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Future of Work


Analysis and insight on the future of work. Stay updated as Singularity Hub discusses the most important trends related to the future of work.

Smarty Digital Ring Delivers Text, Email, and Social Media Updates Directly to Your Finger

You've glasses and watches get smart. Time to add rings to the list of everyday wearable items boasting microchips, miniature displays, and touch interfaces. Say hello to Smarty Ring.

AirDroids Markets a Pocket Drone for the Everyman

In a current Kickstarter campaign, the Southern California company AirDroids is offering plug-and-play book-sized drone, aptly named Pocket Drone, for a manageable $495.

Mars One Announces Lockheed Martin Partnership, Crowdfunding for 2018 Mars Mission

Mars One, the private organization proposing to colonize Mars by 2025, recently announced Lockheed Martin is working on a mission concept study for a Mars lander based on their 2007 Phoenix lander. Mars One also recently launched a $400,000 Indiegogo campaign to fund the mission concept studies. Mars One says they hope the campaign will “show [their] partners and sponsors that the world is ready for this to happen.”

2013 in Review: The Eight Biggest Stories In Exponential Tech

It’s been a fast-moving year, so before diving headlong into 2014, we thought we'd take stock and revisit some of the year’s most notable stories in exponential technology.

RoboKind’s Expressive ZENO R25 Robot Brings Prices Down, But Is It Enough?

Developers of social robots believe their creations will one day help educate and entertain. The robots are coming, but so far, they’re damn expensive—which is where the new ZENO R25 Kickstarter comes in. In the words of its maker, robotics firm, RoboKind, ZENO is “the first affordable advanced social robot.”

CastAR Augmented Reality Glasses Blow Up on Kickstarter

There are all kinds of companies experimenting with augmented and virtual reality right now. Google Glass projects a screen onto your retina. Oculus Rift straps a display to your face. Meta SpaceGlasses beam a hologram out in front of you. Now you can add another player to the game—castAR. CastAR is a headmounted augmented reality engine that projects a 3D image on a surface and allows users to interact with it—while playing virtual games like Dungeons and Dragons or Risk, for example.

Peachy Printer Kickstarter Promises $100 3D Printer and Scanner – Can They Do It?

3D printers tend to blow up on Kickstarter. And one of the latest, the Peachy Printer, is no exception. The project's raised almost C$500,000, about ten times its original goal. Peachy is an innovative approach to 3D printing being offered for as little as C$100. But there are yet many unmet challenges to be navigated before its June 2014 delivery date.

Tim Maupin’s Film, ‘The Last Generation to Die,’ to Explore Longevity and Life Extension

The May issue of National Geographic boldy states, “This Baby Will Live to Be 120 (and It’s Not Just Hype)”; Pew Research published a poll on radical life extension in August; Google funded a new company, Calico, to tackle aging in September. Independent of all these developments, Chicago filmmaker, Tim Maupin, launched a Kickstarter for a short film titled, “The Last Generation to Die.” Maupin, thinks now is a great time to start a conversation about life extension. And he’s right. The idea that within decades a genetic fountain of youth may plausibly reverse the aging process, even indefinitely stave off death, is rising up in pop culture.

Nearly Half of U.S. Jobs Could Be Done by Computers, Study Says

A recent study out of Oxford University found that almost half of U.S. jobs are vulnerable to being taken over by computers as artificial intelligence continues to improve. The study, based on 702 detailed job listings, found that computers could already replace many workers in transportation and logistics, production labor and administrative support. But computers are also increasingly qualified to perform "non-routine cognitive tasks."

3D iPad Scanner by Occipital Digitizes the World for 3D Printing and Augmented Reality

Three days into its Kickstarter, app developer Occipital had raised just under $600,000, or roughly six times its $100,000 goal—which was met in the first three hours. What’s got early adopters and developers so excited? A 3D scanner called Structure that attaches to and runs on an iPad.

What Will Happen 5 Days Before The Singularity? “I’s” Feature Film Aims To Find Out

Sci-fi films have a long history of speculating what the future might be like, seeking to understand what remnants of humanity will continue on when the world may undergo drastic change. More realistic projections...

