Print Hi-Tech: November
Printing, digital, and marketing convergence
Interesting news and case studies involving printing and digital technologies covered in my regular ‘Hi-Tech’ category.
Today: Amazon goes brick-and-mortar; amazing paper sculptures born in Canada; Local Motors makes its first 3D printed car; nursery rhymes and kid songs created in Ukraine for English-speaking audience.
Amazon: combining online and physical worlds
After twenty years of selling books online, Amazon opened a ‘traditional’ shopping centre in Seattle’s University Village, with printed books on real shelves. Jennifer Cast, Vice President of Amazon Books, stated that the store is meant to be an extension of their website, and a place where customers can try out their Kindles and Fire Tablets. It could be the beginning of a whole new era in online business – big data as a supplement to human insight, not a substitute for it, writes the Forbes magazine.
It is clear that Amazon relies heavily on its data. But what else is the company planning? According to the Seattle Times, Amazon says the store won’t be stocked solely on data. “It’s data with heart,” said Jennifer Cast. “We’re taking the data we have and we’re creating physical places with it.”
Some of that data include reviews from the millions of Amazon customers. Below each book on the shelf is a card with either a review or a rating from the site. The company also has offered a corporate favorites section that will be updated. In November, the section included a few of Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos’ favorite titles. Some of them are “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman, and “Traps” by his wife, MacKenzie Bezos.
Paper Sculptures from Calvin Nicholls
Canadian paper sculpture artist Calvin Nicholls creates awesome low relief reproductions. An extremely detailed piece can take from a few weeks up to two years depending on scale and complexity.
For those who would like to try and make their own pictures capturing all of the shapes and shadows, the artist gives a number of recommendations. Cuts are made with scalpels and x-acto knives on a plastic cutting mat or cutting board. Small scissors can work if you go slow and cut in very smooth motions. Use a very small amount of glue on a toothpick. Attach the pieces starting at the tip of the tail and work up – just like shingles on a roof.
Have fun developing your own style. Maybe you could even make your own snow-white greeting card — just in time for Christmas!
3D Printed Cars Made a Reality
American Local Motors founded by Jay Rogers and best known for its $100,000 off-road Rally Fighter crowdsourced vehicle announced one more innovation. Its new LM3D Swim road-ready vehicle is 3D printed and crafted using a design sourced from the creative community.
According to Jay Rogers, they hope that cars may really become “safe, smart, and sustainable.” To turn an aesthetic crowdsourced concept model into a functional automobile, Local Motors’ product development team relied on the so-called synchronous design based on Siemens’ Solid Edge software.
The LM3D will likely be shipped in 2017 as both a highway-ready model and as a low-speed electric vehicle. The announced price tag is $53k for a car. Partnering with IBM and other tech companies, Local Motors is going to implement new technology with every new car off the line. Jay Rogers is sure that this will make the cars smarter and safer.
Bonus: Made in Ukraine
Recently, an animation studio from Ukrainian Lviv created a new 3D animation project for English speakers. After one and a half months, Dave and Ava YouTube channel with animated nursery rhymes and baby songs has got more than 15 million views in North America.
The smartphone app will be ready to download soon. The team is working hard to make their animations available on iOS and Android devices, so you can enjoy Dave and Ava Nursery Rhymes offline.
The 100% Ukrainian project, from ideas to music to 3D animators and actors, is funded by local investors.