Three of Tech’s Hottest Trends Collide Tomorrow at Designers of Things
The world is changing. 3D printing is bringing manufacturing to the masses, the Internet is spreading out from our computers to connect all things in the Internet of Things and we are starting to get even more intimate with our technology by wearing it as clothing and accessories with wearable tech. These three shifts all have huge individual impacts on how we live our everyday lives as well as have influence on each other. One of the common threads between 3D printing, IoT and wearable tech is the ability to use this technology to design solutions that solve for real problems in our world which is at the core of tomorrow’s conference in San Francisco, Designers of Things.
[[MORE]]Beginning tomorrow, the Mission Bay Conference Center in downtown San Francisco will be the home to three of the hottest topics in technology today. Designers of Things is bringing together designers, developers and innovators in an event that is jam packed with live demos, technical sessions and networking parties.
We’ve spent the past few months featuring many of the speakers who are voicing their thoughts and experience at the conference these next two days. Most recently was a conversation with Duann Scott from Shapeways who spoke to us about his experience in “making really cool things” with 3D printing when brands like Hasbro open up their IP to the creative community. The Shapeways-Hasbro partnership allowed select designers to collaborate with the uber popular “My Little Pony” franchise in building new creations under this brand and selling it on the Shapeways platform.
Back in July, we caught up with Karl Martin, CEO and Founder of Toronto-based Bionym, a wearable tech company behind the Nymi, a wristband to identify who you are and then relays your identity to any connected thing via Bluetooth. As Martin explained, identity isn’t just about security and passwords but also about preferences and customization opening up opportunities to use the Nymi to do anything from opening smart doors and accessing your email to changing the music station and lighting in an environment you walk into while wearing it. 
“Sensing” environments is something Adam Justice from GridConnect knows well. In a recent featured speaker post, Justice talked to us about ConnectSense, his company’s line of sensors for the home which track anything from motion to light. And we spent considerable time discussing the importance of a great first experience for new technology, which he explained, was striving to make technology “stupid easy” for the end user so that they are not overwhelmed. 
Scott, Martin and Justice all join us beginning tomorrow as we continue these types of conversations live on stage in San Francisco. For those of you who are not able to make it to the conference, we will be live tweeting from the @DoThingsCon Twitter account and posting featured sessions on the blog so be sure to follow-us and check back here soon.

Three of Tech’s Hottest Trends Collide Tomorrow at Designers of Things

The world is changing. 3D printing is bringing manufacturing to the masses, the Internet is spreading out from our computers to connect all things in the Internet of Things and we are starting to get even more intimate with our technology by wearing it as clothing and accessories with wearable tech. These three shifts all have huge individual impacts on how we live our everyday lives as well as have influence on each other. One of the common threads between 3D printing, IoT and wearable tech is the ability to use this technology to design solutions that solve for real problems in our world which is at the core of tomorrow’s conference in San Francisco, Designers of Things.

Read More

The Cloud as the Backbone of the Internet of Things
According to Cisco, over 50 billion things are expected to be connected to the internet by 2020. This includes everything from the bulb in your lamp to the knob on your front door. Behind the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and sensors these devices are all equipped with is one of the most important ingredients of the internet of things - the cloud.
[[MORE]]
The importance of the cloud is core to Ayla Networks, a proud sponsor of the Designers of Things conference which starts tomorrow in San Francisco. The company offers a cloud-based platform as an agile service for connected devices which accelerates development, support and ongoing enhancements for IoT products. 
With the IoT space being quite broad, we asked Senior Director of Product Marketing Ayla Networks, Rod McLane what areas the company is focusing the most attention on.  McLane told us that connected home, the industrial space such as HVAC and water treatment systems and wearables or the connected person especially in health are seeing the most activity. 
Across all areas, McLane noted that focusing on the consumer rather than the technology was key. “What can we do to enable the person to lead a better life and get more out of their everyday activities,” he told us. 
As Ayla is a cloud-based platform, its solution empowers manufacturers to make changes to functionality without the need to replace the hardware. This is a huge bonus for the consumer. “You aren’t going to replace your thermostat every three years,” he points out. Instead, manufacturers can push new firmware to the existing device to bug fix or add additional features. This agility also allows the manufacturers to adapt to the ever changing landscape of IoT which not only sees new entrants on a frequent basis but is also at a time of flux when it comes to standards. 
Security is constant part of the conversation with IoT and with good reason. As McLane points out you don’t want someone to “hack into your fridge to spoil your food or hack into your connected door to get into your home.” Ayla Networks treats security very seriously and has worked in three levels of protection including the use of SSL, unique keys and working with the chip makers to install an Ayla agent on the hardware.
- - - - - - - -

