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Hydro-graphics – the science of water transfer printing

Posted in New Technologies by Manas Ganguly on December 29, 2013

Hydrographics or HydroGraphics, also known as immersion printing, water transfer printing, water transfer imaging, or cubic printing, is a method of applying printed designs to three-dimensional objects. The hydrographic process can be used on metal, plastic, glass, hard woods, and various other materials. In the process, the substrate piece to be printed is pre-treated and a base coat material is applied. A polyvinyl alcohol film is gravure-printed with the graphic image to be transferred, and is then floated on the surface of a vat of water. An activator chemical is sprayed on the film to dissolve it into a liquid and activate a bonding agent. The piece is then lowered into the vat, through the floating ink layer, which wraps around and adheres to it.After removing the piece from the water, a top coat is applied to protect the design. With multiple dippings, hydrographics printing can achieve full 360° coverage of the part surface, including small crevices.\

Content from Wikipedia

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64 Bit Chips: How Apple out-smarted Qualcomm and Samsung!

Posted in Device Platforms, New Technologies by Manas Ganguly on December 17, 2013

Innovation is the name of the game and none understands this better than Apple. So just when their device and design innovation was hitting the plateau – they got the other enablers firing. The one being discussed here is Apple’s 64 bit A7 micro-processor.

The industry standard in micro-processor is a 32 Bit thingie – which plays in all smartphones. A 64-bit processor handles data in bigger chunks than 32-bit processors, so it can get jobs done faster. PCs have had 64-bit chips for a while, but until Apple introduced the iPhone 5s in September, nobody had put one in a smartphone.

While both Samsung and Qualcomm, both key players in the Android eco-system have the 64 Bit micro-processor in their roadmaps with a Q1 2014 and Q2 2014 time frame of launch – Apple’s Q3 launch of the A7 – puts Apple ahead of its rivals – in terms of perfecting the chip and rubbing off the rough edges. In the past, the iPhone was zippy not because it boasted a super-powerful processor, but because of the way Apple integrated the whole system — hardware and software — and the fact that Apple could tightly control how developers wrote code for the iPhone. An analogy would be a sports car that manages to be fast with a small engine because it is light, well-engineered, and has a great suspension. But now Apple can also claim an advantage in raw horsepower. The new 64-bit A7 chip is the smartphone equivalent of a big V12 engine.

Many in the industry do not still behold the importance of 64bit microprocessor. If the convergence industry is venturing into uncharted lands such as wearables – with different other functions such as Body monitoring or Augmented Reality applications, a higher order chipset will then become the next essential. Apple with its iWatch sees this as the promised land and the 64bit chip as the deliverance and has made the jump. It would have a 1 yr experential advantage with this 64 Bit chip when compared to others. Deep down, I am sure that a 128 Bit Chip could also be in the Horizon.

Visible Light Communication- The future is Li-Fi

Posted in New Technologies by Manas Ganguly on December 3, 2013

Data is migrating from Radio and Microwave to Light. Light Fidelity or Li-Fi is seen as the next order in wireless communication systems moving past radio communications to light based communications. Light emitting diodes are used to transfer light from one source to another – with every light blip signifying binary 1 and 0 otherwise.


1.       While the spectrum of Radio communications is limited, light spectrum is endless – with no limitations on capacity. The visible light spectrum is 10,000 times larger than the entire radio frequency spectrum. In contrast, US Federal Communications Commission has warned of a potential spectrum crisis because wi-fi is close to full capacity.

Spectrum Radio Versus Light

2.       LiFi has the advantage of being used in radio/electromagnetic  sensitive areas such as aircrafts and nuclear power plants without interference

3.       Also LiFi is limited in terms of ability to penetrate walls – making it relatively secure to  WiFi

The key scale scenario is the ability to use LED lights / 14 billion LEDs in synch with sensors and photo-detectors which could then be used to beam data to the remotest corners of the planet. Even while some parts of the technology are not detailed fully i.e uplink for data from a receptor device to source – it is expected that answers to such issues would come through in the next few years.

LiFi- How it works

The LiFi consortium which is an eco-system of LiFi promoting partners believes that while 1.6Gbps speeds have been simulated in controlled environments, LiFi has the potential of getting to 10Gbps data thruputs in near future.

3D printing begins!

