Agriculture the New Game of Drones

Posted by FuturistSpeaker on August 25th, 2013

A few days ago the people in Deer Trail, Colorado made national news with a proposed ballot initiative to allow hunting licenses to shoot down flying drones.

Deer Trail would charge $25 for drone hunting licenses, and the town would offer a $100 bounty reward for shooters who bring in debris from an unmanned aircraft from the U.S. government.

This perfectly illustrates the growing paranoia associated with UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) often referred to as drones.

But the good people living in the farming community of Deer Trail have obviously not been paying attention to the positive uses for drones, more specifically, the use of drones in agriculture.

Even though the vast majority of drone use today is government and military, one of the big emerging markets will be agriculture. Several new companies have begun moving into the ag-drone space, but there are a few short-term problems.

Current FAA rules limit their operation to under 400 feet and to steer clear of airports and crowds on the ground. But that will change in a couple years. The U.S. Congress has mandated the FAA incorporate drones into national airspace by Sept. 30, 2015.

Many in this new industry are chomping at the bit to get started. According to the Association for Unmanned Vehicles International, once drones get okayed for the national air space, the first 3 years will produce $13.6 billion in economic activity and 34,000 new manufacturing jobs will get created. 

The FAA estimated up to 10,000 drones could be airborne in the U.S. by 2018. Here’s why that number is far too low. 

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Search Engines for the Physical World: The Future of Search Technology in an Increasingly Transparent World

Posted by FuturistSpeaker on August 18th, 2013


Consider the following scenario.

In 2035 a heinous criminal escapes in the city of Dallas, Texas and the local police department acquires a court order to conduct a thorough search of the metro area. Within 15 minutes a fleet of twelve surveillance drones is deployed to begin an ultra high-res flyover.

Because of exponential growth of processing power, storage, and bandwidth, each drone is capable of scanning with micro particle-level resolution from their 10,000-foot vantage point, seeing through walls made of concrete and steel, identifying every individual, object, animal, insect, and even a few airborne virus along the way.

These drones are voracious data gathering machines, transmitting super-dense information streams to ground stations at the rate of over one petabyte a minute for final processing. 

Within 30 minutes the dangerous criminal is located and a team is sent out to apprehend him. At the same time over 6,000 other people, objects, and situations are red-flagged for further investigation, each requiring judicial review before further action can be taken.

Any matters that pose an immediate danger to public health take top priority. People with both unknown and highly contagious diseases are sent to a medical team for further review. Location of dangerous insects, animals, tripping hazards, unstable objects, and failing infrastructure are referred to City departments best equipped to handle them. 

The vast majority of red-flagged issues are easily dealt with, posing little argument over whether local government is overstepping its authority.

However, there are also more than a few matters not so easily resolved. Teenage runaways, domestic violence, in-home vandalism, possession of stolen goods, and an assortment of minor legal violations all fall into a gray area where further action may or may not be warranted.

First, is this a realistic scenario? And second, is this the kind of world we want to live in?

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The Great Freelancer Movement: 8 Reasons Why your Next Job will be a Project

Posted by FuturistSpeaker on August 10th, 2013


By 2025, over 75% of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials, a group many refer to as the Facebook generation. That’s just over 11 years away. 

For big corporations this should come as shocking news. Most have been content to ride out the economic turmoil with little to no hiring, and what little did take place was rarely from this generation. Only 7% of Millennials have worked for a Fortune 500 company.

As most Millennials have come to realize, finding a job is an entrepreneurial activity. You’re selling your skills to the highest bidder, or most often, just anyone willing to pay for them. If you can’t find a full time job, a part time one will do for now. Even project work will be fine.

With scant opportunity to move into a “career position,” they learn to get by with piecemeal work, often living at home because they haven’t stabilized their income to the point of being credit worthy, something most landlords are quick to pick up on. 

After testing out a variety of filler jobs, part time positions, and gig work, finding the next project becomes a way of life. Before they know it, they’ve entered the world of involuntary entrepreneurship, a path that neither academia nor any other aspect of early learning has prepared them to take.

But Millennials are savvy networkers, connected to an average of 16 other coworkers, and hundreds of other close friends. This “awareness network” is quick to spot new opportunities.

Within the next 10 years, the average person who turns 30 will have worked between 200-300 different projects.

Here are many of the things you haven’t heard about this trend, any why your next job will likely be anything but permanent.

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Inspiring a Better World Ahead, the Museum of Future Inventions

Posted by FuturistSpeaker on August 4th, 2013

What images come to mind when you think about the future? Do you think about near-term futures with 3D printers, driverless cars, and robotics, or do you think about more distant futures of space travel, human cloning, and teleportation devices?

People make decisions today based on their understanding of what the future holds. In fact, your vision of the future permeates virtually every decision you make in your life. So if you change your vision of the future, you actually change the way you make decisions, today.

With this brief intro, I’ve tried to capture the true potential for creating a Museum of Future Inventions. It’s all about changing your vision of the future.

Simply hearing about future technologies will create a small level of engagement. However, becoming fully immersed in a future experience, where you see images, videos, and animations; listen to thought leaders, deep thinkers, and futurists; with interactive models you can touch and manipulate; all of these together have the potential of becoming a truly transformative, life-changing experience.

Realism creates viability. So adding elements of realism to our visions of the future makes them increasingly viable. Inevitably this kind of influence will translate into massive new innovations, the kind of innovations we’ll need to drive our economies forward.

But unlike traditional museums focused on the past, this one will function as a working laboratory of the future, one where visions are constantly being built, rebuilt, and rebuilt again. The future is not a destination. Rather it’s a journey built on the backs of crazy, passionate people, with brilliant minds, dogged determination, and obsessed with making a difference. We see them as crazy, but history will view them as genius. 

At the DaVinci Institute we started thinking about the Museum of Future Inventions 10 years ago and it’s still not a reality. However, with jobs disappearing at a record pace, we’ll need a whole new engine driving innovation. And the Museum of Future Inventions may just be the missing “flux capacitor” to drive this new engine.

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