Thomas Edison, Dr. Marie Curie, Walt Disney, Dr. Patricia Bath, Steve Jobs—these and other visionaries stunned the world by fusing their imagination with technology. If your mind is whirling with ideas and you want to stay ahead of shifting paradigms, check out HP Innovation Journal. It dives into ideas and technologies that are around the corner—and those that are just a gleam in the eye of a dreamer.
Here are six must-read Innovation Journal articles that will stir your imagination and reinvigorate your tech wonder.
1. Virtual reality comes of age
Gamers were first to embrace virtual reality. The stumbling block for VR in the commercial space has been user experience. Anything short of excellence will result in motion sickness or dizziness.
Consider the daunting underlying technologies: resolution, latency, frame rate, GPU performance, tracking, wireless, foveated rendering, etc. It’s about as complex as they come. Foveated rendering determines precisely what a user’s eyes see, then it renders only those pixels in sharp detail, rendering the remaining pixels in far less detail. The capability significantly drops GPU and display bandwidth requirements, and that translates into lower GPU costs—which is driving VR into the mainstream.
This market has far surpassed gaming by now. Auto companies are using VR to enable immersive design reviews for dispersed teams. A project by Brazil’s power distribution company intends to reduce costs and improve safety with VR. Major theme park providers and movie studios are creating VR content to deliver new experiences to their customers. And many more examples of VR’s applications are likely right around the bend.
2. Industry 4.0 and the future of manufacturing
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, a blend of our physical and digital worlds, is upon us. With the advent of additive manufacturing and 3D printing, parts and products can be designed, prototyped, and manufactured in a fraction of the time of conventional practices.
Design and build files will be sent anywhere around the world, bringing manufacturing closer to the consumer. Local 3D print service bureaus will accelerate product delivery, reduce carbon footprints, and simplify logistics and inventory management. Products will be produced and customized on demand—it’s a future many can’t wait to see.
3. Go eco with rewritable printing technology
Making plastic cards (the size of credit cards) rewritable makes them reusable, which can eliminate millions of wasted cards every year—a good thing for the environment.
HP IonTouch is a secure, integrated system for placing and updating personalized visual information onto digital displays embedded in plastic cards. The low-cost, energy-free display uses an external writer, known as an IonTouch imager. Images remain permanent until overwritten by the imager. The ability to update or rotate security codes boosts security and enables the reuse of gift cards, replacing the scratchable or permanent security codes in use today.
4. Ambient computing makes itself known
To understand ambient computing, first think about ambient lighting or ambient music. An ambient element is tuned to your immediate environment, adapted to enhance a particular mood or activity.
As the Internet of Things landscape populates with smarter devices and data, ambient computing will become the fabric that knits them together. It’s the intelligent synthesis and analysis of many disparate elements, generating insights and taking action based on those insights. Ambient computing will anticipate needs and proactively address them, adapt to changing conditions, and make suggestions that enhance our lives at work and play.
5. Here’s a bright idea: Use less energy!
The year 2016 was the warmest year on record globally and represented the third record year in a row. The rise in temperature is driven primarily by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The largest sources for GHG emissions in the United States are electricity production and energy use within industries.
Read about the steps HP is taking to improve the energy efficiency of its product portfolio, with such innovations as HP Elite Slice—which consumes less energy than a comparable small form factor desktop.
6. Megatrends—adapt, chart, and reinvent the future
Four megatrends—rapid urbanization, changing demographics, hyper globalization, and accelerated innovation—will have a sustained, transformative impact on businesses, societies, economies, cultures, and our personal lives.
- Rapid urbanization: By 2030, the Earth’s population will be 8.5 billion. By 2025, urbanization will welcome an additional 1.8 billion consumers to the world economy, 95 percent in emerging markets. Millions moving to cities will strain space, resources, energy, and infrastructure costs.
- Changing demographics: By 2020, Generation Z (people born between 1995 and 2010) will make up nearly 40 percent of the global workforce. By 2030, we’ll have twice as many people over age 65—putting a strain on economies, government spending, and health care.
- Hyper globalization: It’s now easier for startups to scale globally and for emerging market companies to become challengers to established multinationals. This challenge will disrupt markets and business models. Companies will have to handle new forms of payment, as buying and paying for products and services is increasingly digitized.
- Accelerated innovation: Emerging technology trends—like hypermobility, 3D transformation, Internet of ALL Things, and smart machines—will harness advancements in computing power, connectivity, and immersive computing to deliver richer experiences. AI and robotics are being put to work performing high-level cognitive jobs, from health care diagnosis to publishing and advertising, and even making investment decisions in the boardroom.
These six tech articles are just a hint of the good things happening out there with innovative tech. The HP Innovation Journal helps you stay competitive by understanding what’s in store—from fast-evolving products and business models to societal changes and global dynamics. Keep one eye there and another on Tektonika by clicking the blue “subscribe” button at the top right of the page—and all your bases will be covered when it comes to tech!