Talking Technology Opportunities at World War D

It’s hard to believe we’re writing to you on Thursday, but we’re still talking about what happened at World War D on Monday. We haven’t even got to Day Two yet.

Technology analyst Sam Volkering had the floor for the final presentation before the wrap up panel. It was time to leave behind the talk of government debt, credit, central banks, and instead focus on the opportunities.

Benjamin Franklin was wrong,’said Sam. What he meant was that there was a third certainty in life besides death and taxes. And that’s technological change. Don’t forget that US tech entrepreneur John Robb told the crowd earlier that he thought tech would destroy or disrupt 95% of jobs in the entire economy. That was the canvas, if you like. Sam painted the picture.

Sam covered immersive technology and ‘augmented reality’. That’s the interconnection between the digital and physical world and the potential of products like Google Glass and Microsoft’s SurroundWeb. Technology that can literally overlay in front of your reality. This will radically change how we communicate with each other — again. 

Sam talked about developing payments systems. So imagine yourself walking down the street. You see a shirt you like in a shop. When you walk into the store, it registers on your smartphone that you’ve entered. When you pick the shirt off the rack, your phone registers that too. When you leave, you pay for it using your e-wallet. No sales staff required.

Later he introduced how the global payments system will make moving money much, much easier between different countries. He called bitcoin the ‘big bang’ moment of cryptrocurrencies and showed the current explosion in the sheer number of them happening right now. This could be a major disruption to the banking monopoly, and the associated rip off fees and charges, all over the world.  

John Robb previously pointed out that the medical industry was one of the few areas where tech didn’t drive down costs. That’s not the fault of technology, but a protected industry. But the benefits are still coming regardless via personalised medicine and regenerative research. Sam showed the potential windfall for your health and the slowing of the ageing process. Then he introduced the bionic man, Frank — short for Frankenstein.

Researchers and scientists from all over the globe have created a bionic man with a beating heart and the ability to walk. The only thing he’s missing is a liver and a brain. The feet and ankles — two of the most difficult areas of the human body for robots to replicate — actually represent how tendons and our Achilles heel move. And don’t forget that Frank, and thousands like him, might one day find themselves on the front line of a major battle.

Robotic soldiers are an aspect of future warfare. Other aspects include hackers, viruses and cyber sabotage replacing conventional attacks.

That’s just a brief touch on Sam’s speech.


Callum Newman+
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Originally graduating with a degree in Communications, Callum decided financial markets were far more fascinating than anything Marshall McLuhan (the ‘medium is the message’) ever came up with. Today Callum spends his day reading and researching why currencies, commodities and stocks move like they do. So far he’s discovered it’s often in a way you least expect.

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