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15 Mar 2005
Bruce Sterling’s keynote at South by Southwest is always very popular and very entertaining. This year, his topics bounced around from chemical scanners in your shower to smoking his Converse sneakers (sort of).
At one point, he talked about Fabjects —fabricated objects designed on the computer and “printed” as a physical 3D object. The idea of dropping an object printer into remote locations is a powerful one. Sit at a computer in Oslo and design new parts for a water pump in the Australian Outback. Then click print.
To illustrate his point, he held a bunch of tiny Fabjects up, but they were too small to see for most of the audience. So Bruce tossed a little dinosaur into the audience and it slowly started circulating around. But then, two minutes later, the kid in front of me has a camerafone pic from flickr on his screen.
From virtual to physical to virtual again. Almost in real time.