This article is part of our article series for Designers of Things Conference which takes place September 23-24, 2014 at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, California. Ayla Networks is a proud sponsor of Designers of Things.

The Cloud as the Backbone of the Internet of Things

According to Cisco, over 50 billion things are expected to be connected to the internet by 2020. This includes everything from the bulb in your lamp to the knob on your front door. Behind the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and sensors these devices are all equipped with is one of the most important ingredients of the internet of things - the cloud.

Read More

Talking to our Tech: Featured Speaker Tanya Kraljic
If there is one mark of the future, it’s the ability to talk to our tech and have it respond and take action. From Hal 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey to KITT in Knight Rider, we have been fascinated with a time when we can interact with our computers just as naturally as we do with each other. Although we are still a few years out from real intelligent conversations with our devices, the ability to converse with computers is entirely plausible with today’s technology. And it will become an even more critical input for the growing number of connected devices that fall under the umbrella of wearable technology and the Internet of Things.   
[[MORE]]
Voice has already come a long way in just a couple of years when it was just starting to be used in applications and was predominantly found in enterprise environments such as customer care centers. Today you can find voice in apps, gaming systems, home automation, robots and wearables. “It is becoming ubiquitous,” Tanya Kraljic, principal interaction and dialog designer at Nuance Communications, told Designers of Things. “As the technology evolves, people realize that it is a natural way to interact with technology”. 
Headquartered in Massachusetts, Nuance is a leader in speech and imaging applications and is reinventing the relationship between people and technology. Its technology is a driving force behind the voice recognition capabilities of Siri, Apple’s voice assistant and powers apps from AccuWeather, Domino’s Pizza and others. 
Kraljic says that she has seen a significant leap in voice systems in the four years she has worked for the company from simply understanding a set of certain words in the form of dictation to understanding natural language to allow you to actually converse with your tech. “You can tell the system in your own words what you want, and what you need and not have to worry about how to express that. The systems will understand you and take the initiative,” she said. 
Of course there is still more work to be done. Kraljic believes the next leap will be in creating intelligent systems which will inform dialogues and will be more aware of you, your past, your preferences and use sensors to gain more context of the environment. “We are in a great place for recognition and natural language understanding. Now we need to push the boundaries of intelligence,” explained Kraljic.
Kraljic points to wearables in helping to expedite advancements in voice especially as many have small screens or no screens at all and rely heavily on voice for interaction. Devices like Google Glass and hearables, like Motorola’s Hint, are just two examples of devices which use voice as a primary input. “Everyone of these devices that comes out pushes the voice experience a little further,” she said.  And although talking to our tech still seems a little awkward she believes that social norms will change out of a matter of convenience and use value.  
- - - - - - - -
This article is part of our featured speaker series for Designers of Things Conference which takes place September 23-24, 2014 at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, California. Get your VIP and Tech passes by clicking here. Tanya Kraljic will be speaking about Designing Voice Interfaces for Wearables and Other Form Factors at the event.

Talking to our Tech: Featured Speaker Tanya Kraljic

If there is one mark of the future, it’s the ability to talk to our tech and have it respond and take action. From Hal 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey to KITT in Knight Rider, we have been fascinated with a time when we can interact with our computers just as naturally as we do with each other. Although we are still a few years out from real intelligent conversations with our devices, the ability to converse with computers is entirely plausible with today’s technology. And it will become an even more critical input for the growing number of connected devices that fall under the umbrella of wearable technology and the Internet of Things.   

