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Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane Hardcover – May 6, 2016

5 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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“When someone as obsessed and thoughtful about the future as Brett King gets ahold of a keyboard and sufficient time to to think and write—watch you, world. Here comes a book that will broaden your mind and make you reexamine what you think you know about tomorrow.”
David Wolman, Author of The End of Money, Contributing Editor at Wired

"You may think you've heard all there is to know about the dramatic changes to come in our digital future. Well, prepare to have your mind blown... again. In a crowded field of prognosticators, Brett King stands out for his clearly articulated vision of how technology is changing who we are.”
— Michael J. Casey, Author of The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money are Challenging the Global Economic Order.

“We live in a world where software is getting smart enough to automate things that only people could do just a few years ago. This is going to radically change the way we educate our children, and the way people work ni the future. AUGMENTED is a wake up call for a whole swathe of industries including the accounting profession. If your job can be automated, it probably will.”
- Rod Drury, CEO of Xero

“Whole industries have been vaporized by technological progress, but as Brett King show us, this trend is just getting started. AUGMENTED is your guide to a world in chaos, where each wave of technological innovation collides with several others. Get ready, get smart, read this book.”
— Robert Tercek, Author of Vaporized

“If you want real financial security and the ability to fund your dreams in the future, then you need to see what is coming next. Brett King’s Augmented is a roadmap of the biggest changes and the most disruptive technologies we’ll need to navigate to get there.”
- David Bach, New York Times Bestselling Author

"As one of the world's most followed and provocative voices in digital finance, Brett King has once again thrown down the gauntlet. Brett's vision of the future should be required reading for governments, think tanks, investors, or basically anyone wondering how transformational technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, Bitcoin, and gene-editing may impact our society."
- Seth Wheeler, Former White House Advisor on Financial Services and Brookings Institution Guest Scholar

From the Back Cover

"Science is on the edge of radically changing the way we live and the experiences we have day to day. So often the views of that future are bleak, but The AUGMENTED AGE is an optimistic view of that future and the challenges we'll face. The possibilities are limitless..."
- Tory Belleci, Host of Mythbusters, Punkin Chunkin and Thrill Factor

"Having watched many innovations occur over the last few decades, it has always confused me as to why so many resist change. The world Brett and Alex describe in Augmented is one where the most significant changes in our lifetime are just around the corner. The Augmented Age is tremendously exciting."
Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari and author of Finding the Next Steve Jobs

"We are in the midst of a huge wave of technological change. Augmented Reality. Self-driving cars. Human-like robots. Additive manufacturing and much more are bringing deep cultural change and exposing long-fed fears of a dystopian future. Brett King not just properly catalogs all of these, but tells us what it all means: that we soon will be AUGMENTED. His look at what's happening will be my bible for a long time."
-- Robert Scoble, Bestselling Author of Age of Context and Beyond Mobile

"Welcome to the AUGMENTED AGE. Super powers. Super cities. Super vehicles. Super robots. Technology is about to change everything in your life. Whether you're scared, excited, or both, you need to read this awesome roadmap of the future that Brett King has created. Those who can anticipate the future can thrive in it."
-  Ramez Naam, Author of Nexus

"A whirlwind of AI and IA (augmented organic minds), robots, Bitcoin, smart materials, you name it!  The Brett and Alex data-mine deep history -- and then stretch far forward, presenting a stunning synthesis that is at once richly detailed, amazing and even slightly troubling -- but never boring.  Future shock just got a side of awe. Highly recommended!"
- Mark Jeffrey, Author of 'The Case For Bitcoin' and Founder, Guardian Circle
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Pte Ltd (May 6, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9814634034
  • ISBN-13: 978-9814634038
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Ron Shevlin on May 9, 2016
Format: Hardcover
Two things in particular make this a great book: 1) Extremely readable--never gets bogged down in heavy technical stuff or nonsensical, fluffy stuff like too many "futurist" books do; 2) Relevance--the book isn't a litany of gee-whiz-bang technologies that could appear. The examples and use cases are all highly relevant.

