Archive | October 2013

First worldwide 3D pen

3d pen

The 3Doodler is a 3D printing pen developed by Peter Dilworth and Maxwell Bogue of WobbleWorks LLC. 3Doodler began funding in February 2013 on the crowd funding platform Kickstarter. It utilizes plastic thread made of either acrylonitrile butadiene styrene or polylactic acid that is melted and then cooled through a patented process while moving through the pen, which can then be used to make 3D objects by hand.

The 3Doodler has been described as a glue gun for 3D printing because of how the plastic is extruded from the tip, with one foot of the plastic thread equaling “about 11 feet of moldable material”.

WobbleWorks launched a Kickstarter campaign for the 3Doodler on February 2013 with an initial fundraising target of $30,000. The $50 reward level was the minimum needed to receive the product, with higher reward levels of $75 and $99 including more bags of plastic thread, and the highest level of $10,000 including a “membership in the company’s beta testing program for future products” and the opportunity to spend an entire day with the company’s founders, along with the backer’s 3Doodler being personally engraved.

The reward levels were expanded due to demand, with the added tiers of the product shipping in 2014 rather than in September, October, November or December 2013 for the earlier backers. The company also teamed up with several Etsy wire-artists to showcase the abilities of the 3Doodler and to create “limited edition art pieces” for the campaign.

The fundraising target was reached within a matter of hours and many of the reward levels were sold out within the first day, along with all the Etsy art pieces.By end of February, more than $1 million had been pledged.

First product using flexible screen display

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Flexible OLED displays launched in January

In January 2013 Samsung officially launched their flexible OLED displays, calling them YOUM displays. YOUM panels are bendable – but it’s likely that the first products to use those displays will actually be rigid. The display can be “curved” thought. A plastic based AMOLED will also be shatterproof, and also lighter and thinner compared to glass based OLEDs.

1st product using flexible display in October

In October 2013, Samsung announced the world’s first product to use a flexible OLED display – the Galaxy Round curved smartphone. This is an Android 4.3 smartphone similar to the Galaxy Note 3, with the major feature being the 5.7″ Full-HD curved flexible display; samsung simply refers to it as a flexible Super AMOLED, strangely they are not using the YOUM brand.

Flexible OLEDs are lightier and thinner compared to glass-based panels, and they should also be much more durable. In fact in the past they were said to be shatterproof, although Samsung did not mention this during the Galaxy Round release.

Samsung-Galaxy-Round

When will we see the first YOUM product?

As we said, in October 2013 Samsung finally launched the first flexible OLED product, although this was not branded as YOUM. Samsung announced they have started to mass produce flexible OLEDs – 5.7″ Full-HD panels.

Samsung currently capacity is about 8,000 5.5-Gen sheets, which is about 1-1.5 million 5″ panels a month assuming 100% yield. But they are producing larger panels, yields won’t be that high and the line is also used for R&D which means that actual production will be a few hundreds of thousands of panels a month.

As you can see, Samsung’s capacity is very limited; consider the fact that they currently make around 10 million 5″ AMOLEDs in a month for the Galaxy S4. So at first Samsung will not use these panels in a mass market phone. As we said, some reports suggest that Samsung will unveil a Galaxy Note 3 variant with a flexible OLED – this phone will be lighter, thinner and more durable than the regular Note 3.

samsung-youm-flexible-oled-phone-tablet-concept

Managing innovation? First freeing creativity

Managing Innovation Freeing Creativity

Innovation & creativity: 2 things different

Innovation and creativity are not the same thing. This might not come as a big revelation, but too often companies treat the two as if they’re one and the same. Here’s a simple way to tell the difference: If you can measure it, it’s innovation. This week’s lead Searchlight item talks about the metrics you can use for managing innovation, starting with the importance of using a common language when crafting ideas into innovations.

Common language is a key first step, author Drew Marshall says, because your employees who have the biggest ideas might not technically be your innovators. They might have the ideas but not know what to do with them. Top companies like Google famously set aside time for employees to explore innovation — but what they’re really encouraging, Marshall contends, is that necessary first step — some free time for minds to wander.

Creativity first!

Creativity precedes innovation. Last summer at the Gartner Inc. Catalyst conference in San Diego, I joined a packed hall of IT leaders who sat in rapt attention during a keynote address from famed graffiti artist (and former entrepreneur) Erik Wahl. Bounding around the stage and through the audience, he encouraged people to remember and embrace the creative freedom of their youth, pausing only to paint perfect pieces of pop art before their eyes.

The audience exploded into a standing ovation, which to me translated as “Yes! Get me a canvas!” There was definitely a buzz, and maybe that buzz carried people through the day. Maybe it was just the pep talk some of them needed to get their creative juices flowing again. Here’s hoping that back home, those big ideas were met with the guidance needed to transform them into real-life innovations.

Check out SearchCIO’s own coverage of these topics Boston CIO uniting citizens and the city through gamification CIO advises focus on making mobile applications ‘killer apps’ Cracking the big data analysis code Before you run out and buy a set of oil paints, check out the rest of this week’s roundup which includes a look at perhaps the most critical battle in the data wars — the next killer mobile app, why Facebook is so last year and more. Your employees are simply endless founts of creativity, but the world will never know it unless you know about managing innovation. Data doesn’t get much bigger than this. Forget about companies owning information that helps them target you as a consumer; next week the Supreme Court will consider whether companies can own and patent human genes.

Teenagers sick of something? Can’t be! It’s not surprising that teens are tiring of Facebook; but for the sake of knowing your future customers and employees, it’s useful to note that a new study shows they’re drifting from traditional social networking altogether. Once just considered a cheap alternative to texting, messaging may be emerging as “the killer app in mobile.” It’s those darn teenagers again. (This may shed some light on Facebook Home.)

