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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Sustain#34: Where will we live in 30 years? Part 1/n

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Sustain Weekly — Where will we live in 30 years? 50 years? — Part 1/n

“A strong spirit transcends rules” — Prince (June 7, 1958 — April 21, 2016)

Where will we live in 30 years? 50 years?

  • Urban farm?
  • Floating village?
  • Sustainable Township?
  • Vertical garden?
  • Sky ports?
  • Space colony?
  • Mars?
  • Kepler 452b?
  • One of the exoplanets?
  • Nuclear bunker?

We will be 10 billion people. The size of land remains the same. Maybe a bit more by scraping new land near waterways. But water levels are rising and cities near oceans will be on alert. All the biggest and oldest cities around the world are built near ocean ports. So, when water levels rise, people from these cities will have to move further away and up.

How will these homes be? How will it be powered? Will it still be connected to a grid? What about chores? How do I manage the house? Does it have to be cleaned? Will this home be filled with bots that wash and fold your clothes? Will it have smart kitchen machines that prints your food every day every meal? What will I eat then? Will I have neighbors? Will they have similar houses as mine? Will they grow their produce? Will our bots be friends?

Welcome to the 34th episode of the Sustain weekly! So, the new season of Game of Thrones will be out this week. Apart from the skin show, have you managed to observe the construction and architecture of the cities, towns and ports in the series? Last week, I wrote mostly on the near term market expectations for technology in fashion. That market will exist for the observable time. This week, I’ve opened the platform for thought on another necessity — Shelter. During the following weeks, in selective weeklies, I plan to include a glimpse of how future cities and homes might look like. This is part 1/n

Some other things you can read right now.

News @Arcluster

Arcluster technology research includes coverage on cross-vertical industry applications, in which we work on discovering and evaluating emerging technologies across smart cities, future manufacturing, smart transportation, robotics and healthcare technology. Some of our upcoming research studies cover market opportunities for new technologies across these applications. Watch the news space to see the launch of these studies. For the latest news from the company, follow us on Twitter here, LinkedIn here and Like us on Facebook here.

Sustain#33: Get Ready for Fast Forward Fashion

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Sustain Weekly — Get Ready for Fast Forward Fashion

“Fashion fades, only style remains the same” — Coco Chanel

Welcome to the 33rd edition of the Sustain weekly! Last week, I wrote mostly on the future of vehicles and how autonomous fits in air, land and water. How vehicles are transitioning from being driver-dependent to being people agnostic. This is heavily beneficial in terms of improving efficiency of vehicular operations. I have been increasingly focused on the future of work and transportation and I’ve missed covering on three core essentials — Food, Clothing and Shelter. So, I’m breaking away from automotive industry to cover one of the essentials. Something that is the first representative of a person’s personality. Clothing

A man is one half himself and one half what he wears


This is a very old saying and is increasingly true because what you will wear will communicate back to you and to other physical components. Wearables that measure and monitor health levels, measure and modify moods and even neurologically treat headaches and the like.

Software and Technology overlap into what we wear will be evident in…

Watches — Watches are being replaced by smarter ones. The growth in smart watches has surpassed Swiss watches. The growth graph looks like Steph Curry’s current season. All watch makers are working on price points. Because if you’re a Swiss watch maker, you either need to make one of a kind expensive watches or lower end watches that are cheaper.


Accessories: Wrist bands, Toe rings, Nail IoT strips, Safety alert earrings, fitness bands, connected pendants.


Footwear: Sensors and more sensors in this category. Shape shifting footwear, pressure monitoring soles, retractable heels, color changing logos.

Eyewear: Embedded lenses, virtual reality shades, and light adjusting glasses etc. Most of these are already starting to get made. But if you have straight vision, it’s kind of weird to wear something on your eyes. Unless, you have something exciting to see; like a VR movie.

Clothes: Shape fitting clothes, Mood, heat based colors. Temperature sensitive automatic healing and cooling shirts. Increased flexibility and non-tech related advancements in material science that enables better fitted and tech accommodative clothing.

Some of these might not have utilitarian value, but can still cab become a part of pop culture. That’s because fashion is not about utility, it’s about expression.

