How a 3D-printed bike paves the way for customised products

One design firms in paris has developed a bike that demonstrates how the lines are transitioning between design, engineering and manufacturing. This trend shift will ultimately allow companies to tailor products for individuals.

The Solid is an unusual bicycle in which it’s 3D-printed out of titanium, which makes it unusually streamlined, it will take you on routes designed to help you discover a city as it allow sand tells you where to turn by buzzing signals in the handlebars. We also think it’s a look into the future where and how products will be built in the future.

The future of design and manufacturing is changing with innovative solutions such as 3D printing, and the industry is always thinking of new ways to go forward with designers and engineers working together under the same roof. We are Supafonica go a step further as we believe that designers and engineers should work seamlessly together in the same room as close as possible.

Figuring out the future and being innovative can be challenging. Decades prior, designers would come up with a product’s look on paper or mould it in clay, then hand it off to engineers who’d try to make it work in the real world. Nowadays, designers and engineers work simultaneously, scanning sketches, printing prototypes in plastic and iterating from one possibility to the next as fast as possible. One of the benefits of this transition is that it leads for rapid prototyping which can make or break a product from the beginning. We believe 3D printers, which fuse raw materials layer by layer into metal or plastic components, will open the door to new levels of customization which is why we have invested in this technology for the future.

If you have a designer who hands the work to an engineer, then that same person hands it to the software engineer, then the iterations are so long, it would take years to build what you a desiring for. We have all head of Chinese whispers, it will only doom a project. For example during that wait, products will be overtaken by competitors’ models or by new technology trends. We believe over the years have bled multiple skilled individuals into one team such as master artisans of design and art, as well as engineers across varied sectors.

“The future is about being as customisable as possible, bringing back personal, and bringing a more personal and tailored approach to products we use. Instead of buying something in size small, medium or large, you’ll buy it in “size me.

This approach will apply not only to cycles but to footwear, clothing, cars and much more. For example you may be able to scan yourself with your smart phone and based on that measurement give you a recommended fit. With more and more consumers shopping on the internet this makes even more sense.

You probably should be doing more to get ready for the “Internet Of Things”.

ERP software provider Infor,  at its annual Inforum event in Paris, revealed the findings of a new study indicating that Internet of Things adoption is not yet a business priority for most manufacturers. According to the survey, just 10 percent of manufacturers are actively pursuing IoT projects, with nearly a third of respondents admitting to having no IoT plans in place what so ever. It shows that the Internet of Things is a business priority for just 10 percent of manufacturers, with 43 percent saying that it had yet to register on their organisation’s radar.

The report also echoes similar findings by cyber security organisation ISACA, where in October of last year, it released a report indicating that 75 percent of UK IT professionals and security experts lack confidence in the security measures being implemented by manufacturers of IoT devices. ISACA encourages manufacturers looking to improve their IoT security to take a number of steps, including making all social media sharing opt-in by default, encrypting sensitive information, and insisting on automatic security updates, which is a bit like what Microsoft is doing with Windows 10 os.

Around the world, the number of IoT devices in existence is expected to spike in the next five years, with more than five billion connected devices a possibility by 2020, so it’s no wonder why it would seem sensible for manufactures as well as businesses to look into what is forecasted to be a very important part of tech business.

What is the Internet of Things and how best to prepare?

What Is the Internet of Things and Why Is it Important?

Internet of Things or commonly abbreviated to just IoT is widely acknowledged to be an important technology trend this year and into the next coming years. The Internet of Things, as the name suggests, is a term encompassing the ever-growing network of connected devices, physical objects, buildings, vehicles, etc. All these devices are connected to the same network and are able to pass information and communicate easily to other devices via embedded electronics (RFID tags), software, sensors and network connectivity.

