Create a 3-D Selfie

Artec Group has launched the first 3-D scanning and printing service available at home. People that have the Microsoft Kinect for Windows or Kinect for Xbox 360 equipment can individually scan themselves, friends and family, upload the scan to and receive a 3-D figurine sent to their address. This isn’t a 3-D image—it’s a solid, 3-D figurine, like a miniature statue—looking just like you, only smaller.

The clone figurine can be delivered in monochrome or color and is 1/20th your actual height. It’s made of either white or multicolored plastic material and, if you are so inclined you can use your artistic skills to paint it. Give family clones to Dad and he can keep his mini-family on his desk.

3-D Scanning has never been as easy as with Shapify; just follow simple voice instructions to scan yourself in several minutes and to upload the 3-D scan of yourself to the print shop. Your clone figurine will be delivered to your home in several days.

Some cool cloning ideas include scanning your kids to make a gift for grandmother, or create your most unusual set of Christmas tree toys, or make a lineup of all your sports teammates… whatever you choose. It’s only limited by the imagination and is now available from your home. Way more hip than just another photo…

Would You Eat 3-D Printed Pasta?

I’ve been interested in 3-D printing for some time. It’s a fascinating technology and companies are just beginning to explore the implications. The Italian food corporation Barilla—which makes pasta—is experimenting with using a 3-D printer to create their pasta. At a minimum, this would reduce their costs by eliminating the need for large amounts of international shipping.

Barilla 3-D pasta printing

Barilla thinks their printer could create a pasta dish in just a few minutes. Since the printer lays down each layer individually, a custom design pasta noodle would take no longer than a simple fettuccine. At least initially, higher-end restaurants might be reluctant to use this type of pasta to replace their handmade in-house pastas.

Still, there’s something appealing about the idea of calling ahead to your Valentine’s Day dinner spot and arranging rose-shaped pasta noodles—at least for a geek like me.

Fireworks filmed with a drone

I was fascinated watching this video taken using a DJI Phantom 2 quad drone outfitted with a GoPro Hero 3 silver video camera while flying through the West Palm Beach, FL fireworks show. The quad drone was not damaged during the filming of this video.

What I Celebrate on July 4th

This is a reprint of the original article published by Steve Anderson on LinkedIn. Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”
Erma Bombeck

Happy 4th of July!

This week in the United States we have a uniquely American holiday celebrating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring our independence from Great Britain.

What I celebrate on this July 4th is the freedom I, and my family, enjoy today due to the sacrifice of so many men and women who came before us.

  • The men and women who fought hard during the Revolutionary War to bring the reality of the Declaration of Independence to life.
  • 150 years ago this same week, the bloodiest battle of the Civil War was fought in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where courageous men and women on both sides fought hard for their freedom.
  • My wife’s Uncle Russy was held in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during World War II helping to preserve our freedom.
  • My father was a carrier-based Navy fighter pilot in the South Pacific at the end of World War II doing his part.
  • My brother-in-law Peter Borsay was killed in May 1969 in Vietnam and is located at panel 23W, Row 25 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

And the list does go on.

It is easy to take for granted the hard work and sacrifice of so many who came before me. Even if you don’t live in the US, I hope you will pause sometime on this week to remember the sacrifice so many made in the past that makes the freedom we all experience every day possible.

  • I enjoy the freedom to pursue my passions.
  • I have enjoyed the freedom of watching my two little girls grow into amazing women and finding wonderful husbands.
  • I am beginning to understand the joy of our first grandchild.
  • I am enjoying the freedom of growing old with my wonderful wife of 38 years.

My own hometown of Franklin, Tennessee, celebrates Independence Day with Franklin on the 4th in the downtown square. Several blocks of Main Street will be closed so families can enjoy the music, arts, food, crafts, and of course a children’s parade (pets welcome!). Fireworks follow after dark.

Karen and I will walk downtown to enjoy the music, have some food, and watch families having fun together.

But maybe Erma Bombeck sums it up best that we celebrate our independence “with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.”

Happy 4th of July!

Capture 3-D Photos on your iPhone

Seene is a free app developed by tech company Obvious Engineering that uses “scene reconstruction technology” to give your iPhone the ability to capture 3-D photos.

The company claims this is the first software that allows your phone to make actual 3-D images. You can compose a shot just like you would a 2-D image, but must move around what you’re photographing, taking multiple shots, so the camera can capture it from different angles, adding depth to the picture. The software then compares distances from the different viewpoints, and builds a lifelike image.

The images are shareable; you can send image links, which are viewable in most browsers. At a minimum you need an iPhone 4S, and it appears that the application works much better on newer models.

This could be an interesting way for a producer to capture images at a client’s location. Or, perhaps, an adjuster capturing a 3-D image of the damage on a vehicle. Sending a link to that image would allow anyone to be able to see the damage from multiple views.

The Agency Management institute emphasizes value added, relevant and practical topics for all agency owners and managers, producers, CSRs, and company personnel. This institute blends marketing and financial issues, and more agency management “tools” to enhance the daily work and experiences in insurance agencies. Whether you are a manager or have a manager, you’ll benefit from the practical information this program delivers.

Date: July 17, 2014
Event: CIC Agency Management Institute
Sponsor: The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research
Venue: Double Tree Hotel Warren Place
Location: 6110 S. Yale Avenue
Tulsa, OK 74136
Public: Public

9 Steps to Perfecting Your Customer Lifecycle

Steve Anderson, LinkedIn Influencer
June 19, 2014

Consumers’ expectations are changing faster than ever. The way your organization markets and sells insurance products has changed more in the last few years than in the previous thirty. Insurance marketing and sales are being transformed right before our eyes.

The sales game has changed a lot. The marketing activities that insurance agencies have relied on for many years to obtain new clients and retain existing clients are not working as well as they have in the past.

Read the full article.