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At HP Labs we create, identify and develop novel technologies and experiences that define the future of HP Inc.

Megatrends: HP’s future technology vision

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Andrew Bolwell is VP and Global Head of Technology Vision and Venturing for HP.  In this role he is responsible for driving HP’s long-term innovation and technology vision for HP, as well as for HP's venture activities, working across start-up and venture capital communities to identify, source, commercialize and invest in early-stage disruptive technologies.  Liaising with HP Labs, business groups, customers and partners, Andrew is defining new market segments, products and business models that will help shape HP’s future growth. 

 

He recently sat down with us for Part 1 of a five-part series to discuss HP’s future technology vision, and how key global forces known as Megatrends are being used to shape that vision and our future.

 

For more information on Megatrends read Andrew’s article in the latest issue of the HP Innovation Journal.

Mining data within a complex sales, service, and provisioning pipeline can yield powerful insights

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An HP Labs research project is applying data science to a central concern of any services business: maximizing the company’s return on the time and money it invests in selling and then provisioning those services to its customers.  

 

It’s a particular challenge for companies like HP that offer services supplying customers with physical materials, such as printers and ink, on a large scale, and where the contractual engagement cycle for those services can easily extend over a long period of time.

 

Now, in a collaboration with HP’s Managed Print Services (MPS) business unit, HP Labs researchers are exploring how to shorten that cycle while also gaining key insights into how machine learning can improve the contractual service experience for both HP and its customers.

Labels: Print & 3D

Such a Weigh with Words

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This is another blog in our series on how the HP Way and the combined weight of HP’s research, business practices, and heart – what I call “the HP Weigh” - can contribute to a better future. Feel free to weigh in!

 

Do you still have a weigh with words? Or has the premise behind the Shallows, which argued that the Internet is negatively influencing “how we think, read and remember,” and is one of the landmark books of this decade, proven true in your increasingly referential brain? In this blog, we briefly discuss the history and the power of text to motivate, liberate, and educate, and consider the magic of text in a world increasingly crushed by the now-mundane pervasiveness of video. We then consider the many different ways in which we can add emphasis, or emphasis, or even emphasis, to text. Hopefully, when you finish looking over this, you’ll have a renewed love of the art of reading.

 

Is there, in fact, more creativity in text than in video? Maybe so. And in this age of video and other multimedia, what role does millennia-old, humble text play? More than you might think. Keep in mind that text is not just the first word, it is also the last word. And word is, text is not just content, it is form and shape as well.

 

Labels: Print & 3D

Exploring hybrid solutions for immersive learning

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Despite the easy availability of digital multimedia, students still like to read instructional materials printed on paper, notes Yang Lei, a research scientist in HP’s Print and 3D Lab where the future of education has been a major avenue of inquiry for the past few years.

 

“When we survey people, many say they prefer to read print books,” Yang explains. “But printed materials don't offer the array of features and the rich learning experience that’s possible with digital materials. So as we’ve been developing a vision of the teaching media of the future, we’ve wanted to imagine a hybrid solution that offered the best of both worlds.”

 

The lab’s newest educational technology, dubbed the HP Personalized Hybrid Learning App for Sprout, achieves that goal via customized printed instructional materials that seamlessly interact with online resources.

 

Labels: Print & 3D

Ji Won Jun wins the Interactive Innovation Award at SXSW in the Student Innovation category

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Last week at the popular SXSW music, film and emerging technologies festival in Austin, Ji Won Jun, who just recently joined the Immersive Experiences Lab, was awarded the Interactive Innovation Award in the Student Innovation category.

 

The citation reads: “awarded to the student with an exceptional interactive technology project or startup; both of which are the future.”

 

 

High school programmers meet at HP Labs for the third annual ‘CodeWars Silicon Valley’

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HP-CodeWars-Logo_web.jpgOver 200 high school students, coaches, and chaperones converged on HP Labs’ Palo Alto headquarters last weekend to compete in the third annual ‘CodeWars Silicon Valley,’ a student coding competition jointly sponsored by HP Labs and Hewlett Packard Labs.

 

The competition, run entirely by employee volunteers from the two companies and open to all high school students, public or private, drew 50 teams from 16 schools, including two from Southern California. The students were asked to tackle a set of 21 coding challenges over a period of 3 hours using Java, JavaScript, C/C++/C#, or Python, sustained by a steady supply of classic techie foodstuffs such as bagels, donuts, and chips.

 

Trophies were awarded to the top novice and advanced teams, with raffle prizes of HP technology and giveaways to all participants.

 

This year’s winners:

Advanced Division: 1st Aragon High School, 2nd Carlmont High School, 3rd Cupertino High School, 4th St Francis High School (Mountain View)

 

Novice Division: 1st Cupertino High School, 2nd Proof School (San Francisco), 3rd Cupertino High School, 4th Evergreen High School

The HP Weigh: Diversity and the Hardy-Weinberg Principle

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This is the second in a series of blogs on how the HP Way and the combined weight of HP’s research, business practices, and heart – what I call “the HP Weigh” - can contribute to a better future. Feel free to weigh in!

