Thursday, January 18, 2007

Nokia Aeon Wants to Be Touched

Posted on October 9th, 2006 by Johan in Cell Phones

Nokia Aeon Wants to Be Touched

The Nokia Aeon has a similar design to the Synaptics Onyx. The concept phone will feature a full surface touch screen display that replaces the traditional keypad. Its unique design gives this concept phone an extremely sleek and sexy look. Nokia should use some perfected material that doesn't leave fingerprints on Aeon's touch screen display; otherwise, you will probably spend half your time wiping it. Two more pictures after the jump!

Nokia and Scifi via Cell Phones

Nokia Aeon Wants to Be Touched

Nokia Aeon Wants to Be Touched



Monday, July 17, 2006

For CBS’s Fall Lineup, Check Inside Your Refrigerator

NYTimes: Published: July 17, 2006

IN September, CBS plans to start using a new place to advertise its fall television lineup: your breakfast.

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Ads for CBS’s shows will be etched on eggs sold at some grocery stores.

The network plans to announce today that it will place laser imprints of its trademark eye insignia, as well as logos for some of its shows, on eggs — 35 million of them in September and October. CBS’s copywriters are referring to the medium as “egg-vertising,” hinting at the wordplay they have in store. Some of their planned slogans: “CSI” (“Crack the Case on CBS”); “The Amazing Race” (“Scramble to Win on CBS”); and “Shark” (“Hard-Boiled Drama.”). Variations on the ad for its Monday night lineup of comedy shows include “Shelling Out Laughs,” “Funny Side Up” and “Leave the Yolks to Us.”

George Schweitzer, president of the CBS marketing group, said he was hoping to generate some laughter in American kitchens. “We’ve gone through every possible sad takeoff on shelling and scrambling and frying,” he said, adding, “It’s a great way to reach people in an unexpected form.”

Newspapers, magazines and Web sites are so crowded with ads for entertainment programming that CBS was ready to try something different, Mr. Schweitzer said. The best thing about the egg concept was its intrusiveness.

“You can’t avoid it,” he said. He liked the idea so much that he arranged for CBS to be the only advertiser this fall to use the new etching technology. •The CBS ads are the first to use imprinting technology developed by a company called EggFusion, based in Deerfield, Ill. Bradley Parker, who founded the company, wanted to reassure shoppers that egg producers were not placing old eggs in new cartons, so he developed a laser-etching technique to put the expiration date directly on an egg during the washing and grading process.

EggFusion, which was founded in 2001, started production last year with one egg company, Radlo Foods, which has since produced 30 million Born Free brand farm-raised eggs with etching. In May, EggFusion landed its first large grocery chain, A.& P., which will use the imprints on 400,000 America’s Choice conventional eggs sold each day in A.& P., Waldbaum’s, Food Emporium and Super Fresh stores from Connecticut to Maryland. Mr. Parker, whose family runs a chicken farm in North Carolina, knew that the way to get egg producers to cooperate was to make it worth their while. His answer was advertising on eggs.

“It’s unlike any other ad medium in the world, because you are looking at the medium while you are using it,” he says.

Egg producers, distributors and retailers all share in the ad revenue. EggFusion is selling the ads on its own, but plans to enlist the help of advertising agencies, company executives said.

As EggFusion sees it, consumers look at a single egg shells at least a few times: when they open a carton in the store to see if any eggs are cracked, if they transfer them from the carton to the refrigerator, and when they crack them open.

Mr. Parker said the destination of eggs was tracked so precisely that he envisioned being able to offer localized advertising, even aiming at specific ZIP codes, to promote events like local food festivals and concerts. He is setting aside a portion of the ads for charities, too, he said. The imprint is applied in the packaging plant, as the eggs are washed, graded and “candled,” or inspected for flaws, when the eggs are held by calipers and moved along a production line at 225 feet a minute. Right before an egg is packaged, laser light is applied to the shell, giving it the etching. Each imprint takes 34 milliseconds to 73 milliseconds, so the processing of eggs is not appreciably slowed down, Mr. Parker said.

