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Technology Trends 2016

University of HoustonFebruary 25, 2016

Jim Leetwitter @jhlindejlee@stratfi.com

Great to see everyone again! My name is Jim Lee, and I run an investment advisory firm here in Wilmington. Along with more traditional investment strategies, I also track emerging trends in culture and technology. Technology is changing so quickly. Just three years ago, nobody was really talking about the internet of things. Two years ago, we werent even sure what to call it. Now, it is everywhere. In fact, weve almost hit peak hype. Everything is getting connected to the internet, and not all of it makes sense.

I think it all started with the a wi-fi enabled scale that can post your weight on twitter.

We now have wifi enabled frying pans that will send you a text message when you are burning a souffle.

There is also Oral-B bluetooth toothbrush and app. Comes with bluetooth technology to guide your brushing and track your progress.

And smart refrigerators that will take selfies every time you close the door, so that you can whether you are out of milk by using your cell phone.

Tonight, Ill talk about trends on how we are relating to our devices and how our devices are now relating to us. There is just so much information available right now, and there are some really significant questions on how to make that data accessible and easy to use. And that leads me to my first forecast.

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Internet of Things - Peak Hype?

Great to see everyone again! My name is Jim Lee, and I run an investment advisory firm here in Wilmington. Along with more traditional investment strategies, I also track emerging trends in culture and technology. Technology is changing so quickly. Just three years ago, nobody was really talking about the internet of things. Two years ago, we werent even sure what to call it. Now, it is everywhere. In fact, weve almost hit peak hype. Everything is getting connected to the internet, and not all of it makes sense.

I think it all started with the a wi-fi enabled scale that can post your weight on twitter.

We now have wifi enabled frying pans that will send you a text message when you are burning a souffle.

There is also Oral-B bluetooth toothbrush and app. Comes with bluetooth technology to guide your brushing and track your progress.

And smart refrigerators that will take selfies every time you close the door, so that you can whether you are out of milk by using your cell phone.

Tonight, Ill talk about trends on how we are relating to our devices and how our devices are now relating to us. There is just so much information available right now, and there are some really significant questions on how to make that data accessible and easy to use. And that leads me to my first forecast.

2

Forecast #1 Wearable Tech Goes Invisible

Wearables, in particular, are being designed to look more like normal objects. This is where the magic happens, when everyday-looking objects start to do amazing things.

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I have a Fitbit Surge, which a year ago was the best fitness tracker on the market. I use it for biking and running. Now it reminds me of a casio calculator watch from the 1980s. Remember those. Plasticy, black, kind of clunky, and really nerdy.

The new fitness watches look just like normal watches but can do a whole more. This one is a Samsung Gear S2, check the weather, monitor your heartrate, even make touchless payments.

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Three years ago, Google Glass came out, it got in the way of with having normal conversations with other people.

The next generation of smart glasses by Carl Ziess actually look and work like a normal pair of prescription glasses, but they have a transparent display lens build into the corner. This can be used for weather reports, notifications, pictures, and directions.

But, lets talk about the next big thing.

---Side Note: Carl Zeiss did it by integrating a Fresnel structure into a standard lens, and mounting a very small display at the edge of the lens. There are complicated optics at play here, but essentially the light from the display is reflected into the lens and hits the Fresnel structure, which reflects that light into your eye. A smartphone feeds the system images, and a smartwatch controlled navigation in my demo.5

FlexibleBioelectronics

Flexible bioelectronics are one area of wearable technology that is getting ready to explode. And this starts with smart bandages. We may see these hit the market within the next five years. Some of might be used to detect early stages of wound infection. At least two way to do this. One is to monitor the Ph levels of wounds, which become alkaline when infected. Others have artificial cells filled with ink that seeps out when the cell walls are weakened by bacterial toxins.

Other smart bandages are embedded to with biocompatible microcell batteries to stimulate cell regeneration and kill off bacteria. In early tests the Procellera bandage heals injuries 45% faster than traditional bandage. Their first market will may be for the military.

Flexible Bioelectronic tattoos can be stamped on and used to monitor things like oxygen and glucose levels, temperature, and location.

But the most interesting platform for bioelectronics may be hydrogels, which are stretchy, transparent, flexible, and completely biocompatible. You can almost make invisible bandages with it. This technology will be huge.

Now if you really want to wander off the edge here, the body creates a minute levels of energy that can be used to power some of these devices. Our nervous system is essentially electric, and our skin carries about 2 volts of electricity. At a small level, energy can be found in all kinds of interesting places, and that brings me to the next trend, which is

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Forecast #2 Wireless and Ambient Power

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Wireless Power

Most recently, Ive been getting excited about wireless power transfer. This was a technology pioneered by Nicola Tesla 100 years ago, but seeing commercial applications today. There are two competing technologies. Nearcasting and farcasting. Nearcasting looks almost like a coffee coaster and charges on contact. Ikea is now building wireless chargers into furniture. At some point, it may be possible to transfer password encrypted electricity throughout your house, using farcasting in a way that is very similar to the WiFi system on your computer. The password in cryption is important, so that your neighbors dont siphon off your electricity.

For now, wireless pad chargers seem to have an advantage.

Down the road, you might be able imagine having one as a floormat for your garage, so that your electric car will be able to come home and recharge itself after a hard days work of making money for you as an Uber taxi.

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Smart Dust

Technology is about to get more wireless and more invisible. Ambient energy such as radio waves can be used to power hordes of small objects the size of a grain of sugar in wireless mesh network collectively known as smart dust. This is a fine powder of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips that act as sensors to communicate information about the world.

These can be programmed to measure anything from light, to temperature, to moisture, movement and vibration. Research is ongoing and being funded by DARPA.

With Smart Dust, the internet of Thingscan now include mining operations, railway systems and even acres of land. Even paper currency may be trackable with smart dust. Withno physical connectivity and the ability to scavenge ambient radio energy, networks are quick toset up and very resilient, extending the IoT in a number of directions. Right now the leaders here seem to be Hitachi and Linear Technology.

We are going deep into sci-fi territory here

--Side Note: Hitachi has developed the worlds smallest and thinnest Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)chip. Measuring only 0.15 x 0.15 millimeters in size and 7.5 micrometers thick Nicknamed Powder or Dust, these chips consist of 128-bit ROM (Read Only Memory) that can store a 38-digit number. Has GPS capabilities9

Forecast #3 Virtual Reality Gets Real

Virtual reality has been the next big thing for the past 30 years, but in 2016 virtual reality gets real.

We are literally going to be immersed in our games and data.

Ill share will you my favorite toy from last Christmas. $100 dollars worth of Awesome.

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Virtual RealityGets Real

Samsung Gear VR. How this works: You snap in your smarphone, and the screen is divided an magnified into two parts for stereoscopic viewing. The perspective changes as you move your head.

This is a really gaming immersive experience, but Ive enjoyed using it to watch virtual reality concerts or visit places where I wouldnt normally go, such as Cuba or Berlin. You can wander around and gaze at the ceiling or look at peoples shoes. Colleges are now using this platform for VR campus tours.

Powered by Oculus, which was bought out by Facebook two years ago for $2b. By this spring we are going to VR headsets both the Playstation and Xbox. Pretty much everyone is getting into this game. Including Google and Facebook.

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Organic LEDs

In the some of the smart phones now, we are starting to see Organic Light Emitting Diodes, or OLEDs, and we talked about these last year.

The company formerly known as Dupont in partnership with LG is starting to roll out inexpensive, printable organic OLED displays that can be made for energy efficiency, flexib