Posted in 3D printing by Manas Ganguly on November 25, 2013

The first 3D printer is now soon to be reality. Far from the more fancied use cases of 3D printing AK47s, Human Organs and more complex systems; the first 3D printer by Israeli firm Camtek Ltd., will 3D print Printed circuit boards. This will world’s first commercial grade 3D printer for circuit boards. Camtek is expected to debut the device by early 2014. The 3D inkjet Solder mask printer is currently in advanced stages of technical maturity for commercial launch.


Given the huge opportunity and scope for 3D printing technology, Camtek’s printer may be the first baby step and the industry would see n revolutions before technology stability and product maturity – but the significance is in taking the first step. It will be interesting to follow the advent and the march of 3D printers.

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The NFC value chain

Posted in New Technologies by Manas Ganguly on September 2, 2012

Near Field communication is one of the most promising short distance radio technologies on the horizon for the impact it holds out to future of mobile /mobile payments, ticketing, health-care and retail-experience through handheld devices. Presenting a x-cube infographic on the NFC, detailing the scope, the  roadmap till date, devices, adoption and challenges

Source: xcube labs



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The Android Dilemma

Posted in New Technologies, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on August 3, 2012

Tight control (Fight Fragmentation) v/s Open Source Innovation – That is a dilemma that Android has on itself.

A connected world of device systems running on seamlessly on a single platform. Embedded systems in the back end are evolving the definition of connected devices. Definition of device connectivity is migrating from Netbook, Smartphone, Tablet, Car, TV to complex enterprise/industrial systems and critical utility infrastructure which are stitched together by a complex network of  NFC, RFID, QR Code Readers, Motion/activity sensors and more (the list is quite large here).  In the later case, Linux has dominated the market for good cause: it’s lightweight, networked, reliable, standards-based, and cheap — a perfect combination that has stymied competitors.

What Linux does well, Android does better

Android pushes these benefits several notches further, adding a graphical user interface and modern mobile networking support, which are huge assets for embedded devices that might be mobile and require increased redundancy or frequent interaction with users who find menus and icons far less intimidating than command prompts or low-grade web interfaces.

One of Android’s greatest assets, and one of its critical weaknesses from a tablets perspective, is that Google essentially provides a blank slate upon which others can build compelling, integrated applications. Google’s desire to deliver a platform might be perfect for embedded devices, but it’s become a hindrance for enterprise tablets.

A solution for embedded devices is unfortunately Platform fragmentation on the other hand

Even while there are  concerns about Android hardware fragmentation, the rapid release cycle has muddied the waters on the software front, especially as it pertains to tablets. Add in Android’s ability to be enhanced and modified by manufacturers, which a great strength on the embedded device front, and you have different hardware providers doing everything from superficial “skinning” of Android on their particular device to providing a unique and different OS shell.

Google shouldn’t take an Apple-like approach to locking down hardware, software, and application distribution, but Android does need to be more tightly controlled by Google in order to achieve tablet success. A significant asset that Google has over Apple is that there are Android tablets available in every conceivable size, shape, and price point. Hardware manufacturers understandably don’t want to be forced into commodity status, but at this juncture, an average user could pick up three random Android tablets and find an inconsistent interface and experience among them. This is not a recipe for a successful enterprise device.

Its an interesting toss up and a marketers dilemma at Google – Maintain course and run out of favour for devices today. Or change course today and loose out on the what appears to be a great future in connected devices

The M2M Opportunity

Posted in M2M: Telemetry and Telematics by Manas Ganguly on August 9, 2011

A new report by Juniper forecasts that M2M (Machine to Machine) connections will be the catalyst for over $35 billion of service revenues across a diverse range of industry sectors by the end of 2016, driven by Automotive Telematics and Consumer Electronics. According to CISCO, the overall M2M connectivity market will grow from 58.29 million connections on a global basis in 2008 to 225.25 million connections in 2014, representing a CAGR of 25%. In 2008, general telemetry applications represented a majority of the market, with 35.81 million connections. General telematics applications combined represented 22.47 million connections. This relative mix would remain the same in 2014, with general telemetry applications retaining the majority share of the market with 131.73 million connections, and general telematics applications adding up to 93.53 million connections.

Source: ABI Research

Commercial automotive telematics driven by the requirement for fuel efficiency which engine management systems can deliver is the key growth engine. In-car entertainment systems and infotainment will support telematics growth in the consumer vehicle market.

