Zebra Imaging: The Publically Traded Company This has led to the product being very highly priced and excludes a large portion of today's market. That is a large decision made by the company which has ripple effects throughout the rest of the digital imaging industry (O'Toole, 2015).
In this paper the writer chooses a (public) company that has been a major player involved with the technology that was analyzed as part of the Evolution of a Technology project completed earlier in the course. The company we are going to focus on is "Zebra Imaging," which has been focusing on 3D holographic technology. The paper identifies the overall technology and innovation strategy of Zebra Imaging; analyzes its innovation performance, the actions and choices it has made in creating and capturing value from its innovations. The paper also identifies problems and issues with those actions and choices. The paper provides recommendations for creating and capturing value, identifies key decisions, and recommends how to deliver value (implementation, market approaches, competitive/collaborative issues, etc.). The paper also includes the rationales for the recommendations given in the paper. Lastly, the paper applies the models and analysis tools as discussed in class and identifies key assumptions that underlie the recommendations.
Technology Strategy Analysis of Zebra Imaging
MIT's Media Laboratory graduates founded Zebra Imaging back in 1996. The company created a mission that focused on the development of the best product and providing the best three dimensional services out there. With help from initial investors the business has made quite the progress since then. Today Zebra Imaging provides some of the most advanced and innovative technology and holographics on the market. The business sells portable, intuitively-understood, and scalable designs that are simple to the eye and that can create reality out of basic data. Customers range from government military departments to high-end private architects, and also anyone who is the need of demonstrating their data in an easy to view 3-D format (Williams, 2014).
Identify the overall technology and innovation strategy of your chosen company
The future is in 3D and Zebra Imaging is there to sell it. They provide by far the most innovative product out there with holographic capabilities. The basic 3D source can come from a plethora of sources including CAD (computer-aided design), CAM (computer-aided engineering), CAM (medical imaging technologies), laser scans, aerial photography, and LIDAR. This data provides the backbone for holographic software to function (Zebra Imaging Website, 2015).
Inference patterns created by lasers are how the hologram is created. The products break down the 3D data into divisions for each hogel (a 3D pixel). The data will usually consist of thousands upon thousands of hogels. Finally the holograph is recorded on a medium such as an LCD screen through the patterns created by the lasers. There are two lasers that create an image on the screen, the first one simply prints the 3D data like an image, but the second one provides a reference point for the first. When the two beams combine, holographics is created (Zebra Imaging Website, 2015).
The process described is repeated for every single hogel, so it needs to be done thousands of times (Zebra Imaging Website, 2015). There are no fancy glasses or outside product needed to view the final product the way it is intended to be seen. The light that is used mimics the original reference laser beam. This way each hogels interference pattern plays a role in diffracting the beams light and creating the 3D image to the eye. The user simply sees a refraction of the original 3D model (Zebra Imaging Website, 2015).
Analyze its innovation performance
When companies defy odds and break innovative barriers they can be awarded with a place in the Technology-Fast 500, and that is exactly what has happened to Zebra Imaging. The company took its place in the group for the second time in a row back in 2008. This is proof that the company is highly innovative and has been keeping a high standard of excellence in its overall performance. The company had an incredible 5-year spurt of growth and success in which it grew by over 1800% (Williams, 2014).
The actions and choices the firm has made in creating and capturing value from its innovations. Identify any problems or issues with those actions and choice
Unfortunately for retail consumers, they are excluded mostly from the market that the company is focused on. Zebra Imaging have chosen to keep ...
Provide recommendations for creating and capturing value, identify key decisions, and recommend how to deliver value (implementation, market approaches, competitive/collaborative issues, etc.)
Although there are a large number of recommendations that can be made for this company, the following is a short list of some of the more important points and suggestions. The rationale for these will be discussed.
1. The company ought to increase its market base by seeking more diverse consumers and clients.
2. The company should maintain all the risks associated with holograms until the product is officially delivered and accepted by the customer.
Include the rationales for your recommendations, applying the models and analysis tools discussed in class.
1. Seek to improve customer diversity
Partnering with government agencies is not a safe way to do business unfortunately. While the company has had great success, it also required a $5 million federal loan to get them through the crazy 2-week government shutdown in 2013. As of yet the company's primary business target groups have been government agencies as well as a few other large scale corporations. However, the business product would serve multiple industries if Zebra Imaging simply opened its doors to other customers. Revenue could see a drastic increase by opening up for retail consumption. Imagine if the average Joe could capture hologram images with their iPhone, and later print them out. The market is there, the money is there, but the product is not there yet (Jaaskelainen, 2011).
2. Bearing the risks
This point should be self-explanatory. According to the company's terms of sale, once an order has been placed, packed up, and sent out via FedEx, it is no longer Zebra Imaging's responsibility. This is wrong and very bad customer service. If a package goes missing or if the product is broken while shipping, it is the customer who gets to deal with it. The company should take responsibility for the product until it has been shipped all the way and accepted by the consumer. It is even worse for international consumers since they are required to pre-pay for the order before it is even shipped. Additionally, all customer data is deleted after 14 days, at least that is the norm. During that time though, the business keeps the right to use your customer data in order to promote or market their business. This is yet another legal issue that the company ought to deal with (Jaaskelainen, 2011).
Identify any important assumptions that underlie your recommendations
A very big assumption often made is that if Zebra Imaging opens up to retail customers, that they will be able to lower their price due to access to cheaper materials. Whether or not this is true, it is the assumption. Since the company should be able to partner with cheaper material providers, they should be able to lower their product price for retail customers.
Identify all the patents that the company has patented
The USPTO has approved over 30 patents for Zebra Imaging. Most of these patents relate to the active hologram display but others focus on new inventions in the holography field that are new and different from past products. Unlike the past when there was a strict lens limitation in holograph technologies, we can today create holograms without the use of physical objects. Now we can create this technology from computer generated data. The patents relating to the holographic printers can be looked up in these two patents: 6,661,548B2, and 6,930,811 B2 (Jaaskelainen, 2011).
1. U.S. patent: 6,407,832.
Light source following optical system for hologram illumination
The system that uses the pulsed-laser was created in order to create both high resolution images and accurate holograms. The imager will be given a certain set of instructions and the pulled-laser system will ensure that the timing of every hogel recording is accurate. Since there are small spots between hogels that this system can't record, it must be shut off while the instrument passes over them (Jaaskelainen, 2011).
2. U.S. patent: 7,505,186.
Pulsed-laser systems and methods for producing holographic stereograms
Systems focusing on the illumination of holographs with moving light sources. A heliostat device controls the rotation of the deflection mirror and thus directs the light where it needs to go. If there is no light source available then artificial light will be used (Jaaskelainen, 2011).
3. Correcting and Identifying Hogel and Hogel Beam Parameters
Application number: 20150053848
This has led to the product being very highly priced and excludes a large portion of today's market. That is a large decision made by the company which has ripple effects throughout the rest of the digital imaging industry (O'Toole, 2015).
Nonspecific staining in both the control and experimental groups rendered any possible findings virtually invisible, but ultimately the opportunity to participate in the research process from hypothesis through to data presentation was a tremendous opportunity for me, and I highly value the experience. My taste for research had only just been awoken by my experiences in my third year as an undergraduate, and after completing my degree I signed on