logistics has taken on a new form and function that is unimaginable,” says Jim Carroll.

Data is King

Take the example of trucks. With technology related to battery storage and electric vehicles developing at a furious pace, moving goods form one place to another is becoming more cost-effective and efficient. Several companies are working on having their own automated fleets where trucks will be self-driven battery-operated electric vehicles that are smaller and compact. Built with just a few thousands auto parts versus the 40,000 to 50,000 parts today these smart vehicles will operate like hyper-connected computers generating several gigabytes of data every hour.

According to a report on the US truckload (TL) Industry by McKinsey, In the long run, autonomous vehicles will reduce the total cost of ownership in the TL industry by 25 to 40 percent, including fuel consumption by 10 percent. Delivery times could fall 30 to 40 percent. Capital expenditures could drop significantly because the number of crashes may decline by about three-quarters. As a result, the bill for insurance will also decline.’

Detroit is no longer in charge – Silicon Valley is. Cars and trucks are essentially becoming hyper-connected intelligent-aware computers that are data-gathering and analysis platforms. They will eventually become an overall part of a massive new energy grid. That’s a big change”, explains Jim Carroll.

In Focus: Last-mile Delivery

It’s not just trucks, big data, robotics and artificial intelligence are already taking over inventory management and warehousing. Today high-vision fully automated forklifts and other robotic and automated guided vehicles are an integral part of the logistics sector. They not only offer more efficiency, higher speed, safety and accuracy in picking and boarding orders for delivery but are also helping companies radically bring down the high costs of fuel and labor.

Experts say that automation and last-mile delivery will lead to unbundling of tasks and create several new jobs which increase the complementarity between human tasks and machine work like supervisors, network managers, fleet managers, drone logistics managers, sensor cleaners, maintenance staff etc.

A report by PwC UK explains, ‘new technologies in areas like AI and robotics will both create some totally new jobs in the digital technology area and, through productivity gains, generate additional wealth and spending that will support additional jobs of existing kinds, primarily in services sectors that are less easy to automate.’

Beyond the Horizon / The Need for Speed

So what are the key trends for 2018 and beyond? Industry experts say that the Internet of Things, robotics, last-mile delivery solutions will continue to fuel the growth of the sector and reshape its landscape. Cobots or collaborative robots that interact with humans and work with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will replace robots that operate with limited guidance.

As direct-to-consumer manufacturing becomes dominant, the middleman will be eliminated or changed in significant ways. There’s a lot of hysteria about job loss, but few are taking about the new jobs and careers that are emerging, “ says Carroll.

In the year ahead, safety & cyber security will assume more importance for the logistics sector, mobile applications will play a big role and technologies to beat the weak spots in autonomous delivery and transport will emerge. It’s going to be a completely different world and only the nimble-footed will survive. Are you ready?

 

I was recently invited in to keynote the annual SAP Utilities conference in Southern California, and had a room of a few hundred executives from the energy, utility, water and wastewater sector.

Here’s a clip where I spoke about the acceleration of everything having to do with battery technology. I think its one of the most fascinating yet not fully appreciated sectors in our world of disruption – with an impact on everything from energy to transportation, consumer devices to medical care, and more.

Learn more in my post: The Future of Just About Everything is in Batteries.

We seem to live in two parallel worlds at this moment: the fanciful, political, “let’s make a wish” or “yell and scream” political world, and the real world. I don’t know about you, but I’m with the real world, and it’s obvious that others are too. To that end, I’m doing an increasing number of economic development talks that take a look at the real trends driving our world forward.

Case in point: I’m headlining the Nevada Economic Development Council conference this September in Las Vegas. We’ll have economic development folks, elected officials, industry representatives — all looking for insight on what comes next in terms of opportunity.


In my mind, economic opportunity comes from linking to the fast paced trends that envelop our world today. As the session description notes on my keynote: “He is an authority recognized for his deep insight into the cutting edge trends of our time, including autonomous vehicle technology, sensors and the Internet of Things, 3D printing, virtual reality, alternative energy generation and storage technologies, genomic medicine and healthcare virtualization, advanced robotics and artificial intelligence, blockchain and virtual cash, machine learning and robotics, crowdthinking and next generation R&D.”

Around the world, we are building a giant new machine, and new opportunities abound. They’ll involve new skills, big bold innovators, fast new technologies, and obviously big investments. Nevada woke up to the future when Tesla established the Gigafactory outside Reno, and knows that its’ future will come from aligning itself to other, similar trends.

If only other regions and people could think like Nevada instead of hitching themselves to a failed politician from the land of make believe.

Similar to this event, I’m also headlining (for the 3rd time in 16 years!) the International Asset Management Council annual event in Richmond, Virginia this fall. This is a group that consists of corporate relocation folks for Fortune 500 companies — people who analyze where they might place their next factory or manufacturing facility. They’ve asked me to come in and do a talk around the future of manufacturing, with an eye to better understanding the trends involving the reinvention of this critical sector of this economy.  (Hint: the old jobs aren’t coming back. New jobs are appearing all the time).

As the keynote description outlines: “Collapsing product lifecycles. Mass customization. Digitization, robotics and the cloud. Rapid prototyping, sketch to scale, and agility-based business models … are you ready for the new world of manufacturing? While popular media and opportunistic politicians portray a picture of a sector in crisis, smart manufacturing executives are furiously busy with innovation, reinventing their capabilities, processes and business models using advanced ideas, materials, methodologies and technologies.”

Regions that can align themselves to the reality of future trends, and set the right tone and welcome mat for innovation will discover the future of economic success. I’m pleased to be doing what I can to help people understand the real future — not a fake future dreamed up in someone’s mind.

I’m cleaning out some old research files, and came across this simple set of statistics: between now and 2050, we will move from 7 to 10 billion people; we need 70% more food, 50% more water, and 50% more fuel.

People always ask me, ‘where are the emerging opportunities for innovation?” Those simple statistics define it perfectly…… there is big potential in agriculture, infrastructure, energy, water …. ignoring the politics for a moment.

Back in 2008, I wrote a document, “Where’s the Growth? Global Innovation Opportunities for the Long Term”. I just read it again — and it was pretty accurate, predicting the rise of the Internet-of-Things (connected thermostats), the acceleration of solar and green tech, and other trends.

Have a read — it’s a PDF, so click on the image or read it here.

Send this to a friend