A New Year Side Track Part 1

I know I have been hanging around the realm of 3D printing and I hope to stay there for a while to come, but I want to branch out for a moment and think about the tech trends of 2014 and what we can expect from 2015. To start off with I thought we saw a surge of tech entering the automobile industry. Most of us are already attached to our smart phones, it looks like the auto industry finally woke up and offered consumers a little more than bluetooth syncing. I expect this trend to continue into 2015. Google and Apple both have in car systems that will be stock in many new cars coming this year. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay look like the answer to in car connectivity for our ever increasing connected life.

2014 saw many new products for the connected home. Smart thermostats, connected smart lighting, cameras, and door locks, this list could actually go on for a while. For all the products that came out in 2014 though I still think the idea of the smart connected home is lagging behind. People are just not buying these products. Sure I know a few that have bought the smart thermostats, but it was an impulse purchase and nothing really becomes of it after that. I think the price on most of these new devices just isn’t where it should be. The general population will not purchase expensive in home smart technology for no reason. You can show us the benefits all day long, but until the price matches what we think we are buying this will probably stay the same for 2015.

Smart phones are getting smaller, thinner, better screens and better battery life. I thought the crop of smart phones to come out in 2014 were some of the best I have seen as far as hardware. As far as the software side I think it is pretty much growing stale. Where was the innovation for how we use smart phones? The new phone I purchased this year on the software side felt no different than the phone I purchased four years ago. More gimmicks and flash, but no more substance than before. I expect much the same for 2015. There seems to be no innovation in the realm of smart phones on the horizon. You could argue about the smart watch being that innovation, but it looks to be nothing more than another gimmick, just like any of the fitness trackers that most users ditch after the first month.

What do you think? Any tech you are excited to see in 2015? Any of your own predictions or hopes?

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Medical 3D Printing

I love the idea of using 3D Printing in the medical field. Take a look at this article…

http://www.livescience.com/48950-3d-printing-face-transplants-models.html

The ability to do a rapid prototype of a body part, then work from that piece to craft the next plate, screw, or bone graft is amazing. Cutting life threatening and costly surgery time, also allowing to get that perfect fit. As much money as the big hospitals make on a daily basis I would hope most of the cutting edge medical facilities would have something like this on hand, or are at least looking into getting one.

Do I need a 3D printer?

Do I need a 3D printer? Someone asked me this question recently; at that moment I realized I had never asked myself that same question. Sure I want one, but do I need one? I can come up with probably fifty things I would make with one right this very moment, but none of those things feel like a need. It is more like just a very strong want. I want a 3D printer so I can make some random odds and ends and explore this rapidly growing technology. I think the fact that none of us really need a 3D printer just yet is what keeps this technology from hitting the main stream. The full realm of what we can make with these things is just being discovered, and until someone makes something that we can’t live without it may just stay a want and not a need for the next ten years. With that being said I still think I am going to order one in 2015. There is something refreshing about a push into new technology that makes me want to be an early adopter. What are your views on the subject? Do you need a 3D printer? What would you make with one?