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April 17th, 2014

Recent research into the cost of updating old mainframe programs indicates that it is a significant contributor to IT debt, and a possible drag on our global digital future. The study, conducted by technology consultants Vanson Bourne across the dynamic high-tech industries of Australia and New Zealand, has implications for the U.S. and every high-tech nation, as well as those still working to modernize. Roughly 10 percent more debt is expected to be piled on over the next five years.

The study concluded that the average firm would need $8-10 million to update aging mainframe applications, a 40-50 percent increase over the May 2012 figure, and the increases are accelerating. For companies relying on mainframes these upkeep costs are not optional, and must be justified as “worthy investments”. With the growing power of even a basic computer rental, is there really a need for these “enterprise legacy technologies” in the world of small, mobile, wireless, and distributed?

Where To?

The study indicated that the average tech firm expects to use mainframe applications for another 10 years, with nearly half expecting it to be even longer. This points out the longevity of mainframe applications versus the regularly updated OS you get when you rent iMac, but long life presents other problems, like funding these large, energy-thirsty, expensive systems in the first place. Some 7 of 10 CIOs believe they’re running into compliance and/or risk situations in the meantime.

The report clearly forecasts a coming era—flush with every wireless gizmo and even wearable technology—where businesses simply must find a way to pay for fundamental changes or lose out on business growth, new product R&D, and the obtention of new customers. It is not inappropriate to point out, too, that recently divulged reports on NSA/CIA/FBI spying have raised general concerns about large, eminently hackable computer databases full of our private information. We will come back to that subject soon, but for now it bears mentioning as yet another result of “big for big’s sake.”

It Will Be a Challenge

A solid majority (72 percent) of survey respondents admitted the difficulty of transitioning mainframe applications to mobile devices. One major problem is the sheer number of platforms, especially in a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment, where an iPad rental and a Chromebook PC need entirely different solutions. And Google Glass is on the way!

The best approach? Knowing your employees—and customers. Customer needs are forcing the changes coming into existence now. A full third of report participants are transitioning their mainframe applications into more modern languages (to work with our MacBook Pro rental and every other OS). Interestingly, a quarter of respondents are finding some success replacing legacy applications with “off-the-shelf solutions,” although many are less than ideal. We expect the majority of firms to take their mainframe applications to every device and OS that their customers use. We’ll keep you posted!

Don’t want to get bogged down with extensive technology upkeep and upgrade costs at your organization?  CRE Rentals offers the technology items that you need to effectively run your business today, and you won’t have any of the anxiety associated with making large, and limiting,  technology purchases.   Put our inventory and expertise to work for you.   Get a quote now or give us a call at 877-266-7725

April 10th, 2014

Oculus RiftFacebook is buying Oculus VR, the maker of the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset, for around $2 billion. This is a fact—as opposed to much of the hype about the purchase,  and the product itself. Recently, Sony announced its own headset, dramatically named Project Morpheus, so the momentum is building for “the breakthrough” that has been decades in the making. It’s time for a reality check on virtual reality.

The challenges now are legion. The public sees VR headsets as “gamer gear,” so Facebook will need to merge the technology into its huge (and still growing) social space. In an investor call after the purchase announcement, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke of “sharing not just moments [but] entire experiences and adventures. Oculus,” he opined, “has the potential to be the most social platform ever.”

A Call for Clarity

In a statement reminiscent of Apple’s reactions to rumors about our original iPad rental, one PCWorld.com columnist went so far as to say, “Everything you’ve heard about the Oculus Rift is wrong.” Brad Chacos thinks the Oculus Rift is “a groundbreaking, affordable virtual reality headset,” but the public has “a skewed picture.” He lists five top “inaccuracies,” but two deal with Kickstarter funding and the Oculus SDK (Software Developers Kit). The other three points, however, are crucial to clarity here.

Not Just For Games: The “early software” for the Rift, or any other VR headset, will focus primarily on games and other diversions. But Zuckerberg did not buy Oculus to make shoot-’em-ups more realistic. Like Steve Jobs with the iMac, he “sees the future” and aims for it. What might he see? One simple example: Bossa Studios’ Surgeon Simulator is a game today, but delete the horror-movie elements and tomorrow it could be part of a medical school curriculum.

Not Ready for Primetime: The Oculus Rift can be purchased at the company’s website. The firm has sold some 75,000 of them since March 2013, but the “product” is not a finished consumer product, but a developer’s kit to help you create VR software. There is no date set for a consumer-ready device, and when one debuts, it will require the horsepower of a CRE computer rental. Until power requirements are reduced to work with tablets and smartphones, the VR social “dimension” will remain constricted.

