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Churchill Club Best 10 Tech Trends Debate
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I just got back from the Churchill Club’s 13th Annual Leading ten Tech Trends Debate (site).

Curt Carlson, CEO of SRI, presented their trends from the podium, which are meant to be “provocative, plausible, debatable, and that it will be clear within the next 1-three years regardless of whether or not they will actually become trends.”

Then the panelists debated them. Speaking is Aneesh Chopra, CTO of the U.S., and smirking to his left is Paul Saffo, and then Ajay Senkut from Clarium, then me.

Here are SRI’s 2011 Best ten Tech Trends [and my votes]:

Trend 1. Age Just before Beauty. Technologies is made for—and disproportionately employed by—the young. But the young are acquiring fewer. The large market will be older individuals. The aging generation has grown up with, and is comfortable with, most technology—but not with today’s latest technology goods. Technology item designers will learn the Infant Boomer’s technologies comfort zone and will leverage it in the design of new devices. One example right now is the Jitterbug cell phone with a massive keypad for straightforward dialing and powerful speakers for clear sound. The trend is for Baby Boomers to dictate the technologies merchandise of the future.

[I voted YES, it is an essential and underserved industry, but for tech products, they are not the early adopters. The essential concern is age-inspired entrepreneurship. How can we get the entrepreneurial mind focused on this crucial market place?]

Trend 2. The Medical doctor Is In. Some of our political leaders say that we have &quotthe very best medical care program in the globe&quot. Believe what it must be like in the rest of the planet! There are numerous problems, but a single is the high expense of delivering expert guidance. With the improvement of sensible virtual personal assistants, powered by artificial intelligence and pervasive low-expense sensors, “the medical doctor will be in”—online—for people about the world. As an alternative of the present Net paradigm: “fill out this kind, and we’ll show you details about what may possibly be ailing you”, this will be accurate diagnosis—supporting, and in some circumstances replacing—human medical practitioners. We have been sending X-rays to India to be read now India is connecting to doctors here for diagnosis in India. We see the notion in websites that now supply online videoconference interaction with a physician. The next step is automation. The trend is toward full automation: a combination of artificial intelligence, the Internet, and very low-expense medical instrumentation to provide higher-good quality diagnostics and advice—including answering patient questions—online to a worldwide audience.

[NO. Most physician verify-ups and diagnoses will nevertheless need to have to be performed in-person (blood tests, physical exams, etc). Sensor technologies can not entirely replace human healthcare practitioners in the near future. Once we have the physical interface (folks for now), then the networking and AI capabilities can engage, bringing specialist reactions to locally collected information. The true close to-term trend in point-of-care is the adoption of iPads/phones connected to cloud solutions like ePocrates and Athenahealth and soon EMRs.]

Trend three. Created for Me. Manufacturing is undergoing a revolution. It is becoming technically and economically achievable to produce merchandise that are unique to the specific demands of folks. For instance, a cell phone that has only the hardware you require to support the functions you want—making it lighter, thinner, more effective, significantly more affordable, and less complicated to use. This level of customization is becoming created attainable by converging technical advances: new 3D printing technologies is nicely documented, and networked micro-robotics is following. 3D printing now involves applications in jewelry, industrial design, and dentistry. Although all of us may not be good product designers, we have various wants, and we know what we want. The trend is toward practical, 1-off production of physical goods in extensively distributed micro-factories: the ultimate customization of goods. The trend is toward practical, one particular-off production of physical goods in widely distributed micro-factories: the ultimate customization of items.

[NO. Personalization is taking place just fine at the application level. The UI skins and app code is changeable at zero incremental cost. Code permeates outward into the numerous vessels we create for it. The iPhone. Quickly, the vehicle (e.g. Tesla Sedan). Even the electrical circuits (when making use of an FPGA). This will extend naturally to biological code, with DNA synthesis fees plummeting (but that will likely stay centralized in BioFabs for the subsequent three years. When it comes to constructing custom physical issues, the price and design and style challenges relegate it to prototyping, tinkering and hacks. As well several men and women have a challenging time in 3D content material creation. The issue is the 2D interfaces of mouse and screen. Maybe a multitouch interface to digital clay could help, where the polygons snap to match right after the kind is molded by hand.]

Trend 4. Pay Me Now. Information about our individual behavior and characteristics is exploited routinely for commercial purposes, often returning small or no value to us, and at times with out our expertise. This knowledge is becoming a important asset and a main competitive benefit for the companies that collect it. Think of your supermarket club card. These information-gatherers will want to get smarter and a lot more aggressive in convincing us to share our data with them and not with their competitors. If Television advertisers could know who the viewers are, the worth of the commercials would go up enormously. The trend is technologies and enterprise models based on attracting buyers to share huge amounts of data exclusively with service providers.

[YES, but it’s absolutely nothing new. Amazon makes much more on merchandising than product sales margin. And, specific organizations are getting far better and greater at acquiring customer data and personalizing offerings specifically to these clients. RichRelevance gives this for ecommerce (driving 25% of all e-commerce on Black Friday). Across all these vendors, the average lift from personalizing the purchasing expertise: 15% improve in all round sales and 8% improve in lengthy-term profitability. But, just being explicit and transparent to the customer about the supply of the data can boost the effectiveness of targeted programs by up to one hundred% (e.g., saying “Because you bought this solution and other consumers who bought it also purchased this other item&quot yielded a one hundred% improve in item recommendation effectiveness in many A/B tests). Social graph is extremely useful as a advertising tool.]

