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Blake Dowling: Get ready for flexible phones, driverless cars

This year is rolling along like a can of Pringles in my house (one can survives about an hour). They are the Super Chip. Munchos are also outrageously awesome.

However, my friends, this is not a column about chips; it’s about the future. What is next for technology? The Cloud is here, artificial intelligence is here, 3D printing is here, and many other new faces of tech are becoming mainstream.

What’s Next is a big conversation. Let’s start with Mark Zuckerberg and see what he has in store.

Mark has always big a big proponent of bringing Internet connectivity to places that don’t have the access that most Americans do. The initiative by Zuckerberg and his colleagues is called and the basic package is available now in 38 countries, giving 19 million users access to the Internet.

To expand this initiative, the Facebook team is working on deploying solar-powered drone aircraft that will beam Internet service via laser to regions where land-based infrastructure is not a viable option. This is visionary work, and I hope they succeed.

There are several barriers that must be navigated, but FB has the resources and the commitment to work miracles. So we will see.

Smartphone manufacturers are spending lots of R&D money on flex tech – phones and tablets that can bend or roll up like a scroll. As my friend Shawn just said, “Why don’t they make phones that work better, and focus on that.”  Well, they aren’t.

There are also flexible phones now available that offer plastic screens and have a more contoured look that should reduce glare and fit your face better while holding it up for a call. These phones do not bend. Do not get “flex” and “flexible” confused.

The main benefit here with the flexible is that the phones are plastic, so feel free to drop it and not have to run to the corner store that specializes in screen repair. (There is one on every corner, but not for long, since here comes plastic).

I walked out of the office with a friend recently. When we got near his car, it started coming toward us. He explained about the feature (summons) that sends his Tesla Auto to him. Pretty sweet ride.

The summons function is a nice example of where the automobile industry is heading. That’s right campers, driverless cars. So much for new outfits like Uber coming to pick you up. Jump in and roll, do your workout routine in the car, have some beers, play the Operation board game with your kids.

It’s very interesting to imagine the possibilities. The shift has been compared to the shift from brick-and-mortar stores to e-commerce. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, said that in two years you can summon your car from across the country.

The Obama administration has proposed spending $4 billion over the next 10 years to research autonomous vehicles and build the infrastructure to support them.

The Internet, phones and cars are some of our favorite things and they are changing faster than Lady Gaga changes outfits. Disruption is here – now. Buckle up.

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Blake Dowling is chief business development officer at Aegis Business Technologies. His technology column is published by several organizations. Contact him at or at Column courtesy of Context Florida.

Written By

Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. His technology columns are published by several organizations. Contact him at or at

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