Futurists got up close and personal with ten novel ideas and inventions at Futurists:BetaLaunch (F:BL), the World Future Society's first idea and solution expo and competition. F:BL was moderated by event partner Disruptathon and held in Vancouver July 8-10 during WorldFuture 2011: Moving from Vision to Action, the Society’s annual conference.
Disruptathon has announced that the Golden-i headset computer, a collaboration between technology firm Kopin and phone maker Motorola, was voted “Best in Show” and “most buyable” of the inventions showcased at F:BL. Golden-i was also voted the entry that most “makes me feel like I’m in the future, now!” by WorldFuture 2011 attendees.
Motorola Headset Computer
The Golden-i is a computer headset with full voice, audio, and PC capabilities. According to Nicole D. Tricoukes, Business Innovation Manager at Motorola Solutions, “this new category of wearable computer provides handsfree remote control and instant access to digital information and broadcast programming. Access is also available for Internet services, including streaming video over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, allowing simultaneous real-time interface with multiple mobile devices, servers and networks. These unique capabilities are enabled through a gesture- and voice-recognition-based user interface."
(Contact: Nicole D. Tricoukes • www.mygoldeni.com)
Disruptathon is a Virginia-based company that seeks to foster innovative and disruptive thinking for the purpose of growing business and improving the economy. “We accomplish through live public and private open innovation events where innovative concepts and products rise to the top. Our Innovation Discovery platform enables live feedback and analysis of ideas and presentations,” according to Pete Erickson, CEO. At WorldFuture 2011, Disruptathon used a set of event kiosks to allow conference participants to anonymously vote on which innovations and ideas they felt had the most potential.
Futurists:BetaLaunch—presented by the World Future Society, THE FUTURIST magazine, and 1X57 and sponsored by Bentley Systems, Google, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Cynergy—featured inventions and innovations alongside their inventor/innovator.
Besides the Golden-i, nine other innovations and ideas were selected to be showcased in this year’s event. The following information was provided by those participants.
Guardian Watch• Represented by Dr. Gordon Jones • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.guardianwatch.com • Twitter: @GuardianWatch • Facebook: GuardianWatch
It is my honor to introduce Guardian Watch™ where our mission is to save lives around the world through visual awareness.
Our patent pending mobile apps allow anyone with a mobile device to stream video and report emergencies in real-time (our current post time is 5 seconds) alerting local law enforcement and members of their neighborhood with their GPS location and a visual of what is going on at the scene. Additional innovations to the technology include allowing 911 and first responders to text to the observer while the live stream is active, to give directions and ask questions of the observer.
Visit GuardianWatch.com to sign up for our monthly newsletter, connect with us at Facebook.com/GuardianWatch, and/or follow us on Twitter.com/GuardianWatch.
IVDiagnostics Non-Invasive Diagnostic Medical Device• Represented by Frank Szczepanski • www.ivdiagnostics.com
A non-invasive biomedical diagnostic device that will permit individuals to self-diagnose for blood borne diseases. The Point of Care unit is being developed and tested utilizing a phased approach to monitoring for cancer, bacterial infections, and infectious diseases. Within 30 minutes, we can diagnose one liter of blood in a patient’s circulatory system, without taking blood. This method will change the paradigm for how physicians can monitor their patients in real-time, remotely.
Primer Code Hero• Represented by Alex Peake • email@example.com • http://primerlabs.com
Primer is an aspirational game platform that makes all knowledge playable. The first Primer game is Code Hero, a first person shooter in which you play a hacker who can recruit an army to battle evil artificial intelligences trying to take over the world. Your code gun allows you to literally copy and edit code from objects and paste to blast enemies and solve puzzles.
Code Hero teaches the player how to code one challenge at a time and takes players beyond the 3D battles to mastering real-world programming doing challenges based on the heroes of programming history and startup opportunity as it connects them to the real-life aspiration of becoming a code hero to invent the future.
ARC City• Represented by Robert Daniels • www.in-harmony.net
The ARC City is the first Eco-City concept to totally harmonize with nature in a symbiotic pattern. By eliminating the car, sprawling megacities, and long-distance supply lines of food, water, and energy, the ARC City will redefine future habitats and lifestyles. Our goal is to identify the important ecological elements, anticipate human needs, and create a futuristic city that becomes part of a network of human activity within the framework of nature. The current problems of human interaction with the earth have been identified. Solutions have been created that become part of a common denominator to live in a simpler way that allows us to maintain most of our present lifestyle patterns. We have utilized modern technology, but rearranged it to be more harmonious and life-sharing.
The Seasteading Institute• Represented by Simon Pickup • firstname.lastname@example.org • http://seasteading.org/ • Twitter: @Seasteading • Facebook: The-Seasteading-Institute
The Seasteading Institute is an umbrella organization that seeks to enable seasteading communities—floating cities—which will allow for experimenting with new ideas for government. By approaching government as industry and by following the spirit of entrepreneurism, the Institute aims to inject innovation and competition into government, leading to better societal architecture.
Today, it is nearly impossible for people to test new ideas of governance, even at a small scale, because existing governments claim all land on earth. Most governments base their political and legal systems on archaic doctrines that do not adapt easily to modern research or technologies.
For example, decades of Nobel Prize winning economics research is not embraced in democracies where politics incentivize voting for short-term political gains. The sad reality is that governments rarely make significant changes without violent coups or revolutions. The world is in urgent need of a place where new societal models can be tested peacefully, and the ocean is the last place on earth where new nations can be created.
To achieve our vision, the institute is pursuing a strategy to make seasteading sustainable—technologically, legally and financially. Our efforts are divided between movement building and research. Our movement building work inspires people to join our community and to take steps to become seasteaders. Our research is focused on the core engineering, legal, and business challenges that need to be understood in the short term in order to launch the first seasteads.
