Examples of the upside of "capitalism" | Vital Football

Examples of the upside of "capitalism"

Holy Spock! Now BlackBerry’s inventor wants to build a tricorder

Hugo Miller and Jon Erlichman, Bloomberg News | 13/03/20 |

Mike Lazaridis, inventor of the BlackBerry smartphone, is starting a $100 million quantum technology fund that’s aiming to turn devices like the medical tricorder from “Star Trek” into reality.

The fund, called Quantum Valley Investments, is being financed exclusively by Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, an old friend and co-founder of Research In Motion Ltd., the company behind the BlackBerry. The goal is to commercialize technologies from a cluster of research labs that have been bankrolled by Lazaridis. At least one startup has signed up with the fund and the first products may emerge in the next two to three years, he said.

Aaron Harris/Bloomberg Mike Lazaridis, who stepped down as RIM’s co-chief executive officer 14 months ago, is putting his time and fortune into quantum computing and nanotechnology -- sometimes referred to as the “science of the small” -- which uses atomic-sized technology in fields ranging from medicine to cryptography.

“What we’re excited about is these little gems coming out,” Lazaridis said in an interview in Toronto. “The medical tricorder would be astounding, the whole idea of blood tests, MRIs — imagine if you could do that with a single device. That may be possible and possible only because of the sensitivity, selectivity and resolution we can get from quantum sensors made with these quantum breakthroughs.”

Lazaridis, who stepped down as RIM’s co-chief executive officer 14 months ago, is putting his time and fortune into quantum computing and nanotechnology — sometimes referred to as the “science of the small” — which uses atomic-sized technology in fields ranging from medicine to cryptography.

Quantum Computing

He opened the Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre in his hometown of Waterloo, Ontario, last September, financing the effort with a $100 million donation. That lab complements the Institute for Quantum Computing and the more-than-decade-old Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, both founded with more than $250 million of Lazaridis’s own money and additional funds he helped raise.

The Quantum Valley fund will probably focus on one to two dozen companies, he said. It may take a few years to make the investments, said Lazaridis, who declined to name the startups that are under consideration.

“We’re being very strategic with the funds,” he said. “This is not a venture capital fund that we’re all used to.”

Noninvasive medical-testing equipment — the real-life versions of the scanning devices used by “Star Trek” medics — will probably be a focus of the fund.

“You’re using fundamental physics to measure things and you’re doing it in a way that is so sensitive that you don’t need to actually have physical contact,” Lazaridis said. “That opens up a whole new capability, whole new way of treating patients.”

Financial Cryptography

Other areas of investment could include quantum cryptography, which is already being used by European banks to make financial transfers more secure. The technology could soon become commercially used in North America, he said.

Lazaridis remains a board member at RIM — now known simply as BlackBerry — and runs its innovation committee. Still, his new fund won’t necessarily overlap with what’s cooking in BlackBerry’s labs, he said.

“They’re very different and this is an independent venture,” he said. Quantum technology is “so unique in how it works, it has far more reaching consequences than just the smartphone industry.”

Lazaridis remains BlackBerry’s second-largest investor, with a stake worth about $450 million. The company’s stock has more than doubled since September on rising optimism that the new BlackBerry 10 operating system can help reverse three years of market share declines. The new flagship Z10 phone goes on sale in the U.S. later this week.

Shares rose 5.8% in premarket trade Wednesday in premarket trade after Morgan Stanley upgraded BlackBerry to “overweight.”

“People that have used it for a while really start to appreciate it — they start to see its real potential” he said. “It’s a very powerful operating platform.”



Vital Football Hero
I have absolutely no idea what a tricorder from “Star Trek” is. I never watched the stuff. I like reality shows but the title of the thread got my attention. Of the 2 main systems, capitalism for me is the most forward thinking one, albeit a tad, ‘selfish in its attitude. But I always say that it’s ok to be gushing in giving but you have to generate the money to give away.

I like charitable giving, it brings out the best in people and I always note that those that give are the fine people in their attitude to others. I also note that the poorest people who nevertheless give what they can are the happiest.

I always prefer donations to charities rather than setting up a lottery to make money for a charity. I’m a bit off piste by now with this thread but it’s a good thread, maybe it will develop well.
Blackberry aside the quantum nano developments coming out of Southern Ontario are astounding.
Blackberry are also making a play for the Smart Mobile Device Management (MDM) market. To think at one point 65% of Salesforce.com users were on a Blackberry, the decline was sad to watch. I hope they rise again.
They missed it. Didn't open up the architecture for third party app developers.
It's not too late though. COVID slowed it down and it has only just restarted. It will rise exponentially through to about 2028. Plenty of time to change your strategy and gain market share.


In my opinion, you need to put mobile device management and tokenised biometric digital identity together to have the right product for the shifting market.