 

Driving diversity is a hot topic in board rooms, leadership conferences, and STEM classrooms. Like many companies, HP has a team that is specifically focused on educating, measuring, and improving diversity across our company.  This interest in diversity has generated research studies on the financial benefits and business case studies to prove or disprove the moral case. These studies provide persuasive evidence on improved financial performance when a more balanced number of women are included on boards and management. Motivated by this research companies such as Volvo, L’oreal and KPMG are using diversity to expand creativity, innovation, and robustness of design by actively filling traditional men only roles, such as car design, scientific research, and senior leadership with women.

Labels: Print & 3D

Interaction designer Ji Won Jun joins HP’s Immersive Experiences Lab

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jwj_thumbnail.jpgJi Won Jun is one of the newest members of HP’s growing Immersive Experiences Lab, joining the team as a research engineer at the start of the year. Originally an interaction designer, Jun moved into Human-computer interaction research driven by an interest in technology and how we think about the future. “I see my job as bridging the two,” she says, adding that “the future hasn’t happened yet, which means that there are so many things that we can do - that’s the really exciting thing about this work.” Jun received her B.F.A. in Visual Communication Design from Kookmin University in Seoul, South Korea and an M.F.A. in media design from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. We checked in with her to hear what she’s hoping to explore at HP Labs.

 

 

Multimedia and the future of knowledge

 

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Last November, I was invited to speak at the Bay Area Multimedia Forum. The weekend before the event, I had complete pharyngitis, to the extent that I couldn’t speak Saturday or Sunday at all. While this made my family and friends enjoy a nicer weekend than usual, it meant I was worried I would have to cancel the talk. Luckily, just enough of my voice came back to give a gravelly, but hopefully still relevant talk on the following outline:

Labels: Print & 3D

Coded Apertures and Precision Dairy

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Dr. Daniel Lau of the University of Kentucky was recently in the Bay Area and stopped by HP Labs in Palo Alto to give a hosted technical presentation. The conversations ranged from coded apertures to precision dairy.

 

 

 

Labels: Print & 3D

The rebirth of manufacturing and “the HP Weigh”

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Steve-Simske_tcm_245_1680184.jpgThis is the first in a series of blogs on how the HP Way and the combined weight of HP’s research, business practices, and heart – what I call “the HP Weigh” - can contribute to a better future. Feel free to weigh in!

 

3D printing (3DP) flew off the peak of the hype rollercoaster last year and remains mid-pupil in the public eye. That’s no surprise, since it promises to underpin a new hybridization of mass production and mass customization that could help revive manufacturing in the Rust Belts and small communities of the world.

 

Understandably, too, HP’s pending entrance in the field has drawn a lot of media attention. Some of that is due to uncertainty about HP’s plans. In this blog, though, I hope to show how that should also be in anticipation of the power of what I call “the HP Weigh."

 

Labels: Print & 3D

HP Labs devises a new, handheld ink calibration tool to advance next generation commercial printing

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At the heart of HP’s successful HP Indigo commercial printing business is a sophisticated ink – known as ElectroInk – that contains electrically chargeable particles that help ensure that Indigo’s presses achieve very high levels of print quality, stability, and durability at high marking engine speeds

 

Maintaining those levels, however, is a challenge, says Omer Gila, director of commercial printing research in HP’s Print and 3D Lab. “To make every print the same, you need to control all the parameters you subject your inks to, including the ElectroInk electrical properties and charges.” And while calibration sensors in a press are making sure that press and inks are running at their target specifications, he notes, “there is a need for a high precision external ElectroInk reference unit to monitor and calibrate press internal sensors, installing new inks, and qualifying new ElectroInk formulations.”

Labels: Print & 3D

On Available Energy and Joules as the Currency

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I’ve learned a lot about energy fundamentals, and about the importance of observation and inference, simply by traveling with my family – both overseas and in the USA. Observing a water tower near a railway station in India, for example, became a lesson in available energy and supply side infrastructure. With my children, I estimated the number of users in the township, their likely daily consumption, and thus the volume of water needed to supply the town on a daily basis. Then, given the water’s density, we determined the potential energy represented by its stored water – by estimating the height of the water tower.

 

Lei Liu is dreaming big at HP Labs

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Liu_thumbnail2.jpgWhen HP Labs research scientist Lei Liu was a child in XianYang, China, he read a newspaper article detailing how HP originated in a garage in Palo Alto. “That inspired me,” he recalls. “Silicon Valley was clearly somewhere where you could have a dream, incubate it, and see it come true.” Today, Lei is living that dream as a member of HP’s Print and 3D Lab.  After studying for his B.S. and M.S. in computer science at the Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, he moved to Michigan State University where he received his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering, focusing on data mining and machine learning. During his graduate studies, he interned at HP Labs in Palo Alto and then joined the Labs team full time in 2014. Since then, Lei’s been moving fast. He’s already filed for 19 patents, for one thing, with another six in the works.

Labels: Print & 3D

Personalized Learning – providing appropriate reading content to each individual

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One of our objectives in HP’s Print and 3D Lab is to develop a personalized learning technology platform that can tailor print and digital content to the specific learning style of any individual, driving improved learning outcomes for all.

