SUSTAIN WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
A weekly sustainable tech newsletter from a standing desk. – Feb 1, 2016
Sustain Weekly — Strange Case of Dr. Patch and Mr. Phone
“Elegance is Elimination” — Cristobal Balenciaga on Fashion.
Last week, I wrote mostly on consumerism and coffee drones. I even made a poor sketch of a drone delivering coffee. Then, during the week, I read this article on a self-reliant glove that can help people regulate their trembling and degenerative disorders. That’s a great innovation. Smart clothes, watches and anything that will soon become part of our ensemble, will lead us into the first advanced generation of wearables.
Determining health at a molecular level is now where we’re heading towards. Drug delivery will be in transdermal patches that will be time driven. Even, sweat could be the next goldmine for wearable data. It is a great source for chemical data. It is super friendly for non-invasive wearable sensors as you don’t have to poke into the body to get health information.
It’s a Phone! It’s a Patch! No… Wait… It’s Part of Me!
So, @ac_hu asked me last year on what I think will come after the smartphone. I spent that day imagining where smartphones will intersect and the only thing I could think of is at wearables, nerve impulse tapping, displays and computing. The sketch below is what I thought how it might look like.
The way to commoditize the wearable might still be around the screen size. With 0.5’ — 1’ wearables being fitness bands, 2’ being smart watches. Screen sizes could be 4’, 5’ and 6’ — with the 4′-4.5 inch being the regular sizes and 5 and 6 inch versions being the extended plus-size phablet versions of the wearable.These computing ‘patches’ could be live tracking health data while they provide enough power and storage to stream and play.
Today, we are at the pivot for bendable displays. Early adopters have started using smart watches. In 5 years, this will be a tech and app rich market. This will further fuel the wearable-smartphone intersection. Apple is making the start with losing the headphone jack. It’s a gamble — yes. But, to put things in perspective, Apple was also the first one to lose the disk drive and it has not hurt their position or the market.
The loss of audio jacks will thin out the phone and make it ready for the intrusion of the bends. Combine this with wireless charging, wireless sound, the becoming of smartphone as a wearable is seemingly inevitable. In any case, they are certainly part of the future. I’ll cover these in the coming weeks as and when I collect more thoughts on wearables and how I see them.
A few sus-tech news I found interesting last week
- MIT researchers have created a new transparent polymer film that absorbs and stores the sun’s energy and releases that energy on demand in the form of heat. Smart clothing and can power wearables in the future.
- Windows of the future might be able to clean themselves. Recent developments are in windows that are engraved with a series of pencil-like conical nanostructures that can regulate temperature of buildings.
- Kyocera is building the world’s largest floating solar farm in Japan. Can power 5,000 homes.
- Apple wants to do VR. Quietly setting up a team. VR is pretty cool and will take off.
- Chip News. Sony acquires Altair. For making Internet of Things (IoT) Chips.
- Ford is investing $4.5bn into electric vehicles. Detroit vs West in the race for future cars.
- Google filed a patent for drone delivery receptacle. They want to use infrared beacons to connect with drones in the air and then guide them for delivery.
- Xerox split into two. $2.4 billion restructuring. One for document technology and one for outsourcing. Xerox has been very interested technology outsourcing since early 2010s. This move comes 2 months after Icahn acquired an 8% stake.
Start up (week’s stories and insights)
- What popular startups in India have achieved so far in 2016. Here are some milestones.
- India’s fastest growing shopping app! Yes, you guessed it! Voonik. Voo who? Here’s the story.
- GrabTaxi drops Taxi from its name. It’s now renamed to Grab. Soon Olacabs will do it. Every company now wants to have a company name that can be a verb.
- Nobody is ready to buy FoodPanda, even at $10-$15 million. They raised $300 million in VC money. FoodPanda’s parent RocketInternet is also writing off FabFurnish and PrintVenue
Did you know
- Mattel released a curvier Barbie. Product diversification to cater to extremes. Social consciousness or just brand protection.
- The myth that employees leave managers and not companies is wrong. According to new research. Apparently there is very little correlation.
- E-cigarette vapor boosts superbugs and dampens immune system. Vaping isn’t necessary. Just quit the whole thing.
- China’s Wanda group is building a $10bn new city in India, situated in the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor near Delhi.
Did you see
- This anti-gravity floating Air Bonsai tree. Looks cool.
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I manage market research and consulting at Arcluster, an innovation design and market consulting company that does research and consulting on micro emerging markets and sustainable solutions. You can reach me on twitter at @anirmal or via email email@example.com.