Uncertainty is the word of the year. It might even be the word of the decade.
We live in uncertain times. Uncertain economies. Uncertain political situations. Uncertain war. Uncertain futures.
You only need to look at the major newspapers to see it for yourself. Russia and Ukraine — who knows what will happen there. Australian politics — who knows what broken promises will come next. And with all this uncertainty is even more uncertainty for investors. Where do you invest, into what and how do you make heads or tails of it all?
But uncertainty isn’t necessarily bad. You’ve just got to know how to use it to your advantage. Think of it like this: There’s hot and cold, night and day, and the force and the dark side. The world is full of yin and yang, opposing forces that coexist.
That means where there’s uncertainty, there’s also opportunity. And we currently live in a time in which technology creates huge opportunity for smart investors.
And there’s one particular technology that’s about to hit the mass market in 2015 that will be as influential to the world as the development of the smartphone.
Uncertainty in the workforce
One of the most uncertain global events right now is the situation in the United Kingdom, where I currently live.
Actually, to say I’m living in the United Kingdom is a bit of a misnomer. Right now there’s nothing ‘united’ about this kingdom.
In fact the United Kingdom is on the verge of becoming the DK, the ‘disjointed kingdom’. In just nine days, a referendum will go to the public vote. The point in question is the independence of Scotland. And it seems as though the ‘yes’ vote is gaining momentum in the final throngs of campaigning.
England is terrified of the Scots going it alone. And it’s creating a huge amount of uncertainty here and on global markets.
Some UK TV reports suggest there might be a credit rating downgrade of England. Bigger government deficits passed on to the taxpayer. A huge loss of crucial North Sea oil revenues to the English government. And higher energy bills for the average person in the street.
The pound is also now at it’s weakest in a year against currencies like the US dollar and the Aussie dollar. Should the Scottish vote for independence get up, expect the pound to fall even further.
So what are the implications if the Scots gain independence? Well for one it will mean British industry will need to improve. They’ll need to look elsewhere to replace lost revenues that Scotland takes with it.
It also means existing industry will need to get more efficient. It means people will need to be more productive. It will mean in general things will need to advance, innovate and ‘keep calm and carry on’.
But that’s easier said than done.
Or is it?
One of the ways Britain — and any other country in the world — can get better is through technology. More specifically robotic technology.
The average person fears robots. Thanks to James Cameron and Michael Bay, many people believe robots will take over the world, destroy humanity and do as they please.
However, this is simply not going to happen. Robots will help us work better, smarter, harder and more efficiently. We will be more productive as we move into a world where we work with robots, not against them.
There will be situations where robots will do the work that humans used to do. But that will create other new jobs that previously humans couldn’t do, which they now can with robot technology.
Robots will go into places and perform jobs that are too risky for humans. They will do the things we don’t want to or need to do.
But this idea of a robot world isn’t new. And to be honest with you, robots have been around for decades. But there’s a distinct difference between the robots we know and the robots I’m talking about.
What it all boils down to is a new concept I call The Hundredth Robot.
Later this week you’ll hear more about the Hundredth Robot. But for now you simply need to draw a clear distinction between the robots of yesterday and the robots of the future.
The robots that we see in the world today are typically manufacturing robots. They look something like this,
However the robots of tomorrow will look more like this. As you can see, just a little bit friendlier looking…
The robots that will help us are home robots, personal robots. They are the kind of robots that will be a part of your family. They will become a part of society. They will be able to work with you day to day, at home, at work or while away.
They will help you organise your life. Help you be more efficient, more productive and a more social person. These home robots aren’t just to do the cleaning or to make dinner or feed the pets. In fact, they might not be able to do that at all.
They’re there to talk to you, socialise with you and engage you. They might help you learn a new language, or teach you how to build a treehouse in the backyard. They might read a story to you and your kids at bedtime where you all get involved in the story. Simply, these home robots will become a part of the family.
The technical aspect of it is the power and technology behind these robots is much like the technology in your smartphone. Except it will be more powerful and faster, and more connected than we possibly could imagine.
Right now you’ve probably got a phone you can ask a question. You might call it Siri if you’ve got an iPhone. Well, take Siri out of the phone, put her in a design like the picture, and then have it interact with you like a real person.
Some of you might think this is far-fetched and silly. That’s okay, but you’re wrong.
This is very early stage tech. But although it’s early stage, it’s about to hit the market and make early investors a lot of money. You see, these kinds of home robots are set to come to market next year, as soon as February. They’ll cost about as much as the new iPhone. More home robots will come to market throughout the year, and those models will be even cheaper than your average smartphone.
All I can say right now is, home robots are happening. And they’re happening now. When the Hundredth Robot arrives the world will never be the same again.
Editor, Tech Insider