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THE WESTSIDE STORY

Reebok pioneers 3D-printed shoes with Liquid Speed

Reebok introduced a new way to produce shoes that involves 3D printing the outsoles, creating rubber shoes that perform better and respond more flexibly to movement than traditional shoes. The 3D printing process allows the shoes to be produced without creating separate molds, an expensive and time-consuming process that is an industry trademark for 30 years. The novel method is the highlight of Reebok's plans to open a Liquid Factory in Rhode Island early next year. The factory will showcase a lab that will experiment with new manufacturing techniques. The company is selling 300 of the initial Liquid Speed designs at its website. The news is a confirming trend of footwear manufacturers bringing production back to the US.

Key Takeaway: 

Reebok is innovating how it manufactures its shoes by employing 3D printing techniques; it just introduced a new footwear that has 3D printed outsoles and is planning to build a Liquid Factory dedicated to new manufacturing methods by next year.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 24, 2016

Airbnb and SolarCity provide incentives for hosts to install solar systems

Airbnb partnered with SolarCity to offer financial incentives for hosts that install a solar system in their properties being rented. Hosts that install a solar energy system from SolarCity will receive a $1,000 cash back from the company. The offer is valid until the end of March next year, after which the incentive will drop to $750 for the rest of 2017. Homeowners with solar panels already installed and want to join Airbnb can also receive a $100 gift card from the company. The decision may appeal to travelers, particularly Millennials, interested in staying at an environment-friendly home. It could also help Airbnb establish itself as an environment-friendly company. The company published a study that says home sharing saves the environment billions of liters of water, tons of waste and large amounts of energy.

Key Takeaway: 

Airbnb and SolarCity have partnered together to offer incentives for hosts to purchase a solar system from SolarCity, which can help to position Airbnb as a sustainable company as well as attract Milennial renters that are interested in environment-friendly homes.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 24, 2016

Google invests in SpaceX's satellite Internet project

After announcing that it plans to build a satellite-based system to connect the rest of the world that is not already hooked up to the Internet, SpaceX has attracted an investment from Google amounting to $1 billion. In November 2014, SpaceX entrepreneur Elon Musk announced that the company would build micro-satellites to provide faster Internet connectivity. Google's investment will now help make the project a reality. According to The Wall Street Journal, the investment will increase SpaceX's value to $10 billion. Google has a similar aim to diffuse connectivity, but it plans to launch Wi-Fi-beaming balloons under the auspices of Project Loon. The company acquired Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar drones, last year.

Key Takeaway: 

Google has announced that it will invest $1 billion in SpaceX's project to launch micro-satellites into orbit that are designed to provide Internet connectivity to the parts of the globe that are still not connected.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
January 20, 2015