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ECLAP 2012 Conference Exposition and Demo Section

ComputArte when techonolgy is dressed as Art

Vasco Petruzzi
 
 

WHO WE ARE


We, in Cybertec Services, have a clear and consistent vision with our goals: to bring back man to progress’s center. All our projects have the aim of offering technology in a friendly and truly enjoyable shape. Those are the elements of our philosophy:Paying attention on the planet we live, To work with Passion, Responsibility and Optimism. Cybertec Services Srl it’s an Italian company based in Rome. Established in year 2000 has started its activity in supplying services for studying, projecting and manufacturing shelters for radio base systems. In 2003, we started focusing on ICT with the Project ComputArte, a fusion between technology and Art. We propose the first worldwide personal computer like a piece of furniture and a piece of Art with the slogan:

ComputArte... when Technology is dressed as Art!

This is a unique and original project: we are the first to have developed, styled and filed this concept as patents (n° 3 patents, 2 internationally extended which protect 137 different shapes and an innovative cooling system for electronic components). In the awareness that the market is, actually, made up of a set of heterogeneous individuals, who at the most, can be identified in macro-classes, regarding satisfaction of objective needs and requirements, this is not true for the concept of beauty and aesthetic which is, and remains, a subjective value.

Beauty is subjective

 Beauty is subjective

 

On this consideration, we do not focus our efforts in proposing a creation which can meet the largest rating of the indistinct market, going to fall in a standardized conventionality which has seen this industrial sector not having any changes for 39 year. We want to concretize the concept of democracy that allows us to offer a product declined in different shapes, colors, styles and materials, to make a difference as a synonym for richness in diversity.


   

INNOVATION DESCRIPTION
 

Introduction : the product of personal computer.
Personal Computer it's an instrument which has the same shape since 1973 when was offered by Xerox, the first time on the consumer market. The only worldwide manufacturer who slightly changed the shapes, to get a different appeal on the market, has been Apple (Mac Intosh), but... remaining at an embryonic level of change. As a matter of fact, this instrument it’s offered in the same shape since 39 years and at the moment there are only two kinds of pcs: desktop ( a box ) and laptop (shaped like book ).  No one of the world wide manufacturers of personal computer is offering products capable of satisfying the aesthetic need of the consumers.
To ascertain this, it’s sufficient browsing an interior design magazine to realize that you never see a pc in the living room because this instrument is cumbersome and unaesthetic...even though there is more then one pc in the houses of the developed countries.


 

 

Project ComputArte:
the aim and distinguishing elements

 

 

RESEARCH OF BEAUTY AS SOURCE FOR INNOVATIVE TECHNICAL SOLUTIONS
 

 

The project ComputArte wants to offer the pc like piece of furniture and piece of Art which deserves to be shown because selected for aesthetic purpose, capable of generating emotions and pathos, and yet be a powerful tool capable of satisfying the computational need. Exploiting miniaturized technology we can offer pc with new aesthetic value capable of “dress technology as Art”.
The project has two souls to better express this new concept and spread on the global market, segmenting potential users according different financial capabilities:
Techno-Art and Artistic –technology. The first it’s meant to be an industrial production based on plastic injection moulds ( different colours and even the chance to offer interchangeable covers ), while the second will be offered even in noble materials like, wood, marble, glass, leather, ceramic and even precious metals and stones for a luxury niche of the market. This goal will be realized, exploiting the concept of Art and the multi–potential concept of Fashion in technology.
While working on the aesthetic feature of the project, has been studied, developed , prototyped and realized an innovative cooling system for electronic components.
This purely technological feature has been developed to satisfy the thermal need of dissipating the heat generated by the components on the motherboards like CPU ( top performance unit from INTEL, AMD, VIA) , GPU (Nvidia, etc ) and others.
Exploiting miniaturized technology with top performances specifications, based on desktop architecture, was compulsory to find a more efficient and effective solution to dissipate the heat. This important feature it’s a point of strength of the project ComputArte to plan and develop future casings and even to face and win the potential competitors who would like to offer alternative casings embedding the top performance technology in small and compact casings. (this top performance technology needs a very efficient dissipating systm to ensure stability and reliability ).
The innovative cooling system has certified 21% average temperature lower compared to the same components working with standard cooling system. ( Fig. 3 Thermal efficiency ) This innovative cooling system is applicable at the standard technology available on the global market. ( pc, servers, main frames and super computers ). Furthermore it’s to highlight the “eco-smiling” essence of the project ComputArte along all the life cycle: projecting, realization, use and disposal.