Trend 5. Rosie, At Final. We’ve been waiting a extended time for robots to live in and run our residences, like Rosie in the Jetsons’ household. It’s taking place a little now: robots are finally beginning to leave the manufacturing floor and enter people’s houses, offices, and highways. Robots can climb walls, fly, and run. We all know the Roomba for cleaning floors—and now there’s the Verro for your pool. Genuine-time vision and other sensors, and cost-effective precise manipulation, are enabling robots to assist in our care, drive our vehicles, and safeguard our houses and house. We need to broaden our view of robots and the forms they will take—think of a self-loading robot-compliant dishwasher or a self-protecting home. The trend is robots becoming embedded in our environments, and taking advantage of the cloud, to recognize and fulfill our wants.

[NO. Not in three years. Wanting it badly does not make it so. But I just enjoy that Google RoboCar. Robots are not leaving the factory floor – that is exactly where the chance for newer robots and even humanoid robots will start. There is plenty of factory operate nonetheless to be automated. Rodney Brooks of MIT thinks they can be cheaper than the least expensive outsourced labor. So the robots are coming, to the factory and the roads to begin, and then the house.]

Trend six. Social, Genuinely. The rise of social networks is effectively documented, but they are not really social networks. They’re a mix of close friends, strangers, organizations, hucksters—it’s far more like walking by means of a rowdy crowd in Occasions Square at evening with a group of friends. There is a increasing require for social networks that reflect the basic nature of human relationships: known identities, mutual trust, controlled levels of intimacy, and boundaries of shared info. The trend is the rise of accurate social networks, made to maintain actual, respectful relationships online.

[YES. The ambient intimacy of Facebook is top to some startling statistics on fB evidence reuse by divorce lawyers (80%) and employment rejections (70%). There are differing approaches to resolve this issue: Altly’s option networks with partioning and manage, Jildy’s far better filtering and auto-segmentation, and Path’s 50 buddy limit.]

Trend 7. In-Your-Face Augmented Reality. With ever-less expensive computation and advances in computer vision technologies, augmented reality is becoming sensible, even in mobile devices. We will move beyond pricey telepresence environments and virtual reality games to totally immersive environments—in the office, on the factory floor, in medical care facilities, and in new entertainment venues. I as soon as did an experiment exactly where a person came into a room and sat down at a desk against a big, 3D, higher-definition Tv display. The projected image showed a space with a similar desk up against the screen. The person would put on 3D glasses, and then a projected particular person would enter and sit down at the other table. Soon after talking for 5 to 10 minutes, the projected individual would stand up and put their hand out. Most of the time, the first individual would also stand up and place their hand into the screen—they had rapidly adapted and forgotten that the other individual was not in the space. Augmented reality will turn out to be indistinguishable from reality. The trend is an enchanted world— The trend is hyper-resolution augmented reality and hyper-accurate artificial people and objects that fundamentally enhance people’s encounter of the world.

[NO, lenticular screens are also costly and 3D glasses are a pain in the cortex. Augmented reality with iPhones is excellent, and pragmatic, but not a prime 10 trend IMHO]

Trend eight. Engineering by Biologists.
Biologists and engineers are diverse types of people—unless they are operating on synthetic biology. We know about genetically engineered foods and creatures, such as gold fish in multiple other colors. Next we’ll have biologically engineered circuits and devices. Evolution has produced adaptive processing and method resiliency that is considerably far more sophisticated than anything we’ve been able to design. We are finding out how to tap into that all-natural experience, designing devices using the mechanisms of biology. We have already noticed easy biological circuits in the laboratory. The trend is practical, engineered artifacts, devices, and computer systems primarily based on biology rather than just on silicon.

[YES, and NO since it was so badly mangled as a trend. For the next handful of years, these approaches will be used for fuels and chemical substances and components processing because they lend themselves to a 3D fluid medium. Then 2D self-assembling monolayers. And eventually chips , beginning with memory and sensor arrays extended before heterogeneous logic. And processes of biology will be an inspiration all through (evolution, self-assembly, etc.). Possessing produced predictions along these themes for about a decade now, the wording of this one particular frustrated me]

Trend 9. ‘Tis a Present to be Simple. Cyber attacks are ever a lot more frequent and effective. Most attacks exploit holes that are inevitable given the complexity of the computer software products we use every single day. Cyber researchers actually understand this. To steer clear of these vulnerabilities, some cyber researchers are starting to use only simple infrastructure and applications that are throwbacks to the computing globe of two decades ago. As simplicity is shown to be an efficient method for avoiding attack, it will grow to be the guiding principle of software design. The trend is cyber defense by means of widespread adoption of basic, low-feature computer software for buyers and businesses.

[No. I realize the positive aspects of getting open, and of heterogencity of code (to keep away from monoculture collapse), but we have long ago left the domain of straightforward. Yes, Web transport protocols won by means of simplicity. The presentation layer, not so much. If you want dumb pipes, you require smart edges, and smart edges can be hacked. Graham Spencer gave a wonderful talk at SFI: the trend towards transport simplicity (e.g. dumb pipes) and &quotintelligence in the edges&quot led to mixing code and data, which in turn led to all kinds of XSS-like attacks. Drive-by downloading (enabled by XSS) is the most well-liked car for delivering malware these days.]

Trend ten. Reverse Innovation. Mobile communication is proliferating at an astonishing rate in establishing countries as cost-points drop and wireless infrastructure improves. As developing nations leapfrog the need to have for physical infrastructure and brokers, utilizing mobile apps to conduct micro-scale enterprise and to increase good quality of life, they are innovating new applications. The developing planet is rapidly becoming the largest market place we’ve ever seen—for mobile computing and significantly far more. The trend is for developing nations to turn around the flow of innovation: Silicon Valley will commence to discover more from them about revolutionary applications than they need to discover from us about the underlying technology.

[YES, globalization is a megatrend nevertheless in the making. The mobile markets are clearly China, India and Korea, with app layer innovation increasingly originating there. Not fully of course, but we have a lot to understand from the early-adopter economies.]