The book starts with the requisite history of technology disruption, but the meat of the book starts when King talks about The Augmented Man and intelligence amplification. It gets even better with the discussion of agents, avatars, and advisers. The chapters on the smart home and smart cities are very strong as well.

Brett King may want to be seen as a futurist, but he's a great storyteller. And that's what makes this book stand out from the rest.
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By @SimonCocking. We recently interviewed Brett King about his thoughts on FinTech, the future of banking and his views on a range of topics (see interview parts I and II). Meanwhile Brett has been keeping himself busy writing, and launching, on May 6th his fifth book “Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane“, which we now review below.

Firstly the book is a good read and easily readable. It manages to straddle that tricky challenge of being informative for the tech audience at the same time as being interesting and appealing to a wider general audience too. In the time we had it to review it, the book was picked up and read by a range of other interested people. From 13 year old tech geeks, to managers of major cultural institutions, looking to future proof their own organisations. Which indicates this is a topic that interests a wide range of people.

The book begins by taking you through a quick review of the last 250 years of technological innovation, with increasingly shorter cycles of relevance and then obsolescence for different inventions. Moore’s Law, Ray Kuzweil’s predictions of a coming Singularity, and other key trends are all referenced. If you are not familiar with these points of reference they are all explained in a way that again treads carefully between keeping the general reader on board and yet also informing the more tech savvy among the audience.

His analysis of the imminent arrival of ubiquitous renewable energies is refreshing and positive. Coming at it from the perspective that cost will drive it’s mass adoption rather than needing to appeal to ecological considerations.
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Format: Hardcover
Utterly readable and profusely illustrated, we are presented with something akin to an expanded PowerPoint presentation that illustrates innovation from every page. This is the reality that sci-fi promises but that King assures us is being readied for delivery over the coming decades and it’s mind-boggling how diverse the menu is.

From bio to banking, AI to immortality, here’s the world that Tomorrowland barely touched that's about to be delivered via Amazon Prime.
A hope-filled basket of logical to insane tech that will change the way we live and become second nature to most of us in our own lifetimes. Oh, and he’s a hell of a live presenter, as well. If you get the chance, don’t miss him.
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Format: Hardcover
The authors have a rare talent for not only explaining a complex and important topic, but making it understandable by providing historical context and relevant examples. Much of the technology in Augmented has been a high priority for military R&D centers such as DARPA, which have poured funding and brains into Performance Improvent for individuals and teams in high-priority, high-stress and complex mission environments. The development and interaction of technologies such as AI and adaptive learning, VR and Virtual Environments, Augmented Reality with new HD headsets, bioscience including health-related wearable sensors, and Mission Rehearsal (with "what if" simulations) have shown remarkable potential for Performance Improvement, as is explored in this book. Early Adapters taking this book to heart may find that the "Smart Lane" is also the "Passing Lane" vis-a-vis competitors. An enjoyable, readable book that's a great ROI on time spent.
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Format: Hardcover
Those of us that know Brett from his previous books, Breaking Banks, Bank 2.0, and Bank 3.0, may have expected his next book to be a continuation of his examination of the impact of technology on the financial services industry, perhaps a Bank 4.0. This is not that book. While Brett does an excellent job in giving us a view of the future of “Smart Banking, Payments and Money,” that is merely a chapter in this book.

In Augmented, Brett has taken his futurist hat and applied it to how technology is likely to impact all of us in the coming years. Brett’s voice is that of an optimist that sees an exciting world ahead of us. He doesn’t ignore some of the questions that negative forecasters pose around topics like ethics, unemployment and social disparity; his view is that technology can be a tool for advancement for all.

If you want to get lost in what the future is going to bring us all, I recommend you read this book. If you are afraid that we will use our humanity as more technology affects us, read this book too. I bet you, you will come out with a better appreciation of what’s to come, and looking forward to it all.
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