World’s first cuttable opaque spandrel glass cladding panel

April 22, 2009

Chromatics is the world’s first cuttable, totally opaque, coloured glass cladding panel. The organic elements used in the manufacturing process forming an intermolecularly bonded product that is a unique laminate of glass, colour layer and metal – not a toughened glass. It has a significantly greater resistance to thermal fracture than float glass, making it a much safer architectural product.

Developed in conjunction with Pilkington, Chromatics is suitable for both exterior and interior applications and is an integral component of monolithic panels, double glazed units, and rainscreen systems. It offers an unrivalled depth and consistency of panel colour across the entire RAL spectrum. In addition, for a totally stunning finish, any size of digital imagery, textural look, branding or corporate colour requirements can be precisely and durably reproduced. The Chromatics process does not cause roller wave distortion, pinholes or pigment and transparency variation.

Chromatics is shatterproof and resistant to extreme point impact. It is therefore ideal for external building applications, because even if broken under extreme circumstances, the panel will retain its integrity, remaining intact, waterproof and functional until replaced

It is possible in many applications to specify 4mm thickness rather than a conventional 6mm and potentially reduce the building’s glazing weight by a third. Where 4mm Chromatics is used, the total cost of the cladding can often be recovered through the savings made on reduced material usage in the building structure.

It is an environmentally considerate product too, being made from renewable resources and requiring much less energy to produce than toughened glass. Other environmental advantages with Chromatics are that it uses no paints with toxins or heavy metals during manufacture, is completely recyclable and is in every way designed to help meet the ever-increasing challenges of creating better insulated and more environmentally friendly buildings.

Unlike bespoke toughened ceramic-coated glass, Chromatics is a stockable product and can be cut and worked even after processing, saving weeks or possibly months when closing the building envelope.

“Give your fingers a rest”, advises editor

April 15, 2009

Barnaby Page of and is a highly-respected commentator on the latest developments in digital OOH and other new forms of communication. As such, he is perhaps better placed than most to comment on the latest internet craze/scourge, Twitter. With an elegantly argued case that there is a time and a place for Twittering, Barnaby is perhaps illustrating that, as a serious communications medium, Twitter is reaching – if not maturity – then at least a sober adolescence in the minds of media professionals.

Give your fingers a rest (1)

Barnaby Page – 06 Apr 09, 17:08 PM

With Screen Media Expo Europe nearly upon us, to all those sitting itchy-fingered in the conference rooms (you know who you are) I have just one polite request:


Trust me on this: there is nothing to be gained by Twittering conferences in real time, except the irritation of your followers and a spurious sense of “being first”.
Twitter is great for big, unpredictable events unfolding moment-by-moment – things like election nights, Windows reinstalls, soap opera Christmas specials. But when it comes to conferences, what those people who couldn’t attend really need is a thoughtful round-up of key points after the event, all accessible in one place. An article or an email or a blog post, in other words.
Being told what speaker X said five seconds ago, when you the Twitterer aren’t in any position to know whether it’s a trivial throwaway or the lead-in to an important revelation, is useless.
So just don’t do it. The world can wait.

Give your fingers a rest – Blog

Mizuho Bank Deploys Fujitsu Digital Signage

April 14, 2009


5 Apr 2009

Fujitsu Limited today announced that, starting this month, Mizuho Bank is rolling out its "Multi-Monitor Information Distribution System" across its bank branch network in Japan.

Providing customers with up-to-date financial product and market information, the MMIDS digital signage system is an end-to-end solution from Fujitsu. Mizuho have outsourced the complete management and operation of the system to Fujitsu’s outsourcing service.

Content is distributed to 1,400 large screen displays installed throughout the branch network. – Mizuho Bank Deploys Fujitsu Digital Signage