Not the Only Game in Town: With Facebook’s clout (and cash), Oculus—which will operate “semi-autonomously” like recent acquisition WhatsApp—often appears to be the only VR company around. CRE agrees with PCWorld.com’s Chacos that you should keep an eye on a “wide range of companies [that] are developing virtual and augmented reality headsets…including game-industry heavyweights like Sony (of PlayStation fame) and Valve (creators of the Steam PC gaming platform).” We know you’re busy, so we’ll keep an eye out for you—and so, as we like to conclude, we will keep you posted!

CRE Rentals  keeps you informed on future technologies while continuing to provide the technology that  you need to get your projects finished today.  If you’re looking for the new Mac Pro…we’ve got it!  Give us a call today to find out about all of products and services. 877-266-7725

April 3rd, 2014

Classic Arcade Watch

Arcade WristwatchSince the Apple iWatch is an “official rumor” awaiting the mere technicality of the Cupertino firm’s own announcement, industry observers have already moved on to wondering about the competition (and it’s not just Samsung). There will be doubtless  scores of lookalike iCounterfeits, as well as watches running on Android and other mobile OS flavors. But something tells us that the Classic Arcade Wristwatch is going to have a corner on the 1980s arcade game look.

For telling time, the bitmap display (good ol’ pixelated B&W) shows a large comet (hour hand), a small comet (minutes), and a rocket ship (seconds). The small joystick is nonfunctional, but the “Fire” button results in screen flashes and appropriate sound effects. The detail work is very good, and it’s definitely more of a conversation-starter than, say, our iPad rental. Still, this is a true niche product: not just for geeks, but retro ones.

Nothing Succeeds Like Excess

American pen maker Cross once had a pretty tight grip on the premium pen market in the U.S. Graduations, promotions, and other commemorative events would spike their sales year after year. Today there’s a huge supply of pens that can cost as much as our MacBook Pro rental. As one example, the Monteverde One Touch Engage Retractable Ink Ball Pen, a premium pen at a premium price, does offer some usefully simple features, like doubling as a stylus for touchscreens.

Like a Mont Blanc pen, this model from Monteverde fairly oozes class. Built of carbon fiber and other primo components, the One Touch has Monteverde’s ultra-cool retractable rollerball (unscrew the tip and behold!), as well as a fountain pen’s ability to suck up any ink and make it work. Substantial without being heavy, with a reportedly “sublime” on-paper feel, the One Touch is as futuristic as our new Mac Pro rental, as well built as a Swiss watch, and as classy as a pen can be.

Plugged… or Mugged?

Girl Plugged InThe Sensory Fiction project at MIT, with no trace of irony, is using The Girl Who Was Plugged In by James Tiptree Jr. as its initial foray into “multimedia reading.” To experience Sensory Fiction, you wear a high-tech harness equipped with a scanner that reads encoded directions to dial up coldness or warmth and adjusts built-in LEDs to establish time or mood. Vibrating mechanisms affect the heart rate while an airbag compression system loosens and tightens around the torso. And it all follows the story’s plot.

“Traditionally,” the Sensory Fiction project objective states, ”fiction creates and induces emotions and empathy through words and images… Sensory Fiction [conveys] plot, mood, and emotion while still allowing space for the reader’s imagination.” Leave space, too, for those words and images that, when wielded by the sort of skilled creatives who use CRE render farms, bring you that “emotions and empathy” stuff.

Not sure about a high-tech harness that tightens around your torso?…we’re with you on that one.  For today’s technology rental needs your best source is CRE Rentals.  Interested to know about our products and services?  Give us a call today 877-266-7725

March 27th, 2014

Among the biggest and oldest bottlenecks in the computerized workplace are the aging input methods, specifically keyboards, mice, and trackpads. With tablets, and even our LCD touchscreen monitor rental, yet another input method is now available: Various finger moves and combinations on a trackpad or touchscreen will run your hardware and software. It’s a whole new dimension of “hands-on control.” Well, perhaps not so new anymore, as there are new products advancing an entirely different paradigm.

