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Showing posts from January, 2020

Google's AI & Health Care Ops

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Using AI on Health Care is One of the Biggest Opportunities for 2020's, Google Thinks
AI & Your Health This is fascinating and directional advice on the future of artificial intelligence from the CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet.  Sundar Pichai revealed, before the huge global corporate crowd at the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, that for the next five to ten years the greatest potential for using AI is to improve health care outcomes.  That is going to be a major focus for Google's development of AI. The Google CEO added that the tech giant will preserve the privacy of patients benefitting from the new AI powered devices and tech that Google will develop.  He made those comments today in Davos.
Potential Uses are Profound CEO Pichai said the potential for this AI HC tech is profound.  His example in Davos was cancer.  If it means the difference in outcomes, the disease can be devastating. Pichai says on lung cancer, if five specialists agree and five othe…

Volocopter Air Taxi Ready for Takeoff

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CEO Says Fleets of Electric Air Taxis Deployed in 2022


Electric VTOL
Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter says fleets of Volocopter air taxis will be flying in 2022.  The flying taxi is the world's 1st, manned, fully electric VTOL (vertical landing and takeoff vehicle).  It's fully sustainable, drone like technology that has been successfully flown in demonstrations in a number of global cities.  Volocopter is headquartered in Germany.  Reuter made the announcement in Davos during the 2020 World Economic Forum.

100% Electric with Zero Emissions and VoloPorts
According to Volocopter, their air taxi meets international certifications to be as safe as an airliner.  It's 100% electric powered and emissions free.  The drone like VTOL can carry two passengers.  And, it's quiet with the 18 electric powered rotors on one level.  Volocopter has a whole ecosystem to support their air taxis.  Specifically VoloPorts to connect the VTOLs with inner city traffic hubs such as airports and bus…

Davos 2020 Focuses on Sustainability, CC

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More Than 100 Billionaires in Attendance



Several Global Corporations Rising to the CC Challenge The 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland is now underway.  It opened with President Donald Trump saying "America is thriving, flourishing and winning again", just hours before his impeachment trial began in Washington, DC.  The Forum is focused on sustainability, sustainable business and accelerating action globally to thwart Climate Change.  Mr. Trump is not expected to discuss Climate Change, which he doesn't believe in.  Climate activist 17 year old Greta Thunberg, Time's Person of the Year, will also give a keynote address.  There are more than 2,000 participants including 113 billionaires.  Interestingly on the eve of the Forum, several global companies have announced detailed plans to combat Climate Change.
Nestle, Amazon, Microsoft, Black Rock Swiss food giant Nestle is investing $2 billion to use recycled plastics and cut its use of new plastics by 1/3rd b…

Subaru Aggressive EV Plan

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Targets 2030's To Sell EVs Only

Aims for Carbon Free Society Japan's Subaru Corp. just announced that it's targeting the first half of the 2030's to sell only electric cars worldwide.  The automaker has a long term goal of helping to foster a carbon free society.  Subaru's plan is bold and ambitious.  It comes just as Subaru announced an intensified relationship with Toyota to essentially share the costs of developing new technologies for electric and self-driving cars.
Detailed Plan Subaru has a series of specific targets it wants to meet in order to go all-electric.  First, it will develop a "strong hybrid" that will include Toyota technologies. The "strong" hybrid is believed to be in concept stage right now. The strong hybrid will complement its current line-up of hybrids and hybrid plugins.  It's also building an all-battery vehicle with Toyota.  Both new vehicles should be available later in this decade.
2030 and Beyond Subaru says their…

For Smartphone, Virtual Keyboard

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Samsung's SelfieType with Selfie Camera


Powered by Cameras and AI Samsung is developing a virtual keyboard for smartphones.  It uses AI and image recognition to create an invisible keyboard.  The purpose is to increase productivity by increasing the size of the keyboard for you to work on.  The system creates the virtual keyboard on hard surfaces like a desk.
Fascinating Practicality The market potential for this input method is significant because many people find it cumbersome to type on a touchscreen.  Samsung's invention relies on the phone's front facing selfie cameras and AI.  The system analyzes and translates finger movements into typing commands.  All, in real-time.  No additional components are needed.  This could become part of some Galaxy phones and tablets in the near future through a software update. 

US Renewable Energy Investments Soar

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Green Tech Investments Up 28% in US 2019, a Record


Wind and Solar Lead the Way
Despite the Trump Administration's views on Climate Change and renewable energy, US companies broke records in their investments in green technology in 2019.  Investments hit $55.5 billion, which is up 28%.  That catapulted the US to second place in renewable energy investments behind China, whose financial bet on renewables fell 8% to $83 billion. Clearly, China remains the far ahead leader in pushing renewables.  Europe's renewable energy investments fell 7% to $54 billion, right behind the US. Interestingly, Brazil's financial investment soared by 74% to $6.5 billion.  The data was collected by Bloomberg.