Factors leading to M2M growth on a global basis are:
1.Mobile network coverage is being expanded worldwide.
2.Telematics and telemetry are seen increasingly as sources of greater operational efficiency and increased incremental revenue.
3.M2M applications benefit from R&D and the scale of the mobile handset industry.
4.Technical advances in air interface standards are enabling new 3G M2M market segments.
5.Mobile network operators (MNOs) are seeking to expand their data service offerings.
6.Government mandates are increasingly requiring the use of telematics and telemetry functionality

To be continued

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HTML5: Remaking the Web

Posted in Applications and User Interfaces, The Technology Ecosystem by Manas Ganguly on April 17, 2011

A couple of months back, I had begunby explaining to a friend the utility concept of HTML5 as a cross platform, open source (developer friendly) and the spooling/ information caching platform. While these remain central to HTML 5, a lots more been added and this series of posts tries to cover HTML5, the future of Web.

HTML5 is no longer just a buzz word. It — along with JavaScript and CSS3 — is quickly helping reshape perceptions of what a web browser and web standards can achieve.

With browsers implementing more HTML5 features across platforms and devices, developers are starting to integrate many of the new features and frameworks into their web apps, websites and web designs.
Although HTML5 is its own standard, the power of HTML5 is really only best realized with the use of CSS 3 and JavaScript. JavaScript, in particular, has quickly emerged as one of the best ways to help render great looking effects, animations and content in a self-contained, platform-agnostic way.

Over the last 12 months, the momentum behind HTML5 has continued to build, with application developers, browser makers and hardware vendors fully embracing and supporting the web of the future. Consumers have started to embrace HTML5 as well, especially as more users understand the benefits and potential that HTML5 can mean for the future. With Firefox 4, Google Chrome, IE 9, Safari 5 and Opera all offering better, more robust support for HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, we’re already seeing glimpses of what is possible and what the web of the future may look like.

The effort here, is to list the features of the HTML5 browsing and the reasons why it is such a critical piece for web App development.

Batter Typography and Custom Fonts

Deployment and Use of Web Font (such as Web Open Font Format, or services like, TypeKit, Google Web Font API) gives content creators, brands and developers a way to better express and control the most important part of an app or website — the text — without having to rely on images or Flash implementations that don’t always work well for translated text or with search engines.

Boilerplates and ToolKits

Created and perfected over 2.5 years by Paul Irish and Divya Manian, HTML5 Boilerplate is not essentially a framework. It’s a template that can be modified and used for projects by developers world over. It’s one of the most robust and well-commented starting points we’ve seen for setting up a solid HTML5 base for web projects. Boilerplate is openly available under a public domain license; which can be used and integrated it into your web projects as per the developer needs and requirements.

The following slides explain the utility of HTML5 Boilerplates in web Context.


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Google: From Search Giant to Media Powerhouse. What is fundamentally changing?

Posted in Internet and Search, The Technology Ecosystem by Manas Ganguly on March 26, 2011

As content bolts across both platforms and technology, doing taxonomy on media and technology companies is more complicated than it used to be.

In quest of continuous conquests and staying relevant against a rapidly commoditizing landscape, is Google changing into a Media company as against Content-based businesses? Google has maintained forever that its main business is organizing and managing content. This intent of faith is increasingly being tested as Google treads newer ground.

Prima Facie,Tablets have led the recent media-related deluge as they are fundamentally redefining the way content and media will be consumed. Google this February, announced a subscription based service called One-Pass to enable consumers to buy customized and relevant news and information for their tablets.

Perhaps the best example of Google’s media proficiency is YouTube,which is a platform that is looking more and more like a network for a postbroadcast world. YouTube’s home page, which used to be a user-generated free-for-all, now has a clear hierarchy of channels, with an array of topics — “Entertainment,” “News and Politics” and “Sports” — that doesn’t look that different from the menu guide on my cable set-top box. Al Jazeera English, which can’t seem to find carriage in the broadcast and cable universe, has found a home on YouTube, where it has become the No. 3 news channel.

Additionally, Google has secured deals with NBA, Lionsgate and is paying celebrities for launching their high profile- high traffic celebrity channels on YouTube which are content based agreements. The herculean effort of digitizing books is yet another example of how Google is not just media company but is rapidly moving into “owning content”. Google thus is working on the strategy of providing content to consumers and selling ads against it —which is unmistakably signs of Google moving into media space more than the content bit. Google, which has cracked the code on the Web advertising model, has come to realize that if content becomes just a commodity, then advertising will follow suit. Having created a healthy web eco-system around high quality content, Google is trying to arrange the bits in an innovative order and trying to monetize this high quality content.

