Posted by: brandextenders | April 5, 2013

I’m Back From Sequestrian

130225073304_sequestrationI’ve been on forced hiatus recently due to sequestrian and the fact they want to make the pain obvious to the common folk. O.K., maybe it was just writer’s block, something all who write face at one time or another. It used to be a blank page staring at me from the typewriter and now, it’s the blank page staring at me from the monitor. It is frustrating and depressing and tends to feed on itself making it even worse. Artists go through similar periods, as do athletes, but eventually it passes and the lights begin to shine once again.

To get past this, I found myself looking through some recent blogs and decided to write an update on a few topics that have changed since I wrote about them:

  • 3-D Printing: About a year ago I wrote on the fairly new trend of 3-D printing and my belief it will change the way many industries go to market. That is exactly what is happening as the price of these specialized printers drops and companies are able to reduce inventory and warehouse space by “printing” parts and products on-demand. This takes just-in-time inventory to a whole new dimension and helps level the playing field for small businesses. Businesses are even popping up that will do on-demand 3-D printing for companies not able to afford the technology themselves. Just a few of the industries benefiting from 3-D printing are jewelry, footwear, industrial design, architecture, engineering and construction, automotive, aerospace along with the dental and medical industries. Imagine a new home you purchase is built from 3-D printed parts or an airplane you fly in has wings printed in 3-D. Sounds futuristic, but in fact both of those things are in the works. And check out this article from National Geographic on using 3-D printing to create tissue and I don’t mean Kleenex.
  • New Apps: There are thousands of apps on the market and while I look at a lot of them, I download only those I know I’ll use. I’ve found two I really like and thought I’d pass along. The first is called Brewster for iPhones and to call it a contact app is like calling Mt. Everest a hill. Launched last year, it gathers all the people you know from your contact list, Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook or other outlets you give it access to. When you open the app you’ll see pictures of your contacts and all the info about them in one place. It categorizes people in groups with interests similar to yours using its algorithms, but you can also create your own groups. Right now it is only available for the iPhone, but other versions are apparently coming soon. The second is app is called Flipboard, which allows you to pull content from all over the Internet and put it into a magazine style format that is easy to peruse. You can also create your own magazines and share with friends. While not a new app, the latest 2.0 version is real eye candy and probably as close to reading a real magazine as anything I’ve ever seen. With the demise of Google Reader, Flipboard is a great new way to aggregate content from across the web.
  • QR Codes: Dead, dead, dead. The thing that has always bothered me about QR codes is that there are so many versions, each of which requires a different reader. While they won’t
    Concert tickets can sing!

    Concert tickets can sing!

    be going away any time soon, new technologies are coming on-line daily that at first blush seem to be better ways of interacting with consumers. One I like is a mobile app called Blippar, which allows a user to gather info, play games and view augmented-reality experiences through markers placed in ads or on products. Another cool technology is  Touchcode, an invisible ink that can be printed on paper or products. Simply touch your smart phone or any touchscreen device to the paper or product and where the brand takes you is wide open. You might hear music from a concert ticket, get recipes from a box of soup or be taken to an interactive game where you can win prizes. It’s pretty cool and is inexpensive to implement as far as integrating it onto printed products, magazines, newspapers or other media.

Just when you think you’ve seen all there is to see out comes a new way of doing something that creates a paradigm shift in our thinking. I agree completely with Charles Holland Duell, U.S. Commissioner of Patents between 1898 & 1901 who famously said, In my opinion, all previous advances in the various lines of invention will appear totally insignificant when compared with those which the present century will witness. I almost wish that I might live my life over again to see the wonders which are at the threshold.”  Just as true now as when he made this statement in 1902.

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