Best case scenario (which has yet to be seen) the biofabricated meat should look/taste/smell exactly like normal meat, but be materially cheaper to produce and have a much lower environmental impact. The reality so far is that it has looked/tasted worse than normal meat (largely textural issues) and no major player has achieved sufficient scale to get the cost structure down. It’s still very early days, so hopefully this improves over time.
Where I could see eventually this getting really interesting, particularly for niche restaurants, is when you try to improve meat instead of simply replicating it. If you have creative control over the taste/texture/smell, you can combine characteristics in whatever way you wish (with a much shorter lead time than selective breeding or conventional manipulation methods), and that could give chefs more freedom than ever before.
Great writeup! While ordinarily I would agree that the biggest benefit of AM is the potential for customization, I am amazed at how low they’ve gotten the price-point of these houses already (~$10k). If they can get it down to their goal of $4k/house, I imagine it would be difficult for traditional manufacturing to compete (even with 0 customization), assuming they’re both building standalone houses.
I would be really intrigued to see how this technology could be applied to larger multi-level structures, although I question how much of a benefit it would be compared to modularization/assembly. Based on some of the Cemex homes that we saw earlier this semester, it seemed like you could quite easily get 2 stories primarily with cement, so I don’t see why you couldn’t use 3D printing to double the current size.
I question whether additive manufacturing can make car production a local endeavor. Like other forms of manufacturing, there are still economies of scale or 3D printing, and idle time (even if it’s at a local building) seems like it would be inefficient for global company. Beyond that consideration, I know that the auto industry is hyper-focused on quality control and inspection, which would be a big hurdle to localize.
I love the concept of using local shops to 3D print replacement parts, particularly for older/less common models, and can totally see a market need for that!
Mining is a really interesting application of automation and AI. I would guess the single biggest factor as to whether or not you’d consider full-scale automation is the “life” of the mine in terms of extraction period (linked below), which varies considerably both by commodity and by specific mine. While it would be very tempting to automate a mine that you knew you going to be running for the next 70 years, some mines appear to take as few as 2 years to fully extra which would really make the business case difficult to justify. I don’t know the sector well enough to weigh in on the extraction period distribution, but I would guess that very few meet all of the criteria.
One of the most frustrating elements of automation and IoT in remote locations like mines is the lack of telecom infrastructure. Telecoms that own spectrum don’t want to put up high bandwidth towers in the middle of nowhere, and Mining companies may be willing to pay for the infrastructure but lack the spectrum licences to legally operate. It’s not an unsolvable solution to bridge the gap, but it definitely takes a lot of time and effort.
Duration of the extraction period of a mine, by selected commodities:
I was really intrigued by your question relating to how companies like Climate Connect will survive if generation/distribution companies are no longer willing to share their data. Two things immediately jumped to mind (both of which are pretty flimsy, but presented for arugment’s sake):
(1) while companies may have some incentives to refuse to share their own data, that really only helps them if the past within their footprint is entirely predictive of their future in that region. In the case of rare events (i.e. extreme weather), global warming, or changing demand trends (i.e. developing nations) I could envision scenarios where my region may be evolving, but that new behaviour could be remarkably similar to what another region has experienced previously… for me to leverage their data, I probably need to contribute my own data to the collective pool.
(2) utilities sectors are heavily regulated in many countries, and they may be able to make an appeal to the governments/regulators that this data is crucial for efficient markets and/or in the best interest of the end-consumer
This article had a lot of interesting points to supplement what you’ve already summarized.
Not only are teenagers trying vaping at a very high rate, some people speculate that if we ran true public health campaigns about vaping that even more young people may decide to try it (due to it being safer in reality than currently feared).
There was also this really intriguing quote from Former CEO Tyler Goldman in reference to their desire to avoid new (primarily youth) users if possible:
“[We have] actually stopped trying to create new users by leaving some stores purposefully out of stock of the vaporizers. It sells only refill cartridges to those stores, so people who use JUUL and switched off cigarettes can stay switched,” Goldman said.
While I love the concept of the Innovators Brewhouse platform, I think that the ~300 smaller brands likely already have plenty of brand ambassadors and evangelists. As someone who is always excited to try new beers, it is much less so about the packaging than it is about the taste of the beer and setting in which I try them. I can definitely see why the crowdsourced method would work great for their largest brand, and I would appreciate the novelty there, although I don’t know if it would add any points to a brand that I was less familiar with.