Read More

Making The Internet of Things “Easy Stupid”: Featured Speaker Adam Justice
The rise of “smart” things is coming! But while a connected home, car, workplace and everything in between offers a lot of benefits it also has the potential to be a complete data driven nightmare for consumers. To avoid this, IoT companies need to provide a positive experience that drives value which is exactly the focus for Home Automation and Business Monitoring company, GridConnect.
[[MORE]]GridConnect offers a line of sensors for consumers called ConnectSense. The sensors track anything from motion to temperature and humidity to motion and lights. Its sensors are all Wi-Fi based and battery powered and link up to the cloud where users can get access to dashboards and setup alerts via the ConnectSense web app. 
GridConnect has been in the machine-to-machine business for 12 years mainly on the enterprise side of things. VP and General Manager, Adam Justice, says that the falling price of sensors and connectivity has contributed to the move of IoT into the masses. Beyond the components, he also adds that people’s growing trust and familiarity with the cloud has greatly assisted the adoption of connected things.
In order for IoT to succeed with consumers, Justice explained that its imperative that consumer’s first experiences with a smart thing is a positive one. “We realize that we may be the first connected experience for the consumer so we want it to be a great one. You need one really great experience to give you that AHA moment to show you what is possible,” he told us. Just as powerful, he says, is a horrible experience which can scare consumers away, making it harder to get them back.
He explained that one of the ways to create this positive experience is to make the setup and use of connected sensors “stupid easy”. Just as critical is not overwhelming users with data but instead give them something they can use. The ability to set alerts and get notifications and even hook connected things into smart meters for energy optimization are just a few of these benefits. 
For those creating products, Justice explained that adding connectivity to a product opens up a lot of opportunities. One of them is the data to better the product. “You can learn about how consumers are using your product,” he explained. “For example, a washer dryer may have twenty functions but users may only use five of them”. 
Eventually, Justice sees IoT as becoming ubiquitous. “Eventually, it will come to a point when if your product is not smart than it is dumb,” he said. 
- - - - - - - -
This article is part of our featured speaker series for Designers of Things Conference which takes place September 23-24, 2014 at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, California. Get your VIP and Tech passes by clicking here. 

Making The Internet of Things “Easy Stupid”: Featured Speaker Adam Justice

The rise of “smart” things is coming! But while a connected home, car, workplace and everything in between offers a lot of benefits it also has the potential to be a complete data driven nightmare for consumers. To avoid this, IoT companies need to provide a positive experience that drives value which is exactly the focus for Home Automation and Business Monitoring company, GridConnect.

Read More

Local Motors Succeeds in Test Driving First 3D Printed Car
Last week, Local Motors announced that it was attempting to 3D print a car and then test drive it at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in less than a week. Saturday, Local Motors took the Strati, the first 3D printed car, out on its maiden journey around McCormick Place after 44 hours of print. 
[[MORE]]
The final design of the Strati was selected from over 300 proposals and is composed of only 40 components made of tiny pellets of plastic infused with carbon fiber. This is compared to the 10,000+ parts a usual car is made with.
Not all the parts were 3D printed. The electric powertrain, battery, wiring and suspension are all from third-party suppliers. The vehicle weighs nearly 1,500 pounds and can clock 100-120 miles at a maximum speed of 40 miles per hour. 
Local Motors is working on reducing the time to print and intends to sell the car by the end of the year. 
You can check out the car in action via the Vine Local Motors posted on Saturday.
Source: TechTimes
Header Image source: Local Motors Twitter

On the sixth day, we #drive. The @localmotors #3dprintedcar drives off the show floor today @imts_2014 https://t.co/jHKMR2iGD9
— Local Motors (@localmotors)
September 13, 2014

Local Motors Succeeds in Test Driving First 3D Printed Car

Last week, Local Motors announced that it was attempting to 3D print a car and then test drive it at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in less than a week. Saturday, Local Motors took the Strati, the first 3D printed car, out on its maiden journey around McCormick Place after 44 hours of print. 