We plan to have a proof-of-concept ‘shipstead’ operating by 2015.
SkyTran: 21st Century Silicon-Based Transportation• Represented by Douglas Malewicki • DMalewicki@cox.net • www.SkyTran.net
Three billion automobiles by 2050! Congestion, accidents, fossil fuel pollution, CO2 and noise. Can Earth survive? SkyTran™ is the solution.
SkyTran’s “packet switching for people” will revolutionize centuries old human-guided transport. Our first MagLev prototype is operating at NASA Ames.
SkyTran eliminates congestion. Board the ultra-light 2-passenger vehicle. Say or touch-select your destination. Then relax. SkyTran’s computer chauffeur drives you on elevated guideways, safely above traffic with closer vehicle spacing and higher speeds than automobiles. Two-way SkyTran guideways carry more passengers than 6-lane freeways.
SkyTran prevents accidents. No intersections, obstructions or impaired drivers. Safe, automated, individualized routing to your destination.
SkyTran reduces pollution. SkyTran’s ultra-light, streamlined vehicles use 95% less energy than cars. MagLev and track-powered linear electric motors are silent and eliminate mechanical maintenance. Passive MagLev replaces tires; silicon replaces moving parts. Transitioning half of the U.S.’s annual 3 trillion car miles to SkyTran will eliminate 50% of oil imports while only increasing electricity consumption by 6%.
SkyTran is cost effective. Mass-produced, ultra-light vehicles and guideways consume a minimum of raw materials. This directly impacts systems cost. Modularity reduces onsite construction costs/time and encourages rapid wide-scale deployment. SkyTran eliminates expensive right-of-ways because guideways and portals are installed above sidewalks and inside buildings to reach close to work and home.
SkyTran’s high capacity, low maintenance, and energy efficiency reduce annual operational costs. SkyTran will be profitable—unlike government subsidized mass transit. Profits, not increased taxes, will expand networks.”
Smartup• Represented by Nicolas Bertrand • email@example.com • http://smartup.com • Twitter: @nickbert • Facebook: Smartup
Smartup is a free Web site that is a coach for your brain to optimize intelligence, wellness and productivity. It relies on these scientific principles:
1. Spacing effect: The best way to remember something forever is to remind it to you four times at exponentially increasing intervals.
2. Humans need coaching: positive reinforcement and motivation are necessary whether you are training for the Olympics or for your high school finals.
3. Context is paramount: our brains learn better when knowledge is presented in the context in which it is needed.
Instruction on how to try the site can be found at: http://smartup.com/?q=try.”
StartSomeGood• Founder: Alex Budak • firstname.lastname@example.org • http://startsomegood.com • Twitter: @StartSomeGood • Facebook: StartSomeGood
StartSomeGood empowers people from around the world to become social innovators. By connecting social entrepreneurs with the financial and intellectual capital they need to transform an idea for improving the world into a reality, together we can turn ideas into action and impact.
There is no shortage of problems in the world, and no shortage of people with ideas to address them, yet these people lack the resources that they need to get started.
StartSomeGood provides social entrepreneurs with a platform to raise start-up funds and build a community of supporters—all in a fun, engaging and community-driven way. Our site taps into the power of the crowd, allowing social entrepreneurs to ask for small amounts of money from supporters from around the world, and gives them the tools to update their supporters, provide unique rewards in exchange for support and run multiple campaigns over time.
We’ve taken the crowdfunding model—which is growing in popularity world-wide—and customized it to reflect the unique needs of social entrepreneurs.”
TechShop Inc.• Founder: Mark Hatch, CEO • email@example.com • www.techshop.ws • Twitter: @markhatch
Founded in 2006, TechShop Inc. is the first membership based, do-it-yourself (DIY) workshop and fabrication studio, providing its members access to a vibrant, open community of highly creative people and high-quality machines, tools and software.
More than a traditional hacker space or lab, TechShop’s mission is to engage, encourage and empower people of all ages and skill levels to build their dreams by giving them access to the tools, resources, education and workshop space they need.
TechShop’s classes are the perfect way for artists, entrepreneurs, innovators and other makers to acquire the knowledge and skills to build their dreams. From CNC prototyping tools to industrial sewing and textiles equipment, laser cutting and electronics, to welding, machine shop equipment and art glass, TechShop makes it possible for people to design and create almost anything they can imagine.
Based in Northern California (Menlo Park and San Francisco) with an additional location in Raleigh, NC and more planned nationally (including Detroit, San Jose, New York, Kansas City, and Los Angeles), TechShop is specifically targeting urban areas to invigorate a culture of entrepreneurship and industry. Our members’ success directly addresses global issues and their products are, in many cases, life-changing.
This year’s Futurists:BetaLaunch event was covered by the Vancouver Sun, CBC Canada, Byte magazine and Xinhua news, the largest news agency in China.
The World Future Society
Founded in 1966 as a nonprofit educational and scientific organization in Washington, D.C., the World Future Society has members in more than 80 countries around the world. Individuals and groups from all nations are eligible to join the Society and participate in its programs and activities.
The Society holds a two-day, international conference once a year where participants discuss foresight techniques and global trends that are influencing the future. Previous conference attendees have included future U.S. President Gerald Ford (1974), Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy (1975), behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner (1984), age-wave expert Ken Dychtwald (2005), U.S. comptroller general David M. Walker (2006) and inventor Ray Kurzweil (2010). Others in attendance typically include business leaders, government officials, scientists, corporate planners, and forecasters from across the globe.FUTURIST magazine editor Cynthia Wagner contributed to this release