Gesture Glove…Coming to a Cubicle Near You

Now, from the inventive world of the gamers, comes another input device that offers hands-off control. The technology revolving around the Nintendo Wii, Sony PS4, and Microsoft’s own Xbox One (which is catching up to the PS4 in the sales race) has led to the development of the Gesture Glove (Gesture Glove Mouse and Air Mouse Glove in some markets) by Japanese firm Thanko Co., Ltd. A 2.4GHz wireless radio (Bluetooth) connects the device to just about anything:

  • Android and iOS tablets;
  • PCs running Windows XP SP2, Vista, 7, and 8; and
  • Macintoshes running OS X 10.5 or later.

Gesture GloveAs it is based on technology that has thus far been used for games, and not productivity software (or even handy-dandy tablet apps), there has been some resistance to the Gesture Glove. It looks a bit clunky and it does take getting used to unless you’ve been using a similar game-controller. The moves you learn for Microsoft Office on a PC will work just as well with Office for Mac on our MacBook Pro rental. Controlling media files for volume, playback, etc., is also a learn-once, apply-everywhere proposition.

A simple wave of your hand (your right one, as there is no “left hand” model) initiates control of the on-screen cursor. A device wrapped around the glove’s index finger has two buttons for invoking right and left clicks with your thumb. Finally, a pause button is on the underside of the button device. Fact is, you can get a lot done with just a few moves and gestures.  The integrated USB charger provides 12 hours of use after one hour of charging. Like most Bluetooth devices, it has a maximum range of about 30-40 feet.

A Crowded Field… for Now

The new Gesture Glove is based on a design project by Google and is an exclusive offering from what is known as Japan’s “rare things shop,” the Thanko firm. Its compatibility with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android makes it a broad-based peripheral anyone can use. Plenty of other companies are jumping into this market too. As the technology progresses, and better and better glove controllers (and other new input devices) are developed, we’ll be back to update you!

While CRE does not currently stock the Gesture Glove we do have the latest and greatest technology, including Mac Pro, wifi arrays and HD 4k monitor.  Let us solve your technology rental needs by calling today 877-266-7725 or simply Contact Us.

 

March 20th, 2014

Lately the tech media has been full of stories about Microsoft’s Xbox vs. Sony’s PS4, the advent of cheaper phones, cable company mergers, and Internet security. There is so much happening at times that it’s hard to know what to focus on every week. We thought we’d take this opportunity to mention a few other important developments, ones that deal with practical, everyday tech that everyone can use and benefit from. In no particular order, then, here are some recent headlines you may have missed:

• Latest iOS 7.1 Release Features CarPlay

Apple iOS 7Apple’s most recent update to iOS, 7.1, is a freebie that fixes a hefty collection of bugs and brings some thoughtful touches to Siri (now that other firms are releasing talking helpers). The headline-worthy news, though, is the CarPlay interface, debuted at the Geneva Auto Show. Apple fans will likely love it, although the critics are already picking it apart. We shall see!

• Amazon Increases Prime Membership Rate

Not long ago Amazon acquired the movie catalog of Lovefilm, some 70,000 titles, and pundits predicted it would lead to an increase in Amazon Prime membership. They were right; price has gone up by $20 for an annual membership. Members can access Amazon and use their membership benefits from any MacBook Pro, PC laptop, iPad rental, or even a smartphone, but number-crunchers are debating the value of the membership. It will be interesting to see what happens, since this is one of Amazon’s core business models.

Valve Shows Off Steam Controller Upgrades

Spokesmen for Valve, the upstart console maker, stated at January’s Steam Dev Days game developer conference that the company was considering “major changes” to the Steam controller. Steam Gaming ControllerThis latest iteration of the device is meant to move Steam users from the bedroom to the living room. The 2013 prototype had a central touchscreen and four hard-to-reach front buttons, with main control triggers and “paddles” on the unit’s backside. Traditional controller design is evidently back in favor, with two diamond-shaped button layouts almost identical to the Xbox or PS4—and the touchscreen, used to great advantage on tablets, laptops, and our own LCD touchscreen monitor rental, was determined to be overkill. Those big, round, high-resolution touchpads—don’t they look like speakers?—are still the major user interface.

What Do We Know About iOS 8?

Just a quick mention: Chinese website Weibo claims to have obtained leaked screenshots of  iOS 8, Apple’s next mobile operating system. The images show some expected changes—the new Healthbook app, for instance—but there are also three unexpected additions: Preview, Tips, and TextEdit. The authenticity of the images are now being debated.

One thing that is not up for debate are CRE’s excellent service and customer commitment. We continue to rent the latest technology equipment from Mac Pro to 4K HD monitor for entertainment production offices to corporate events. Want to learn more about our products and services? Call us at 877-266-7725.

