Evolve Resources can provide talent solutions

We are excited to introduce, Evolve  Resources, the latest evolution of Evolve by Design.  This new off shoot of our established product design and development service, focuses on providing our clients with custom talent solutions.

Over the years, we have received many requests to help our clients find the right people to compliment their existing product development teams sometimes for a short term contract to help with a project and sometimes for permanent hire.  Evolve Resources is our response to these requests.

Evolve Resources combines years of industry expertise with an extensive personal network to offer a model that’s quite different than a typical recruiting firm.   The services we provide are personal, based on real conversations and relationships, not the latest “keyword search” technology.

Please check us out at www.evolveresources.net

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More than just “CAD guys”!

Some people think of us as “the CAD guys”, to others we’re engineers or designers. So what really goes on here at Evolve?

In a nutshell, we design develop and manage new product ideas for corporations and individuals, but to really understand what Evolve does, we need to take a look at the Product Development Cycle to explain where and how we fit into this process.

At the beginning of this cycle is the concept or ideation stage, where we can help a client to refine and define an idea. This can begin with a brainstorming session and progress to concept sketches and on to proofs of concept. Experienced studio engineers, we can take an idea and develop it so that it can be produced and sold.

Once the concept has been defined we can help with the next phase as we begin to look at product design. We can help with material selection, types of prototyping, tooling and manufacturing methods which are cost effective and meet the product definition. We can generate drawings and 3D models to be used for prototyping and tooling.

During the engineering and development phase, Evolve will again work directly with the client to combine their expertise with ours to develop a product for production without compromising design intent. Our engineers integrate with the client’s team to realize success through the power of collaboration.

To sum it up, we combine technical knowledge, human factors, problem solving and creativity in order to make a product successful in the marketplace. We can support our clients at any or all phases of the product development cycle.
And that makes us so much more than just “the CAD guys”.

Bitcoins Recognized as Private Money in Germany

The German Federal Ministry of Finance has officially recognized the Bitcoin as a “private money.” While not quite the same as being recognized as currency, it does mean that the German Government has recognized that transaction can and do occur in bitcoins on a wide scale. This is a big win for the growing cryptocurrency designed to allow money to change hands without the need for banks or other institutions getting involved.

Its intended as a win for Germany, as well. The idea is that if the euro should ever fail and companies begin conducting business using bitcoins instead, the groundwork is already there for bitcoins to be taxed.  For now, the use of bitcoins is by businesses is being highly regulated; bitcoins must be managed by a qualified professional, a considerable initial investment must be made, and a business plan must be submitted to German officials. However, the Germany’s acceptance paves the way for bitcoins to be legitimized elsewhere, such as the US, where bitcoins are currently under much scrutiny, or in Thailand where the lack of laws lead officials to ban bitcoins outright.

With the explosive growth and growing acceptance, facing the issue of bitcoins will soon be on many countries’ agendas. From the time of the bitcoin protocol first being published in 2008, the monetary value of the bitcoin network is estimated at $1.4 billion USD. Bitcoins were originally dubbed a peer-to-peer electronic cash system before receiving the common name we now know them as. The basic concept is that server nodes contain bitcoins,  and by a user can connect to these nodes via the internet and decrypt where in the server the bitcoin is. As more and more bitcoins are mined in this way, the decryption step becomes more and more complicated. This means that the initial distribution launched high volumes of easily accessible bitcoins into the market, but as time goes on they become more and more difficult to acquire leading to their rapid growth.

However, the bitcoin has ceased it’s rapid growth as the encryption reaches the point where only high-end GPU computing can mine them. This has lead to a volatile exchange rate reacting to newly added bitcoins, exposed flaws in security, and political changes like those in Germany, among a host of other factors. This variability lead to fluctuations from $230 USD per bitcoin in early April 2013 all the way back down to $50 USD by the end of the month, and bouncing back up to $100 USD in May, before fluctuating more stably around $70-80 USD throughout the summer.  When a vulnerability was discovered for all bitcoin wallets generated by Android in early August (which has since been fixed), many began to question the viability of the bitcoin long term.

For now, though, bitcoins are holding on through the confidence of the consumers. And personally, I think they’re a really cool idea.

Hyperloop

Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, has proposed a revolutionary new form of transport he calls the Hyperloop. The idea is reminiscent of a pneumatic tube, in which capsules containing passengers are shot through a contained environment at incredibly high speeds. The proposed system would be able to go from Los Angeles to San Francisco in 30 minutes.

Obviously there are a number of technical hurdles, not the least of which is how to power such a transportation system. The proposal identified that batteries couldn’t power supersonic travel alone, instead they would need to be periodically recharged during transit. This could be easily accomplished using induction charging similar to the wireless charging pads used for phones. Moreover, the charging would only need to be places over about 1% of the track. Additionally, the Hyperloop would could easily produce more power than it consumes by placing solar panels on top of the tube.

