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Posts Tagged ‘3D’

Best Inventions of the Year 2012

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 2, 2012

Robots, rovers and the rest of 2012’s most important innovations, from the affordable to the extreme


That’s not Photoshop. The Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde has developed a way to create a small, perfect white cloud in the middle of a room. It requires meticulous planning: the temperature, humidity and lighting all have to be just so. Once everything is ready, Smilde summons the cloud out of the air using a fog machine. It lasts only moments, but the effect is dramatic and strangely moving. It evokes both the surrealism of Magritte and the classical beauty of the old masters while reminding us of the ephemerality of art and nature.

Lytro Light Field Camera

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Say hello to Lytro, a new consumer-grade camera capable of focusing on multiple points in an image with eye-popping accuracy after you’ve snapped the picture. We first heard about it this summer, and now it has a release timeframe: early next year.

Siri

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In a phone with lots of evolutionary qualities, Siri is the iPhone 4S’s most revolutionary feature. Simply by speaking to this virtual assistant, you can set reminders, send text messages, look up information and schedule meetings. Read the rest of this entry »

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The third industrial revolution

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 22, 2012

The digitisation of manufacturing will transform the way goods are made—and change the politics of jobs too

THE first industrial revolution began in Britain in the late 18th century, with the mechanisation of the textile industry. Tasks previously done laboriously by hand in hundreds of weavers’ cottages were brought together in a single cotton mill, and the factory was born. The second industrial revolution came in the early 20th century, when Henry Ford mastered the moving assembly line and ushered in the age of mass production. The first two industrial revolutions made people richer and more urban. Now a third revolution is under way. Manufacturing is going digital. As this week’s special report argues, this could change not just business, but much else besides.

A number of remarkable technologies are converging: clever software, novel materials, more dexterous robots, new processes (notably three-dimensional printing) and a whole range of web-based services. The factory of the past was based on cranking out zillions of identical products: Ford famously said that car-buyers could have any colour they liked, as long as it was black. But the cost of producing much smaller batches of a wider variety, with each product tailored precisely to each customer’s whims, is falling. The factory of the future will focus on mass customisation—and may look more like those weavers’ cottages than Ford’s assembly line. Read the rest of this entry »

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