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Creating the next big thing before others do

California-based inventor talks of his Bill Gates-backed lab where sewing machines self-sew clothes

Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
Pablos Holman making a presentation during the session titled ‘The Technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution’.
Gulf News

Dubai: If you believe the world’s been there and done that – think again.

Rapid digital technology now emerging in the form of automated cars, 3D printing, and computer-driven factory lines is on the verge of impacting vast sections of the global labour force, says an American inventor with an eye on the future.

Speaking at the Knowledge Summit in Dubai on Tuesday, Pablos Holman, Inventor with Intellectual Ventures Laboratory, headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, showed a video of a prototype self-sewing machine that can assemble clothing without human operation. The machine could adversely effect clothing factories across major centres in Asia where cheap labour dominates the textile and fashion production industry, he suggested, when the new self-sewing machines potentially hit the market in a few years.

Holman speculated that the “$2 trillion [Dh7.34 trillion] industry will be disrupted. We will recreate that industry.”

A world of curious fascinating inventions now in play in the lab were presented by Holman in a speaker session with delegates including a laser-guided mosquito killer and a super-cooling thermos to protect vaccines in the field to a new nuclear reactor that extracts left-over uranium from spent nuclear plant rods.

Noting that all new technology is based simply on newly advanced battery packs and super digital computer chips, Holman said his Bill Gates-backed lab filed the largest number of patents yearly in new inventions and has, to date, filed the most patents in history.

Holman works on a five- to 10-year horizon in an attempt to create the next big thing well before anyone else even thinks of it.

Showing a slide of a malaria-infected female mosquito, said it “is the most dangerous animal on earth – it takes a million lives a year.”

Compared to yesteryears when dangerous pesticides were used to kill mosquitoes, Holman said his new machine “shoots down the females with a lethal laser” before they can infect humans with disease.

As for his newly invented nuclear reactor, Holman pointed out that it can extract 99.3 per cent of the remaining uranium from a spent rod.

He said that one US nuclear waste depot contains 700,000 metric tonnes of “depleted uranium left over” and that “with that stockpile, we could power the entire planet for the next 1,000 years. No one has even tried to invent a better nuclear reactor.”