Read More

The Importance of Design in Solving Real Problems: Featured Speaker Steve Vassallo
As hardware components like sensors and chips are getting smaller and cheaper it seems like every day a new connected product is hitting the scene. But what sets a good product apart from a great one is its ability to solve a real need for a user which is reflected in the product design. Thus the role of the Designer is increasingly important for any startup in the shaping of an idea they wish to take to market. 
[[MORE]]
Designing a product that solves a real problem; finding the right technology to do so; and building a business around it are the three major ingredients Steve Vassallo looks for in a startup. A General Partner at VC firm Foundation Capital, Vassallo told us that a balance between these three aspects is key but not always achieved. "We’ve seen great products that live in one or two of these circles…but rarely do they have all three", he told us.
Vassallo believes that the role of the designer is an essential one for startups and sees a “complete up-levelling” of product experiences coming out of companies who give these individuals a proper seat in an inter-disciplinary team. He envisions a time in the near future when startup leadership teams will have a business, technical and design founder. But he says that “we aren’t quite there yet”. 
To succeed, designers will need to keep up with the pace of change. As technology becomes more immersive and uses more of our senses through components like sensors, designers will need to understand how inputs, outputs and tools are being reinvented and think about the experiences in this type of environment. They also need to be able to incorporate the use of real-time data to experiment faster and make decisions which solve rather than create new problems for users. Vassallo will be speaking more about this subject at the Designers of Things conference next week in his session entitled, "Designing in a Data-Driven World". 
In a time when some wearable technology has come under fire as “tech for tech’s sake” it’s refreshing to hear Vassallo speak so passionately about the need for a designer to focus on purpose and intent. “There is a serious responsibility of designers to think about the users, the problem they have and the opportunity they would like to take advantage of…and I believe that the world will be a better place because of it. I’m thrilled about where the design world will be in the next twenty years”.
We are too!
- - - - - - - -
This article is part of our featured speaker series for Designers of Things Conference which takes place September 23-24, 2014 at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, California. Get your VIP and Tech passes by clicking here.  



 

The Importance of Design in Solving Real Problems: Featured Speaker Steve Vassallo

As hardware components like sensors and chips are getting smaller and cheaper it seems like every day a new connected product is hitting the scene. But what sets a good product apart from a great one is its ability to solve a real need for a user which is reflected in the product design. Thus the role of the Designer is increasingly important for any startup in the shaping of an idea they wish to take to market. 

Read More

Netflix Releases Print the Legend Documentary Trailer (Video)
There is no denying that 3D printing is a disruptive technology which has the potential of truly changing many verticals from manufacturing to health. Netflix’s newest documentary, “Print the Legend”, explores the companies and people behind the growing 3D printing movement. This week, Netflix released the trailer to this film which will be available on the streaming network September 26. 
[[MORE]]The documentary takes a look at some of the innovative companies making 3D printing accessible to the masses including MakerBot and FormLabs. It also dives deep into some of the more controversial stories we’ve seen surrounding this technology including the 3D printed guns and printing prosthetic hands for those in need.
"Print the Legend" originally showed at SXSW and won the special jury recognition award for editing and storytelling. We’ve got to admit that just from the trailer alone you leave feeling like something pretty powerful is happening with this technology. We’ve got the trailer for you below or you can hit this link

Netflix Releases Print the Legend Documentary Trailer (Video)

There is no denying that 3D printing is a disruptive technology which has the potential of truly changing many verticals from manufacturing to health. Netflix’s newest documentary, “Print the Legend”, explores the companies and people behind the growing 3D printing movement. This week, Netflix released the trailer to this film which will be available on the streaming network September 26. 