Tokyo stocks rebound on upbeat machinery orders, economic stimulus

April 12, 2009


From the Business › 09 April, 2009 12:14

TOKYO – Tokyo stocks rebounded Thursday morning with investors cheering better-than-expected Japanese machinery orders data and Japan’s plan to have the largest-ever spending in its fiscal 2009 supplementary budget.
The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average advanced 158.38 points, or 1.84 percent, from Wednesday to 8,753.39. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange was up 12.61 points, or 1.55 percent, to 827.87.
Gainers were led by glass and ceramics, machinery and real estate issues. Major losers included gas and electric, pharmaceutical and warehouse issues.
Tokyo stocks remained strong in the morning as a spate of good news came from the domestic front, starting with government data — released shortly before the market opened — that showed core private-sector machinery orders in Japan rose a seasonally adjusted 1.4 percent in February from the previous month to 728.1 billion yen.
”Tokyo shares were boosted by the machinery orders data after the results beat market expectations,” said Hiroichi Nishi, equities chief at Nikko Cordial Securities Inc.
The results compared with the average market forecast of an 8.1 percent drop in a Kyodo News survey.
Predictably, machinery issues came out strong. Among them, leading machine tool manufacturer Mori Seiki rose 54 yen, or nearly 6 percent, to 1,008 yen.
Construction issues like general contractor Obayashi, which gained 2 yen, or around 0.4 percent, to 495 yen, were also firm due to the Japanese government’s economic stimulus plans.
”Investors were hopeful about economic stimulus measures coming out amid media reports that the government is eyeing an extra budget that will involve actual fiscal spending of 15 trillion yen, the largest ever of this kind,” Nishi said.
The extra budget proposal comes as the government and ruling bloc are set Friday to finalize a fresh stimulus package for the coming three years, to be financed partly by the supplementary budget.
Brokers said Thursday’s rise in stocks was also helped by an optimistic market mood owing to the Cabinet Office data released Wednesday showing that business confidence among workers with jobs sensitive to economic trends in Japan improved for the third straight month in March.
Turning to overseas factors, which usually sway the Tokyo market, Nishi said investors were heartened by a rebound in U.S. stocks Wednesday partly in response to a Wall Street Journal report saying Washington will use public money to bail out struggling life insurers.
On the First Section, advancing issues outnumbered declining ones 1,247 to 328, with 119 others ending the morning unchanged.
Morning value leader Toyota Motor advanced 70 yen, or nearly 2 percent, to 3,820 yen. Investors were encouraged by the automaker’s launch of its new Prius gasoline-electric hybrid car in May as the world’s most fuel-efficient gasoline-using car at a time the government plans to offer subsidies for purchases of hybrid and other energy-saving cars.
Banking shares were mixed, but volume leader Mizuho Financial Group edged up 1 yen, or 0.5 percent, to 200 yen, as pessimism about the global financial sector eased.
Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group fell 1 yen, or 0.2 percent, to 487 yen, after its key brokerage arm, Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Co., said Wednesday an employee sold the personal data of more than 49,000 customers to three dealers of personal data lists.
Trading volume on the main section came to 951.13 million shares, down from Wednesday morning’s 1,164.28 million.
The TSE’s Second Section index was up 6.77 points, or 0.37 percent, to 1,857.51 on a volume of 19.77 million shares. On the Osaka Securities Exchange, the near-term June Nikkei 225 index futures contract was up 190 points to 8,770.
© 2009 Kyodo World News Service

Tokyo stocks rebound on upbeat machinery orders, economic stimulus – The Black Ship: Japan News and Forum

See me, hear me, touch me

April 10, 2009

As reported in rAVe Europe

Gartner Research analysts predict HD based video meeting solutions will replace 2.1 million airline seats annually. Speaking at the annual Gartner Predicts 2009 briefing, Gartner Fellow Steve Prentice said, "The challenge of the current economic conditions demands that every organisation revisit the need for face-to-face meetings."

He went to tell the audience “… there is no doubt that Telepresence and other approaches to virtual collaboration such as Immersive Workspace, which is built on top of Second Life, or yet to be released solutions will provide a real alternative for many businesses. Companies should put aside previous prejudices and bad memories of older video-conferencing services and seriously investigate these new technologies."

As rAVe editor Gary Kayye notes, Gartner is… “powerful enough in the IT industry that their predictions can actually accelerate processes already in action.” However, much like the “Digital Signage Revolution” that took a decade to actually get going, while the idea is sound, reality has yet to catch-up with the vision.

The technology behind telepresence has come a long, long way from the clumsy and expensive ISDN systems of yesteryear. I can remember being involved in a videoconference meeting with some colleagues in Dubai many years ago. Once we totalled –up the cost of renting the equipment and the phone lines, it would have been cheaper to actually fly there!

With the advent of cheap, high-speed data transfer over IP networks, we now have a practical technology infrastructure to build workable systems upon. And I think Gartner’s predictions of a future in which virtual meetings are commonplace are essentially correct. But we are still a long way from finding the right medium for that form of communication.

Total immersive workspaces are really the Holy Grail of telepresence. Second Life showed early promise, but I can’t really visualise the CEO of a major corporation chairing a board meeting dressed as a Goth. It seems that the business world shares my views, with many big names reportedly scrapping their Second Life presences.

No, I think the future lies in a technology that allows people to interact naturally – with the technology (or technologies) providing an invisible layer in between. There have been some interesting experiments that predict some of the forms that telepresence might take, such as the virtual CEO addressing a shareholders meeting in Melbourne last year via an HD video link and some clever projection.

But it’s in the realms of personal virtual interaction that the real interest lies. There are some really exciting experiments being done by many companies, including Microsoft, who are working on a revolutionary form of interactive display called Touchlight that allows telepresence users to see and hear each other naturally, and even swap documents and virtual objects by “passing” them to each other. Read more about Touchlight here.

