Glacier Technology Tuesday – How About A Stretchable Touch Screen

Glacier Technology Tuesday can produce some interesting results.  Take this for example.  It is a stretchable experimental ‘touch screen’ that allows the user to interact with the screen in new ways.

An inexpensive new prototype device called the Obake adds a new dimension to touch screen technology. The surface of the device, developed by Dhairya Dand and Rob Hemsley of the MIT Media Lab, can react to how it’s being used by reaching out toward the user. It was relatively simple to make: the researchers used an open source software framework to enable the screen to react; the hardware costs between $50 and $60, Dand says.

Six specialized motors located below a silicone liquid rubber screen control the screen’s movement. Push, pry, prod, pinch, poke and the surface is malleable enough to move. (Watch a demo here).

I’d be interested to see what the application for this might be, given the recent success with the affordable motion technology interface we looked at last week.  My preference would be the motion module but wouldn’t it be a lot more fun to combine them, converting your interactive movement into a separate three dimensional model you could then physically tweak?  That 3D (they call it 2.5D) device could be anywhere in the world and now I’m having visions of applications for terrain based activities including archaeology,  geology, search and rescue,  and a wide range of military applications.

However it develops, there are probably more options than we can imagine today.

Here’s another link to the video if the iframe embed is not visible in your browser: Stretchable Obake Touch Screen

Being A Good Neighbor Just Makes “Cents”


Being a good neighbor to the communities you operate in makes good business sense.  If being cost-conscious improves that relationship then that is even better.

Take recycling for example.  There are several forms of “recycling” you can employ that are both cost-conscious and good neighbor policies, and at Glacier we’ve embraced them all.

You always want to dispose or discard materials properly, but that is only the end of your waste/recycle process.  You can take advantage of opportunities that reduce or eliminate waste by re-purposing material rather than just discarding it, and by choosing to use materials that are multi-use by design.

We prefer sturdy cartons that the customer can reuse if they need to send a product back for a modification, upgrade, or repair.  We redesigned the packaging for our rugged systems so that we could use the same cartons and packing material across a wider range of products.  Now, both Glacier and our customers can re-use that packaging, sometimes for months or even years before having to dispose of it or replace it.

Whenever possible, we save and reuse cartons and other varieties of packing material we receive, for less commonly shipped products, parts, or other components.  We save and reuse vendor provided packing whenever it is in good condition, and meets our requirements.

Any paper or cardboard that cannot be re-purposed is recycled by our waste handler.  Electronic scrap is picked up by a recycler who reuses or re-purposes that material to keep it out of the waste stream.

We have also adjusted internal processes to cut back or eliminate the need for printed paper and other office supplies. This has reduced our use of printer paper in the material, production and shipping departments by as much as 75%.

Some folks would say we are being green.  After a fashion, I suppose we are.  But our goal was to avoid waste, to keep the operation lean and efficient, and to keep costs down.   Keeping costs down affords us the opportunity to pass that savings along to the customer or to help offset costs that might be beyond our control.  It just makes good business sense.  But it is also environmentally responsible.  So we get to think about our customers and be a good neighbor, all at the same time.

Follow Us On Twitter

Glacier Computer has been on LinkedIn for some time, and we even have a facebook page, but until recently we’d never made the jump to twitter.  Well that time has come.  You can now follow us on twitter as we share links and news about Glacier products and events, as well as those of customers, industry experts, partners, technology and more.


Glacier Technology Tuesday – US Navy to Deploy Lasers on Ships

Navy laser
Image Credit: Fox News

How about laser weapons mounted on Navy vessels?  The Navy announced that is is prepared to deploy Laser Weapons to the US Fleet.  These infrared blow torches are 12 for 12 in taking down targets so next year the Pentagon plans to mount one on the back of ship and give it some real-world operational experience.

Navy officials announced Monday that in early 2014, a solid-state laser prototype will be mounted to the fantail of the USS Ponce and sent to the 5th fleet region in the Middle East for real-world experience.

One of its major advantages, the Navy said, is its relatively low cost to operate. “Its weapon round costs about $1 to shoot,” said Rear Admiral Matthew Klunder, chief of Naval Research. Although the unit cost is higher — at around $32 million to produce.

So far targets have been limited to small boats and unmanned vehicles.  There are some concerns about how effective it could be under less than optimal weather conditions, but then that is partly the point of field testing it in real-world conditions.  They are not commenting on the weapons range or whether they believe it capable of taking out faster moving targets,  but….

The Navy is working on just such a gun of course.

Called the FEL — for free-electron laser, which doesn’t use a gain medium and is therefore more versatile — it was tested in February 2011, consuming blistering amounts of energy and burning through feet of raw steel.

The FEL will easily get into the kilowatt power range, experts say. It can also be easily tuned as well, to adjust to environmental conditions, another reason it is more flexible than the fixed wavelength of solid-state laser.

A Navy armed with laser weapons is in our immediate future.


Is The T710 Rugged Tablet The One You’ve Been Waiting For?

Glacier Computer T710

Our newest Rugged Tablet could be the mobility solution you’ve been waiting for.

Glacier T710

The T710 rugged tablet is completely sealed from dust and particulates and can withstand a water bombardment of 12.5 liters per minute from a nozzle. Dropping the unit, even from 6 feet, is well within warranty coverage and specifications.

It has a 10.4” touch screen display and all of the processing power and memory requirements necessary for most applications.

The T710 has plenty of I/O to become the managing resource for all of your data collection activities. Equipped with SOTI and Stay-linked you can be in complete control of your T710 fleet. Windows 7 remains our standard OS for the T710.

Download the T710 Data Sheet

Check out the entire line-up of Rugged Mobile tablets.