The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

What’s a voxel??

20141205_162307.jpgI was in a discussion today where someone used the term Voxel as the 3D printing equivalent of pixel (essentially a volume pixel). I’ve never heard it used that way. Once I heard it, I looked around and noticed that there are a number of 3D printing products using the term.

 

Since recently there was the first 3D printed object in space, I had to have some reason to post on 3D printing again.

 

Now, I just need to figure out how to integrate it into a holiday party conversation.

 

Tags: 3D| 3D printing
Labels: 3D| 3D printing

Displays value is in the eye of the user

 

eye.pngThere was a story a few weeks back that caught my eye but I didn’t have time to blog about it. It was about 3D printing contact lenses with built-in video. The concept of having sensors and displays directly on the eye is not new, but this is the first time I’ve seen discussion of them being 3D printed.

 

This particular effort is funded by the US Air Force and could be used for display of information or sensing the “state of the wearer's retina and possibly monitor pilot health without invasive implants.”

 

I can easily see these high impact/cost applications increasing in availability over time and being integrated with those roles where timely access to information can make a big difference. There will need to be some significant work on user interface design, since an on-eye display will be always in the way of the user’s vision.

 

The sensing application would be useful for those situation where immediate action could be the difference between life and death (for example diabetes intervention). I have a hard time imagining its use for every day service interactions, but I could easily be mistaken. It does make me wonder about the possibilities when integated with cognitive computing capabilities.

 

HP announces a blending of the physical and the virtual

 

sprout.pngHopefully, anyone who is interested in 3D printing saw the two announcements by HP yesterday. They focused on having a Blended Reality that will change how we interact with technology and the world around us.

 

The first announcement should clear up the long rumored entry by HP into 3D printing. This multi-jet fusion approach of ‘page-wide’ printing is significantly faster than traditional 3D extrusion based printing. It is also much more finely grained and accurate. I handled some of these prototype parts a while back and I found it very exciting, when compared to any of the 3D printing efforts I’ve done myself. The potential ability to manipulate color, finish and flexibility within the same part was something I found unique. HP has a very strong materials science foundation ever since HPs commercial definition of ink jet printing in the early 80s and this approach really takes advantage of that experience.

 

The other shoe that dropped was Sprout. This link has numerous movies about how others have used this technology in their work. I’ve seen somewhat similar techniques applied in research projects for a number of years now, but not a commercial solution that you can ‘just buy’ that integrates touch, 2 and 3D scanning and multiple displays in such a seamless and functional way. Although I have talked with people about this effort about a year ago, it is great to see it become a reality – and I’m anxious to get my hands into its platform. There are some interesting perspectives that if you do work that involves your hands it may be the computer for you and the view that it is a solution looking for a problem – I can see easily see its use.

 

One of the things I find most exciting about these products that they enable a different kind of creative environment that functions as a springboard for greater creativity. These sort of environmental enabling view will be an ever increasing part of new business value generation in the future.

 

3D printer on ISS

3d printing.pngI mentioned a while back that space exploration and 3D printing were a match made in heaven. Earlier this month, astronauts on the International Space Station received their long anticipated Made in Space Zero-G 3D printer.

 

This is not just your standard 3D printer, it was tested by NASA with over 20,000 print hours of testing. It performed so well that tests were completed early, allowing the printer to be delivered ahead of time. 

 

This article covers the goals of the 3D printer installation in more detail.

Tags: 3D| 3D printing
Labels: 3D| 3D printing

Video Game History Museum coming soon

video game.pngPeople sometimes overlook the role of the video game in shifting the understanding and expectations of our culture and industry. Many technologies like 3D, augmented reality, surround sound… were first experienced in an arcade somewhere in our youth. The first hands on experience with a computer individuals interfaced with on a daily basis was a gaming console at home.

 

Opening someday soon near me will be the nation’s first museum dedicated to video games. The Videogame History Museum includes a wide range of game types and games. I look forward to its opening.

Search
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Do you mean 
Follow Us
Featured
About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
Labels
The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation.