The Wonder, February 5 - Self-lacing sneakers, carbon neutral supercars and chatbots for your business

INblog, technology, the wonder|BYsf appworks

A Weekly Snapshot of Life-Changing Technology

1. Behind the glass curtain

Diamond glass could make your phone screen nearly unbreakable. It could also be used to create powerful weapons-grade lasers. Check out this week’s GREAT READ.

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Hot Take
There have been a lot of stories about how China has been targeting the US tech industry. This is a great ‘fight back’ piece about what the US is doing to counteract China’s IP practices.

Why it matters
The next great world war is already being fought. At stake is the mantle of who will lead the next generation of technology and AI, and thus shape the global order.

2. How can you be so self-lace?

Check out these self-lacing sneakers from Puma, set to launch next year.

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3. Carbon neutral

Koenigsegg is working with National Electric Vehicle Sweden to develop a hybrid supercar that is completely CO2 neutral. 

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Hot Take
While most car innovators are focused on self-driving technology or electric power, the company that made the Regera, a 1,500 HP supercar with no gearbox, is rethinking the core components of a car once again.

Why it matters
For all of its upside, electricity is notoriously inefficient to store. Combine that with predicted battery shortages in a world powered by clean fuel and you have a mass market hurdle for electric vehicles to overcome. A carbon neutral combustion option could provide a breath of fresh air.

Not so fast
Projections for delivery stand at just 20 cars per year, so while the concept is innovative, I wouldn’t expect it to move the needle.

4. Puppy love

Animal lovers in Lithuania have created a mobile application inspired by Tinder to match dogs in local shelters with new owners. 

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Hot Take
In retrospect, the concept seemed painfully obvious when Tinder did it. Seems the same now.

Why it matters
With just a few hundred users, the app is already giving away 1-2 dogs per day.

Careful now
Part of the reason shelters make the adoption process so labor intensive is that people tend to underestimate the lifestyle change that owning a dog will bring. If the adoption failure rate goes up, you could end more with more traumatized stray dogs.

5. [SFAW Blog] How to think about Chatbots for your business.

We’ve been busy talking about and building chatbots, so we wanted to share a bit of our thought process when thinking about how and when to integrate chatbots into the digital strategy of a business. 

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Thanks for reading! We’ll see you next week.

-Andrew and Darius