Read for Later - Ride Sharing in Cities, Education and Industry, and VR in Hotels, Retail, Therapy, and Everywhere

Was there a dominant news piece this week? Well, inside ALA it was all about the launch of Libraries Transform, a new public awareness campaign highlighting the value, impact and services provided by libraries and library professionals. And when you read the news outside of libraries, it's impossible not to see all the ways that libraries will continue to transform to provide value for users today and into the future.   
Speaking of transforming, would you like to transform the way you receive this weekly update? I'm experimenting with TinyLetter to get this update sent out via email to subscribers. Let's see how it goes. You can subscribe at and await your email next Monday.  
Check out the Center's trend collection to see how this scanning comes together to identify trends relevant to our future work - and let us know what you're reading this week to help think about later.

Assorted Interests

  • A recent survey of high-ranking lawyers at firms with at least 50 lawyers on staff found that 35% envision replacing first-year associates with some type of artificial intelligence (AI) in the coming decade, about 20% believe that second- and third-year attorneys could also be replaced by technology over the same period, and 50% believe that paralegals could be replaced by computers.
  • The explosion of devices that expose what they see, hear, and sense to the Internet is changing how we interact with the physical world, leading to a blended digital and physical existence
  • China will end its decades-long one-child policy, which worked to slow the population growth rate and is estimated to have prevented about 400 million births, and will now allow couples to have two children amid growing concerns for China's ageing population
  • Librarian of Congress grants new rules for exemptions to copyright's DRM-circumvention laws, addressing jailbreaking cell phones and tablets; security research and modification and repairs on cars; ripping DVDs and Blurays for making fair use remixes and analysis; and preserving video games and running multiplayer servers after publishers have abandoned them
  • Also covered in GizmodoTechCrunch, The Verge, and Wired
  • Project Loon will begin testing balloon-powered Internet in Indonesia in 2016 adding to a list of tests in New Zealand, Australia, and Latin America
  • Also covered in CNETGizmodo, and MIT Technology Review
  • By shifting our perspective when regarding 3D printing, and viewing it as a system of constituent parts, we can change our understanding of its capabilities
  • Gaming has grown into one of the most profitable entertainment industries in the world - as mobile revolutionized the industry and opens it to new audiences two future developments, virtual reality and artificial intelligence, could play key roles in its continued evolution


  • Uber, one of today's great industry disrupters, has quickly mastered the old art of political influence, building a large and successful lobbying presence with over 250 lobbyists and 29 lobbying firms registered in almost every state 
  • The growing popularity of ride-sharing might force a change in urban design traditionally built for machines (30-60% of a typical U.S. city’s land-print is devoted to rights-of-way and parking) instead of people
  • A £4.2m grant to the University of Leeds will support researchers developing “self-repairing cities” that use robots to fix everything from street lights to potholes


  • The latest Campus Computing Survey of top technology officers at colleges found that 81% believe that open educational resources will be an important source for instructional material in the next five years and 38% report that their institutions encourage faculty members to use open-resource content
  • MIT’s Media Lab, which prizes an "antidisciplinary" and hands-on academic culture, houses an eclectic mix of researchers building prosthetics, personal robots, holographic video displays, and glass objects created by 3D printers
  • The mix of art, science, engineering and design attracts corporate sponsors, including  Google, Intel, Twitter, Toyota, GlaxoSmithKline, Estee Lauder, Ikea, New Balance and Coca-Cola, that provide a minimum $250,000 fee to be “members” and help support  the majority of the Media Lab's close to $60 million annual operating budget
  • The blockchain and strong cryptography could help drive a certification infrastructure that organizes control of the full record of achievements and accomplishments – allowing a digital degree to be shared with an employer and providing  the employer with confidence in the degree’s authenticity
  • With decades of government investment in basic research — in computing, medicine, sensors, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, robotics, nanomaterials, and synthetic biology — universities have grown an abundance of expertise,  talent, and intellectual property, a gold mine for industry partnerships to jointly develop technology and fund research-commercialization efforts
  • #GoOpen will encourage states, school districts and educators to use openly licensed educational materials, with the Department of Ed proposing a new regulation that would require all copyrightable intellectual property created with Department grant funds to have an open license.
  • A cohort of 10 districts has taken up the #GoOpen challenge to replace at least one textbook with openly licensed educational resources within the next year


  • Lawmakers’ response to innovation has slowed, just as tech’s speed has accelerated – allowing technologies to take hold with almost no legal oversight , ideal for startups targeting old norms like taxis, flight paths over crowded airspace, or money
  • Several companies, in Silicon Valley and beyond, are working to change the systemic problems in government, including gerrymandering and closed primaries, money in politics, the number of voters per congressional district, low-information voters, media bias, easy ways to mobilize, communication with elected representatives, and the registration and voting process
  • The Obama administration is publishing its third Open Government National Action Plan, a detailed set of commitments that aim to make government data easier to find and the government more responsive to public input

Spaces, Retail and Restaurants

  • Impact Bazaar, a 5,000 square foot co-working space, provides guidance and mentorship for entrepreneurs, partnering with more than 40 organizations to offer workshops, office hours, and lunch sessions, open to the public for the cost of $10 a day
  • Tommy Hilfiger will launch a “phygital” concept with an in-store VR experience allowing shoppers to watch the Fall 2015 Hilfiger Collection runway show in three-dimensional, 360-degree virtual reality
  • Shangri-La Hotels will become the first international hospitality brand to roll out Samsung Gear Virtual Reality (VR) headsets to its 17 global sales offices and 94 individual hotel sales teams with a goal of producing 2-minute VR videos for its hotel inventory to share with wholesalers, travel agents, meeting planners, and other customers to virtually explore the different areas of the properties
  • Designed as a space for “sitting down and educating,” and “to get deep into that conversation of what it’s capable of, why this would work in whatever use you need,” consumers can explore current and future Microsoft products
  • Also covered in ArsTechnica and Geekwire

Virtual Reality

  • Virtual reality is already changing how phobias are treated by therapists, but in the not-too-distant future, it is likely that a VR set will become standard in every psychologist’s tool bag, offering a middle ground for patients to approximate the experience of exposure, without actually having to be exposed
  • Virtual Reality and Augment Reality (AR) will change business, creating new experiences that leverage the power of big data, but in order to succeed developers will need to address seven fundamental issues: extend enterprise software; integrate real world feedback; create useful experiences; address fine motor control and integrate existing tools; provide accurate models; deliver the right operating system metaphor; and overcome hype and social stigma 
  • Emergent VR will release a private “beta” test app in late November allowing users to take photos and video with their smartphones and then mash up a spherical combination of the two that can be watched in virtual reality 
  • Landmark Entertainment Group, a leader in theme park attractions, will begin building VR-based attractions called Live Centers, starting with one in China in the summer of 2017, featuring  a “virtual zoo,” digital art gallery, and various cinematic offerings, all contained in a 200,000-square-foot complex