As an innovative company, we’re pushing hard to find different ways to do things better, and, better ways to do things differently.
In the last couple of years, we switched to Agile, have run several Hackathons and we’ve registered a good number of patents. So what’s next, you ask? So did CEO Zvi Feuer, when he talked to the Innovation team. He told them he wants to turn the workers into ‘makers’! For starters, he suggested, let’s get a build-it-yourself kit, and have everyone join in assembling a… 3D Printer! Team head, Tali Segall, team member Moshe Schwimmer and the rest of the innovators wanted to use this as a chance to give the employees experience with some of the 3D technologies they’ve been checking out lately. So they came up with the idea of a hands-on exhibition - a “3D Party” with booths offering interesting, cool activities based on newer 3D technologies.
All the SPLM Israel employees who streamed into the big cafeteria last Wednesday morning were entertained, fascinated and had some fun. In one corner, a team of 5 or 6 workers collaborated to put together the 3D printer, bit by plastic bit. This took a number of hours, so the team members kept changing, giving many a chance to assemble the large device.
Here are some of the 3D experience stations that drew us in:
Leap Motion – An infrared sensor scanned our hands moving and gesturing, and interpreted the movements into commands on the computer screen, replacing mouse and keyboard.
3D Viewing - A section of a manufacturing area was rendered in a densely dispersed point cloud in Process Simulate. Putting on stereo glasses, we experienced the factory floor and equipment jump out into the 3D space in front of us.
Motion Capture – Standing in front of a PC loaded with Kinect, we could see our body movements immediately copied by a virtual Human in Process Simulate.
Google Glass – Donning the Google Glass, we took a picture of the area and then gazed at a QR code to upload the picture to Intosite as a new placemark.
RealSense – We sat down in front of a small camera which scanned our faces. After a minute of processing, our 3D face was fused onto an animated figure – knight, princess, skier. As the character moved and tilted, our own face, with all its profiles, moved exactly in sync. A raffle was held, and the 2 winners will receive a 3D printed mask of their facial scan!
“So”, I asked Moshe, “what did we achieve here today?” “Well”, he told me, “besides the fact that everyone got to enjoy a nice ice cream on a stick, a lot of us were involved in building the 3D printer. And also, by circulating between the stations, people engaged with new technologies and brainstormed additional innovative uses. And we saw the fruits of collaboration between external startups and ourselves. It was a consciousness raiser about the new things going on out there. Habits and normal ways of work are changing – gestures and movements can now replace the mouse and keyboard.”
Don’t miss the “Makers’ Room” the next time you’re here, home to our new 3D printer, Arduino boards and a growing number of other devices. And remember, they’re there to use, not just to look at!