The Weekly Disrupt

Feb 09, 2015

The Weekly Disrupt is a summary of the most important technology stories from the last week. These are stories that hint at fundamental shifts in the way we will live and do business - things to keep on your radar to ensure you capture future growth opportunities.   

Here are 10 stories that have caught our eye this week. A rating of 10 represents a truly disruptive innovation. Let us know what you think in the comment section.

1. We can now measure what’s in our food
Consumer Physics has designed a near-infrared (NIR) spectrometer (SCiO) to go on sale for $249. NIR spectrometers typically sell to laboratories for $50,000. A SCiO can detect molecular structures. Which means pointing the device at food and knowing exactly what is it in. Knowing exactly what goes into the body is the missing piece for health monitoring.
Disruptive Potential: 10

2. Coinbase to Launch Regulated US Bitcoin Exchange
Huge regulatory hurdle cleared as the US authorizes the first Bitcoin exchange. Adds further legitimacy to Bitcoin and is likely just the first of many Bitcoin exchanges. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. I think we are entering the fighting stage now.
Disruptive Potential: 10
 
3. Bitcoin will fix remittances
The single most disruptive use case for Bitcoin is international financial transactions. Remittances are the 2nd largest source of FDI for developing countries, and Bitcoin will allow recipients to capture more of it. Regardless of grander ambitions, this is a problem that Bitcoin can solve.
Disruptive Potential: 9

4. Longer battery life!
Ambiq Micro has been able to commercialize a new extremely low-power microcontroller. Ambiq say they their chip uses 5 to 10 times less energy that comparable microcontrollers.  Battery life is one of the most important issues to resolve if we are to go ahead and put a microchip in everything.
Disruptive Potential: 8

5. Peer-to-peer lending heralds mortgages without banks
P2P lending continues to grow with Lendinvest offering P2P mortgages. This is a good example of P2P disruption moving further upmarket and further evidence of the decentralization of finance. The value of traditional commercial banking continues to be eroded.
Disruptive Potential: 7

6. Robot jazz band showcases its freestyling skills
Advancement in path-planning algorithms, which has implications for agile robotics. The ability to move the body in order to achieve stated goals is a difficult artificial intelligence problem. Robot jazz may sound light-hearted, but together with advances in balance, robots are getting closer to walking around in the real world.
Disruptive Potential: 7

7. Software that knows the risks
Continued advancement in machine learning with a decision aiding algorithm. The breakthrough is the idea of risk allocation, which allows the system to evaluate the probability of success. Expect to see better personal assistants.
Disruptive Potential: 6

8. World's tallest 3D-printed building
WinSun, the Chinese construction company, has built the world's tallest 3D-printed building. The building is built from recycled concrete using a 3D printer 6.6 metres tall, 10 metres wide and 150 meters long. WinSun is leading the low-cost disruption of the construction industry, building eco-friendly and affordable housing. They are also developing a new 3D printable material made from sand. Literally building houses in sand.
Disruptive Potential: 6

9. Misfit turns fitness band into smart home remote
With the Flash, Misfit is showing the true potential of a wearable device. Until now, wearables have been limited to fitness monitoring. But the whole category makes a lot of sense as a remote control for the connected world.
Disruptive Potential: 6

10. Muscle-sensing Myo gesture armband launches
Thalmic Labs will launch its muscle-sensing gesture control wearables in the first quarter. With the release of an API, this may be the start of gesture control as a mainstream input method. The device still needs to slim down but it has a lot of potential for use in a connected home.
Disruptive Potential: 6

The Weekly Disrupt is written by Frost & Sullivan's Connected Industries team. We focus on the impact of technology in industry transformation, helping our clients to navigate through an increasingly complex business environment where every vertical market has its own unique challenges and aspirations.

To learn more contact one of the team:

Adrian Drozd, Research Director (adrian.drozd@frost.com)
Sheridan Nye, Senior Industry Analyst (sheridan.nye@frost.com)
Lawrence Lundy, Consultant (lawrence.lundy@frost.com)
 


Lawrence Lundy

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