One of the speakers who got every listener to the edge of their seats at the TiE summit, was Former IT entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa, who is now a Duke-based professor and researcher.
His 'Power Talk' focused on the innovation in technology which has happened in the past decade and will continue into the coming future. His talk was a roller coaster ride of mind-boggling facts which, although not commonly known, are set to change the laws of our daily lives.
What Vivek Wadhwa spoke of, included a myriad of topics. On one hand we had products which are already manufactured and used by the common man. On the other we had things that danced on the edges of a science-fiction author's dreams.
Here are some of the highlights of what was presented to the listeners at the 2012, Mumbai TiE Summit:
- Interfaces: Brain interfaces costing as less as $100 are being developed which can interact with computers and other devices. Motion sensors, touch-input, hand gestures etc. are already widely used. Retina displays are a subject of research to not only help the visually handicapped but also as a possibility of a new kind of display and interface.
- 3D-Printing: Everyday objects can be replicated within homes on devices which cost as less as $500 to $2000.
Artificial Intelligence is not dead.
- AI: Artificial intelligence is embedded in our computers and is improving everyday. For rg: IBM Watson which was till now used for gaming against human opponents, is now being trained for medical purposes and is believed to be more efficient at evaluation and diagnoses than a doctor due to its capacity of processing large amounts of data.
- Robotics: High school students are capable of developing robots. The two-armed Baxter robot from Boston and the grape-pruning de-suckering Wall-Ye from Burgundy are highly advanced robots.
- Google & Silicon Valley: The phenomenal driver-less cars have run over 300,000 miles without a single accident during tests. Google glasses, which are to be launched soon will revolutionize mobile-telephony and display technology.
- Micromachines & Nanomaterials: Manufactured products are becoming more compact, stronger, lighter and more durable.
- Information Technology: There has been an exponential growth in information. 5 Exobytes (5 million GB) of data was created from the beginning of time to 2003. In 2010, the same amount of information was generated within 2 days. The time is expected to reduce to less than a minute in 2013. On the other hand cost of storage devices has also reduced dramatically.
Smart Devices: Internet enabled smart devices are being launched soon. Smart TVs are already in the market. Smart fridges will be able to notify you when you are running short on groceries. Smart Toilets will be able to analyse and comment on your eating/drinking habits.
- Interplanetary Internet: Considered almost impossible until some time back, it is now become a hot topic of research with studies showing promise.
Human body has become a software.
- SmartPhones: Phones will soon be able to do medical tests like ECG and mail it to your doctors.
- Coding Technology: Computer language type technology is now being used for sequencing the human genome.
- Exobionics: The company is creating exo-skeletons for people with disabilities or those who have lost limbs because of injuries.
- Tricoder: The device costs around $10 million right now, but prices are dropping. It is better at analysis and diagnoses of patients than an entire panel of doctors.
- Smart Pills: Such pills are on their way to becoming a reality. The will help doctors to diagnose and even cure body problems, diseases, tumors and internal injuries.
- MicroFluidics: Called the 'lab on a chip'. A blood test can now be done on a small piece of paper. The technology is even available in India.
- Synthetic Biology: By studying biology as IT, even high school students have started printing DNA.
- Genetics: Genes from a firefly have successfully been transferred into animals like cats and even tress so that they light-up in the dark.
3 billion people will come online this decade.
Today a single smartphone has more computing power than the entire country had three decades ago. Any mobile phone owner potentially has more information than was available to American President Ronald Regan during his time.
With the Tab revolution in India, internet is growing just like cell phones did in the past decade. Even the poorest of the poor will soon have basic internet access.
In the past century, life expectancy has doubled, infant mortality has reduced by 90% and maternal deaths have come down by 99%!
Vivek Wadhwa oversees the academic programs at Singularity University, which educates a select group of leaders about the exponentially growing technologies that are soon going to change our world.
These advances—in fields such as robotics, A.I., computing, synthetic biology, 3D printing, medicine, and nanomaterials—are making it possible for small teams to do what was once possible only for governments and large corporations to do: solve the grand challenges in education, water, food, shelter, health, and security.
In his speech at the TiE Entrepreneurial Summit he said:
This is the most innovative time in human history. Entrepreneurs do what earlier only governments could do - solve human kind's greatest challenges.