Another issue is the friction generated by such speed. Normal wheels wouldn’t work at such speeds, so instead the Hyperloop  would suspend itself above the surface of the tube using an air-cushion. This air cushion is created with from air funneled in from the front of the capsule, which also helps cut down on air resistance.

The proposal is gaining a lot of media attention, but the Hyperloop has a long ways to go before it sees the light of day. Not the smallest hurdle is the competition from the proposed California high-speed rail. Only time will tell which of the systems is ultimately implemented.

Lab Grown Burger a Little Bland

On Monday, August 5, a group of impartial taste testers in London got to sample the first burger grown in lab. The apparent consensus was that because the meat was grown without fat, it was lacking in flavor. The texture was apparently similar to that of a regular burger. But the point of the taste test wasn’t really about perfecting the burger’s flavors, it was more about raising awareness about, and finding additional funding for research into lab grown meat.

While experts in the field say that the technology that grew the sampled burger could be scaled up for large-scale production, the cost would be prohibitive. They estimate that it would take 10 years to advance the technology enough to be commercially viable. The current method is to simply extract stem cells from the muscles of cows and place them in a nutrient broth until they grow into muscle fibers. About 20,000 of the tiny fibers were mushed together with breadcrumbs, salt, and coloring to make the 5 ounce burger.

While it may seem like an unnecessary extravagance for a measly burger, could greatly improve the efficiency of water and land use, as well as cut down significantly on the emissions of methane and other greenhouse gasses. In addition, the meat can be grown without killing any animals, which makes animal rights groups like PETA happy about the advances.

However, the patty too 2 years and $325,000 to grow, so the technology still has a long way to go before you start seeing it in grocery stores.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/06/science/a-lab-grown-burger-gets-a-taste-test.html?_r=0

Canonical Attempting to Crowd Fund a Superphone

Tech company Canonical has launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund the development of a smart phone that runs both Ubuntu and Android operating systems. The phone is planned to contain a mixture of standard and high-end hardware. On the conventional side, the phone will feature 4G LTE, an 8MP camera, and near-field communication chips, along with the usual array of sensors like GPS and accelerometers.

That’s where conventional ends, however. The device will sport a 128 GB hard drive and 4 GB of RAM. To put that in perspective, the iPhone 5 has 64 GB of storage and 1 GB of RAM while the Galaxy S4 has 2 GB of RAM and only reaches 128 GB of storage with an expensive 64 GB microSD. Canonical also vaguely states that the Ubuntu Edge will feature “the fastest multi-core processor.” The screen will also be unique, as instead of glass it will be made with Aluminum Oxide, the basic crystal for Sapphire. Sapphire is incredibly scratch resistant: only Diamond, crystallized Boron, and a handful of substances even more obscure than crystallized Boron can scratch it.

What makes the phone really interesting isn’t just its hardware, but the source of it’s development. As I mentioned briefly, Canonical is crowd-funding the phone using an Indiegogo campaign. Crowd-funding involves raising money from the public in order to fund some kind of good or service in development. The public isn’t just donating out of the goodness of their hearts, of course; a crowd-funding campaign sets reward tiers that offer tangible benefits for giving over a certain amount. For example, the Ubuntu edge offers access to updates regarding the phone at lower levels, or an actual phone at higher ones, all the way up to a set of 100 phones at the highest tier.

Crowd-funding has another catch, however. The company or individual sets a target for collection, and if that target isn’t met all the money is returned. The Edge is poised to break records with a goal of a whopping $32 million. The number is not unheard of for major tech launches, and as such it offers the question of whether crowd-funding could be a viable way for companies to launch opensource products like the Edge in the future. Only time will tell if the Edge will make it to production and pave the way for the crowd-funding of bold new technologies in the future.

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ubuntu-edge

Steelcase Gesture: A New Way to Sit

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Well, nine new ways to sit, to be more specific. The problem was really that you were already sitting in these positions, but most chairs didn’t support them. With nearly two thirds of workers using two or more devices (Tablet, Smartphone, Computer, etc.) every day*, the standard chair design’s expectation for users to be straight-backed with eyes forward and feet flat on the floor was increasingly cumbersome. Engineers at Steelcase decided to tackle the problem with Gesture, a chair that moves like you do.

The core of the system features a back and seat that move along with the user. shifting and tilting to keep the back cradled in as many positions as possible. In addition, the edges of the seat are designed to be flexible to allow for shifting between postures with minimal obstruction. The basic concept remains obvious, people are sitting in many very strange ways, and the chair is meant to augment that.

But the real innovation in the chair are its arms. While many other office chairs have a wide range of arm adjustments allowing for side to side, forward back, and rotation around a pivot, the Gesture put the arm rests atop four pivot points to allow for a much wider range of motion. The system essentially allows for an orbit that can, for example, move up and in for using a smartphone, or down and forward for lounging back. Moreover, all these adjustments can be made “as easily as adjusting your posture.”

The chair is expected to become available in November this year, and make quite an impact when it does.

http://www.steelcase.com/en/products/category/seating/task/gesture/pages/overview.aspx

*According to the June 2013 Popular Science