3D Printing and Retail

February 28, I had the opportunity of being the closing speaker at the FutuRetail conference which took place at the brand new Google headquarters in London.  The day was filled with a host of interesting speakers.   But having been challenged by the organisers to close the day on a truly "thought provoking" topic, I ventured into a thought experiment on the impact of 3D printing on the retail industry.

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3D Forms, Most Beautiful and Most Wonderful

If there’s one trend that’s poised to take off and enter the mainstream in 2012, it’s 3D printing. Sometimes referred to as additive manufacturing, 3D printing is the process of taking computer-generated designs and building them up in the real world, layer by layer, using materials such as plastic or powdered metal, via printers the size of a desktop. In the same way that you might print out a paper document, you can now print out a beautifully-designed piece of jewelry, a dress, an industrial part, a door hinge -- almost anything you can imagine -- even a Stradivarius violin.

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The First Industrial Evolution

If the first industrial revolution was all about mass manufacturing and machine power replacing manual labor, the First Industrial Evolution will be about the ability to evolve your personal designs online and then print them using popular 3D printing technology. Once these 3D printing technologies enter the mainstream, they could lead to a fundamental change in the way that individuals - even those without any design or engineering skills - are able to create beautiful, state-of-the-art objects on demand in their own homes.

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Serious Games as 3D Projection Mapping for Major Brands

In  my prior posts Serious Games Bringing Interactive Properties to Everyday Surfaces and Sifteo - The Next-Gen Siftables: Serious Games As Thinking Toys I had surfaced the theme of physical Serious Games.

Another example would be 3D Projection Mapping. Marketers have realized that this is a great way to advertise a product or event. 3D Projection Mapping has taken the advertising world by storm with leading brands displaying 3D and 4D projections on buildings.

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3D Commercials, Different Dynamics

3D entertainment has finally gone mainstream. Although three dimensional movies have existed for decades, they were largely gimmicky and had significant viewing problems. Now, James Cameron’s Avatar brought 3D to the big screen in a way that amazed audiences and convinced studio execs that the world was ready for 3D movies.

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3D Puts Brand Placement out of Focus

Very interesting: the proliferation of 3D tech in TVs and theaters may threaten the current model of brand placements because of how 3D puts background is out of focus:

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Just How Innovative Is 3D Entertainment Technology?

Over the past 30 days or so, there has been a sudden explosion of interest surrounding 3D entertainment technology -- driven in no small part by the phenomenal success of James Cameron's Avatar. (Apparently, more than 70% of Avatar ticket sales are from 3D or IMAX screenings.)

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Apple Is Pushing the Limits of "Interactivity" and Going 3D. Watch Out Nintendo!

Apple is going to push the limits of “interactivity” and planning to go 3D. Using a camera to detect a user's position and overlay it onto an any on-screen object, giving the impression of a "reflection" and creating a more immerse experience. Apple's latest technology would address that through the use of a camera or appropriate "sensing mechanism."

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Near Real-life 3D Avatars: Application Killer or Virtual Scarecrow?

by: Yann Gourvennec

We have already covered the subject of 3D avatars aka IVA’s (Intelligent Virtual Agents) for business on this blog.

Motion Portrait in Japan is taking this one step further with the ability to turn a 2D picture into a fully-fledged 3D intelligent animation. 

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When the Economy Gets Rough, Virtual Worlds Get Growing

by: Gary Hayes

Just back from a short break in the lovely town of Broome in NW Australia (my pics). It was interesting being disconnected from ‘the cloud’ but in the process having a few ‘virtual experiential’ moments. One of these was watching the controversial film ‘Australia’ in the worlds oldest picture gardens, Sun Pictures (pictured below).

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