Drive for Innovation

bar code-2

Belly Up To The Bar (Code)

By Malcolm Fuller, Contributing Writer SURREY, B.C.—Most revolutionary inventions come from years of grueling research and hours in a lab, but not the bar code. N. Joseph Woodland was sitting on a beach drawing lines in the sand with his finger. Woodland left a historic legacy in his wake, when he passed away on Dec. 8, 2012 at the age of 91.

Eric and Tarek and the scooter-picasa

The Telematics of Scooters

By Malcolm Fuller, contributing writer Remember the speculation about what kinds of technology the new millennium would have to offer? Now we haven’t seen a flying car yet, but Saturna Green Systems in Vancouver, B.C., has developed a product that brings wireless communication and networking to two- and three-wheel electric scooter and motorcycle manufacturers. And from an electronics-design standpoint, they’re

Parvus network boxes

Military-industrial complexities

(Odometer: 25, 975 miles) SALT LAKE CITY–The life of a military contractor isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be, especially in a world of budgetary constraints and fiscal cliffs. But Parvus, based here, which emerged from the imagination of a University of Utah student decades ago, is navigating nicely. Indeed, in 2011, just before we pulled to a stop


Celebrating engineers (and maybe changing the world)

SAN JOSE, Calif.–When Michael Worry brought his new-born daughter home, the first place he took her, even before he entered the house was his workshop. He put her hand on a drill and said the word “drill” to her. “Society gets what it celebrates,” says the CEO of Nuvation, based here. “If we’re just as excited and passionate about building things

leviton EV charger

Ensuring EV charging station safety

(Odometer: 24, 890 miles) CHULA VISTA, Calif.–You’ve no doubt used Leviton products in wiring or re-wiring your home. The Long Island based company is known primarily for ground-fault circuit interruption technology, and its products sit in 90 million U.S. homes. Out here, on a ridge above the Pacific Ocean, a Leviton unit is taking the concept into a new and


SuVolta’s power rangers

(Odometer: 22,290 miles) LOS GATOS, Calif.–The electronics industry is so technically advanced and its companies so increasingly specialized that battling the power issues attendant with device scaling has taken on a life of its own. Welcome to SuVolta, a startup here in the shadow of the Santa Cruz Mountains that was founded to develop and license CMOS technology to reduce


Nuvation’s mad scientists

SAN JOSE, Calif.–Nuvation is an electronics design-services company here, run by a bunch of guys who are, well, wonderfully insane. They have day jobs, but as the sun arcs below the horizon, the mad scientists in them all come out. They come out to build things like Discofish and take it all the way to Burning Man. They come out


Follow your passion in engineering

BURNABY, B.C.–At some point in his life, Marc Alfonso heard the saying “follow your passion.” He didn’t consider it a suggestion; more like a commandment. An engineer at heart since he was young, Alfonso has been long fascinated with Hollywood and the making of movies. A relatively newly-minted engineer, Alfonso has started his own company with that in mind, PLC


Sensors, wireless systems and mapping energy fields

RICHARDSON, Texas–The surge in U.S. oil and natural gas supplies is due partly to new extraction technologies but also mapping capability that helps that industry find promising spots for fossil fuels. Enter Inova, a joint venture company owned 51% by BGP (Bureau of Geophysical Prospecting) and 49% by ION Geophysical, which supplies recording instruments to the seismic industry for oil

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The Way Back Machine

The Way Back Machine

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