Read More

Talking About Cool Ideas with Proto Labs
Proto Labs has seen its fair share of cool ideas. The world’s fastest injection molding, additive manufacturing and CNC machining service implemented its Cool Idea! Award program back in 2011 to identify and assist innovative inventors in getting their product to market
[[MORE]]Each year the program awards up to $250,000 of its manufacturing services to assist them in creating fully functional parts for prototyping, design iterations, testing or even an initial production run. Of the recipients from last year is Everpurse, a purse that integrates a smartphone charging system into the accessory and D-Rev, a low-cost knee prosthetic for above-the-knee amputee living in developing countries. 
We caught up with Proto Labs’ Marketing Manager, Sarah Braun, who was brought on board back in 2011 to kick of the program. She told us that solving real problems and a social good factor were key elements in judging the products the company considers for the award, as were originality, marketability and of course the “cool factor”.
One of the first winners that stood out to Braun was Truflavorware, a line of flatware created by Ohio-based Dan Ladanyi. The set of plastic utensils were designed specifically for chemotherapy patients so that they could avoid the taste of metal in their mouth while still using a fork and knife that felt like metal.
Braun told us that one of the biggest trends over the years has been an increase in connected IoT and wearables products. As is Robotics. This year’s winners include a low-cost motor and propeller unit designed for aquatic exploration and a home-based autonomous robot.  
Proto Labs expects to announce its next winner on October 7. Winners will be posted on the Cool Awards section of the Proto Labs website. 
Photo: Everpurse
- - - - - - - -
This article is part of our featured series for Designers of Things Conference which takes place September 23-24, 2014 at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, California. Get your VIP and Tech passes by clicking here. 
Proto Labs wants you to join them at DoT 2014 with a complimentary pass. For more information on their limited quantities of free passes, reach out to coolidea@protolabs.com by September 16th with DoT 2014 in the subject line.

Talking About Cool Ideas with Proto Labs

Proto Labs has seen its fair share of cool ideas. The world’s fastest injection molding, additive manufacturing and CNC machining service implemented its Cool Idea! Award program back in 2011 to identify and assist innovative inventors in getting their product to market

Read More

World’s First 3D Printed Car Live Printed This Week, Driven Saturday
We have seen houses, castles and even canoes created by 3D printers and so seeing a fully functional car in this list makes total sense. History will be made this week as Local Motors live prints the first 3D printer car followed by its first drive this Saturday. The print is expected to be 44 hours in length and will take place in Chicago at The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS).
[[MORE]]
Called Strati, the vehicle will be printed in one piece while the internal components will be sourced from other suppliers. All pieces will be assembled by global co-creation company, Local Motors who are most known for creating the off-road desert racer, The Rally Fighter. 
“The Strati was designed by our community, made in our Microfactory, and will be driven by you,” said John B. Rogers, Jr., CEO of Local Motors. “This brand-new process disrupts the manufacturing status quo, changes the consumer experience, and proves that a car can be born in an entirely different way.” 
Following the show, Local Motors will continue using 3D printers in its car creation. They intend to launch production level 3D printed vehicles for purchase in the months following the show.

World’s First 3D Printed Car Live Printed This Week, Driven Saturday

We have seen houses, castles and even canoes created by 3D printers and so seeing a fully functional car in this list makes total sense. History will be made this week as Local Motors live prints the first 3D printer car followed by its first drive this Saturday. The print is expected to be 44 hours in length and will take place in Chicago at The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS).

