News & Trends Impacting High-Tech & Electronics

it’s a beautiful day in GOOGLE’S neighborhood

Toronto spells the site of Google parent company Alphabet’s planned $50 million high-tech neighborhood. Sidewalk Labs—Alphabet’s urban-innovation arm—will develop 12 acres of the city into a high-tech urban environment called Quayside.

While the details aren’t yet finalized, a hint at what’s to come may be Sidewalk Labs’ previous discussions about how many technological advancements—machine learning, smart sensors, self-driving cars, high-speed internet—could be used to build a community that truly belongs to the future.

CE manufacturing: Roadmap to success

To succeed in the extremely competitive consumer electronics (CE) space, manufacturers and OEMs need to create a supply chain roadmap that includes:

Collaboration. Increased collaboration and integrating data with retail stores in real time is gaining significance as a means to sense and shape demand.

Risk management. Investing in data integration, business intelligence capabilities, KPI tracking ability for suppliers, and event tracking capabilities will ensure swift responses to change.

Planning. Manufacturers need to be agile and flexible, ready to expand and grow their supply and manufacturing networks in an environment that does not allow accurate forecasting.

Reverse logistics & sustainability’s economic value will create more stringent methods of evaluating vendors and suppliers.

Social media’s growth impacts how demand for consumer electronics is generated, and makes it possible for manufacturers to monitor that demand.

Digital supply chain. How CE manufacturers respond to innovations in the way digital content is delivered will decide competitiveness and growth.

SOURCE: Wipro Limited

A Zero-Waste phone

Electronics such as smartphones make up about 70 percent of the toxic waste in landfills, but University of British Columbia researchers may have taken a significant step toward the zero-waste cellphone. They created a process to separate fiberglass and resin, materials that are typically incinerated or tossed into a landfill after the metals have been harvested. In landfills, these components cause issues as they leach chemicals into the groundwater and soil.

The researchers have partnered with recycling company Ronin8 to try and develop a large-scale commercial model of the process. If successful, the technique could not only greatly reduce e-waste, but one day eliminate electronics waste altogether.

—David Mantey for Thomas

5 BLOOMING high-tech industries

These five industries are predicted to have an increase in growth in 2018, according to Entrepreneur.

1. eDiscovery software. Identifies, collects, and produces electronically stored information, including emails, social media, documents, and presentations.

2. Virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI). Industries such as healthcare, marketing, and education are investing in VR devices for their offices. AI devices—think drones—have gone from use in the military to use in all industries.

3. Food trucks. The rapid growth of not-so-high-tech mobile cuisine businesses is likely to continue as more people enjoy the diversity and convenience.

4. Autonomous vehicles. Manufacturers such as Toyota, Honda, Volvo, and BMW are working to perfect autonomous vehicle software. Interest from the public and rideshare services puts on the pressure.

5. Solar energy. Building and homeowners see solar panels as the most efficient and affordable clean energy source. Experts hope the clean energy sector will see a boom in business because of the increase in customer demand and declining prices.

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