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Hewlett-Packard on the "next industrial revolution" - 3D printing

Print & Digital

Shane Wall, SVP and CTO, printer and personal systems, Hewlett-Packard, USA, spoke in the final session today at the Digital Innovators’ Summit about innovations in technology and what we can expect in the future

Shane Wall, SVP and CTO, printer and personal systems, Hewlett-Packard (© Ole Bader/Sandwichpicker)

"All the technological change we’re experiencing is only heading in one direction," said Wall. "The physical world is on an inevitable collision with the digital world. Over the next three, five, seven years, these lines will become even more blurred and we’ll see this happen in a seamless way."

Wearables – the wrong way to go

Wall spoke about recent developments with wearable technology, saying that current products on the market are "the wrong way to go about it," and introduced HP’s watch – "minimal technology that supplements you with what you need, and doesn’t overwhelm you with a bright screen."

Another emerging wearable technology, according to Wall, is a Near Field Communication (NFC) set of sensors that stick to the skin and alert the user to data about their body. Wall used an example of a runner, who would use this technology to register heart rate and body temperature. "This is truly the merging of blending reality," said Wall.

Sprout – immersive computing

Wall introduced HP’s Sprout – a 3D design and production platform aimed at taking real physical objects and replicating them.

"The experience with 3D printing is primitive at the moment," said Wall. "The quality is limited and materials are expensive for materials. But HP is creating a platform to address all of these problems."

More about Sprout
youtu.be/IBnf_lHxPdE

Wall said that the industries innovating most with 3D printing currently are automotive and aerospace. "This will be the next industrial revolution," he said. "It will fundamentally change everything we do today."

Although just beyond our immediate reach in a succinct form (slow, limited quality, expensive), Wall said that 3D printing will fundamentally change how media is consumed.

Story by Amy Duffin, FIPP