PARC Innovations Update (2012 #4)

This is the archive entry for our e-mail newsletter, PARC Innovations Update. [subscribe]

INNOVATION: The Future of Manufacturing

Digital technologies are making a dramatic impact on manufacturing, enabling a greater variety of products at lower volumes and lower costs. Not only will these technologies usher in a new wave of mass customization and personalization, but we will also see significant shifts in how products are developed, made, and delivered to retailers and consumers.

PARC is leading the innovation of digital design and manufacturing across hardware, software, and process technologies, and building public-private partnerships in open innovation to execute that vision.

  • DARPA and the Applied Research Lab at Penn State recently chose PARC to advance virtual product development and digital manufacturing for the iFab program, shortening the time it takes to design and manufacture complex military ground vehicles.
    read news release
  • Read PARC CEO Stephen Hoover’s Techonomy article: “How the U.S. Can Reinvent Manufacturing”
  • PARC’s digital design and manufacturing program and key enablers
    learn more

DEVELOPMENT: Dramatic Improvement for Battery Performance

PARC was awarded $4M by the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to develop technologies to improve battery performance. PARC’s innovative sensors will enable batteries to achieve full potential for electric vehicles and grid storage.

The key to this project is the ability to combine the interdisciplinary strengths of PARC’s Cleantech Innovation Program with several of PARC’s research areas. The well-established Optoelectronics Program has developed an incredibly compact and low-cost read-out unit that eliminates the cost barrier usually associated with fiber optics. The group will lead the development of the specific fiber optic sensors, which are robust to the harsh internal battery environment. We also will build on our long history in Intelligent Automation to develop smart algorithms that interpret signals to accurately estimate the overall state-of-charge, state-of-health, and time to discharge of the battery that an EV driver cares about.
read news release
IEEE Spectrum – Sensors are Key to Better EV Batteries


The Emerging Networks Consortium (ENC) will hold its second summit on October 15 – 16, 2012 at PARC. The member-only summit will feature strategic and technical discussions on PARC’s Content-Centric Networking (CCN) program. Attendance will include delegates from founding member companies: Alcatel-Lucent, BT, France Telecom-Orange, HCL, Huawei, MACH, Panasonic Corporation, and Samsung.

PARC is looking to expand the ENC community. For membership information, please email
more information on ENC

Representing global academic and industrial institutions, researchers and developers familiar with the CCN architecture and/or working with the CCNx Open Source platform recently gathered together in September for a dynamic and interactive second CCNx Community Meeting CCNx2012. Incredible presentations – such as CCN routing protocols, caching, sensors, media content delivery, and more – were shared.

The conference also witnessed the emergence of CCN Simulation Tools, with three different institutions making the tools available to the community for free to further advance CCN. Demonstrations and posters highlighted cutting-edge applications, including live streaming with CCN, sensor devices for detecting environmental changes, photo sharing, emergency responsive systems, content router for high speed forwarding, among others.
conference program
join the community

SPOTLIGHT: Ethnography and Innovation Services

Years before today’s huge wave of “UX” focus, PARC pioneered the first introduction of ethnography – the naturalistic study of human behavior in context – into the realm of technology innovation. PARC’s social scientists bring a complete picture of what people actually do (as opposed to just what they say they do) to help deepen understanding of the customers and users who will determine a product’s success in the market.

READ: PARC Principal Scientist and ethnographer Ellen Isaacs recently authored the GigaOM article “The Power of Observation: How companies can have more a-ha moments”.

ON THE ROAD: PARC is sponsoring and will be presenting at EPIC, the premier international gathering on the current and future practice of ethnography in the business world, in Savannah, GA on October 14 – 17, 2012.

WATCH: PARC presentation on ethnography at GigaOM Mobilize
learn more


PARC Labs: 10 Key Accomplishments During First Decade After Spinning Out of Xerox – eWeek

The Next Internet? Inside PARC’s Vision of Content-Centric Networking – Xconomy

Video: Manufacturing’s Future and the Impact on Jobs – Techonomy Detroit panel with PARC CEO Stephen Hoover

Print me a phone: New techniques to embed electronics into products – The Economist

Additional information

Focus Areas

Our work is centered around a series of Focus Areas that we believe are the future of science and technology.

Licensing & Commercialization Opportunities

We’re continually developing new technologies, many of which are available for Commercialization.


PARC scientists and staffers are active members and contributors to the science and technology communities.