Kickstarter Project to Send Thousands of Personal Spacecraft to the Moon

NASA's twin Voyager spacecraft famously carry a pair of golden records encoded with images and sounds from Earth. Now, a new project hopes to similarly send discs to space. Only these discs are slightly more advanced. In fact, they’re spacecraft in their own right; thousands will fit into a CubeSat; and each one carries "computing power comparable to that of the Voyager spacecraft and Apollo flight computers."

Medical Tricorder Startup Scanadu Scout Raises Over $1.3M With Two Weeks Left

Over the years, it has become increasingly evident that Star Trek is a highly influential -- if not the most influential -- work in science fiction that has inspired generations of people to pursue...

PIP Biosensor Measures Stress and Gamifies the Art of Conscious Relaxation

Most of us know when we’re stressed. Physical cues like stomach butterflies, a flushed face, or muscle tension are hard to miss. Problem is, said symptoms can be very difficult to control. Once going—these things tend to snowball. The PIP biosensor Kickstarter aims to help folks mediate stress by objectively measuring symptoms, digitally visualizing the results, and then gamifying stress reduction. It’s the latest in an avalanche of sensors aiming to increase body awareness and health.

Two Bit Circus Kickstarts Traveling Carnival of Robots, Fire, and Lasers

Two Bit Circus is producing the STEAM Carnival, a hands-on event featuring “robots, fire, and lasers to inspire young inventors in science, technology, engineering, art, and math.” Doesn’t that sound lovely?

Diamandis And Planetary Resources To Build First Crowdfunded Space Telescope For Public Use

How do you get kids interested in science? Strike that. How do you get kids and adults interested in science? One: Involve them in it. Two: Awaken awe. Asteroid mining firm Planetary Resources’ new Kickstarter aims to accomplish both by giving the public control over one of the firm’s ARKYD space telescopes—to snap a selfie or two with its camera arm or to plumb the cosmic depths with the scope’s optics.

Moshe Vardi: Robots Could Put Humans Out of Work by 2045

Robots began replacing human brawn long ago—now they’re poised to replace human brains. Moshe Vardi of Rice University thinks that by 2045 artificially intelligent robots may be capable of "if not any work that humans can do, then, at least, a very significant fraction of the work that humans can do." So, he asks, what then will humans do?

Google Partners With Singularity University To Crowdsource Book About Women Innovators

Singularity University and Google recently announced the launch of a campaign to crowdsource a book titled Innovating Women: Past, Present, and Future. The project is being crowdfunded on Indiegogo with a dollar-for-dollar contribution from Google for Entrepreneurs up to $50,000. The book aims to collect stories from women around the global and bring together their perspectives about a variety of factors that are shaping the innovation economy. By incorporating their unique perspectives and personal stories, the tome will both record the contributions women are making in the world today as well as provide an inspiration to female entrepreneurs around the world.

Next Step For Glowing Plant Kickstarter Campaign? Glowing Rose

If the campaign raises more than $400,000, they’ll not only complete the Arabidopsis work, but bring illumination to the already beautiful rose as well.

Robots Will Do Everything You Do Now Only Better—What Then?

The US stock market is approaching a record high—having finally regained all it lost in the 2008 bear market. It would be cause for celebration, if it didn’t feel so out of touch with the “main street” reality of elevated unemployment. As a recent New York Times headline read, “recovery in the US is lifting profits, but not adding jobs.” The NYT goes on to blame the divide between rising corporate profits, recovering stocks, and stubborn unemployment on technology—or more specifically automation and robots.

Kickstarter Campaign To Create Glowing Plant Goes Viral – Singularity Labs FTW!

“I firmly believe that this is something that’s going to revolutionize our society. With this technology we have a lot of tools that can solve a lot of humanity’s problems. We’re limited only by our imagination.”

Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Suspends Trading As Prices Crash

The market price of bitcoins in USD has fallen and fallen hard. After peaking at $266, prices plunged Wednesday morning. There was a strong late rally, such that some data providers listed the “close” around $165. But the cryptocurrency trades round the clock, and Wednesday morning’s decline continued throughout the evening and into Thursday.

