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OM in the News: WSJ’s Technology Innovation Awards for 2012

October 17, 2012

My favorite issue of The Wall Street Journal (Oct.16, 2012) is the one that announces the technology innovation awards for the year: Treatment for tuberculosis in India; A thermostat that programs itself; A lifting device that could help cut workplace injuries; A tsunami barrier that automatically deploys when destructive waves approach; A sports headphone that sends sound waves through your cheek bones, and does not block out important background noises. Here are the 3 top winners out of 536 applications.

Printechnologics is the Gold winner for its Touchcode technology which enables publishers, consumer-product companies, event promoters and others to include invisible codes on printed items that can be read instantly on any device with a touch screen. The codes can link to videos, games, recipes or just about any other online feature; a concert ticket printed with Touchcode could take you to a clip of the performer singing, for instance. A user only needs to place the printed item on the screen of a tablet or smartphone and the invisible code immediately connects to the online content.

Pure Storage Inc. won the Silver award for a data-storage system that uses flash memory instead of disk drives to hold information in corporate data centers. FlashArray storage systems sell for roughly the same as comparable disk storage, while delivering 10 times faster speeds, taking up one-tenth the space and using one-tenth the energy. That means companies can run complicated data-analytics programs more quickly and on larger databases than is possible with disk storage systems.

The bronze winner is Vidacare Corp. whose OnControl Bone Marrow System eases that pain  of a bone-marrow biopsy. OnControl bores like a household drill into the space inside the bone. When the device reaches the correct point in the bone for the sample, changes in resistance and how the motor sounds offer cues for the doctors. It’s  faster, less painful,  and more precise.

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