So – telepresence? yes I think it’s inevitable; and when it does arrive it will have an impact on business and personal communications equal to that of email and the internet. Some time soon? maybe not.


UK industry shows signs of life as PMI decline slows – Telegraph

April 2, 2009

The UK manufacturing sector showed unexpected signs of revival last month, with activity at its highest level since the global downturn intensified in October.

By Angela Monaghan
Last Updated: 10:04PM BST 01 Apr 2009

UK industry shows signs of life as PMI decline slows

UK industry shows signs of life as PMI decline slows Photo: GETTY IMAGES

The closely watched manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), which combines orders and output levels in British factories, jumped to 39.1 in March, up from 34.9 in February. Some economists said it could prove to be the turning point in the UK recession.

It was the highest level since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September last year, which triggered a meltdown in financial markets, the near-collapse of several financial institutions, and the part nationalisation of some of the UK’s biggest banks. Anything below the 50 mark on the PMI represents a contraction in activity, but the pace of decline last month slowed at a faster rate than predicted by economists, who had expected the index to remain unchanged at February’s lower level.

Neville Hill, director of European economics at Credit Suisse, said the improvement should translate into a smaller contraction of second-quarter gross domestic product, compared with steeper falls in the fourth quarter of 2008 and first quarter of this year. He said it was a sign that "incredibly loose UK monetary conditions may finally be starting to gain some traction on the real economy". Colin Ellis at Daiwa Securities SMBC Europe agreed that the first quarter of 2009 could prove to the "nadir of the recession" in the UK.

However, others warned against excessive optimism, including Benjamin Williamson at the Centre for Economics and Business Research. "Whilst today’s data shows a big move in the right direction, it is still some way below the neutral mark of 50, meaning that in all likelihood the sector will continue to contract," he said.

Nevertheless the improvement will be welcomed by Gordon Brown as the spotlight falls on London and the G20 summit. The sharp UK rebound was not reflected in equivalent figures from the eurozone, also published on Wednesday. There manufacturing PMI came in at 33.9 in March, just a slight improvement on February’s all-time low of 33.5. The UK PMI is now at its highest level relative to the European equivalent since comparable figures began in 1997.

Separately, figures from the Bank of England showed that a record £8bn of mortgages were paid off in the final three months of 2008, as homeowners turned their backs on the pre-recession trend of equity withdrawal to fund spending.

UK industry shows signs of life as PMI decline slows – Telegraph

Japanese team invents video paint

April 1, 2009

April 1 2009 – Tokyo: A team from one of Tokyo’s leading technology institutes has announced a completely new form of digital display technology that looks set to revolutionise the way information is displayed electronically.paint

Professor Kenjiro Shigatsubaka and his team from the Kichijoji Institute of Digital Ultrachromatics (KIDU) presented the new technology at a small private gathering of academics at an undisclosed venue in West Tokyo. Professor Shigatsubaka’s new technique employs a revolutionary liquid polymer that is excited by an electric charge to alter its appearance.  Molecules within the compound can present either a transparent aspect or a semi-opaque one depending on the electrical charge applied to it. By creating versions of the polymer using cyan, magenta and yellow pigments, a substrate capable of displaying a full spectrum of colours can be built-up in layers by applying several coats of the “paint”. The substrate is excited by a electric charges in the X and Y axes, which interact with each other to create complex interference patterns. By controlling these interference patterns, Professor Shigatsubaka is able to create a moving image using the polymer substrate. The effectiveness of the technique was demonstrated to an astonished audience by a junior member of the team donning white overalls and painting a moving picture onto what appeared to be just a plain white wall.

“We still have some way to go to perfect the technology,” conceded Professor Shigatsubaka. “Inertia within molecules limits the bandwidth we are able to achieve t present and results in some artefacts in fast-moving images. However the technique is already good enough for most applications and we are confident of being able to improve performance dramatically in the future.”

Professor Shigatsubaka is convinced that his invention will transform the built environment in the 21st century. “For the first time everybody will have complete freedom to change the environment they live in with the touch of a button. If you want to watch TV on the ceiling, relax in a forest grove or even in outer space, you can do so as easily as changing channel on TV,” he said. “From now on, the chore of decorating will be a thing of the past,” he continued, adding that hitherto menfolk will be free to enjoy restful and guilt-free Bank Holidays and Sundays.

The markets have been quick to react to the news: Leisure groups such as golf clubs saw big gains, as did paint manufacturers. DIY stores however were hit hard as the implications of a world freed from the curse of the “quick makeover” became widely recognised.

Laurence Llewellyn Bowen was unavailable for comment last night.