For the majority who aren’t aware, Back To The Future Day is upon us. Today’s the day where Marty McFly travels Back To The Future to help his future children.
Robert Zemeckis’ predictions of how the future would be almost 3 decades later aren’t all that inaccurate – other than the odd flying car and the take-off of the fax machine – so let’s look back to see what he got right.
In the film, Marty visits the clock tower to meet Doc Brown, who is holding a handheld computer of his own invention.
What We’ve Got Now
Microsoft can be credited as the true creators of the first tablet PC, and now we’ve got a wealth of portable tablet computers at our disposal. Whether you’re an iPad idoliser or a Surface Pro preacher, it’s hard to look around without seeing one of these handy gadgets lying around.
At the dinner table, Marty’s future kids can be found wearing headsets to make calls and watch TV. Who said being anti-social had to be difficult?
What We’ve Got Now
Back in 2013, Google launched Google Glass, a head mounted display with the aim to make truly wearable tech a reality. With companies such as Microsoft and Facebook investing huge amounts of time and money into the virtual and augmented reality spaces, it’s not unlikely to think that we’ll all be wearing them very soon.
Marty’s trainers were a rather futuristic invention – a pair of stylish kicks that held the ability to tie themselves.
What We’ve Got Now
We might still have to tie our own laces, but in 2011 Nike launched an eBay auction lasting just 10 days to sell a limited edition replica of the Nike MAGs, raising approximately $4.7 million for the Michael J. Fox Foundation – a charity in aid of Parkinson’s research. Although these trainers aimed to be a replica of the originals seen in the movie, they didn’t include power laces – everybody’s favorite feature.
Marty’s video call doesn’t go as swimmingly as he’d hoped, but being able to do business on a huge television whilst in the comfort of his living room has its upsides.
What We’ve Got Now
There are tons of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services out there. In this age, you’ve all probably heard of FaceTime, Skype or Hangouts. Most commonly used in the office for video conferencing or to communicate with long distance friends & family, Zemeckis’ prediction of video calls was on the ball.
If you ask people what comes to mind when talking about Back To The Future, you’re likely to hear one of two things – the DMC DeLorean and its flux capacitor, or hoverboards. So iconic was the hoverboard that several companies have tried (and, well, mostly failed) to recreate this impressive contraption.
What We’ve Got Now
Okay, so we aren’t really there yet for hoverboards, but one company called Hendo is currently working on it. Car company Lexus have also tried to produce their own hoverboard, based on Japan’s Maglev (magnetic levitation) Train, which uses superconductive magnets in the train to lift it off the ground and move it along a track. The downside to these two attempts? They both require magnetic surfaces to work, meaning we won’t be skating our way around town anytime soon.
When Biff gets arrested, the American news outlet USA Today sends out its own flying news camera, flying across the crowds in order to capture a clear image of the offender’s face.
What We’ve Got Now
Drones, or more specifically UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), are used widely in the military today, and drone strikes are the heart of huge controversy. Meanwhile, more civilised uses of these flying robots range from filming marathons to retrieving lost objects in hard-to-reach places. Hobby kits exist, and within the next few years drones will become incredibly affordable.
All that hoverboarding can make a time-travelling adventurer thirsty, and what better way to replenish that lost sugar with a strangely-shaped bottle of refreshing Pepsi Perfect.
What We’ve Got Now
Fortunately for us we don’t yet have to shut up a television in order to get a drink, but we’re also stuck with regular Pepsi. In celebration of Back To The Future Day, however, Pepsi has planned to release 6,500 limited edition bottles of Pepsi Perfect online. Guys…GUYS! All we want is a Pepsi.
We have some great news here at MeeCreative that we would like to share with you all. We are pleased to announce that our Creative Director, Liam has been shortlisted for the South Wales Young Entrepreneur of The Year award, pretty cool right? We thought so too!
As a result we thought it would be a nice idea to put him on the spot and have a quick Q&A with him about his life as a budding Entrepreneur.
So Liam, how old are you?
“Believe it or not I’m only 26 years old…I was getting into pubs at the age of 13. It was the unkempt beard of course!”
Where were you born?
“I was born in Merthyr Tydfil. A great little town (Don’t be fooled by Channel 4) in the heart of the welsh valleys.”
What is your current occupation (I already know but others may not)?
“I am the founder and Creative director at MeeCreative, responsible for managing busy schedules and sourcing new and exciting projects for the MeeCreative team. Also, I part time lecture product design at UWTSD (University of Wales Trinity St David), which is hugely rewarding when you see students flourish because it wasn’t all that long ago that I was in the same position as them.”
What course did you study at university and what qualification did you achieve?
“I studied BA Product Design at UWTSD back in 2007 when it was legendary named Swansea Institute (shenanigans down Wind St…oh they were the good ol’ days) and achieved the qualification of a First-Class honours.”
What inspires you?
