Back in April 2012, Paul Markillie’s Economist Special Report on “The Third Industrial Revolution” attracted a lot of attention with its penetrating analysis of how advances in robotics and 3D printing could shake up the global economy in the years to come.
Having spent much of the past 18 months travelling the world and meeting with many of the leading innovators in global business (one of the perks of being The Economist’s Innovation Editor, I guess), Paul’s back with an update. And it’s fascinating stuff. He explains how manufacturing giants such as Boeing, Airbus, GE, Ford and Siemens have started implementing the new technologies, what the reaction from China has been, and what the latest breakthrough is likely to be (e.g. being able to 3D print electrical circuits directly onto/into components is going to be a big deal – and we’re not far off).
But enough from me. You can read his report for yourself in this week’s Economist or here.