• Charging your EV can be as easy as filling up for gas
  • What do the environmental movement and the soda industry have in common?
  • How to speak to another person… using just your mind

Dear Reader,

2019 has been a tough year for the semiconductor industry. Global sales of semiconductors were down in the third quarter by almost 15% compared to last year. It would seem logical that the semiconductor industry would be suffering amidst such declines…

While in some sectors of the industry, that is true… BUT in the right sectors, the semiconductor industry is booming.

Semiconductor stocks that I have recommended in the last 12 months in both The Near Future Report and Exponential Tech Investor are up anywhere between 30% and 83% in a tough market environment for semis.

What do these stocks all have in common?

They all have large exposure to two of the fastest-growing segments of the high-tech world – 5G wireless technology and artificial intelligence. This is more evidence for what I’ve been telling readers: AI and 5G are two of the most powerful technology trends or our lifetimes.

And I have even better news. September was the third month in a row that delivered month on month semiconductor sales increases. In other words, we’ve likely turned the corner. Semiconductor sales are back on the rise.

And with 2020 setting up to be the year in which 5G smartphone manufacturing is going to explode (more than 300 million units expected), we are likely in for a fantastic year for the semiconductor industry.

I’ll keep an eye on the broader technology market. But for now, let’s turn to our insights…

The biggest breakthrough in EV battery technology in years…

There’s a reason we don’t see many electric vehicles (EVs) on long road trips…

Right now, it takes a long time to charge an EV. This has been one of the biggest challenges to consumer adoption. Even with a Tesla Supercharger, it still takes 30 minutes to an hour to charge the car.

And that’s just not practical for people taking long trips. Nobody wants to sit at a charging station for up to an hour waiting for their car to charge.

Well, very soon, charging electric cars could be as quick as filling up for gas.

Researchers out of Penn State University just developed a battery technology that can charge an electric vehicle (EV) in just 10 minutes with a range of about 200 miles. Here’s how they did it…

EV batteries are built with lithium metal. This limits the amount of heat that can be used in charging. Too much heat from faster charging causes battery “plaque” to cover the lithium. And that plaque reduces the battery’s capacity and life span.

But while high heat is a problem for lithium batteries, the researchers discovered that short periods of even higher heat – 140 degrees Fahrenheit – create less plaque, allowing the battery to charge faster.

As a solution, the researchers added a nickel foil to the battery. They found that the foil heats up and transfers its heat to the battery. This enabled the team to turn up the heat and speed up the charging. That’s how they got the process down to 10 minutes. This is big news…

The goal is to cut that time down to five minutes from here. If they can get there, then we will have overcome one of the last obstacles to widespread EV adoption.

Removing carbon dioxide from the air is a commercial opportunity…

Researchers at MIT just found a way to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air… and bottle it up. Here’s how it works…

The researchers created what is basically a specialized battery. It’s a system composed of charged electrochemical plates. When air (containing CO2) blows through these plates, the CO2 is absorbed. This happens when the battery is being charged.

The battery can then “discharge” itself, releasing pure CO2. At that point, it can be bottled up and sold.

It’s a great system. Plus, this process can pull CO2 from the air under normal conditions and even very low concentrations. It doesn’t require high pressure or high heat like other carbon capture technology.

The benefits are twofold…

As we know, there’s a big push right now to reduce our carbon footprint. This research shows how entrepreneurs can do that and profit from this push. They can simply sell the captured CO2.

We may be asking – Who would buy carbon dioxide? And the answer is that there is a big industry demand for it.

The entire soda industry requires CO2 to carbonate its drinks. Globally, carbonated beverages will be a $413 billion market by 2023. And that market runs on CO2.

Agriculture is another great example. A business growing plants in greenhouses at scale needs to funnel CO2 in to feed the plants. This is a $120 billion market.

And right now, these industries are burning fossil fuels to generate the CO2 they need. Obviously, that’s not cheap. And it prevents that energy from being used for other purposes.

That’s where the opportunity is. If these industries can buy bottled-up CO2, they will no longer need to burn fossil fuels.

My longtime readers know I believe technology can be a force for societal good and wealth creation. This research from MIT is a great example of that… This is a business just waiting to be commercialized… and it’s great for the environment.

A breakthrough in brain-to-brain communication…

Have you ever wanted to “speak” to a friend or colleague with just your mind? Telepathy has been the stuff of science fiction for years. But it may be entering the realm of science reality.

Researchers out of the University of Washington (UW) just demonstrated incredible developments in brain-to-brain communications. They created a system called BrainNet. And it’s completely noninvasive.

The system uses electroencephalography (EEG) to record brain signals. And it uses transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to deliver information directly to the brain.

We don’t need to worry too much about the technical terms. Here’s the important thing to know: The experiment demonstrated that participants could “communicate” strictly by transmitting brainwaves.

The experiments conducted at UW illustrate how this works…

Each experiment consisted of three people. The first two were hooked up to EEGs to record their brain signals. They were the senders. The receiver was in a separate room, connected to the TMS.

The senders were given a Tetris-like block that needed to be rotated a certain way to solve the puzzle. Their job was simply to think about how to rotate the block.

A Classic Tetris Puzzle

Source: Tetris

From the other room, the receiver was not given any background information. That person couldn’t see the puzzle.

The only thing the receiver got was the brain signals from the two senders. Then he or she had to figure out how to rotate the block based on those signals.

Amazingly, these experiments demonstrated over 81% accuracy. That is to say, the receiver made the right decision more than 80% of the time, just by interpreting the brain signals received.

This is remarkable. And let’s consider the long-term consequences…

It could become possible to noninvasively link hundreds, maybe thousands, of people in this way. People could collaborate with each other to solve a problem… just with thought. No emails, meetings, or phone calls necessary. Call it a “hive mind” if you like. The implications are staggering.

Clearly, this would be a powerful new form of communication, problem-solving, and crowdsourcing…


Jeff Brown
Editor, The Bleeding Edge

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