Most of these are already work in progress and should reach the market in 1–2 years. In the long term, wearables and smartphones might merge.


Also, I want to share the fact that TIME magazine did a mock GIF of how forever online looks like. It brilliantly captures how the idea of phones, skin and wearable merges into us being forever online.


That’s pretty close to the sketch I made earlier in Weekly #22 titled Dr. Patch and Mr. Phone. Coincidentally, that edition was also on wearables and smart clothing.

Next week, I’m planning to write about how we’re in the transition phase of moving from cluttered incoherent cities to structured megacities. I’ll also try and cover the climate and energy angle to this puzzle.

Some other things you can read right now.

News @Arcluster

Arcluster is set to publish a very diverse line up of research studies across emerging technologies this summer. We’re looking forward to cover the next major opportunities in drones, cloud, and other markets. Watch here and the news space to see the launch of these studies. For the latest news from the company, follow us on Twitter here, LinkedIn here and Like us on Facebook here.

Sustain#32: Future Vehicles and a Fool

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Sustain Weekly — Future Vehicles and a Fool

“No one has ever washed a rented car” — Larry Summers

Last week, I wrote mostly on jobs losses and half-life periods, enterprise collaboration and VR, and how Tesla is disrupting the auto industry. Then, later in the week, I read an article about the April fool’s joke of autonomous cycle for kids. What struck me the most was that quite a few people shared it on social media assuming it was real. That’s how close we are to self-driving vehicles. Then during the week, I stumbled on more news on autonomous vehicles.

The after-market autonomous car company Comma.ai, founded by George Hotz, got backed by A16z with $3.1 million. During the same week, a group of 6 autonomous trucks drove through European highways in a test for self-driving preparedness. In the same period, Tesla clocked 325,000+ bookings for Model 3, the largest ever automotive sale ($14 billion) ever in history. The car, of course, can transition to self-driving/auto-pilot modes through over the air (OTA) software updates. The Tesla news indicates two things — 1) the plane at which a sale is executed has changed 2) Car ownership is here and may stay.

Autonomous works on level grounds. What about the terrains?

Self-driving vehicles work almost everywhere now. Farms, mines, battlefields etc. John Deere driverless tractors plow farm lands today. In fact, agriculture is one area where autonomous tech is rapidly finding acceptance. But what is lacking is autonomous vehicles in highly dynamic terrains such as in deserts.

Enough about the land. What about the air?

But, we missed three important aerial vehicles that is a major part of this circle. Rockets, Planes and Drones. Of these, drones made the most news last week. The US federal aviation authority (FAA) increased the height regulation and created performance based rules for urban drones. This helps in 2 ways — 1) the height regulation enables more drones over commercial applications 2) performance based rules helps some better capable drones to do delivery.


Beyond drones, autonomous solar planes are also coming. The independence of aerial transport from pilots is happening along with cars. But for now, I personally prefer a couple of talented pilots. But forget planes and drones, rockets are the first ones to be autonomous, because they can now land back on earth. Without crashing.

Last week, SpaceX landed Falcon 6 successfully on a drone ship. This is huge. A science and tech breakthrough that fuels the growth of reusable rockets and more affordable space discovery. Detach and return of rockets is big but adjusting a drone ship on water for the rocket to land is massive. I’ve covered automotives majorly in the last few weeks. I’m going to give them a break and look at a different market, one that everyone has an opinion — Fashion! and technology of course.

Some other things you can read right now.

News @Arcluster

Arcluster is significantly invested in the research of autonomous technology markets. The recently published agricultural drones and commercial drones report are part of a strong line-up of research reports covering autonomous vehicle technologies, some of which are part of our 2016 research agenda. Watch the news space to see the launch of these studies. For the latest news from the company, follow us on Twitter here, LinkedIn here and Like us on Facebook here.

Sustain#31: Be the. Champion, Champion, Champion..