As technology has progressed further and evolved, more and more numerous devices have developed to become “smart”, such as smart phones, smart watches, smart cars, smart clothes and a number of smart interior products such as thermostats! All of these devices born from the new wave of technology are capable of communicating and transferring data between each other, such as if need be able to send and perform simple to complex tasks. We already live in a world that lets us for example control the temperature of our thermostats, or warm our cars, or record our favorite programs, which we probably would have missed as we are away from our TVs, while we are out and about by simply using an app on our smartphone.


Instead of having “slaves” monitoring our devices such as our fridge or TV, we are now able to automate a huge range of these monotonous processes. This makes our lives much easier saving us time and effort, the Internet of Things effectively is changing the way we live and contributing to the quality of our lifestyles. This also presents us and gives us a unique insight into data which we can use effectively as human beings by capturing and drawing insight from the analytics that come with it.

How Can Companies Prepare?

Large tech companies such as Microsoft, Google, Samsung and Apple to note a few are already investing heavily and preparing in what looks like a very  important sector of business tech and what is forecasted to be a revolution forward. It’s only inevitable that smart devices will become even smarter, producing more detailed data numbers, figures and deep analysis as we move along into the future. The unlocking of the insight of this data accumulated will be an important success in business as it gives us invaluable information to how business and consumers work and come together.

To prepare for this inevitable influx of data, some of the challenges include infrastructure, data storage and an analytics platform capable of reporting on the huge volumes of live data created, after all we are living in the modern age of big data accumulation.

We have to ensure that there is an appropriate network bandwidth to cope with volatile data. For example, traffic data is known to be a little unpredictable and could cause data spikes. Companies need to be aware of this and take necessary measures to be able to cope.

Data storage
The large variety of data produced by IoT devices may render certain current storage systems and data warehouses obsolete. Utilizing alternative agile storage infrastructures is essential in order to cope with the new, diverse data being created, such as customer behavior information, weather data, geo-location data and sensor information.

After you have revamped your infrastructure and data storage technologies in order to capture and store this data, would need an analytics platform to turn your big data into insight and action. But you need the right one, that is one that can scale to keep up with the new formats and ever-growing volumes of data. One that is able to cope with the integration of diverse data providing users with only one version of the truth. And one that is agile enough to be able to deliver reporting and analysis capabilities over live-data.


The obvious benefits of IoT are quite simple to see, which is the more data available to us should theoretically equal more insight. However it’s not that straightforward…If managed and used correctly, real-time data brings with it some real-time insights, where then decisions can be made faster and therefore business changes can be implemented  much quicker and efficiently.

An example of this would be fine-tuning marketing and sales campaigns, where they would becomes more powerful due to the faster and more accurate insight that this real-time data brings. Effectively this would be the same work as a supply chain manager who is able to push forward refinements faster to the supply chain leading to increased efficiency and potential cost-savings.

Performing better, but quicker and efficient should be the mantra that IoT should bring and stand for, but it’s only achievable with the best and most agile technologies however this necessarily doesn’t mean heavy, expensive investment.

innovation in map interfaces

We love map interfaces & here’s a latest design from Google which shows signs of things to come. Integrated maps in our mobile phones have become an every day part of our lives, which are very easily overlooked & underestimated. Convenient maps made available on our phones have made it easy for us to navigate around complicated city demographics around us & enabled us to discover parts we have never seen before, even the world. However they can be seen as a bit dull & vulgar.

Patricio Gonzalez Vivo of mapzen, & Ryoji Ikeda a mathematical artist have come together to create a stunning map which may be signs of things to come. The effect has come about from re-skinning the open source maps found at Mapzen & overlaying them with a artistic brush. Odd as may it seem to be the 3d finished look is visually stunning with the black background & highlighted white  interfaces to give it a strong contrast. Details can be seen when an end user zooms into the map where office lights left on are visible, to the on going flow of traffic. Matched with a red grid pattern when you zoom out, we think the end result is stunning to look at whilst intriguing & even thought the black & white contrast is strong, we liked the possibility of 3d interaction with buildings mapped out in digital format which may be a sign of things to come.

Try it out for yourself here




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