Does it really matter?

For starters, being in the media business means looking at media a little differently than being a crawling the web for best search results with a sponsored ad thrown in. Google has long insisted that it has no plans to own or create content, and that it is a friend, not a foe, of media companies. Google in its Search avatar is a traffic generator for folks in media with websites. The Google vision till 2 years back was to be the best conduit connecting people between whatever their search is and the answer they are looking for. Thus Google was not interested in owning or creating content.The question in people’s minds would now be, how unbiased can Google be as it grows and grows and grows and stretches itself into Media. Google has always said it will never compromise the objectivity of its search results. Content based agreements with NBA, Lionsgate, Google Books and the celebrity channels on YouTube could tilt the neutrality of search results ever so lightly now.

Google’s growing reach into the content business could create conflicts similar to those faced by Microsoft in 2008 in its dual role as a provider of an operating system that others run their software applications on and a maker of applications. It is increasingly becoming clear that the company will not shy away from entering what it considers “high-value” content areas.

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The future of wireless (Part 1): Evolution of Mobile Devices and Services

Posted in New Technologies by Manas Ganguly on March 13, 2011

For those with discretion, wireless and mobile are easily the most different of things, mobile merely being the subset of wireless and wireless meaning many things more than just the mobile. This latest series of blogs will examine different aspects of convergence from a 10 year future perspective. For sake of simplicity, I will address each perspective differently. Mixing them up will be quite complicating and lengthy…

In this post, I would be discussing mobile devices and mobile networks and limited aspects of mobility, content from a future perspective:

1. Mobile phones without SIMs and no network allegiance: What would it take for Apple, Google, Skype, Amazon to offer mobile phones that run on mashed up networks of WiFi/WiMAX, LTE/4G and thus offering free voice calls. That could be the death knell for operators and Google with its “Dark fibre” rumours is one trail blazer here.

2. Cellular voice will die (or in any case, there will be no money in voice). Landlines will be extinct and as networks transgress from 3G to IP network infrastructures of 4G, the cost of data as a revenue stream would have diminishing and negative returns on marginalities. VoIP would have taken over as the substitute for cellular voice.

3. Mobile phones would be made available free to all and even a smartphone would be available for a $10 price. Phone makers would make monies through revenue share agreements of services enabled on the phone or from transactions that are done from their devices. We will surely discuss the mobile wallet aspect in the future of wireless series sometime later.

4. Data would be free. There would be a mesh of networks enabled by WiFi, WiMAX, LTE, 4G each provided to the consumer/user free or for a very nominal charge. The smartphone would obviously be the primary data device, but then there would be tablets, MIDs, ebooks and others.

5. Consumers will be paid for data consumption. Forget the debate of people not wanting to pay for digital content; users, will be paid for digital content. Operators, Eco-system partners, content makers, aggregators will earn not from the consumer using their services, but because a sponsor is using their services to reach out to the consumer in a manner relevant, custom built and engaging to the user. That is slightly difficult to imagine, but the current TV, Radio and Magazine industries use this model to push sponsored ads and content to users….

6. … Mobiles will thus become the largest marketing channel offering best results to sponsors in terms of relevance, profile, segmentation and targeting of users in the history of marketing.

7. Content bundles will be available in mobile service contracts starting with music, books, TV, News, Magazines, Internet Sites, Film and more. Owing to high degree of relevance to the user’s tastes and choices, there would be a high degree of engagement built into this bundles which will them find suitable other means of monetization.

8. Physical constraints, such as keyboard dimensions, screen size will cease to be the primary limiting factors in device design as new input and display technologies would squeeze more within the limited “real estate” of the mobile device.

9. Sensors on mobile phones will start picking up “ambient data” from temperature, lighting, noise, and even moods of its users and will customize the device and its service offerings in accordance.

10. Mobile devices will go green not only in terms of components, radiations, use of alternate energy resources, but will also deliver on the most critical feature threshold: battery life at the same time.

There could be a few other computing and processing power related points and others in services such as LBS, Music and more which are worth mentioning here. But as discussed in my opening notes, i will deal with technology and services in greater depth in days to come and not as a part of mobile devices only.

(If you are reading this, Thanks for the read through and let me know if you find this post good or dirt. Suggestions and correspondence welcome)

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