Whilst automation continues its inexorable progress in the sphere of industrialised production, direct human involvement in the very early stages of development is also becoming increasingly rare. Whether in the laboratory of tomorrow or the factory of the future, it is algorithms that will be shouting “eureka!”. Machines not only know how to produce a given item, but also how many, with what, and why it must be done just so.
Exoskeletons are usually bulky and seem strange, and not just to the wearer. But this could change in future with the introduction of textile muscle fibres that can be worn as an under layer of clothing like T-shirts. Merging them with multi-sense technologies and virtual reality will result in a hitherto unattainable degree of physical performance and immersion. Analogue and digital, artificial and alive – it is no longer possible to differentiate between these things.
The production line has ground to a halt: a curse escapes the lips of the Production Manager – to no avail. And it was all supposed to be completely different by 2020 thanks to the concept of predictive maintenance and state-of-the-art algorithms. Back in 2016, some 66% of employees had stated that they had suffered because of mechanical stoppages. The intention had been to help them!
Less than €2500 for a 3D printer that can print various materials and electronic printed circuit board tracks fully automatically? Simply printing one’s next mobile phone at home – sounds too good to be true. Sadly, it is. As of January 2017, the Berlin-based start-up Next Dynamics was still trying to get enough money through crowd sourcing to produce the above-mentioned printer. Following accusations of fraud, Kickstarter, the crowd-funding platform in question, had terminated the campaign.
Various initiatives aim to supply the earth with the Internet from outer space. More than half the world’s population would benefit from this.
Ethereum, a crypto-currency developed by 21-year old Vitalik Buterin and approved for software applications since March, could fulfil the promises of Bitcoin and exploit the full potential of the blockchain. The value of an ether has risen from one dollar to 13 dollars since January and with its 6,630 nodes-strong network, Ethereum overtook the Bitcoin network of 5,604 nodes already in May.
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