Las Vegas — What grabbed major attention at the biggest tech show of the year?
Innovative brands of all sizes, from large enterprises to burgeoning startups, launch new products at The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It’s the perfect event to introduce the world to their new product lines and jaw-dropping advances in technology, due to the vast number of exhibitors, attendees, investors and media in attendance. This year’s event brought some novel and intriguing innovations that are near and dear to my tech heart.
Two companies in particular caught my eye. As a 3D printing and additive manufacturing addict, the first is the iconic Kodak company with their Portrait 3D Printer. The second, a Winnipeg company called TRAINFO, will no doubt change the way motorists (including autonomous vehicles) navigate over train tracks and rail intersections all across North America.
How Kodak will reinvent themselves the “Smart” way
This century-old company with a once iconic brand is now in the midst of a major shift. As technology changes, so has Kodak’s product focus, and they have boldly stepped into the 3D printing arena.
Setting the bar very high with the new Kodak’s Portrait 3D Printer, it offers a built-in camera, multi-language touch screen and remote web access to your wireless device — a good fit for classrooms, offices and industrial environments alike.
To get it right, the company has spent years collaborating with engineers, designers, architects, artists and educators to develop this solution. That includes Argentinian-based Smart International Group, which has partnered with Kodak to deliver the 3D printing solution.
Demian Gawianski, COO of Smart International Group, explained that they began working with Kodak to seek a more professional market, and gained a global brand license agreement. “Kodak is a brand for creative professionals — for designers, architects, engineers, photographers — for people that want to make creations.”
The Portrait 3D Printer also features a fully-enclosed chamber that eliminates dust, microscopic particles or humidity from entering the print and provides a better surface finish. The printer starts shipping in March 2018 and is priced at $2799 USD.
TRAINFO revolutionizes train crossings with IoT solution
From daily commuters to transport trucks and delivery vehicles, everybody can agree that train-crossing delays are a frustration. Winnipeg-based company, TRAINFO, was also on hand at CES 2018 to explain how they are helping solve that problem.
TRAINFO helps people save time on the roads using their specially designed sensors to predict when train crossings will be blocked. The company collects data at railroad crossings and sends it into their cloud where their advanced (and patented) machine learning algorithms make the real-time predictions.
That info is then shared with users — including mobility companies, fleet management software providers, and routing and navigation systems — all part of an ecosystem that could work together with driverless cars and smart cities. For emergency services, this information helps them to arrive on the scene faster. For government agencies, it helps to manage traffic better by reducing congestion. And for the daily commuter, it can alleviate frustrations by helping choose a better route.
I spoke with CEO, Dr. Garreth Rempel, about their growing business and what's in store as we look at the future of transportation in Canada and beyond.
As for the future of TRAINFO, they're ready to grow without delay. “We just signed a contract with Transport Canada to enable us to expand across North America in 2018,” explains Rempel.
The next time you're approaching a train crossing with a digital information sign — saving you time — that information has likely gone through this process brought to you by TRAINFO.
Did you follow CES 2018 and the new technology introduced at this year’s event? Let us know what new tech captivated you the most.
About the Author
Marney is the Vice President, North Forge Fabrication Lab. The North Forge Fabrication Lab provides access to advanced digital fabrication and prototyping equipment with support from entrepreneurial and innovation communities. In her spare time, she helps to shape one of the world's most respected blogs dedicated entirely to Additive Manufacturing / 3D printing. She is also a volunteer for TEDx Winnipeg as a team member who selects and works with engaging speakers.Follow on Twitter More Content by Marney Stapley