Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Rest of the Future Brought to You by CanadianBusiness

We were taking you through eight categories or areas that CanadianBusiness magazine (March 14, 2011) made some predictions about concerning your future.   (See an earlier blog.)  Now on with the rest of the story:

D. On Water and Thirst: Watch Water Standard -- they build desalination ships that produce fresh water with little environmental impact and less energy than shore-based facilities needed; and watch Clearford Industries from Ottawa -- this company improves waste water reclamation by offering an innovative sewer architecture that separates solids before effluent streams hit treatment plants.

E. On Hunger: CanadianBusiness suggests we watch Nelson and Pade from Wisconsin -- it makes aquaponics systems that allow fish and plants to grow together in a soilless, mutually sustaining environment; and watch Plant Impact from the U.K. -- they're developing environmentally friendly technologies that boost crop nutrition and health while improving yields.   And watch science bring farming indoors as we run out of arable lands.

F.  On Videogaming and Business: Companies will work hard to add rewards and levels to all aspects of your daily life to make them more fun and at the same time more addictive.  Buyer beware.  They'll continue bridging the online world with games.  Watch what the restaurant chain Buffalo Wild Wings will be doing to get people involved; take a look at Groupon.com if you haven't already; clothing retailer Moxsie is allowing followers to follow designer meetings by Twitter and is giving points for their input; and watch Microsoft Office with a downloadable add-on (Ribbon Hero) that helps users learn the program's features using challenges and points, and it's integrated with Facebook so you can show-off and compete with friends.   And by the way, did you know that FB's Farmville now has 70 million people (I think that's what they are) addicted to watering virtual crops.  Insanity.

G.  On the Old (Aged): The big news here is remote health monitoring that will, according to CB, help keep seniors in their homes, and costs of care from skyrocketing.  Here are the companies to watch in this category:  Proteus Biomedical (U.S.) -- developing 'smart' pills embedded with sensors to record how one responds to medication and help ensure seniors take pills in proper dosages; Fitbit will track physical fitness including how long it takes to fall asleep, show the data on charts and predict trends for the user; Entra Health Systems makes a Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose monitor that sends data to a mobile device and reminds you when to take a reading; Sensiotec out of Atlanta makes a bed (for hospitals) that records vital signs through the mattress, checks for movement to prevent bedsores, and notifies staff via mobile alerts; and Intel is researching apps that track ones moods and emotional health and send you prompts with stress reduction tips.

H.  On Patience about the Future: CB has identified a problem, though, as great as all these above innovations sound.  They think we've "entered an innovation trough, at least in things that really matter."  (I'll let you read the details on their thinking there when you get a chance to read the actual magazine.)

In the meantime, you now know what may lie ahead in your future -- or at least, as part of your hospital bed when you're next in the hospital.   Speaking of that, I've got a visit there coming up real soon -- so I'll do some scouting for you.   Cheers.

Enjoy the future and pass this blog on to others that may benefit from it.



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