February 27th, 2014

Although it’s gaining in recognition, wearable technology is often misconstrued as simply a small fashion niche of pretty but impractical “tech-looking” clothes, jewelry and other personal bling. Now here comes Fujitsu with a true high-tech glove that enters the production side of the equation by outfitting the glove with Bluetooth for wireless communication. It also interprets hand gestures. And these capabilities are geared toward work, whereas other gloves will use the same technology for game control. (And that’s okay!)

Launching sometime “next year,” the glove comes with a head-mounted monitor that displays input from the glove sensors via Bluetooth. (Conceivably, you could direct a signal to a MacBook Pro rental, too.) The glove will recognize whatever wireless components are touched, and display any info they are putting out. In addition to offering tremendous efficiencies in production, construction, and other industries, the glove is also the practical solution for people working while they wear other gloves. Fujitsu’s glove enables more work in more places.

iWatch – Really?

Rumors are flying about the Apple watch, dubbed the “iWatch” by almost everyone, and the unique, “futuristic” charging methods being contemplated. Of course, according to Apple, the product doesn’t exist, but some rumormongers suggest that Apple’s nonexistent watch will have inductive charging, introduced last year on such smartphones as Google’s Nexus 4 and Nokia’s Lumia 920. After all the R&D the firm has put into battery technology since CRE first stocked an iPad rental, Apple should be able to engineer a smart watch with smart power.

Multiple sources report that Apple is also looking at additional ways of charging the iWatch (and our Mac Pro rental, and every other iOS or OS X device). One smart way is to use inductive charging, which produces electromagnetic fields from a base charging unit that are picked up by the device. But that’s not all: Other ideas range from solar cells beneath the displays to simple, straightforward kinetic charging. The latter is already used on various products, and the Power Pocket is yet another piece of wearable tech that uses kinetic energy to charge phones.

Sweet Technology

Wherever that point is, where love of technology meets love of candy, more and more people seem to be finding it with 3D printers. At CES 2014 there were a couple of candy-centric 3D printers, the ChefJet and the ChefJet Pro. The entry-level model is a bit smaller and produces only monochromatic treats, but the ChefJet Pro makes colorful eats. Both create chocolates and other confections in shapes nearly impossible with regular baking/cooking methods. The Pro model can also create edible images in “photo quality” for use on cakes or other confections. Just remember: You are what you eat!

CRE knows a sweet deal, which we offer on everything from render farms for production pros to a video wall at your next conference, composed of sharp, crystal clear monitors. When you are ready to get your own sweet high-tech gadgetry, contact us or give us a call at 877-266-7725.

January 30th, 2014

We end each year by looking forward to the coming year’s tech advances, and making educated guesses about what the next generation of, say, CPUs, touch technology and “3D everything” is going to be like. In late 2012, we touted four particular technologies as being “ready for primetime” in 2013. How’d we do? Let’s take a look.

Games Console Fight Still Rages

Eighth-generation game consoles were on deck for 2013, and we noted that Nintendo’s Wii U had already “rolled out…to a positive reception.” We figured that Microsoft and Sony would play catch-up with the Xbox One (initially “720″) and the PS4. All contenders bring top specs to the fray, but with different strengths and weaknesses. So who won 2013? For the year, Sony sold 4.2 million PS4 units worldwide, while Microsoft moved 3 million Xboxes. It might be the fabulous PS4 graphics—it can support 4000 x 2000 pixels, in the super-screen league with the Retina display on our MacBook Pro rental.

Flexible Touch: Still Growing

Last year, flexible touch-sensitive films were being touted for use in every imaginable product. Future generations of our touchscreen LCD monitor rental could be curved since, as we explained a year ago, the flat, solid, precisely positioned sensors on a smartphone or iPad rental ”represent but one application of touch technology.” Flexible sensors are showing up all over—even on “refrigerators [and] auto dashboards,” as we’d surmised. Progress in this niche will continue, quietly, as will the transition to a touch-enabled world.

3D: Now It’s Getting Embarrassing

Last year we joked that 3D’s much heralded (and overhyped?) immersive realism was supposedly irresistible—”back in 2009 when Avatar was released.” Since 3D has long been an accepted element of “TV, movies, the web, games and even tablet/smart phone apps,” it is a bit surprising that, once again, nothing in the 3D niche grabbed headlines, went viral, or stirred much interest in 2013. Pros still go for the Apple Cinema Display rentals and the Retina-level screens for detailed, color-correct graphics work—not a 3D monitor or a holographic display (coming soon!). Only one thing is certain: Figure out how to get people to buy into 3D and you can name your price.

