Nabyl’s Weekly Digital Age Insights – Episode 25

By July 8, 2019 Insight

In Episode 25 of my weekly update, I’m sharing stories and insights around the realities of commercial space flight, sports businesses evolving to digital media businesses, and advances in self-assembling robotics.

1. SpaceX plans to launch Starship’s first commercial flight in 2021

At the 68th International Aeronautical Congress back in 2017, Elon Musk famously stated that SpaceX would eventually make long-journey trips on earth (what he called ‘earth to earth’ trips) in under half an hour at about the same cost as a full-fare economy flight. He also spoke about SpaceX’s efforts to make travel to low-earth orbit, and beyond, a reality. Over the years we have witnessed the highs and lows of SpaceX’s endeavors, amongst other companies, and one thing has become crystal clear: the development of a space economy and its impact to transportation, driven by advances in exponential technologies, simply cannot be ignored. In Episode 24, I noted UBS’s estimates of an $800B+ valued space industry, along with many startups and established companies investing resources in this area.

2. Sport businesses become digital media companies in the digital media revolution

The use of data and analytics to elevate player and franchise performance across professional sports has been widely discussed. However, the evolution of sports franchises into digital companies hasn’t received as much attention. The digital transformation for teams and their businesses is extensive and covers a wide spectrum including commercial value of digital assets, new revenue streams, expanded B2B bets, etc. In speaking about newly appointed CEO Tucker Kain, LA Dodgers owner Peter Gruber said the following, which sheds light on one aspect of this shift: “He has to speak their language because the new generation of fans consume games in a different way…It’s not so much people interested in the statistics of baseball, but Fortnite, League of Legends, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, the immediacy of the environment, the gamification, fantasy, gambling and the social aspects of the narrative.”

3. MIT develops tiny ‘walking’ motor that helps more complex robots self-assemble

Disney’s Big Hero 6 is something I’ve been obliged to watch at least 100 times (perhaps some of you have had to do the same!) Part of me didn’t mind too much because the ‘Microbots’, a set of nanobots created by the protagonist, always fascinated me. Imagine the ability of small robots with standardized parts that could assemble other task-specific robots. And the capacity to reinvent the manufacturing process as a result due to intelligence and materials. Coming back to reality, we are starting to see the intersection of exponential technologies enable advances in robotics such as automated self-assembly. Research shows that revenues from the global industrial robotics market (robot machines) will exceed $40B by 2026.

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