How Fujifilm Is Innovating in New Businesses, Technologies

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How Fujifilm Is Innovating in New Businesses, Technologies

by Chris Preimesberger

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New Innovation Hub Opens in Santa Clara

The Fujifilm Innovation Hub is located in the middle of Silicon Valley, where many of the best developers in the world reside. This strategy is similar to that of other global companies, such as Ericsson, BMW and Volkswagen, who also have built meeting places like this for idea-sharing and deal-making. The new Hub is where business partners discuss firsthand the core technologies that underlie materials and products developed by the FujiFilm Group, as well as breakthrough technologies, materials and products currently under development.

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Fujifilm's Creation Tree

As indicated by this graphic, Fujifilm has "branched" into a number of businesses that industry analysts and investors probably never would have dreamed possible.

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It All Started from a Can of Film

Dr. Bruce Novich, president of Fujifilm's Industrial and Corporate New Business Development Division, explains to guests that the core technology of many of Fujifilm's new businesses comes directly out of the same IP that went into creating its first product: camera film. "We saw these trends coming, and rather than fight them, we embraced other technologies that filled in closely behind them," Novich said.

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Fujifilm Still Busy With Consumer Imaging Products

While the company is looking ahead at new products and markets, it remains one of the largest digital camera makers in the world, with various types of cameras for various age groups and markets.

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Key Component for PC Touch-Screens

Fujifilm's IP, based mostly on its film patents, is used in most laptop and desktop touch-screens—a clear film layer, called Exclear, under the glass that helps the device register touches and gestures so that the user can navigate applications. This is a conductive film with low resistance containing microscopic wire mesh that can change its shape three-dimensionally. Toshiba is one major PC maker that has allowed Fujifilm to publicize its use of the layer; other major manufacturers also use the clear touch layer but prefer not to have their names used.

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Gas Separation Membrane

When natural gas is pumped out of the ground, along with it comes many other elements that render it impure for immediate use. Using Fujifilm's core tech, it has produced this gas purificator, which uses a membrane-separation method to block out methane, carbon dioxide and other unwanted gases.

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Fujifilm's Cosmetics Line

It turns out that some of the core elements in Fujifilm's imaging business involve antioxidants, and what better building block for a cosmetics business? With researchers experimenting with antioxidants and chemicals aimed at brightening the skin, the company has invested in cosmetic and other health-related laboratories over the last decade. Of the 200,000 chemicals in Fujifilm’s catalog, 4,000 are antioxidants that could be used for cosmetic purposes. The brand, called Astalift, has been on the market for about five years.

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Digital Tape Storage

Fujifilm long has been a market leader in providing digital tape for data and video storage. Although the market has leveled out over the past few years, with digital storage becoming cheaper all the time, there is still a large market for cold-storage-type data archiving. Areal densities on tape continue to improve; the latest cartridges can hold as much as 125TBs of data; sources told eWEEK that 220TB disks aren't far off.

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Optical Lenses

One would figure that an imaging company would also be in the optical lens production business, and Fujifilm certainly is. It uses its aspherical lens processing, grinding and polishing technologies. The company is able to produce lenses for a wide range of uses.

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Dropbox vs. Box: Which Cloud Storage Service Is Right for Your Business?

Enterprise cloud storage services are plentiful for those seeking them out. There are dozens of companies that promise secure cloud storage, and many of them deliver outstanding services. But two—Box and Dropbox—stand out because they have been able to differentiate themselves by establishing loyal fan bases and including important features that appeal to corporate users. They also stand out because they are primarily data storage services rather than massive cloud services companies, such as Microsoft and Amazon, that also provide data storage. Box and Dropbox are vying for many of the same customers and have been going toe-to-toe for years to win new ones. Still, there are companies that may be choosing between the two providers and have yet to pick the service that best fits their needs. This slide show highlights some key enterprise-focused features for both Dropbox and Box to help companies...