Read More

Apple Enters The Wearable Category With The Apple Watch
Apple held its expected September event in Cupertino today. Among the announcements was the reveal of the new iPhone 6 including one with a larger 5.5 inch screen called the iPhone 6 Plus.  Apple also entered the mobile payments by including NFC on the latest devices and rolling out a feature called ApplePay. But it was when Tim Cook spoke the magic words “One More Thing” at the tail end of the event when things really got exciting. Cook presented a line of Apple Watches at the event officiating the rumours that the company was joining others in creating products for the wearable tech category.  
[[MORE]]The Apple Watch comes in a variety of styles and colors to offer personalization and options for wearers to fit their sense of style. The watch will be offered in two sizes and feature six different straps made from various materials including leather, silicon and stainless steel. Apple will be selling three three different collections of the watch: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition, the latter  made using 18-karat gold. On top of the hardware options, Apple also featured a variety of watchfaces to choose from including a classic Mickey Mouse watch you may have remembered from the iPod Nano days.
The Apple Watch features some new and familiar inputs to interact with the software on the device. The Digital Crown on the side of the watch lets you navigate within an app and when pressed can take you back to the home screen. The other physical button under it opens up a screen with your favourite contacts for you to interact with. The screen itself is a touch screen which lets you tap and swipe but its outfitted with a new technology Apple calls Force Touch which allows the screen distinguish between a tap and a hard tap acting almost like a right click of a mouse. Finally, Siri is integrated with the watch letting you use voice to access information. 
The Watch presents some interesting way to communicate such as its Digital Touch feature which lets you send doodles and even your heartbeat to another wearer. And responding to text messages is made easy on the device through the use of predictive canned responses and a strong emphasis on the use of animated emojis. The Watch also features calling functionality with the built-in speaker and microphone.
The two immediate killer features for the device were around health and payments. The newly announced ApplePay system which allows users to pay with credit and debit cards kept in Apple’s Passbook will work on the smartwatch. And Apple unveiled two new fitness and health apps for the Watch which make use of the heart rate monitoring and activity tracking functions it comes equipped with.
But payments and health are only the tipping point for the Apple Watch as Apple also announced WatchKit to help developers build apps for the device. Apps have already been created by Starwood Hotels, to open hotel room doors with the watch, Twitter and Facebook and we are sure to see a lot more by the time the watch is ready in 2015.

Apple Enters The Wearable Category With The Apple Watch

Apple held its expected September event in Cupertino today. Among the announcements was the reveal of the new iPhone 6 including one with a larger 5.5 inch screen called the iPhone 6 Plus.  Apple also entered the mobile payments by including NFC on the latest devices and rolling out a feature called ApplePay. But it was when Tim Cook spoke the magic words “One More Thing” at the tail end of the event when things really got exciting. Cook presented a line of Apple Watches at the event officiating the rumours that the company was joining others in creating products for the wearable tech category.  

Read More

Last Week to Register for DoT 2014 with Special Pricing
Advance rates for Designers of Things expire Friday, September 12. Register this week to save up to $150 on your VIP, Tech or Demo Pass.
All pass holders will gain access to the Demo Hall, featuring cutting-edge technologies from innovative companies, including Autodesk, Freescale and Grid Connect. Join them and other participating companies to learn about new products, interact with designers and developers, and establish relationships with the brightest minds in wearable tech, 3D printing and IoT. Additionally, pass holders are invited to attend on-site parties hosted by Shapeways and Proto Labs after the Demo Hall closes on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
[[MORE]]
VIP and Tech pass holders can also access a wide range of talks, intensives and workshops covering these technologies, including: Designing for 24/7 Wearability with Nirav “Rav” Sheth  from MC10, Designing Voice Interfaces for Wearables and Other Form Factors with Tanya Kraljic from Nuance Communications, and Wireless Connectivity and Wearables: The What, How, and Why with Cary Bran from Plantronics.
Visit the session scheduler on the Designers of Things Conference website for the full session listing or download the Official DoT 2014 app.

DoT 2014 will take place September 23-24, 2014 at the Mission Bay Conference Center at UCSF in San Francisco, California.

Last Week to Register for DoT 2014 with Special Pricing

Advance rates for Designers of Things expire Friday, September 12. Register this week to save up to $150 on your VIP, Tech or Demo Pass.

All pass holders will gain access to the Demo Hall, featuring cutting-edge technologies from innovative companies, including Autodesk, Freescale and Grid Connect. Join them and other participating companies to learn about new products, interact with designers and developers, and establish relationships with the brightest minds in wearable tech, 3D printing and IoT. Additionally, pass holders are invited to attend on-site parties hosted by Shapeways and Proto Labs after the Demo Hall closes on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