New Green Energy Technologies
The big investment push in the US for new renewable energy technologies and expansions is by wind and solar energy companies.  They're rushing to qualify for federal tax credit that end later this year.  There is growing sentiment across the US that renewables…

Flying Taxi Fueled by Investors

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Joby Aviation's $590 Million Investor Infusion



Toyota Lead Investor There's a flying taxi readying for takeoff.  Joby Aviation, which develops electric flying taxis, has secured $590 million in investment money.  Toyota is the lead player at $394 million, followed by Intel Capital, Jet Blue VC and Toyota's AI Ventures.  Joby Aviation, headquartered in northern California, has developed a very impressive VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle.
Electric VTOL Joby's flying taxi goes up to 200 mph, 150 miles + on a single charge, is 100-times more quiet than conventional aircraft and has zero carbon emissions.  The vehicle seats 4 passengers, vertically takes off like a helicopter and smoothly transitions to forward flight.  The $590 million is the biggest investment ever made in a flying taxi company.
Big Players eVTOLs are the hottest category of flying cars.  Six urban air mobility vehicles are currently moving forward in the FAA's certification process. The playe…

India's Green Auto Expo 2020

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Clean, Green Vehicles that Cut Emissions to be Showcased




Green Vehicles and Clean Technology
India's Auto Expo 2020 opening in February will showcase green, clean, primarily electric vehicles developed by global automakers.  65 brand new vehicles will be showcased along with cutting edge technologies.  Organizers in India say there will be new emissions technology, safety tech and advanced connectivity through SIM cards embedded in vehicles.

Big China Presence
Six big China automakers are coming to display their cutting edge vehicles, including Great Wall Motor Company.  Great Wall's top leadership is coming and bringing a Chinese press delegation of 100 members.  85% of  global automakers are participating.  Many of the participants are expected to showcase their BS-VI technology that's targeted at cutting carbon emissions. Much tougher emissions standards are going into effect in India to dramatically cut toxic pollution from vehicle exhaust.

Green Energy Tech Startup from MIT

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Eden GeoPower
Cleaner Oil Extraction Eden GeoPower is a green energy startup founded by MIT PhD. candidate Paris Smalls and Saudi Aramco geophysicist Ammar Alali who recently graduated from the University of Houston.  They've invented a unique, electric and environmentally sound technology that provides much cleaner and environmentally sound oil and gas extraction.
Fracking Wells Current fracking techniques rely on water under high pressure to extract oil and gas.  The process generates runoff that is highly polluted and can seep into groundwater.  Eden GeoPower offers a Pulsed Electric Reservoir Stimulation technology that's inexpensive and environmentally correct.  The process is not water intensive and results in no water runoff and no noise pollution.  It's a cleaner energy alternative in extracting gas and oil. The process results in higher extraction rates of oil and gas from fracking wells without causing environmental damage and big noise pollution.
Market Potential

Microsoft's Big Climate Change Fight

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Plans to Remove Carbon from Atmosphere with Target Dates

Commitment from the Top Microsoft has joined the fight against Climate Change in a big way.  It just announced that by 2030 it will have removed more carbon from the atmosphere than it emits.  And, by 2050, it hopes to have taken out as much CO2 as all the direct emissions the company has made since its founding in 1975.
Very Different, Innovative Approach The world's largest software company's approach to fighting Climate Change is quite different and innovative.  Most companies promise to cut ongoing emissions or prevent new ones.  By contrast, Microsoft's pledge to remove existing carbon from the atmosphere is unique for corporate America.
CEO Leadership The commitment to fighting Climate Change is coming from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.  Speaking today at Microsoft's Redmond, Washington headquarters, he said we, as a global company, have to offset the damaging effects of Climate Change.  He added if global tempe…

Sustainable Investing to Fight CC

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$7 Trillion Point of View

BlackRock Goes Green BlackRock, based in New York City, is the world's largest asset manager with $7 Trillion under management.  CEO Larry Fink just announced that he's making fighting Climate Change a key part of his investment strategy. His focus is sustainable investing. He says that the dangerous impact of Climate Change is causing investors "to reassess core assumptions of modern finance."
Concrete Steps Fink has a strategic plan that he's implementing.  Essentially, he's greatly escalating holdings in green, sustainable investment vehicles.  Specifically, he's: Doubling BlackRock's sustainable ETFs to 150Putting pressure on index providers to include more sustainable benchmarksSelling $500 million worth of investments in thermal coal producers by JulyVoting against boards and management who don't account for climate risk or don't have a sustainability plan.Investing Advice As a global investment leader, Fink's …

Oldest Material Discovered on Earth

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Stardust 5 to 7 Billion Years Old Found in a Meteorite in Australia


Stardust Material That's Older than the Sun
This is an extraordinary scientific discovery just announced by a team of astronomers led by University of Chicago Professor Dr. Philipp Heck. In a meteorite that fell from space in Australia 50 years ago, there is awesome stardust dating back 5 to 7 billion years.  This stardust predates the Sun. Heck and his team analyzed the contents of the meteorite.  They found it to be the oldest, solid material ever found on Earth.  Their work has just been published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

