Sales in the organic and environmentally friendly textiles market experienced year-over-year double-digit growth in 2007. Market research publisher SBI forecasts continued strong growth patterns for home textiles through 2010. The SBI report, “The U.S. Market for Organic and Eco-Friendly Home Textiles,” projects 40 percent growth between 2007 and 2010 in the U.S. alone. Global sales predictions for organic cotton products show sales soaring from $1.1 billion in 2006 to $6.8 billion in 2010. The report notes, “continued hype” over organic foods in the U.S. has contributed to the increased focus on organic textiles.
Popular retail chains such as Target, Ralph Lauren Home and Bed Bath & Beyond have brought attention, awareness and distribution to the organic fibers market. In addition, manufacturers are providing an increasingly diverse product mix in eco-friendly home textiles. “Home textile suppliers are addressing consumers’ environmental concerns by venturing beyond organics to offer other, more readily available, more affordable, eco-friendly options,” says Tatjana Meerman, publisher of SBI.
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.