Bitcoin Blows Up, Exchange Rate Jumps Ten-Fold in Recent Weeks

Recent headlines are humming over the booming digital currency Bitcoin—it’s either the next big thing or the digital equivalent of Tulipomania. Either way, there’s no debating the fact Bitcoin’s on a wild ride.

Breathometer — A Breathlyzer For Your Smartphone

A California-based company wants to take the guesswork out of the rhetorical question, "Did I drink too much to drive?" The Breathometer is a small $20 device that plugs into a smartphone's audio jack, much the way that the popular credit card reader Square does, and measures the relative quantity of alcohol in breath as accurately as other consumer breathlyzers. Using the accompanying app, a smartphone can then display BAC or blood alcohol concentration level, which is the legal measure used to assess when someone is driving under the influence.

Why Wait For Google Fiber? UK Farmers Want Faster Internet, Build Their Own

Last November, neighborhoods in Kansas City became the first to enjoy the 1Gbps Internet speed made possible through Google Fiber. As Google considers the possibility of bringing Fiber to other communities (some signs points to Canada as a possible spot), a group of remote farmers in the UK with sluggish Internet speeds decided they didn't want to wait on their ISPs, the government, or even Google to deliver an upgrade to their broadband speeds. They opted to build an ultrafast fiberoptic network themselves.

Kickstarter 3Doodler 3D Printing Pen Nothing of the Sort – But Somehow Raises $2 Million

Five days after launch on Kickstarter, the 3Doodler 3D printing pen boasted over 21,000 backers and $1.9 million in pledges. Their goal was $30,000! What’s so special about the 3Doodler? If nothing else, it rivals the lofty infomercial marketing heights of Slap Chop or ShamWow. But let’s get something straight—3Doodler is a crafting “pen” not a handheld 3D printing pen (whatever that even means).

Crowdfunding Star Wars — Kickstarter Campaign For Death Star Construction Aims To Raise $30M

The folks at Kickstarter have given the green light to two projects near-and-dear to the hearts of geeks, techies and futurists alike: the construction of a Death Star and a desperate call to fund X-wing fighters for the Rebel Alliance.

US Unemployment Is 7.9%—Are Robots to Blame?

Robots want to invade your home, take your job, and steal your wife. Maybe not that last one (yet). But as unemployment remains stubbornly elevated (7.9%) people are searching for answers. Among the usual...

GravityLight — Using Gravity To Bring Light To The Developing World

On the simplest level, GravityLight converts gravitational energy into light, just like its name promises. That's right, you lift a bag filled with 20 pounds of stuff (sand, earth, whatever) and attach it to a cord. As gravity pulls the bag down, an LED light is illuminated, working kind of like those hand-cranked flashlights. A braking mechanism causes the weight to drop slowly, producing about 30 minutes of light, and returning the bag to its original height "restarts" the light.

Curiosity Game Goes Viral! Millions Want to Know What’s Inside Giant Cube

Video game developer 22Cans’ Curiosity—What’s Inside the Cube has the net all a-twitter. What is inside the cube? The answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything? Or better still, the question? An all expenses paid trip to Disney...

Build Your Own Robot With Multiplo

They were educators frustrated by the lack of flexible, easily accessible tools for teaching robotics. So they created the Multiplo Robot Building Kit, an open source robot building system meant to help people “learn...

Memoto – The Camera That Makes Lifelogging Mainstream? Selling Fast On Kickstarter

Here comes yet another tool for lifeloggers to catalogue those priceless moments of getting a cup of coffee or commuting to work. Memoto, a small, clip-on device that takes pictures while you live your...

Keyless Entry Via Smartphone With Lockitron Takes Off

The smartphone is quickly becoming the 21st century Swiss army knife. Beyond being able to make calls, send messages, play games, and surf the web with it, both Google and Apple have enabled devices to...
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Kickstarter Funding Success LIFX Proposes Networked LED Smartbulbs

Ever wish you could network all your devices, toaster to television, and manage them on your smartphone? Well, that vision just edged closer with the LIFX LED WiFi enabled smart light bulb. Using your smartphone...