   

The project has the ambitious objective of decreasing the environmental impact due to waste disposal of broken or obsolete pcs. At this stage, the the highly pollutant materials of a pc are directly proportional to the casing volume and internal components. The innovative ComputArte pcs allow the disposal of the single electronic components broken or obsolete , in order to keep an ornamental casing which has a value apart from its technical function, because chosen not only looking for technical specifications but even to satisfy the aesthetic taste, as such being subjective, creates emotions and attachment. Even if it’s decided to thrown it out, the waste material
would be decreased of over 66% thanks to overall more compact dimension ( compared to standard tower desktop pc, embedding ATX or mATX motherboard).
Furthermore, we are testing some ultra low energy consumption platforms powered with photovoltaic cells with ZERO IMPACT on the environment, while working, because CO2 free.


 

 

ComputArte® innovative cooling system
Preface

 

Technical specifications: all ComputArte cases are based on a miniaturized mother board ( embedded ) in form factor Mini-ITX ( 17 cm X 17cm ) able to support all sockets ( desktop and mobile architecture ) offered on the market.
In a standard computer all the heat generating components are studied to be cooled as standing alone.
The cooling of the heat generating components are relied on fans which push air on the heat sink which, by conduction, subtracts heat from the component itself. This logic produces desired effects with great efficiency and effectiveness on the single component.
Once all components are assembled, this logic decreases efficiency and effectiveness because the air flows generated, inside a computer case, are chaotic (in the physics meaning: increasing the entropy related to the internal air flows, which being debauched in direction and toward, decrease the full potential cooling capability).
My approach is different because considers the computer an whole of more single linked units, like an interactive organism. To merge technology and Art has been styled a pure geometric casing reflecting a number which is considered beautiful because present in Nature and expression of balance and life: 1,618 ( Fibonacci’ Sequence and the Golden Ratio ). Upon this consideration the first model has been developed focusing on the three euclidean holy geometry figures: square, circle and triangle and their respective volumes, box, cylinder and pyramid ).
The planning has begun considering the model of the great pyramid of Pharaoh Khufu ( KEOPE ) on the Giza plateau in Egypt, which has been scaled to contain the main components of the computer In our physics the warm air masses tend to go up and cooler air masses tend to go down: while warming, air masses emphasize the ascending trend ( convection ). The new logic developed, which gives genesis to this idea, is born from the physics fact linked to the will of giving order to internal air flows in the computer case. The final result of this thought, has been to create a unique path with one direction, following the natural air masses’ dynamic, ascending from the lower height to higher height.
This effect has to be emphasized by a fan which pushes cool air by the lower access point, inside the computer case, and another higher fan which contributes, keeping on pushing air towards the higher ejecting point, to let the air flow following its natural thermodynamic ascending path.
For this reason, the fan on the heat sink of the cpu it’s not working in the usual way, pushing air , but pulling air through the heat sink and pushing the flow to high.
Please note: sound produced from fans is the most bothering effect to user, but with this new system all components are studied to let the air flow have a “soft” way and marry the natural trend of the air masses, so the fan’s rounds per minute will be greatly decreased with a final silent result.
This cooling system may be stylized and adopted also for data centers and server farms producing large potential benefits in terms of energy and cost savings.


 

POTENTIAL OF BEAUTY AS PARAMETER OF CHOICE


In 2011 the pc market has consolidated sales for around 350 millions units divided between laptops ( all segments: eg netbooks, ultra portables, notebooks,etc. ) and desktops.( Gartner and IDC stats ). Despite this economic crunch, in the last 5 years, the annual growth rate has been of around 10% ( prudential pondered average on the mature markets and the growing markets ).
On this figure the analysts agree to identify a so called phenomenon of “desktop replacement “.
Of the around 35 Millions personal computers which will be sold more compared the consolidated sales of 2011, every 4 pc sold , 3 will be portable and only one will be a desktop. This means that the market is buying more laptops then desktops.
The main reasons for this trend, are ( some historical, other newer):