Don’t view these findings about consumer shopping preferences as an excuse to keep your mobile e-commerce app on the back burner. Read the article, take a deep breath and get back to work! For once when the government is accused of playing games, it can take pride in the barb — it’s using gamification to improve the nation.

Related articles

PC market continues to slide in Q3 2013

pc network q3 2013

The PC market has been on the decline for the past year, but there are new hints that the situation is improving — if only slightly. Both Gartner (shown here) and IDC estimate that worldwide computer shipments dropped roughly eight percent year-over-year in the third quarter. While that’s not exactly comforting to vendors, it’s better than the double-digit losses of the past several months; the analyst groups even saw flat or positive growth in countries like Japan and the US. Any further declines in some regions may be relatively gentle, Gartner says.

As for who’s out in front?

Heavyweights like Lenovo, HP and Dell grew thanks to improving business sales and some advance shipments of Windows 8.1 PCs. Acer and ASUS, meanwhile, were dealt the worst blow as their netbook sales continued to suffer from the rise of mobile OS tablets. Neither Gartner nor IDC is predicting a turnaround for the industry, but they suggest that PC builders are finally figuring out their places in a world where mobile devices rule.

gartner-pc-q3-2013-1

Not only PC, but MAC also

Another interesting piece of data we glean in the report is that Apple (AAPL) experienced a PC shipment decline of 11.2% in the third quarter. Perhaps, iPhone and iPad are cannibalizing MAC sales. It’s something to watch in the upcoming quarterly results. Smartphones and tablets have compressed the tech giant’s margins, falling Mac sales might further the problem; although management recent said margins will be higher thanks to iPhone 5S sales. Nobody actually wants the 5C as its price has been cut by many vendors already.

The way of the VHS

The PC is going the way of the VHS. Investors would be better served focusing on tablet leaders and suppliers. Even smartphone sales are beginning to moderate.

Will we be able to predict natural disasters soonly?

predict-disaster

In June 2013, scientists from the NASA’s IFloodS program were on hand to study the powerful storm. The researchers gathered data radar dishes, ground moisture sensors and rain gauges, which they then compared to data and images gathered by orbital satellites passing overhead. Their goal: Double-checking estimates of rainfall based upon satellite data. If they’re able to fine-tune those calculations, they eventually hope to use their weather satellites to spot and provide an early warning of when midwestern rivers may overflow their banks and cause flooding.

The IFloodS program is just one part of NASA’s other, less-publicized but extremely critical mission of trying to find ways to protect humans from various natural disasters on our own planet.

To that end, NASA spends more than $1.8 billion annually on earth sciences — more than it spends upon studying other planets. The agency’s research programs include efforts to predict earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, forest fires and powerful storms, and to give us more warning to prepare for them, largely by using data gathered by satellites from the vantage point of orbital space. In addition, NASA’s Near Earth Object Program uses both Earth-based and orbital observatories to identify and track asteroids and comets whose paths bring them close to Earth –including some that might possibly smash into our planet’s surface and cause massive devastation and loss of life, or possibly even trigger a wave of extinctions.

Predicting Hurricane Intensity

If you live in a coastal region in which you’re vulnerable to hurricanes, there are two crucial pieces of information that you want from weather forecasters. The first is what the hurricane’s path will be, so that you know whether or not it’s going to hit the place where you live. The second is how powerful the storm is going to be.

In 2014, NASA is planning to launch a new array of satellites that may give weather forecasters even more help in predicting hurricane intensity. The Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS), developed by engineers at the University of Michigan, will put a constellation of eight small satellites into a low-Earth orbit. The satellites’ sensors will measure various properties in the ocean and the atmosphere, with the aim of coming up with a more precise model for how tropical cyclones form and how they strengthen.

Volcanoes, Earthquakes and Tsunamis

Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes have one important tell-tale sign in common. As the pressure in them builds up before they unleash their fury, they cause small deformations in Earth’s crust. If scientists could spot those subtle changes, they might be able to predict more precisely when catastrophic eruptions and quakes will occur.

In 2011, Song and Ohio State University professor C.K. Shum used Japanese GPS data to analyze the particularly destructive tsunami generated by a March 2011 earthquake off northern Japan, and discovered that the wave actually was composed of two different wave fronts that merged and doubled in intensity as they passed over rugged ridges on the seafloor. That knowledge may help forecasters in the future to predict similarly super-powerful waves, and hopefully speed evacuations of coastal areas.

Killer Asteroids

In February 2013, a 60-foot-across (18-meter), 11,000-metric ton (12,125-ton) meteor exploded in the sky over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, injuring more than 1,200 people. Coincidentally, that same day, an even bigger object–an asteroid half the size of a football field–passed about 17,200 miles (27,680 kilometers) from Earth. Had it struck, it would have exploded with a force of about 2.4 million tons (2.2 million metric tons) of dynamite, the equivalent of hundreds of Hiroshima-sized A-bombs.

To hunt for them, NASA has repurposed an existing satellite, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, originally launched in 2009 to search for distant stars and galaxies. NASA envisions that WISE will discover about 150 previously unknown near-Earth objects and gather information about the size and other properties of about 2,000 more.

WISE and the NEO program hopefully will give NASA advance warning of an object on a collision course—and time to implement a defensive strategy, whether that means diverting the asteroid with gravity tractors, solar sails or other future technologies, or simply destroying it with a nuclear blast. That might help us to avoid the worst natural disaster ever.