14 Nanometer Production Delayed a Year

Research on both kinds of memory (logic memory, for CPUs, and storage memory) made great progress in 2013, promising Xserve RAID arrays in the petabyte range and the debut of the ”next generation of microprocessor technology” from Intel, featuring a 14nm manufacturing process. Smaller, faster transistors on smaller chips saves energy, space, and time. Unfortunately for this scientific and engineering advance, it was more challenging to implement than anticipated, and hit with continuing delays. Intel only began “ramping” new production this past November, a year late. Rick Merritt reported then in EETimes that Intel did not “appear to have any hot smartphone products” to make with that process in 2014.

When it comes to getting the latest mac rental or high-end PC for an upcoming VFX project, you don’t need to predict how CRE Rentals will do — we’ve been partnering with Entertainment professionals for over 30 years! We offer the latest computer rentals, qualified technicians to set-up the equipment, and 24/7 technical support. Call us today at (877) 266-7725 to learn more.

 

January 16th, 2014

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show, CES 2014, is now history, and the most memorable part is not a new TV or curved display, but the inability of Transformers director Michael Bay to ad lib when his teleprompter went kaput. He was doubtless getting big bucks from Samsung for shilling at its press event, but he gave a performance that one tech pundit called “downright cringeworthy.” Bay later offered what appeared to be his notion of an apology on his personal site: “I guess live events aren’t my thing.”

Note to Michael Bay: CES is not just another one of those “live events” that people attend and mill about politely. CES is the biggest stage in the world for consumer tech gear, business solutions, and, occasionally, those new processes and paradigms that push or pull us ever forward in both small leaps and great bounds.

CES 2014: Top 5 Takeaways

1. There is major disappointment in the wearables category due to the lack of a standout product. Many offer control via iPad rental or smartphone, but as some makers finally put some style in their offerings, others let functionality fall by the wayside.

2. The Best in Show award went, somewhat surprisingly, to last year’s winner, the Oculus Rift VR (Virtual Reality) accessory. Still a prototype, the upgraded Crystal Cove version has high resolution like our MacBook Pro rental, all-encompassing VR, and games/VR worlds in development. Now that Sony and others are announcing competing products, Oculus needs to get the Rift to market, and fast.

Asus Transformer Book
(Credit: Asus)

3. Asus and Lenovo blazed the way forward with “combi” tablets and tablet PCs, some of which run both Android and Windows 8.1. Asus began its innovation streak just before the end of 2013, with the low-cost, high-quality, Windows 8.1 Transformer Book T100. It comes with a keyboard doc that has USB 3, an SD slot for additional storage memory, and 11 hours of battery use. The Lenovo entry is an 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet, says Lenovo, that is “built for the boardroom,” so you can connect USB peripherals, a keyboard and mouse, and an external monitor. If you rent laptops, you will have a lot of new concepts from which to choose.

4. The ultrahigh-resolution 4K format has broken the $1,000 consumer price barrier. Vizio, the biggest selling TV brand in the U.S., announced a 4K line starting at $999.99 when it debuts this year. There are off-brand 4K TVs below the $1,000 line, but Vizio will bring a quality product that will definitely trouble both Sony and Samsung, which haven’t gotten anywhere close to hitting that price point. Interested? One of our divisions, AV Event Solutions, now rents 4K display monitors.

4K Display - Vizio P series

(Credit: Vizio)

5. PlayStation 4 is beating Xbox One, fair and square, winning the sales race thus far with over a million more units sold. Now PlayStation Now, announced (again) by Sony at CES 2014, enables other PlayStation devices to use PS3 games—and will also work with tablets, smartphones, and TVs. Sony will debut the new service this summer, and it should be seen as a peek at one possible future of gaming.

What’s our takeaway? If you need mac rentals for post-production or computer rental for in-house training, CRE Rentals is your go-to technology rental company. With 21 locations nationwide, we can get you the IT equipment you need, where you need it. Contact us to learn more.

January 8th, 2014

Often in our media-soaked culture, we confront the chicken-and-egg conundrum, as we encounter things—in books, movies, etc.—that eerily foretell later events and inventions. Or maybe not. For example: Which came first, the Army’s first sketches of laser guns or Star Trek phasers? And doesn’t Dr. McCoy’s Tricorder look just like our iPad rental? Truth be told, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry built a complete alternative reality that we still seem to be decorating with his ’60s visions.