1) Portable pc gifted with multimedia capabilities ( audio for music and colourful video for movies )
2) Increased performances
3) Decreased of the final prices to public
4) Massive access to credit to consumer which has boost the sales of electronics
5) Less cumbersome and a bit more aesthetic ( easier to hide )

But two of three portable sold more every year, will never be moved from the place are set since the fist time. This means that there is a demand of substitution from desktop to laptops, NOT for portability.
This element provides the key to understanding the need of the market so that this instrument may be less cumbersome and more aesthetically acceptable.
Then, there would be no less than 17 million potential customers who would evaluate positively a creation that is aesthetically attractive and less bulky, noted that to achieve this objective they are "obliged" to fall back on a laptop, while not using it as such. However, it is reasonable to expect a higher portion of available buyers in a market that generates sales of 350 million pieces each year.
The project ComputArte could subtract market shares to the two kinds of personal computers sold ( desktops and laptops ) and create a new market with new segments (different shapes, materials and colours ) and ranges ( final prices will vary according to materials, brands to combine with, and the edition ).
“To dress technology as Art”, means even to propose to big fashion brands and to design jewellery a merchandising agreement capable of proposing ideal elements and products, for the specific niche of the market looking for “status symbols “,with the integration and the working of noble materials ( glass, wood, ceramic, marble, leather ) and precious materials ( metals and stones ), even from famous Italian places ( e.g. : Murano for glass, Carrara for marble ).
Regarding the technology developed for the cooling system, this could be offered to be applied to multinational companies' server farms, which manage squared kms(!) of data centers and they spend a lot of money for the energy bill to cool down the servers and so to be more ecologically compatible with the natural environment.


 

INNOVATIVE USE AND USER INTERFACE FOR NEW POTENTIALS APPLICATIONS


To propose beauty as a main distinguishing element, means to evaluate new approach to technology and a new evolutionary anthropocentric Renaissance, involving technologies that allow a natural interaction of man to tools and systems serving and designed to make life easier.
With this creation we want to propose an ergonomic approach which would allow a new relationship between humans and machines. ComputArte’ computers, being really personal and offering an aesthetic value with compact and small dimensions, are real pieces of furniture and piece of Art, which deserve to be shown and brought to the attention of senses ( if meets the subjective perception of beauty ).
This feature invites the user to place the instrument on the surface rather then hiding it under the desk. This innovative logistic allows an easier and more intuitive access to all connections and gateways which are in front of the user.
No one of the standard pcs on the market , offers this: it’s sufficient to look for the optical unit, the usb ports, memory card readers or audio jacks. Another potential use of the ComputArte pcs it's the chance to let the product be the means to highlight a brand and messages for of the privileged visibility ( Hotels, restaurant, internet cafes, offices, front desks ).

ComputArte pcs , being a pieces of furniture and pieces of Art, are even embedded with leds capable of generating cromotherapy and light to “furnish and decorate” interiors.
Furthermore we want to propose an innovative approach and interface for domotic appliances and for users affected by digital divide and disabled people, through voice and gesture recognition software with a graphical interface accessible on the TV in the living room. For this purpose, we are working on an innovative dashboard to manage all the multimedia contents with the TV as standard output peripheral.
This dashboard will offer two sections, one dedicated to public contents and social applications ( TV, Internet browser, youtube, twitter, facebook and skype )and the other one dedicated to private contents ( domotic, pictures and movies ).

In the public section will be offered contents generated by DVB-T, Satellite and pay per view through smart card billing ( es: Sky and Mediaset Premium and others ) substituting the standard set top boxes.
We’ll propose a very innovative way to exploit the 2.0 potential of internet, on the TV contents ( typically 1.0 ).

This platform will collect , REAL TIME, the public rating of the users who will be able to express each single personal feedback on what they are watching on the TV. ( ...and some other very interesting potential applications ).
The above applications and the domotic, will exploit the power and flexibility of voice and gesture recognition from many users in the same environment, allowing an innovative interaction lived in a real place, in real time ,from more users, all of them staying in the living room in front of the big screen of the TV.
This new immersive environment provided with mutisensors ( microphones, web cams, IR sensors, ect ) will offer a great interface for e-health and tele-assistance for people who need, and disabled people.



 

 

 

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