 

Take any number of people and ask them to read the same book. Different individuals will read that same content with different reading skills, attention spans, background knowledge, interests, and so on. Some will comprehend the content more easily with multimedia than just plain text. Some will be able to sustain their reading attention, while others will need to take a break every few minutes.  

 

Labels: Print & 3D

Mithra Vankipuram looks out for users in HP’s Immersive Experiences Lab

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profile_picture_april2013_s.jpgGrowing up, HP Labs research scientist Mithra Vankipuram was drawn equally to science, art, math, and engineering. “I’ve always liked applying ideas and building stuff,” she says. That led her to study computer science and engineering as an undergraduate at Anna University in Chennai, India, and then to move to Arizona State University to study for her M.S. in computer science. There she became interested in 3D simulation technologies, especially haptics, which create the sensation of force or touch for virtual tactile experiences. That inspired her to pursue a Ph.D. in biomedical informatics where she addressed problems in healthcare environments, such as trauma critical care units, through the use of virtual reality. Recruited by HP as a post-doctoral researcher, Vankipuram officially joined HP Labs 3 years ago as a user experience researcher for projects in healthcare, retail, and big data analytics. This November, she became a founding member of HP’s new Immersive Experiences Lab and she spoke with us recently to share what she’s interested in, and inspired by, today.

 

Ugmos and Einsteins at the Cheltenham Science Festival

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HP Labs, Bristol, are once again proud to be one of the major sponsors of the annual Cheltenham Science Festival. We have been supporting the festival, which runs over six days, for several years. It is a fun and vibrant event, making Science interesting for everyone, there are demos, presentations and so much more to enjoy.

 

Big crowds turned up at the Cheltenham Science Festival to see the celebrities of the science world and the ugmos of the animal world.

 

The former included Robert Winston, Brian Cox, and Jim Al-Khalili. The latter featured the blob fish, the Dracula ant and the purple pig-nosed frog.

Future engineers from Girls Innovate! visit HP Labs

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Just before heading back to school from summer break, a group of high school girls passionate about math, science, and technology got to visit HP Labs in Palo Alto for a glimpse of how women engineers are making a difference in an industrial lab and beyond.

 

The teenagers were all members of Girls Innovate!, a Bay Area non-profit that works to educate, inspire, and mentor girls to positively impact the world through innovation. Their trip was organized by Puneet Sharma, a veteran cloud networking researcher in HP’s Networking and Mobility Lab. “For me, these girls are the future researchers of HP Labs. We need to engage with them early on and acquaint them with the nurturing environment that HP Labs provides for women technologists,” he suggested in introducing the group.

Reading analytics - analyzing how people read online

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Georgia_2012_thumbnail.jpgIn the online world, there are two well-known “species” of user: “searchers” and “shoppers.” Each leaves a voluminous trail of information behind them. Web searchers mainly deposit search keywords and result clicks, while shoppers’ trails are made up of views, purchases, and rentals of products. Analytics algorithms have long mined for insights, user preferences, and leveraging crowd wisdom, with the ultimate aim of optimizing advertising, sales, products, services, and web sites.

 

The Web landscape has changed a lot the last few years, and new types of users have emerged. One notable new class is “online readers,” those who read content online in order to be informed, entertained, trained, educated, and so forth. The proliferation of textual content in a plurality of forms (including e-news, e-books, and online courses), along with the popularity of portable devices, has shaken the foundations of traditional printed forms. But it has also opened the door to new and exciting opportunities. Why? Because online readers leave their own digital trails in the form of page scrolls, turns, and other content interactions. Now organizations in digital printing, publishing, book retail, education, and other domains, as well as authors, educators, and other individuals, can leverage these trails to answer questions that were difficult or impossible to answer before. For starters, how long do people read in one session? How long do they stay on a page? How does that time vary by topic? When or where do they stop reading? These questions are only the beginning of a new kind of analytics, called reading analytics, that could significantly influence our future interactions with, and offerings to, online readers.

Labels: Print & 3D

HP Labs Middleware research enables Software-Defined Manufacturing

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Mass customization, in Tseng and Jiao’s definition, is "producing [customized, personalized] goods and services to meet individual customer's needs with near mass production efficiency". It includes two seemingly competing objectives that make its realization challenging:

 

1) make individualized products (with a high value) to meet customers’ heterogeneous needs, resulting in ever smaller order sizes to the point where “every product is different” (EPID); and

 

2) deliver operational efficiency of a quality that successfully competes against mass production (think Henry Ford and assembly lines).

 

We are moving closer to widespread adoption of mass customization, however, thanks largely to technical innovations on two fronts. Firstly, we now have general-purpose machines that can produce diverse products (i.e. successive items of different shape and/or functionality) at more-or-less the same cost as creating copies of a single item in bulk (for example, via 3D printing). We also have software (middleware in particular) that can effectively and efficiently compose production workflows for individualized products and thread different machines (co-located, or geographically dispersed; of different capabilities, capacities, and availabilities) for workflow execution.

Labels: Print & 3D
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