Read More

Opening Up IP to Make Really Cool Things: Featured Speaker Duann Scott
Back in July, Hasbro and Shapeways embarked on a completely new venture never before attempted by a major brand. The global toy maker opened up its IP for its uber popular “My Little Pony” franchise to enable fans to 3D print and sell their own creations on leading 3D printing platform Shapeways. We caught up with Shapeway’s Designer Evangelist, Duann Scott, to chat about this partnership and talk about how cool things can happen when brands open up their products to the 3D printing community.
[[MORE]]SuperFanArt launched at Comic-Con 2014 and saw five designers have license granted to them to create new art and product offerings under the My Little Pony Hasbro brand. All of the designs, including some pretty wicked “Bronies” are all for sale on the Shapeways site. 
Scott told us that this is just the start of the partnership with Hasbro and that we should see the SuperFanArt program expand to offer license to a wider audience and start to include other Hasbro brands such as Dungeons and Dragons and Transformers.
As exciting as seeing branded art being created by fans that love it, for Scott the fact that a large brand like Hasbro has opened its IP to allow for the design community to collaborate is “groundbreaking”. He hopes that the success of this program will serve as a case study for those brands who may be afraid that they will lose control if they do the same. And he is hopeful that more brands and companies move in this direction.
The benefit for brands to partner with a platforms like Shapeways in creating 3D printed user generated content is the manufacturing, distribution and customer service. As Shapeways handles the printing and selling of the branded art, the print quality and customer experience associated with its brand is kept at a high level of standard. The benefit for the designers is the license to create under an existing brand and have the ability to profit from it. 
Scott sees more and more software being developed for designers to be able to customize without the need to know conventional 3D modelling techniques removing one of the major barriers of 3D printing today. With tools making the process easier to create and the license from brands to give designers the freedom to do so, 3D printing is well positioned to develop a new type of market where brands co-create with the community to develop new interpretations and products they may not have had the ability to realize otherwise.
Duann Scott will be speaking about the Hasbro-Shapeways partnership at the Designers of Things conference later this month in a session called “Fans + Open IP = Internet of Really Cool Things”. 
- - - - - - - -
This article is part of our featured speaker series for Designers of Things Conference which takes place September 23-24, 2014 at the Mission Bay Conference Center in San Francisco, California. Get your VIP and Tech passes by clicking here. 

Opening Up IP to Make Really Cool Things: Featured Speaker Duann Scott

Back in July, Hasbro and Shapeways embarked on a completely new venture never before attempted by a major brand. The global toy maker opened up its IP for its uber popular “My Little Pony” franchise to enable fans to 3D print and sell their own creations on leading 3D printing platform Shapeways. We caught up with Shapeway’s Designer Evangelist, Duann Scott, to chat about this partnership and talk about how cool things can happen when brands open up their products to the 3D printing community.

Read More

Wearables Wrap-up: IFA, Unpacked and Motorola Launch Announcements
This week was a whirlwind of product launches for wearable tech as a couple of big events were held around the world. ASUS, Sony, Samsung and Motorola all unveiled tech you can wear on your wrists, your face and even your ears. We recap the wearables you can expect from these companies later this year.
[[MORE]]
Motorola officially announced two wearables today including the much anticipated Moto 360 smartwatch and a smart earbud called Hint. The Moto 360 has a classic round face making it look more like a traditional timepiece than a chunky smartwatch. The device runs Android Wear which delivers notifications including Google Now messages to your wrist. It also includes an optical light sensor to track your heart rate and is the first Android Wear device to incorporate an ambient light sensor to change the screen brightness in different lighting conditions. This smartwatch will be available for purchase later this fall.
Motorola’s Hint is a smart earbud that connects via Bluetooth to your Moto smartphone to act as a digital assistant. The always-listening earbud uses voice commands to remotely control apps on your smartphone - anything from checking a text to getting turn-by-turn directions. The earbud is quite discrete and somewhat fashionable with wood, leather and fabric options to choose from. No word on when this device will be released.
Earlier this week, Samsung unveiled its first standalone smartwatch, the Gear S, at its Unpacked event. The Gear S has its own nanoSIM which allows it to be independent of a smartphone. This means you can leave your phone at home and still do things like take calls and receive messages. The device runs Samsung’s operating system, Tizen, and features a 2-inch curved OLED display making the device almost cuff like. The device will launch first in Korea in October with release in the rest of the world to be announced.  
Along with a new smartwatch, Samsung entered the Virtual Reality headset space with Samsung VR. Created in partnership with Facebook-owned, Oculus, the device is an accessory for the new Note 4 to transform the smartphone into a virtual reality entertainment device.
At IFA in Berlin, Sony and Asus launched new wrist-worn devices. ASUS got into the smartwatch space with the ZenWatch, an Android Wear device that has biometric tracking capabilities while Sony released its third generation of its Sony SmartWatch this time choosing to power the device with Android Wear. Sony also announced a new fitness band that can take calls called the Sony SmartBand Talk. The Talk is the sequel to the original SmartBand and has new features such as an e-ink display and a microphone and speaker to take and make calls. 
Next week Apple is expected to finally unveil the rumored iWatch as its first wearable device. The flurry of activity for wearable is well timed to capture the wrists, eyes and ears of consumers as they head into the holiday season.  