The etching is ultrathin, to a depth of 50 to 90 micrometers, or 5 percent of the shell’s thickness. The imprint cannot be altered without breaking the shell, Mr. Parker said, in contrast to Europe, where ink is used to apply expiration dates on eggs.

“Ink is alcohol dye, so it can be wiped off. And ink splatters,” he said.

•A similar process to EggFusion’s has been used on a limited scale in the United States with fruits and vegetables, but mostly for replacing the price stickers used by grocers to track inventory and ring up an order.

It is not clear how commonly old eggs are placed in new cartons to appear fresher than they are. Repackaging is illegal, said Al Pope, president of the United Egg Producers industry group, and he says he believes it is rarely done. However, “If a consumer feels that having a date on the egg has some value, then it’s up to the consumer,” he said. “We believe in choices.”

Shaun M. Emerson, EggFusion’s chief executive, said: “I’m not sure you could ever know” how often repackaging old eggs occurs.

EggFusion has technicians assigned to each egg plant, and it owns the equipment and the freshness data, to ensure that no tampering occurs, the company’s executives said.

The eggs also carry a code that can be checked on a Web site,, to find out where the egg originated, the date it left the plant and the names of the distributor and retailer.

Both Radlo and A.& P. pay for the etchings — they will not say how much — but because A.& P.’s eggs will carry the CBS ads, it will also share in the ad revenue. But is egg-vertising an idea with staying power, or will the novelty expire after a few dozen bad puns?

“At this point it’s too early to tell,” Mr. Schweitzer of CBS acknowledges. “I think it’s like you know good ideas when you see them.”


Friday, August 05, 2005

Tattooed Fruit Is on Way


NY Times: Published: July 19, 2005

A pear is just a pear, except when it is also a laser-coded information delivery system with advanced security clearance.

And that is what pears - not to mention organic apples, waxy cucumbers and delicate peaches - are becoming in some supermarkets around the country. A new technology being used by produce distributors employs lasers to tattoo fruits and vegetables with their names, identifying numbers, countries of origin and other information that helps speed distribution. The marks are burned onto the outer layer of the skin and are visible to discerning consumers and befuddled cashiers alike.

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Sol Neelman for The New York Times

A new laser technology for labeling fruits and vegetables, designed by Durand-Wayland, Inc., is being put to work at Southern Oregon Sales, a pear distributor in Medford, Ore.

The process, government approved and called safe by the industry, may sound sinister. But it was designed with the consumer in mind: laser coding could mean the end of those tiny stubborn stickers that have to be picked, scraped or yanked off produce.

Sticker-removal duty took Jean Lemeaux of Clarksville, Tex., half an hour one day last week.

"I was picking all the little stickers from the Piggly Wiggly off my plums and my avocado pears and my peaches," said Ms. Lemeaux, 76. "Then I had to make fruit salad out of the ones that got hurt when I took the stickers off, and then I had to wash the glue off the other ones before I put them in the fruit bowl."

"One time," she said, "I got up the next morning and looked in the mirror and there were two of them up in my hair."

The stickerless technology has a broader purpose, too: it is part of the produce industry's latest effort to identify and track, whether for profit or for security, everything Americans eat. Since 9/11, the industry has been encouraged to develop "track and trace" technology to allow protection of the food supply at various stages of distribution. In addition, next year federal regulations will require all imported produce to be labeled with the country of origin.

The tattooed fruit is being sold in stores nationwide as other tracing methods are also being tested, like miniaturized bar coding and cameras with advanced recognition technology that can identify fruits and vegetables at the checkout counter. In Japan, apples have been sold with scannable bar coding etched into the wax on their skin. No one knows exactly when every piece of fruit will be traceable, but the trend is clear: Wal-Mart is already requiring all pallets delivered to its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark., to be fitted with radio frequency identification tags, so that they can be tracked by a satellite.

But the carrier of information about fruits and vegetables in America remains the tiny sticker called the P.L.U., for "price look-up." It is unpopular not just with consumers but with the industry itself.

