Money Weekend’s FutureWatch: 1 June 2013

TECHNOLOGY: Another Glass Hails the New Category of Devices

Google Glass is a real game changer when it comes to interaction with your devices and the digital world. When tech like this comes along it can spark the beginning of a whole new genre of communication. But some of the sceptics believe it’s not going to take off. They believe it’s a niche product that has no mass appeal.

One of the signs that new tech like this is going to have mass appeal is when similar devices are brought to market. A bit of healthy competition. That typically drives innovation and development of technology to higher levels.

And there is some healthy competition now in the wearable tech space. It’s an alternative to Google Glass. Surprisingly, it’s gone unnoticed. We think mainly because Vuzix (the manufacturer) doesn’t have the marketing budget of Google.

The Vuzix Smart Glasses M100 is the device to take on Google. It’s a new type of enhanced ‘hands-free’ smartphone device. It operates on the Android OS and you can text, video, message, email, navigate and listen to audio.

Basically everything you’d expect from your phone, wearable on your head. It looks just as ‘futurey’ as Google Glass, and hopefully it’s as easy to use as it promises. Either way with now more than one type of ‘Glass’ device available, it’s a real signal this will become a new category of devices.

HEALTH: How We Know We Don’t Have Superpowers

A few weeks ago we mentioned that a few of us were getting our DNA analysed. Hopefully this was going to prove the theory that some of us were indeed superpower mutants. In turn we could all design our own superhero outfits, and be justified in wearing them.

This week our DNA results arrived from Sadly it didn’t say we had superhuman powers. But it did give us information and insight into our personal medical crystal ball. It predicted our chance of certain diseases, our reaction to certain drugs, and gave us ancestral information.

For an example of exactly what kind of information we got, here’s some key findings from my DNA results. I have a:

  • 33.9% chance of developing Atrial Fibrillation – average risk is 27.3%
  • 3.5% chance of getting Rheumatoid Arthritis – average risk is 2.4%
  • 3.0% chance of Alzheimer’s disease – average risk is 7.2%
  • 0.09% chance of Type 1 Diabetes – average is 1.02%

Also my BRCA genes show no mutations. The BRCA gene is the gene that’s been getting a lot of coverage over the last few weeks.

The take away from all this is getting DNA results hasn’t resulted in any great change. We’re not about to rush out and get major medical procedures based on these results.

But it has given us a greater insight into our health and genetic makeup. This is invaluable information. There are some things we might be slightly at higher risk of suffering from. But knowing this means we can put measures into place to decrease that risk over time.

As far as we’re concerned that puts the power and control of our health in our hands. It empowers us to make more informed decisions about how we live and manage our health.

ENERGY: Why July Could Be a Significant Moment in History
Elon Musk is a very smart and very rich man. He co-founded PayPal and made a fortune from it. But almost as soon as he sold PayPal and took his cut he looked for another venture.

He was of the belief that he couldn’t really add value to anything more in the ‘digital space’, so looked elsewhere to make a world changing impact.

Elon now is a pioneer of energy and transportation. What we mean by that is the companies he now runs and is involved in are doing more for efficient energy and transportation than any initiative before.

Amongst the companies he now runs are Tesla, which manufactures pure electric premium vehicles; SpaceX, which make rockets and space craft for the exploration of space; and SolarCity, which is now one of the biggest solar energy companies in the US.
But speaking on Thursday at the ‘All Things Digital: D11’ conference Elon alluded to the next major energy and transportation breakthrough.

It’s called the Hyperloop. Elon is somewhat hazy as to the technical details of what this is and how it might work. But he has alluded to it a few times now, with a planned announcement sometime in July.

In short, the Hyperloop is a high speed, self-powering transportation loop that can enable travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles in less than 30 minutes. That’s a speed of more than 1,102kph. It’s a cross between a Concorde, a rail gun and an air hockey table.

This could be a revolution in domestic transportation. We’re going to keep a close watch on this one, as the announcement is coming soon and it could usher in a whole new mode of transport, never seen before.

Sam Volkering
Technology Analyst, Money Weekend

Ed Note: Sam Volkering is assistant editor and analyst for a new breakthrough technology investment service to be launched by Money Morning editor Kris Sayce. The breakthrough technology service will introduce cutting edge investment ideas from the technologies of the future, including medicine, science, energy, mining, and more.

From the Archives…

The Day Japan and China Shook the Aussie Market
24-05-2013 – Kris Sayce

Why the Only Thing That Matters in the Markets is Japan
23-05-2013 – Murray Dawes

When Soros Buys Gold Stocks, You Better Take Note…

22-05-2013 – Dr Alex Cowie

Look for Small-Cap Resource Stocks with Plenty of Cash
21-05-2013 – Dr Alex Cowie

Why Bank Stocks have Outperformed Resource Stocks…
20-05-2013 – Kris Sayce

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