Wearables Wrap-up: IFA, Unpacked and Motorola Launch Announcements

This week was a whirlwind of product launches for wearable tech as a couple of big events were held around the world. ASUS, Sony, Samsung and Motorola all unveiled tech you can wear on your wrists, your face and even your ears. We recap the wearables you can expect from these companies later this year.

Read More

Opening Ceremony To Debut Smart Bracelet at New York Fashion Week
Back in January, Intel announced that they were working with Open Ceremony to create fashionable wearable tech that would be available for sale at Barneys. This week we learned that Opening Ceremony will debut this tech as part of its Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Show at New York Fashion Week.  
[[MORE]]The duo have created MICA, a smart bracelet that is as much fashion first as it is a device with “communications capabilities”. Powered by Intel, MICA, which stands for "My Intelligent Communication Accessory", marries luxurious design elements like semi-precious gems and snakeskin with technology to work with, and not against, a woman’s sense of style. Opening Ceremony has made two styles available for the smartband. One style will feature black watersnake skin, pearls from China, and lapis stones from Madagascar, while the other style will feature white watersnake skin, tiger’s eye from South Africa, and obsidian from Russia. Both boast a curved sapphire glass display. 
On the tech side, MICA offers mainly a host of notification features including the ability to read text messages, get meeting alerts and other general notifications. But Intel did indicate in its press release yesterday that “additional features and functionalities to be revealed at a later date.”
MICA will be available at select Barneys and Opening Ceremony stores by holiday 2014. Pricing was not announced but from the sounds of the premium materials of these accessories, and the choice of store, we can assume the price tag is going to be a higher one.

Opening Ceremony To Debut Smart Bracelet at New York Fashion Week

Back in January, Intel announced that they were working with Open Ceremony to create fashionable wearable tech that would be available for sale at Barneys. This week we learned that Opening Ceremony will debut this tech as part of its Spring/Summer 2015 Fashion Show at New York Fashion Week.  

Read More

ASUS Latest To Launch Android Wear Watch with ZenWatch
IFA is underway in Berlin and to kick off the announcements ASUS officially unveiled its first wearable device, the Android Wear powered smartwatch, ZenWatch. The ZenWatch is just one of many smartwatches and other wearables expected to be launched at this event.
[[MORE]]
ASUS has chosen to go with a classic timepiece look for its first watch. It features a 2.5D curved glass face and uses a soft genuine stitched-leather strap with quick-release clasp. The watch will come with a selection of interchangeable watchface apps for users to switch things up.
The ZenWatch features a version of the ASUS ZenUI which was specifically designed for the watch. It also features some pretty engaging elements, most not yet found on other Android Wear smartwatches. Users will be able to tap the watch to unlock a device or perform a pre-set function. It also comes equipped with remote camera capabilities and a means to control presentations. Of course it adds even more functionality to owners of ASUS smartphones. 
The ZenWatch is also an activity tracker, using its 9-axis sensor along with the companion ASUS ZenUI Wellness app to monitor activity, heart  rate, exercise intensity and relaxation levels. 

ASUS Latest To Launch Android Wear Watch with ZenWatch

IFA is underway in Berlin and to kick off the announcements ASUS officially unveiled its first wearable device, the Android Wear powered smartwatch, ZenWatch. The ZenWatch is just one of many smartwatches and other wearables expected to be launched at this event.

Read More