Business Week's CEO Guide to 3D Computing

In Business Week’s CEO Guide to 3D Computing there are many topics covered previously here in the MJ. What follows are a few which you should be able to find MJ links for by using the search box in the upper right:

No longer just the stuff of Hollywood movies and Silicon Valley video games, 3D technology is changing the way people do business everywhere. Consider Lori Coulter, a women’s swimsuit designer inside the Macy’s (M) at the Chesterfield Mall about 30 miles west of St. Louis.

Lori Coulter clients needn’t try on piles of swimsuits amid unflattering fluorescent lights in a cramped dressing room. Instead, they discreetly step into a room where the shop uses a scanner to take 140 measurements in less than a minute, then uploads them to a computer, which builds a 3D image and suggests an array of figure-flattering styles. The client chooses a style and pattern, and within as few as three days a custom-made swimsuit is ready to wear.

Lori Coulter is one of the scores of businesses that are being transformed by technology that lets you build and manipulate computerized three-dimensional models. “What we’re seeing increasingly is the greater use of computer simulations,” says Boyd Davis, a marketing director at Intel

A typical workstation based on two Intel Xeon processors delivers computing performance roughly equivalent to the fastest supercomputer in the world in 1993, according to Intel.

While some within the fashion industry are just now warming to 3D technology, Coulter built her business around it. When she was studying at the Olin School of Business at Washington University in St. Louis in the late 1990s, she wrote a paper about how new technologies were revolutionizing the retail industry

3D Imaging Spreads to Fashion and Beyond

The least IT-savvy segment of computer buyers, consumers are extracting the most value from computer technology.

3D graphical computing has begun trickling down to more ordinary commercial applications.

banks are facing a world in which hard-to-assess data are piling up. Visualization could help detect patterns like unusual cash-management behavior on the part of a particular individual or a whole demographic, allowing the bank to intervene.

“Fly Through My Empire” application. For example, a large convenience store chain can see inventory levels of goods visible at the national, regional, state, local, and store levels. You spin a scroll wheel to fly in and out of the map. Red, yellow, and green lights represent the state of each supply level. A manager can see patterns quickly. Are the problems all in the Southeast? Is one manager responsible for all the trouble? Pick up the phone and call that guy!

And then there’s inertia: Many companies see no need or can’t figure out where they fit in this new world.

Fortunately, costs are coming down, bandwidth is improving, and the public is beginning to understand the power of 3D. The change is inevitable. Don’t be the last to figure it out.

Visual Computing Will Change Your Life

“With 2D images, it may be hard to visualize the full extent of the injury or the condition of the patient,” says Peter Liacouras, senior medical engineer at Walter Reed. “We’ve had doctors say that with these 3D models, they get the feeling that they’ve been there before,” Although 3D printing has been around since the early 1990s, the quality has increased dramatically in recent years and the prices are just beginning to drop.

Printing In 3D Gets Practical


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