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Revolutionizing manufacturing

Harvard researchers the first to 3D print an organ-on-a-chip

Researchers at the Harvard Wyss Institute were the first to 3D print an organ-on-a-chip resembling a human heart which can be used to test drugs. The organ-on-a-chip has integrated sensors that automates the collection of data from the device, making it easier and more precise to measure its performance. This new method allows for the automated and mass production of organs-on-a-chip, leading to faster drug screening. Its 3D printing system can also be programmed to print other organs-on-a-chip such as the lung, gut, vascular system and more. The Wyss team plans to print 10 organ-on-a-chips and connect them to simulate the human body. 

Key Takeaway: 

Researchers from Harvard’s Wyss Institute have produced the first 3D printed organ-on-a-chip, a heart chip, with a system that can lead to the mass production of other organs-on-a-chip, resulting to faster screening of drugs without the need to test on animals or humans.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 27, 2016

Reebok pioneers 3D-printed shoes with Liquid Speed

Reebok introduced a new way to produce shoes that involves 3D printing the outsoles, creating rubber shoes that perform better and respond more flexibly to movement than traditional shoes. The 3D printing process allows the shoes to be produced without creating separate molds, an expensive and time-consuming process that is an industry trademark for 30 years. The novel method is the highlight of Reebok's plans to open a Liquid Factory in Rhode Island early next year. The factory will showcase a lab that will experiment with new manufacturing techniques. The company is selling 300 of the initial Liquid Speed designs at its website. The news is a confirming trend of footwear manufacturers bringing production back to the US.

Key Takeaway: 

Reebok is innovating how it manufactures its shoes by employing 3D printing techniques; it just introduced a new footwear that has 3D printed outsoles and is planning to build a Liquid Factory dedicated to new manufacturing methods by next year.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 24, 2016

Intel’s venture capital firm to invest $38 million in startups

Intel Capital is investing $38 million in a dozen startups focused on autonomous machines, data and connectivity, sports and health, and virtual reality. One of the robotics firms, Chronocam, is creating computer vision sensors and systems that are like the biological human eye. Embodied is making socially assistive robots while Perrone Robotics is developing a software platform for autonomous vehicles and robots. Among the four startups focused on data and connectivity, two are China-based: Eazytec which provides IoT technologies for monitoring the water and air in China and Grand Chip Microelectronics which offers connectivity solutions for WLAN, Wi-Fi, cellular and IoT. The two others are Paxata, which is working on a business information platform that turns raw data into meaningful information for enterprise and IT users and StealthMine, which is securing data encryption for enterprise applications. Sports and health firms Cubeworks, Kinduct and L4Connect are developing tiny millimeter-sized wireless sensors, a data and analytics platform, and dashboards respectively. Virtual reality startup Dysonics is working on solutions that will enable people to capture 360-degree sounds for live VR experiences. Lastly, InContext Solutions is helping manufacturers and retailers simulate their products and services in virtual reality.

Key Takeaway: 

Intel Capital, Intel’s venture capital firm, is investing $38 million in 12 startups focused on robotics, IoT connectivity and data analytics, sports, health and wellness, as well as virtual reality, with technologies that are ground-breaking and could be useful for various customer markets such as the enterprise, health and wellness organizations.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 24, 2016

SAP to channel more than $2 billion to its Internet of Things business

Software company SAP will invest €2 billion ($2.24 billion) in its Internet of Things business to capitalize on the growing market which is estimated to expand to €250 billion by 2020. It will be used in developing solutions for the enterprise over the next five years, intensifying marketing and sales efforts, and building IoT labs around the globe. SAP already has two solutions commercialized. The first connects business equipments to monitor efficiency, while the second includes features of the first service plus automated executions and advanced controls. A third, which SAP plans to develop could provide machine learning and predictive analysis. The investment will also be used to establish IoT labs possibly in Berlin, Johannesburg, Munich, Palo Alto, São Leopoldo and Shanghai, which will be open to customers, partners and startups interested in Industry 4.0 and IoT technologies.

Key Takeaway: 

SAP, realizing the huge market opportunity for Internet of Things, will invest more than $2 billion in its IoT business to accelerate the development of IoT solutions for companies and increase collaboration between customers, partners and startups.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
September 28, 2016

How virtual reality will transform businesses

Business and technology experts predict virtual reality will transform the business environment. Virtual reality can let customers experience and interact with a product before buying. It can also be used to train employees and surgeons for difficult tasks. Other uses include taking stock of inventory and hosting virtual conferences. As the price drops and features become more powerful, expect virtual reality to be adopted by more companies. In the future, better sensors will enable higher quality images, more accurate motion detection, and lighter and more affordable headsets. Lightweight materials such as carbon fiber could also be incorporated and smart objects integrated to create different applications.

Key Takeaway: 

Pundits predict increased adoption of virtual reality among businesses, changing how organizations market their products, train employees, conduct events, manufacture products and more.

Transforming Business Models: 
Publication: 
Publication Date: 
August 22, 2016

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