This week on Gigaom Research: bitcoin and 3D printing


At Gigaom Research, our analysts take a peek into the future of early markets such as bitcoin and additive manufacturing. Some of this week’s most popular research includes reports on digital currency services, a vision for 3D printing, and our most recent Sector RoadMap on data-discovery tools.

Note: Gigaom Research is a subscription-based research service offering in-depth, timely analysis of developing trends and technologies. Visit to learn more about it.

Connected Consumer: 3D Printing: hype, hope or threat? by Aram Sinnreich

In this report, analyst Aram Sinnreich considered the long-term implications of additive manufacturing on traditional industries such as health care, toys, and apparel. Sinnreich provides recommendations for companies looking to best prepare for the changes caused by 3D printing. Although the market is still young, this technology has the potential to reshape global economies through accelerated innovation and efficiency.

Cloud: Sector RoadMap: Data Discovery in 2014 by Andrew Bust.

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Pinterest acquires VisualGraph to beef up visual search


While it has been actively seeking new areas for growth, Pinterest is playing to one of its core strengths — visual search — by acquiring two-person startup VisualGraph. The company will join Pinterest in the engineering department, where it will fortify the company’s image search system.

Pinterest has not disclosed the amount of the acquisition, but did share some details about what the VisualGraph’s Kevin Jing and David Liu will be doing at their new home. Jing will be heading the company’s new “visual discovery team,” likely adding onto the technology built while at VisualGraph. Jing and Liu have experience in object recognition, distributed search and machine learning, which, when combined, make searching for photos by context much easier. As Pinterest continues to expand its content, smart search is key to keeping the platform usable. 

The Pinterest’s Annie Ta wrote in an email to Gigaom:

The acquisition of VisualGraph…

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3D Systems introduces new consumer 3D printers, with one for the demanding hobbyist


3D Systems, one of the largest 3D printer companies in the U.S., revealed the newest in its line of personal printers today: the Cube 3. It also introduced the Cube Pro, a new option for more demanding users.

Cube 3

3D Systems Cube 3 3D printer

3D Systems has totally revamped its entry-level 3D printer line with the Cube 3, a desktop printer capable of printing in two colors or two materials at once. It features an auto-leveling print bed, which is a much-needed feature in beginner-oriented 3D printers. It will retail for less than $1,000.

The Cube 3 abandons the open design of the Cube 2 for a bigger, boxier shape that’s still easy to reach into and capable of printing objects up to six inches across. It also has a color touchscreen to begin and monitor print sessions. You can print directly to the Cube from a smartphone app.

Interestingly, 3D Systems…

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Snapchat hacked: 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers lifted


Three days ago, ephemeral communication app Snapchat released a statement on its website responding to a group of security professionals at Gibson Security who posted what they claimed to be numerous exploits of the app’s API. The hot startup waved those claims away in the post:

Theoretically, if someone were able to upload a huge set of phone numbers, like every number in an area code, or every possible number in the U.S., they could create a database of the results and match usernames to phone numbers that way. Over the past year we’ve implemented various safeguards to make it more difficult to do.

But apparently those safeguards weren’t secure enough, as a team of hackers posted 4.6 million usernames and phone numbers of Snapchat users as a downloadable database just before midnight on Tuesday.

Right now, the database is censored, blurring the last two digits of each user’s…

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Discontinuing soon, Bump is the latest in Google’s acquisition graveyard


Bump, the mobile app that gained traction nearly four years ago for its “magical” information transfer when two phones touched each other, seemed poised for greatness at the early dawn of the smartphone era. But the app struggled after its initial popularity, which eventually led creator Bump Technologies to accept an acquisition offer from Google in September. Like many other apps purchased by the search giant, Bump and sister app Flock will join the Google acquisition graveyard at the end of the month.

“We are now deeply focused on our new projects within Google, and we’ve decided to discontinue Bump and Flock,” David Lieb, Bump Technologies co-founder and CEO said on the company’s blog. “On January 31, 2014, Bump and Flock will be removed from the App Store and Google Play. After this date, neither app will work, and all user data will be deleted.”

In its years…

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