My appreciation of gadgets isn’t anything that should surprise you. I’ve already talked about a few and some have proven more useful than others. For example, my Fitbit One accompanies me on every hike so I can track and then bore my friends with all kinds of useless information while some gadgets such as my waffle iron were bought rather impetuously and get dusted once every blue moon … that is if I can even remember where I’ve stashed them around the house!
If I had an infinite budget, I’d buy every new generation of my favorite gadgets. But I don’t. So even though I appreciate a new generation of let’s say a smart phone I can’t justify upgrading it randomly unless it offers significantly more features or functions than my current one. Recently I was “allowed” to hold a friend’s new mobile for about 5 seconds – he had stood in the queue for hours in order to get it and reluctantly handed over the mobile after I vigorously wiped imaginary dirt from my hands while promising not to drop the phone! Anyway, I quickly tapped a couple of icons and swiped to the left before I returned the mobile to its owner who was getting increasingly agitated thanks to what can only be classified as withdrawal symptoms.
During my brief encounter with said mobile I noticed a few things – it looked slick but suspiciously similar in weight, feel and size to my other friend’s Android-based phone (he was a bit less precious about letting me hold his mobile so I was allowed to tinker away with it for a lot longer than 5 seconds). Both had large screens populated with various apps and both seemed to have an intuitive UI. What really amazed me is that the new mobile, known for its groundbreaking technology a few years ago, just felt like a me-too mobile. But despite how I personally felt, the hype around it was massive and plenty of people felt compelled to stand in the queue for hours to get their hands on one.
Technology hype is a funny thing.
Thanks to the power of media (both paid and social) we get bombarded by images/stories of how the technology on offer can enrich our lives. And hopefully something in there resonates with us the consumer so we’d want to part with our hard-earned cash. The Gartner research group has even created a graph to represent the hype cycle with such fantastic phrases as the “peak of inflated expectations” and the “trough of disillusionment”. Now who among us doesn’t intuitively understand what the trough of disillusionment may refer to? Half the gadgets lurking in my shed were put there thanks to that sentiment!
While it’s easy to dispatch unloved gadgets to the dark recesses of the shed or the garage, it’s more difficult to throw out an expensive engineering tool which never delivered on the ROI promised. Some organizations look at hard/fast dollars. Some keep track of time and process savings. No matter how your organization quantifies ROI, I think we can all safely assume that CFD use is not hype. Its use has been very well documented across small, medium and large organizations – all you have to do is take a look at the wide range of companies that currently use our solutions here.
If you already have a CFD solution that is meeting your needs, fantastic! If however, you’ve got a solution that is kinda, sorta, maybe, meeting your needs then perhaps this is the right time to consider upgrading to a different solution. But before you do, it’s always a good idea to put together a requirements list. And you need to be brutally honest with yourself because the last thing you want is to dispatch yet another tool to the proverbial engineering tool shed. Do you _really_ need all those turbulence models? Do you need a specialist product or a general purpose one? Do you want to work inside your CAD system? If yes then you need to look at a CAD-embedded system and not a CAD integrated system. The two are different beasts – one is completely embedded in CAD and you never leave the CAD environment while the other has automated the transfer of CAD data but still requires you to use two different interfaces. Do you really _need_ to sacrifice speed for accuracy or is it possible to have both?!? Even better yet how long does it take you to prepare a model and analyze it? Throw everything in there… it doesn’t do you any good if you can transfer a model quickly but spend hours fixing the solid model or meshing it. Make sure you compare apples with apples and not apples with donkeys as one of my old colleagues used to say
Right… time to get off my soap box and unpack my latest acquisition. I’m quite excited about it even though it’s not exactly high tech. This gadget cuts vegetables into spirals and should help me prepare healthier meals. We’ll see whether it’ll earn a coveted place in my kitchen cabinet or whether it’ll be dispatched fiercely into the shed. Only time will tell. In the meantime, no zucchini, parsnip or carrot will be safe in my house!
Until next time,