Despite some significant arrivals, 2016 also failed to deliver some long-awaited technologies. And some of what we eagerly ripped the wrapping paper off proved to be a letdown.
Here’s a rundown of the gifts IT didn’t get in 2016.
Professional-grade 3D printing
If you want to print out a stand for your phone or a model for a new product, you can easily find a 3D printer for the office that can do that — as long as you want to print them out in plastic. You can spend more and get a 3D printer that can UV cure resin and make small objects like custom-fit earplugs in about 10 minutes (I watched my ACS Custom in-ear monitor headphones get printed from digital scans of my ear canals earlier this year). Even HP’s $ 140,000 Multi Jet Fusion printers — promised for this year and offering multi-color printing — only just went on sale, and they still only print nylon. You can prototype a (plastic) circuit board with conductive ink circuits with the Voxel8 Developer Kit, as long as you pause the printing and add the chips by hand.
As Lord Kelvin almost said, “To measure is to know.” But this simple dictum is surprisingly hard to follow. For it really has two meanings.
The first meaning is obvious: You cannot really know about something without measuring it. If you want to know how quickly an application works, for instance, take some key functions of the application and measure how long they take. “Good performance” is defined by the function taking less time than the acceptable threshold, and poor performance is defined by the function taking more time.
CHRISTUS Health is a sprawling healthcare operation headquartered in Irving Texas, with primary acute care facilities in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Mexico, Chile and, coming soon, Colombia, as well as long-term care facilities in Georgia, Iowa, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. Lynn Gibson was brought in almost four years ago as CTO to help CHRISTUS gird for change, and Network World Editor in Chief John Dix recently stopped by his office to get his take on where they stand and what comes next.