Low Cost, Professional 3D Printer (FormLabs) Breaks $1 Million On Kickstarter

The 3D printer space is getting crowded, but like many things, devices that are currently available fall into two camps: the high-end professional machines and the low-end DIY printers. Fortunately, this bimodal distribution of...

2013 — The Dawn Of Wearable Computing?

Sooner rather than later you'll have a computer attached to your face, and for some, it'll happen as early as next year. Why? Because the era of wearable computing is dawning as startups and...

ReadySet Solar Charger Successful In Africa Now Headed To US

Want renewable energy in a small, portable package? Then the ReadySet solar charger by Fenix International may be the closest thing to a perfect on-the-go kit for anyone excited about solar power. The charger was initially...
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Interview: Federico Pistono, Author of “Robots Will Steal Your Job But That’s OK”

The author of “Robots will steal your job, but that’s OK,” is taking it to the next level. Back in January we spoke with the computer scientist/artist/social activist, Federico Pistono, about how automation is...

Android-Based Game Console Closing Out Record-Breaking Kickstarter Campaign

Tired of feeling boxed in by your game console? Then rush over to Kickstarter and get ready to throw your money at the screen. Ouya (pronounced "ooo-yah!"), the widely publicized new platform, is an...

Stunning Progress in Technology Brings The Death of Unskilled Labor

As part of the online web series Which Way Next, hosted by Singularity University, Vivek Wadhwa, VP of Academics and Innovation, sat down with Carl Bass, CEO at Autodesk, to explore some of the...

360° Panoramic Video Lets You Capture Everything Around You With Your Smartphone

Have you ever recorded video of an important event with your smartphone only to discover later that people were out of frame or the video was shaky from frantically panning it around? What you...

Can Petridish Become The Kickstarter Of Science? We Ask The CEO

Science in the U.S. is slated for a devastating blow on January 2, 2013 when the debt deal Congress passed last year kicks in, implementing a 9% cut in science funding lasting until 2021. While university...
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Encyclopedia Britannica Ends Print Version After 244 Years, Now Completely Digital

The digital age has claimed yet another victim. Citing the fact that most of their users already utilize their digital version, Encyclopaedia Britannica is doing away with print. It marks the end of a...

The Crowd-Funding Phenomenon Continues – Comic Raises $1.2M on Kickstarter (+Q&A with Creator Rich Burlew)!

After years and years of giving his work away for free, Rich Burlew just raked in more than a million. That's the power of the crowd. Burlew started his Kickstarter campaign to raise money...
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The First Kickstarter Project to Raise $2 Million is an Adventure Video Game!

The future of video games is in the hands of the crowd...and it looks like it's going to be a great adventure. In the last week, Double Fine Adventure has become the highest grossing...
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eye3: The Robotic Copter That You Can Afford

UPDATE: Kickstarter has cancelled funding for eye3 due to delayed deliveries, skepticism that the drone will actually work and suspicion that the eye3 kit is actually pieced together from other kits already sold online....
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Kickstarter: We’re Succesful, We’re Growing, We’re Changing Whole Industries

Five hundred years ago, most Western artists lived off the charity of wealthy patrons. Today, you are that patron, and with Kickstarter you'll be funding a lot more than just art. The Manhattan based...

Augmented Reality Browser Makes Your Mobile A Portal Into the Digital World

I don't know if you noticed, but a parallel Earth has merged with our own, overlapping our reality no matter where we go. I'm talking about the digital realm - the confluence of internet,...

Company Scans Your Books For a Dollar – Ship ‘Em In, Get a PDF via Email

Someday my grandchildren will ask me what a printed book looks like. Hell, at the rate we're going, my children will probably ask the same question. The physical to digital conversion of books just...
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Take A Look Inside The Video Spy Glasses That Conquered Kickstarter

Apparently the internet really wants video spy glasses. ZionEyez, a Seattle startup recently offered to sell you a pair of their Eyez video recording glasses if you made a $150 donation to their KickStarter...

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