“Mmmm, good question. I have a serious love and fetish for furniture so I have always looked upon the wacky work of Australian designer, Mark Newson. He experiments with materials and form to create pieces of furniture that are truly unique and original. The other people who inspire me daily are my staff – learning new methods and techniques to achieve outstanding results for our clients is something they do week in week out. They are a my biggest asset, they are all driven, professional and creative individuals with an energy that is inspiring. Without this team we would never be where we are today!”
What does it take to be a young entrepreneur in South Wales today?
“Personally I think it takes a lot of resilience, courage and perseverance; not everything goes as planned in business and sometimes the easy option is just to give up when things aren’t going as planned. You have to keep reaching for your goals and realise success doesn’t always come overnight. Setting small targets while subconsciously driving towards the larger vision is essential.”
What has been your biggest challenge so far in building your business?
“Initial start-up was always our biggest challenge here at MeeCreative. Trying to build the foundations and establishing yourself in a competitive discipline was difficult. We are in an industry where track record and a solid portfolio win you business; and of course when you start a design agency such as ours you have neither so you have to convince clients that you are the right choice. This was a great hurdle that we had to face but we did it!”
What is your top tip for young entrepreneurs just starting out?
“An army isn’t built around one individual. In business you need to armour yourself with the right support mechanisms. You can’t do it alone, so stop trying. In Wales we are lucky to have a lot of support from the Welsh Government but there are also very talented individuals that go unrecognised that can provide you with business support. We have a fantastic chairman here at MeeCreative – Barry Wanless – who keeps us in check, acting as a solid mentor and soundboard. The more people you talk your ideas and business objectives through with the better because conversations spark new ideas and new ideas open uncharted doors.”
The team at MeeCreative wish Liam the very best in the forthcoming awards. The ceremony will take place on the 11th of September at The Bear Hotel in Cowbridge, Cardiff. FINGERS CROSSED!
Since the late 1980s 3D printing has widely been used for Rapid Prototyping (RP), in which three-dimensional solid objects are printed rather than just ink to paper (we know who you are). Over the last few years many big names have adopted this change by replacing their original prototyping methods, or by including it as an element to the manufacturing process. 3D printers are so popular now that we have the capacity to print in over 200 materials, these include an array of plastics and metals.
With its continued rise in popularity, we are certain that 3D printing is to become one of the next top technologies. Here at MeeCreative, we are excited to improve our Rapid Prototyping services with the introduction of our new Ultimaker 2 3D printer. When comparing to a RP company, the raw material is significantly more expensive with almost 90% of it going to waste. However, using MeeCreative will allow for cheaper overheads with only necessary material being used.
So why use a 3D printer? Well, let’s explore a few reasons why!
Cheap to Manufacture
As previously said, 3DP is increasingly being used by a large number of big companies, an example of this being General Electrics (GE), which made a large investment to produce 85k fuel nozzles for the new Leap jet engines. By using 3D printers, GE were able to produce better nozzles which as a result are now stronger and lighter compared to ones made on a traditional assembly line. Companies moving away from traditional manufacturing methods are able to save up to 70% on manufacturing costs.
Another example of companies utilising 3D printing is Hershey’s. They recently partnered up with 3D Systems to create chocolate with very extraordinary shapes; this is to demonstrate how 3D technology and food can become mainstream. Although 3D food printing is nothing new, this clearly proves that theres scope for more innovative products on the market.
With 3D printers being able to manufacture most objects in a matter of hours, waiting a long time for end-product is slowly becoming obsolete. Faster production will lead to larger savings in on-demand manufacturing models and as a result, less material wasted.
Why need an entire warehouse filled with stock if you are able to create it all based on demand? Although this modal may not be as effective for large offline manufacturers due to their reliance on other offline retailers which often buy in bulk, this method can be most effective for an online business.
Uses for 3D Printing in the Medical Sector:
Opportunities To Combine
Combining a number of raw materials is not often possible in mass-manufacturing as it’s often too expensive due its complexity. Thanks to 3D printing this boundary has been removed, with a large number of companies now offering the look and feel of an array of materials, be it glass, ceramics or otherwise.
With more people becoming invested in this technology, it’s only a matter of time till we all have our own 3D printers at home (being able to create the product we require, at any given time). With that in mind, the fundamentals on how many supply chains operate, will be impacted upon and will have to adapt to said change; nonetheless it will be interesting to see how things pan out in the upcoming decade.
How Will 3D Printing Benefit Me?
At MeeCreative we have a team of experienced product designers to help bring your idea or concept to fruition. Using our in-house prototyping facilities we are able to take your concept from a digital 3D CAD Model and very quickly create tangible prototypes of your product, that can be tested and refined to ensure that the final solution is fully built for purpose.
Have an idea of a product you’d like to prototype without the hassle of waiting? Here at MeeCreative we’re able to create your prototype during the consultation process. Contact us today for all your 3D printing needs!