At least half the computer rental inventory on Earth has slots for flash memory like SDHC, which looks awfully like the “data card” that Mr. Spock or Bones would stick in a blinking console from time to time. Happily, the Star Trek fashion styles never caught on, but the same visionary spirit has contributed to the evolution of high-powered production and post tools like render farms, as well as computers, tablets, smart devices of all kinds, and robots—Army robots, no less. Sci-fi defense research continues apace, and here are your first two examples.

Cargo Robots – Army Style

Cargo robots are modern, high-tech versions of pack mules. In fact,  they are already in use commercially, and the latest military model has proven quite stable with four powered legs that outperform treads or wheels over difficult terrain. At 4 mph, they can walk all day carrying 340 lbs. and managing 35-degree slopes.

Data coming from ground/leg/joint monitors, laser gyroscopes, and “stereo vision capture” are all routed to an onboard computer, which keeps the robot balanced and on course. Soldiers can program and control the robot via wireless, conceivably from a smartphone or MacBook Pro. As the military advances in this direction, robots start benefiting from economies of scale and prices start dropping in the commercial sector.

Laser Guns – Navy Style

Laser guns (cannon, specifically) are apparently in use already by the U.S. Navy. The R&D continues, but SSLs (or Solid State Lasers) are already providing short-range defense with super-powered pulses or focused beams that have a current range of four miles. The system is incredibly accurate, tracks flying objects (identified or not) regardless of evasive measures or maneuvers, and can hit targets going some 300 mph. It is a perfect defense against suicide boats, anti-ship missiles, weaponized drones, and other airborne threats.

Our Sci-fi Technology Rentals

Though we are not in the business of offering sci-fi defense solutions, we are suited to get your production office or post-production project set-up with technology rentals you need to get the job done. Contact us at  (877) 266-7725 to learn more about our products and services.

January 2nd, 2014

memristor - the future computer memory

The thing about new paradigms, real ones like the new Mac Pro and solid state drives, is that no one predicts them with much accuracy, but when they appear there’s no mistaking them, either. Their uniqueness and dramatic superiority are immediately apparent. With a few caveats, a new paradigm seems about ready to make itself known – memristors (basically a fancy name for computer memory). If it pans out,  it’ll be one of the biggest breakthroughs of 2014.

Is it Time for Memristors?

Soon, your smart phone, the kid’s portable game console, and our iPad rental will need charging only every few weeks—or months. Their speeds and memory capacities will increase by thousands, perhaps millions of times. Equip your sales force with new desktop computers, or rent laptops for a fully mobile workforce, and either way your employees will save time with hardware that boots up instantly. These are the near-magical powers of the memristor—and we’re supposed to see them, well, soon. At least, that was the consensus in 2010. Interest faded until a minor resurgence in mid-2012, then dwindled again until some muted rumblings of late. What gives?

For years the traditional view of electronics held that there were three fundamental elements in circuits. These elements—resistors, capacitors, inductors—were joined in 1971 by a new theoretical element, the memristor (memory + resistor). Standard computer memory stores information by turning electronic switches on and off. Memristors, which are nanoscale devices with variable resistance, remember resistance levels when turned off. The bottom line is they are denser, more energy efficient, incomparably faster than existing electronics, and able to perform multiple functions (processing, storage, etc.). This reconfigurability makes for behavior reminiscent of human brain synapses, a main advantage of which is their incredible adaptability.

What’s the Hang-up?

The memristor design has matured over some 40 years of research and development, much of it undertaken by Hewlett-Packard (HP), a company known for quality and innovation whose workstations are in our computer rental inventory. Although the technology was supposed to begin hitting the market in 2014, “HP has not yet committed to a specific product roadmap,” according to a Wired story of July, 2012. There is no newer statement from HP. The firm appears to be dithering once again, unable to pull the trigger on new initiatives, possibly still gun shy following its WebOS debacle.

This is a project that iMac visionary Steve Jobs would have loved, as the next step is electronic circuits that adapt to varying scenarios—and learn from their choices. Computers with human brain-like behavior may emerge from a future memristor component that will likely start out in a consumer device. That happens all the time if you think about it: Medical diagnosis wasn’t the first task undertaken by the original PC, but the platform matured from a glorified typewriter and Pong game into all kinds of lifesaving tools (on many of which you can still type and play games). Frankly, though, it really is about time for a new paradigm.

Are we ready to make this shift? We’d love to hear from you on this or any other technology trends you think are heading our way in 2014. Not sure about any of this? Contact CRE Rentals, a leading technology rental company based in Los Angeles, for help.

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