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Sustain Weekly —  Be the… Champion. Champion..Champion…

“I really believe in the idea of the future” — Zaha Hadid

Last week, I wrote mostly on Monsanto and a brief history of how they have come to become excessively relevant to industrial farming. I even shared the photo of the pretty spinach that grows on a friend’s balcony. Then, later in the week, I read an article that links autism to Monsanto’s Roundup and predicted half of the US children might be autistic by 2025. That’s a very scary trend. This reinforces why it is important to focus more on home produce and be more mindful on ingredients. I’ve been wanting to start a small terrace garden and grow some of everyday produce and recycle kitchen waste back into compost. In this effort, I have been reading on how’s, what’s and not’s of how to do it. I will share interesting links & articles as and when I stumble upon them.

During the week, I had a couple of interesting conversations about

jobs & enterprise. Q1) How workforces will collaborate and what is the relevance of slack? Q2) what jobs have longer half-life periods considering the rise of automation, robotics and AI. All these reflect an overall trend of how traditional jobs in traditional industries will evolve. In fact, it’s how they won’t.

We’re expecting 5 million job losses, with a gain of 2 million new ones. This means, 5 million traditional roles and 2 million roles in new industries.

Farming — a data trend; Offices — a virtual trend; Grunt work — a robotics trend.


A Citi report last week predicts a loss of 1.8 million jobs in banking alone. Fintech and banking automation have a significant effect on traditional banking jobs and will force banks to rebalance workforce to more strategic roles. This trend is reflecting in other traditional industries as well.

The pressure on companies to stay profitable while at the same time maintain minimum wage is showing. Unemployment is not a big threat now, but can be.So, let me address Q1) workforce collaboration — this is a tech trend. Is there really a problem to solve? Probably not. How people interact could range from A/V integrations in Slack, maybe some on Skype/Lync and some Holoporting into Avatars in an enterprise VR setup. This is more predictable than before. Last week, Microsoft announced its interest in business bots and Dell announced VR capable systems for the enterprise. Today, enterprise collaboration is still a tool and not a business challenge.

Question 2 is more challenging. What jobs will have longer half-life periods?

First of all, half-life is measured based on ‘value’. Not just monetarily but also to society. So, in that aspect — I believe fields like astronomy, medicine, and psychiatry have very high to immeasurable value. The lower end of this spectrum in terms of half-life value are driving, singing and economists. The lower end is being disrupted now. So, the ones with longer half lives are fields in the middle such as architecture, design, programming, teaching, film making etc. Some of these will still be careers in the future.

Whatever you pick, try and celebrate small victories like the West Indies cricket team. Be the champion at what you do.

Tesla opened the booking for Model 3 and results are globally stunning!

Tesla booked 180,000 orders for Model 3 EVs in 24 hours. About 116,000 plug-in cars were sold in the U.S. in all of 2015. That’s the relative scale to view this watershed moment in auto history.

A more recent number for the bookings is 232,000. This will grow further. That’s a staggering number and has given a good long shake to the automotive underbelly of the US, maybe even the world.

Everyone connected to the auto industry, even one’s who were acting asleep, have woken up.For 5 reasons. 1) Ford, GM etc. weren’t able to incite so much interest without a vehicle at an auto show. 2) Tesla isn’t going through dealerships like traditional players. This is a threat to a vast network of operators in the automotive chain. 3) Tesla is electric and is disrupting the Auto & Oil links. 4) Tesla is American, so American auto can’t attribute lack of sales to Japanese auto or cheaper foreign ones. 5) Tesla is software driven. Easy to fight against hardware; hard to fight with software. This will hurt auto players more than anything else.

People waited in queues to book a Model 3. Surprising! Because, in a free market, where there is demand, there will always be supply. So, you really don’t have to stand in line to book. Also, Tesla turned global with Model 3. It opened the booking for India and a lot of entrepreneurs have forked $1000. Tesla wants to build a Gigafactory for batteries in India. The PM visited the US factory in Oct 2015. More than cars, I’d like to see mass market commercially available and inexpensive Tesla Powerwalls in India. That is a real problem waiting for a solution in India.

Some other things you can read right now.

News @Arcluster

Arcluster is developing up a strong line of research studies cutting across multiple verticals with a rooted focus on sustainability and technology. The upcoming studies reflect our strong focus on future technologies and ability to evaluate market disruption. Watch the news space to see the launch of these studies. For the latest news from the company, follow us on Twitter here, LinkedIn here and Like us on Facebook here.