What This Discovery Opens Innovative Views On
The scientists say this stardust will tell us how parent stars were formed in our galaxy. It will tell us about the origins of the oxygen that we breathe and provide the opportunity to trace materials back before the creation of the Sun. The stardust is the oldest material discovered to reach the Earth.  The…

Cars Powered by Hydrogen Fuel Cells

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Hyundai's  M Vision S
Concept Car that's an Autonomous, Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle The M Vision S is Hyundai's vision of the future of mobility.  The vehicle is fully autonomous, hydrogen fuel cell powered and loaded with connectivity.  It's a concept car that Hyundai says is designed for urban sharing.
World of New Mobility The M Vision S is equipped with driving sensors like cameras, lidar, radar, 3D rear lamps, virtual space touch and communication lighting.  Communication lighting allows the autonomous car to communicate with, for instance, pedestrians by flashing "Go ahead" or "Be careful".  The lighting also communicates with people inside the car by detecting changes in their mood and then adjusting the lights.  The virtual space touch allows passengers to  listen to music or watch videos.
Hydrogen Society Hyundai is a big believer in what it calls the "Hydrogen Society", where hydrogen fuel cells will be a major power source for cars…

New Robot with Hospitality Aspirations

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Taking Reservations, Giving Information



Your Robotic Hotel Experience Misty 11 has great aspirations to be a key part of the hospitality industry.  The cute, little rolling robot is the invention of Misty Robotics, based in Boulder, Colorado and was just unveiled at CES 2020.  Misty can detect humans, greet them, interact, provide information and responses.  She can make reservations, call for assistance and even be part of point of sales systems.  The little robot gives new meaning to the hospitality industry.  Her inventors have designed her to go to work in a hotel near you very soon.
Open Source Code What's ingenious about Misty is she is not limited to one task.  This is part of an important, new emerging trend to design robots that are not limited to one use.  They have capabilities that can be used in many ways.  In the case of Misty, from room mapping to greeting customers and taking reservations.  The open source code allows developers to customize her for a myriad of dutie…

Mercedes New Smart Brand Cars

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Mercedes-Benz & China's Geely Group Partner





Intelligent New Electric Vehicles
Daimler's Mercedes-Benz just announced that it will build Smart branded cars with China's Zhejlang Geely Holding Group in the Chinese city of Ningbo.  The partners will operate from a facility with the capacity to build about 150,000 cars per year.  In 2019, Smart delivered 116,800 vehicles globally.

$780 Million Investment
Each company is investing $388.8 million into the Joint Venture. They'll build "premier and intelligent" electrified vehicles under the Smart brand name, which is a Mercedes-Benz brand.  They'll manufacture in China and have sales operations in both Germany and China.

Mercedes Building Base in China
China is the world's largest market for electric vehicles and the Chinese government is pushing and supporting EVs.  Like other global automakers such as Tesla, Stuttgart-based Mercedes is building a base in China. Besides the new partnership with Geely, Merc…

Samsung's Vision of Your Robot - Ballie

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Samsung's Ballie "Life Companion"

Ready to Roll for You One of the most intriguing innovations unveiled at CES 2020 this week is a little rolling robot by Samsung named Ballie. Ballie is Samsung's vision of human-centered robots that provide personalized care. It's tiny, ball shaped and wants to do just about everything for you.  It can serve as a home security system, a virtual assistant for such things as fitness training. The yellow, soft-ball sized robot is the next evolution in IoT (internet of things), according to Samsung.
Capable of Running a Household by Commanding Smart Devices The beeping sphere obeys the owner's voice commands.  At CES 2020, Samsung demonstrated the mini-robot running a household through its commands to smart devices.  Samsung says the robot's AI enables it to react to your ever changing needs.  They call it a "life companion".
On-Device AI Samsung Electronics has incorporated on-device AI to allow Ballie to provide &qu…

Ford's AVs with Robots Delivering Packages

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Plans for Ford Autonomous Vehicles with Digit Robots Delivering Packages


Ford Purchases Digits Digit is a 5 foot tall, 2-legged robot invented by Agility Robotics.  Digit walked around the 2020 CES trade show in Las Vegas this week taking bows.  It should be proud of itself. Ford became the first customer to purchase Digits and it has big plans for them.
AV + Digit Plans Ford says the initial plans is to deploy Digits for research and development.  But the goal is to employ Digits as part of a new package-delivery service driven by Ford autonomous vehicle.  Digits would be on board to deliver the package to the owner's door.
Agility Robotics Agility Robotics was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Albany, Oregon.  It makes advanced bi-pedal robots with human-like capabilities for diverse markets including logistics/delivery, telepresence and automated inspections.  The company says it will start delivering Digits to customers in the first quarter of 2020.  Agility Robotics design…