Technology Deathmatch: Two Top Innovations Collide
Ready for a steel-cage deathmatch?
I hope so!
Today’s match pits two emerging technologies against each other.
Chief Investment Strategist Louis Basenese will build the investment thesis in support of technology No. 1 — smart dust.
Senior Analyst Jonathan Rodriguez will do the same for technology No. 2 — brain-computer interfaces.
For the sake of fairness, each analyst must state his case in under 600 words.
Only one technology is permitted to exit the steel cage alive.
Which one will prevail?
Your vote decides the winner.
Good luck, gentlemen!
The Age of Cyborgs is Closer Than Ever
Since the invention of the pacemaker more than 50 years ago, the barrier between man and machine has been slowly thinning.
As you may know, humans — like nearly every other living organism on Earth — use electrical signals to regulate bodily functions.
And for the better part of the 20th century, researchers have been mapping these electrical signals between the brain and the rest of the body.
Well, thanks to major technology advances, scientists have finally figured out how to translate the brain’s signals into actions for machines.
Yes, you read that right…
Man and machine are about to become one.
The devices that facilitate this activity are called brain-computer interfaces (BCI), and they could very well change the world as we know it.
For instance, a BCI could:
- Give an amputee the ability to control a bionic hand.
- Counteract the brutal effects of Parkinson’s disease.
- Allow people the ability to send text messages without lifting a finger.
The possibilities are endless.
Investment capital, both public and private, is pouring into this technology…
As of June 2017, DARPA, the U.S. government’s famous tech research and development agency, has committed $65 million in grants to firms developing BCIs.
Backed by tech visionary Elon Musk, Neuralink Corp. is also working on BCI devices.
Musk has already raised $30 million for the firm. And he’s committed to selling as much as $100 million of his stock holdings to fund the operation.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many investable avenues for the public into BCIs yet.
But this is one incredible technology you’ll want to keep a close eye on.
This Ain’t Your Regular Household Dust
Miniaturization is one of the most world-shaking trends of the last several decades. Computer chips now have features measured in billionths of a meter. Sensors that once weighed kilograms fit inside your smartphone. But it doesn’t end there.
— Jason Dorrier, Singularity University
It most certainly doesn’t end there.
As we speak, leading researchers and tech behemoths are working to make sensors smaller and smaller. They’ve already come a long way.
According to Janusz Bryzek, CEO at eXo Imaging Inc., sensors today are smaller, lighter, less power-hungry and 1,000 times less costly than they were only a few decades ago.
And if you think sensors can’t get any smaller, think again. The miniaturization push won’t stop until sensors are practically invisible.
That’s right — so small that they’re almost undetectable to the naked eye.
The next move is even more remarkable.
These sensors will be deployed into the atmosphere to give us supreme knowledge of just about everything that’s happening in the world around us. All in real-time.
So what’s the name of this major new technology trend for smaller and smarter sensors? Fittingly, it’s been dubbed “smart dust.”
When you hear the words “smart dust,” you might think of something magical. But it’s actually a system of tiny microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), robots or other devices that can detect everything around them. I’m talking about light, temperature, vibrations, pressure, magnetism, chemical composition, humidity, location and acceleration. The list goes on.
These MEMS consist of tiny processors and a skeleton operating system. They’re distributed over an area to perform a task (i.e., sense something). And they’re connected via a wireless network to report information.
Actual smart dust particles are referred to as “motes.” Currently, they’re about the size of a grain of sand. But before long, they could be as tiny as dust particles.
As the analysts at tech research firm Gartner explain, “[Smart dust motes] are generally aimed at monitoring real-world phenomena without disturbing the original process. They’re so small and light that they can remain suspended in the environment like an ordinary dust particle. Air currents can also move them in the direction of flow, and once they’re deployed, it is very hard to detect their presence and even harder to get rid of them.”
I realize this sounds otherworldly — and perhaps even unbelievable. But it’s real.
In the near future, I expect applications to materialize in areas like the environment (monitoring air pollution), habitat (monitoring animals in the wild), defense (surveillance and monitoring of airborne biological weapons), health (entering and checking humans for physical ailments) and traffic (monitoring and management).
Heck, in the last year, the $33 billion-market-cap chipmaker Analog Devices introduced a three-axis MEMS accelerometer that performs high-resolution vibration measurement with very low noise. Or, in layman’s terms, smart dust that enables the early detection of structural defects in things like bridges and skyscrapers.
So how many of these sensors are we talking about being deployed? According to Bryzek, our world will be filled with over 1 trillion of them by 2025.
The enormity of that projection means that this promises to be one of the biggest businesses in the history of electronics.
I can’t think of an opportunity with further-reaching implications — and, in turn, moneymaking potential. As such, it requires our immediate investment attention.
To find out the two best ways to invest — right now — sign up for a risk-free trial to our premium advisory True Alpha here.
Ahead of the tape,
Chief Investment Strategist, Wall Street Daily
Who do you think won today’s technology deathmatch? Your vote decides the winner…