Here at Design News, we are constantly looking for ways to improve the magazine. We get a lot of help from you guys, who are quick to tell us what you like and even more quick to tell us what you don't like.
We know, for example, that you look to the magazine for new product information. But even though you say you're looking for a relatively quick read, you've said that a hodgepodge of press-release-like write-ups isn't all that useful. You want to know not only what's new, but what's in it for you, and why you should even care.
That's exactly the intent of our new Trend Watch Section, debuting in this issue.
Trend Watch is a series of quick-read product roundups, organized by technology categories such as motion control and electronics. It gives you the real who-what-why-and-how behind the trend. Each article covers a major new trend or development in technology. It also explains how the trend impacts design engineers, reports on what new products are available, and describes their distinguishing features.
The inspiration for this section comes from the world of consumer magazines, which have been enormously successful at packaging information about the latest trends into highly graphical pages perfect for the scanning reader. Only instead of "Hippie Chic Tops," or "Compact Digital Cameras," we'll be covering the kind of stuff you can use in your designs like electronic and mechanical devices and new materials, as well as new software and test/measurement tools. And though the write-ups are short, we promise we won't skimp on technical details.
Since they live and breathe this stuff, our beat editors are uniquely qualified to tell you what's new, and what's hot. It's their job, and they travel all over the world to ferret these trends out. Senior Technical Editor Chuck Murray, for example, describes how three-axis accelerometers have been gaining momentum for the past 18 months, forging a new feature niche in consumer products. He describes how hard drive manufacturers have started incorporating the devices into their designs as a way to detect free fall. He also reports on four of the newest sensors on the market, and what companies will be coming out with their own devices soon.
Similarly, Contributing Editor Randy Frank proves again that in engineering there is more than one way to skin the cat. In the motion control section, he takes a look at some of the newest high-resolution devices, including encoders and A/D converters, designed to deliver precise positioning in motion control applications.
Drop me a line at the e-mail address below and let me know what you think about Trend Watch. I'd love to get your feedback and ideas on the kinds of things you'd like to see us feature in the future.