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Imagine this scenario: You are sitting in a nice restaurant, maybe celebrating your anniversary, maybe enjoying a long-planned evening with friends, but definitely looking forward to an exquisite meal. Then your food is being prepared by nothing less than … a printer. Dreams of the future?

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It is official: Delhi is the city with the world’s worst air pollution. More and more people using vehicles, the continuing growth of industrial areas and various other reasons lead to an increasing amount of smog released into the air. That is why Graviky Labs, a spin-off group of MIT Media Lab, launched Air-Ink last year. This invention converts exhausted gases into ink.

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Shorter runs, faster cycle times, more customized textile-based products for home and fast fashion – the textile market poses enormous requirements to its players, demanding big-scale printing solutions. With its newly launched Tiger-1800B direct-to-textile printer, printer-and-ink-company Mimaki reacts to these and foresees a bright future for digital textile printing.

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Lately, digital drawing and sketching is booming. Where paper and pen are no longer in use, tablets such as Surface, Wacom or iPad and their styluses are taking over. In creating experiences as close to the real as possible, producers face not only a common goal but also a common difficulty. Now reMarkable, the self-named paper tablet, enters the market.

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The media hype for 3D printing has been very high in the last few years. Although it is nothing new in printing industry there are still some exciting 3D-printed innovations entering the market. Anyway there are some interesting developments, which are worth keeping an eye on. This is why we gathered some trends in 3D printing technologies, which printing professionals should bear in mind for the future.

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Confidential documents or security papers normally need a special, and mostly expensive, technique in order to ensure authenticity and safety. Still might change in the future with the invention of Ajay Nahata, professor of electrical and computer engineering from the University of Utah and his team. The engineers developed a method, which uses standard inkjet printers and readily available ink to print hidden images that are visible only when using a specific illumination.

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Hair loss is a common phenomenon and a very emotional and distressing topic for some people. According to a recent study, 30 percent of men under the age of 30 suffer from early signs of baldness, and this rises to 80 percent for those in their 70s. To tackle this problem, cosmetics company has teamed up with Poietis, a French bio-printing start-up. With their joint expertise, they aim to print living human hair follicles and thereby combat the root causes of hair loss.

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3D printing has revolutionized how we walk through printed shoes, how we live through printed houses and now German researchers brought it another leap forward. With their new micron-scale optics, they want to make medicine and other fields much more efficient. Even though other companies and universities have already come up with 3D-printed fiber optics in the past, this new optic drives the production of nano-optics in another way.

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E-Ink is known by a lot of people because of e-books, but this technology has a lot more to offer. Recently, drivers could spot trucks on the roads that are equipped with a billboard at the rear showing content that has been adjusted to their current location. Previously, the dimensions of truck advertising were very limited. It was only possible to cover them with adhesive foil so that advertisers had to opt for general content fitting everywhere at any time.

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The Japanese company Casio designed a printing mechanism that falls right in between a regular painting process and new 3D printing technologies. It is aimed to provide education material, especially for the blind, tactile learning and mapping as well as dynamic graphics.

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Future Links CW 8 – Multichannel Edition

Omnichannel, multichannel, virtual and augmented reality – these terms become more and more important within a brand’s marketing strategy. This is why our weekly future links focus on developments in these areas – be it short-form shows for Snapchat and the Discover platform, Walmart’s omnichannel presence, Chick-fil-A’s new advertising campaign, an augmented reality effect for Facebook Stories or Lightvert’s ECHO technology.