"If they are sticky enough to stay on the fruit through the whole distribution and sales network, they are so sticky that the customer can't get them off," said Michael Hively, general manager of Bland Farms in Reidsville, Ga., the country's largest grower and packer of sweet Vidalia onions.

But apart from the occasional crate of locally grown produce, "most supermarkets no longer accept fruit and vegetables that are not stickered," said Francis Garcia, a vice president of Sinclair Systems in Fresno, Calif., a major manufacturer of the stickers and of the automated systems that blow them onto fruit at centralized packing houses.

To producers, the stickers are messy, expensive and inefficient. "The industry knows that the days of the P.L.U. sticker are numbered and that there will have to be new systems," said Don Harris, vice president for produce at Wild Oats, a national chain of markets, and chairman of the Produce Electronic Identification Board, an industry group. "Customers do not like them, and they don't hold enough information anyway."

In 2002 Durand-Wayland, a fruit grower and distributor in Georgia, bought the patent for a process that etches the price look-up number and any other information the retailer or customer might desire directly into the skin of the fruit. Greg Drouillard, who originally patented laser coding for produce and who now works for Durand-Wayland, said the process permanently tattoos each piece of fruit, removing only the outer pigment to reveal a contrasting layer underneath and make the tattoo readable, even scannable.

"With the right scanning technology the produce could even be bar-coded with lots of information: where it comes from, who grew it, who picked it, even how many calories it has per serving," said Fred Durand III, president of Durand-Wayland. "You could have a green pepper that was completely covered with coding. Or you could sell advertising space."

Bland Farms, the Vidalia grower, started using the technology this year, shipping laser-coded onions to customers including Wal-Mart and Publix. Sunkist has used it on oranges sold at Stater Brothers markets in California and is testing it on lemons, using blueberry-based ink to create greater contrast.

Henry Affeldt Jr., director of research for Sunkist, said the technology worked the same way lasers work in surgery, cutting and cauterizing almost simultaneously. The skin of fruit that has been etched with a laser is still airtight, Dr. Affeldt said, and the mark is as permanent as a tattoo.

Whether on a sticker or in a tattoo, the numbers serve a purpose. The Produce Marketing Association and the International Federation for Produce Coding have established global standards for the price look-up numbers associated with all produce. Four-digit numbers denote conventionally grown produce; five digits beginning with a 9, organic; five digits beginning with 8, genetically modified. A conventionally grown ear of corn, for example, may be marked 4078; an organic one, 94078; and a genetically modified one, 84078. The numbers can also vary with the size of the fruit: 3069 indicates a small Gravenstein apple, and 3070 a large one.

"When there was only one kind of apple at the supermarket it was easy," said Mr. Harris of Wild Oats. "But now at some markets you will have 12 different kinds of apples. You might even have lots of the same kind of apple: conventional Fuji, organic Fuji, fair trade. You can't expect cashiers to know them all, much less to recognize a cherimoya when they see one."

Ashley Little, who is working this summer as a checkout clerk in Great Barrington, Mass., agrees.

"When I started, I didn't know the difference between a Bartlett and a Bosc pear," she said. "How would I know that? But the customers would get very impatient."

But can laser coding and beautiful fruit bowls coexist?

"Anything that permanently changes the fruit is going to be a hard sell," Mr. Harris said, "especially to buyers of organic produce."

Students of still-life painting might agree. "For literally hundreds of years, artists have immersed themselves in the color and curvature of the perfect peach or apple," said Joseph Rishel, a curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art who specializes in Cézanne. "So a tattoo sounds like a desecration."

"But then again," Mr. Rishel said, "there are those who say that Cézanne himself used artificial fruit."

Whatever its advantages, the laser system is far from perfect. The blueberry-based dye Sunkist uses on lemons, for example, tends to run when exposed to moisture.

"Mother Nature isn't interested in making it easy for us to label her, I guess," Mr. Durand said. "If she was, all fruit would be red Delicious apples."


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Google Search: "patent infringement lawsuit"

Google Search: "patent infringement lawsuit"


Thursday, May 20, 2004

General Patent Scores Another Victory In Patent Enforcement Campaign

General Patent Scores Another Victory In Patent Enforcement Campaign