All fun aside, contests like this, particularly when they punctuate the current Zeitgeist, serve to elevate the potential of new technologies like 3D printing and put them on the map for the broader, general public. We’ve been writing a lot about new technologies that make 3D printing far more accessible to mainstream users and innovators, not just big companies that can afford $100,000-plus investments in sophisticated gear and training. Contests like 3D Siri help focus attention on the 3D-printing-for-the-masses story and advance the concept of personal manufacturing -- an emerging trend that many see as the future of American innovation and manufacturing.
For example, 3D Systems has been very aggressive about building out its lower-end 3D printing capabilities, most recently with its acquisitions of Bits from Bytes, a low-end printer kit manufacturer, and Alibre, a low-end CAD software provider. We also recently reported on the company's introduction of Cubify.com, an online community and content creation site, along with the Cube, a plug-and-play kit priced at $1,299.
Autodesk is also making moves to court the low-end 3D printing market. We've reported on its Autodesk 123D tool, a free Windows-based 3D modeling application aimed at those in the so-called maker market looking for an easy-to-use content creation solution.
Whether you like 3D-printed Siri or could care less about the contest, the bigger takeaway is that 3D printing is fast becoming part of the mainstream lexicon. That’s a good thing for innovation.
What can one say? An etherial representation of a non existant entity that Apple users like to communicate with as if she were a real person. Like HAL in 2001. Actually, the visual representation accompanying this story reminds me of The Mummy movies from circa 2000, where the creature reanimated via some nice CGI effects. So it's all about the software, I guess.
I like your HAL analogy, Alex. I definitely think Apple users tend to give Siri that deference.
As far as the bigger takeway for the engineering audience, special effects software aside, it's really more about the now accessible 3D design software and 3D print services that allows the average lay person or professional designer, in this case, to put their idea to "3D paper," so to speak, and see a tangible representation of what they envisioned. I grant you Siri is pretty etherial, but lots of ideas are until you see a physical representation. This is just a fun example of what's possible as 3D print services and 3D design and modeling software become more mainstream.
This reminds me, too, of some CGI effects in more recent sci-fi movies, or even in Twin Peaks, when Josie dies and her spirit--or maybe the spirit of evil Bob but looking like her, we're not sure which--gets caught in the dresser drawer knob--the shape of her face trying to break out of the knob's material looks kind of like this.
I find it interesting that Siri -- as with so many computer generated voices -- is female. One explanation I've heard for choosing a woman's voice for instruction and interaction is that people generally take instruction more easily from mom than dad.
That's a curious thing to consider, Rob. Frankly I hate those voices. I have an annoying one on my GPS in my car and it's all I can bare to stand her directing me for too long. I haven't experienced Siri yet, but I'm told by those who have that's she's amazing. I suppose if someone talks to you that long, you tend to conjure up an image.
Yes, I agree the voices are annoying. I haven't experienced Siri yet either, but I've heard tons of automated voices. I can't recall any male voices used. So maybe there is something to the notion that we respond more positively to a femaile voice.
Now that's interesting Glenn. I can imagine why the voice would be switched to male for Spanish. I can understand the preference for a female voice. I can't understand a preference for a male voice. You're right, it's probably cultural. I'm would guess it's not arbitrary.
A quick look into the merger of two powerhouse 3D printing OEMs and the new leader in rapid prototyping solutions, Stratasys. The industrial revolution is now led by 3D printing and engineers are given the opportunity to fully maximize their design capabilities, reduce their time-to-market and functionally test prototypes cheaper, faster and easier. Bruce Bradshaw, Director of Marketing in North America, will explore the large product offering and variety of materials that will help CAD designers articulate their product design with actual, physical prototypes. This broadcast will dive deep into technical information including application specific stories from real world customers and their experiences with 3D printing. 3D Printing is