Automation: From Housing To Massages
We are in a technological age. This is something that few can dispute. The advancements that are already being made are quite remarkable. Of course, as they say, we haven't seen anything yet.
In fact, the impact from the next wave of technology is just starting. We have not even truly felt the brunt of what is coming. My guess is we are looking towards the middle of this decade before the true effects are being felt within society. In the meantime, we will keep getting teasers.
These articles are written to open people up to not only what is possible but also as a forecasting tool. In short, a lot of this stuff is coming and it best we prepare for it. This is going to affect industries, careers, businesses, and investing. People who overlook this are going to find themselves surprised when "suddenly" new methodologies disrupt what they are accustomed to.
Do not be one of those people. Take the ideas contained in these articles and consider their potential impact.
For this article, we will illustrate a couple of technologies that are emerging.
This is also known as 3-D printing of homes. It is a topic that is getting more attention as it progresses through its infancy. The reason why this is the case is simply that it is going to really disrupt the construction industry. Since that is something that went untouched for so long, it is drastically lagging other industries in terms of productivity growth.
A number of 3-D printed housing projects cropped up around the world. We now get one that is piloting the proof-of-concept in Canada. As we can see, it is a quaint unit that is part of the "cottage industry". This one is called the Fibonacci House.
Unlike some other projects, this one was printed offsite and then constructed at the location.
The walls of the Fibonacci House were printed off-site in 11 days, then brought to the build location for workers to assemble.
The key here is that the construction process does come with a cost saving. While it is not necessarily a fraction of traditional construction methods since most of the structure is non 3-D printed such as windows, plumbing, and sinks, there is a savings. Most of this is due to a reduction in labor which helps to alleviate the shortage in workers.
This is a trend we see across the entire technology spectrum. Companies are developing technologies that are targeting areas where a lack of workers is a problem. The challenge going forward is nothing will stop these companies once they have the technology. They ultimately will use it get rid of a large portion of the remaining workers.
We know traditional Chinese medicine was practices for centuries in the Far East. This is in the process of getting an update.
"Emma" developed by a company in Singapore, can deliver deep body massages. This is taking a basic component of TCM and giving it a modern makeover.
Using sensors and 3D vision to measure muscle stiffness, EMMA (which stands for "Expert Manipulative Massage Automation") identifies pressure points and delivers massages to patients to help offer pain relief and relaxation.
Here is something else that we are seeing in the embryotic stage but can have massive potential down the road. The company only rolled out a few to start yet the response is very positive.
Currently, Zhang says there are 11 robots deployed at eight different clinics in Singapore, with plans to expand overseas. "We are seeing overwhelming responses from practitioners in the US and China," he adds.
What people fail to realize is the benefits of a robotic process such as this. While massages are something new, we are seeing robotic surgeries starting to mount in number.
There is a big advantage to this. While an individual might conduct a few thousand surgeries in a career, these robotic systems can do that many in a month. Consider the fact the system learns from each surgery and spread it too all other devices. Thus, the AI that these robotic mechanisms are tied to have vastly more knowledge than any single surgeon.
Or in this case, masseuse.
There is never going to someone brand new or who is fresh out of school. Instead, once the system performs its first activity (surgery, massage, etc..), then it is off to the races. From there, every successive action allow adds to the overall knowledge base of the system.
We also avoid the practice of that knowledge disappearing. What happens when a doctor who performed thousands of surgeries retires? All that experience and knowledge retires with him or her. With a robotic system, that never happens. Even if the robotic part of the system needs some replacing, the main network is still in tact.
Thus, all that is gained from the thousands of activities never diminishes. With humans, someone else needs to be trained, often starting from scratch.
Consider how much of an improvement this will be for humanity. Automation has a lot of benefits outside the profit and loss statement.
It is time we start to consider these also.
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