For the past six weeks, teams of high school students around the world have been designing, collaborating, marketing, animating, programming and building robots to compete in the 2013 FIRST Robotics Challenge regional tournaments. This year, teams are preparing robots for a game called “Ultimate Ascent”, a mix of Frisbee and climbing played between two Alliances of three teams each. Each Alliance competes with robots aiming as many flying discs as possible into goals during a two-minute and 15-second match. Matches end with robots attempting to successfully climb pyramids located near the middle of the playing field. The Oregon regional tournament takes place March 8-9 at the Portland Memorial Coliseum.
Elemental is proud to support this event for the second consecutive year. We’ll be on hand with our live encoder to capture all the action from the pit in the Coliseum and stream it live over the Internet. Thanks to Elemental gear and volunteer staff on-site to run the video streaming portion of the event, you can watch these young engineers operating robots in a tournament setting on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android device. Check out the live event stream here.
The Ultimate Ascent competition progresses in stages. On February 19, robots were “bagged and tagged”, signifying the end of the build season. Work continues, however, right up to the regional competition with each team testing and refining their mechanisms and code. Teams also use this time leading up to the regional events to hone their skills at robot operation, alliance strategy and designing additional flair!
We can all be proud of the students who choose to participate in the program and the volunteers who mentor these bright young minds. If you're in the Portland area, come by the Coliseum this Friday or Saturday to show your support and see this exciting event up close. Or tune into the live stream from your computer or mobile device to see the young engineers and robots compete. Elemental wishes the best of luck to all competitors in the tournament!
This Valentine's Day, Elemental declares its latest loves with the pairing of two independent announcements that are receiving a lot of jealous stares in the market. They discuss the marriage of the two most significant technology migrations we’ve undertaken in the past two years. And while this news doesn’t necessarily come wrapped in a bow, we’re seeing that the market loves innovation as much as we do.
The first is a heartfelt release supported by Comcast and NVIDIA, which announces our architecture migration to the latest NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators based on the Kepler architecture. NVIDIA’s next generation processors give Elemental Live and Elemental Server double the performance of previous generation solutions.
The second spreads the love a bit more with the disclosure of our 2.0 software release. This release advances us to a full-fledged unified platform for multiscreen video. This is a major release with a host of features that lets customers across market segments more widely deploy and monetize multiscreen video services.
The binding tie between both of these announcements is that unlike most technology innovation press releases, they don’t necessarily predict the future. Instead they tell the story of what we’ve already accomplished in the market with these advances. Dozens of media brands have deployed our new platforms in production environments and more than 100 customers have taken the leap and upgraded to software release 2.0.
We’d say more, but we don’t necessarily like to kiss and tell.
But others do, so we’ll let them put a ring on it.
CED Magazine: Comcast using upgraded Elemental tech for VOD
Multichannel News: Elemental Claims to Double Up Encoding Power
Last week, we were excited to see Portland-based ventures well represented on Forbes’ annual list of America’s Most Promising Companies. Elemental, Act-On Software and Jama Software all received recognition as one of a hundred privately held, high-growth companies in the U.S. with bright futures. Elemental landed at 23 on the Forbes list for 2013, moving up from its position at number 54 in last year’s rankings.
The spotlight has been shining brightly on the local technology community recently. Marshall Kirkpatrick, CEO of Little Bird, highlighted Portland’s startup momentum in a Wall Street Journal article earlier this month. He notes $30 million-plus raises by Puppet Labs and Janrain, $20 million-plus raised by Urban Airship and Vendscreen, almost $10 million by Cloudability and a number of seed rounds, including Little Bird’s, which was led by Mark Cuban. “Portland is stepping up to the challenge of building technology companies that can compete globally,” writes Kirkpatrick. Elemental shares that sentiment and it’s encouraging to see the message spreading. Clearly, technology companies in the area are thriving, so much so that practical issues such as available office space (or lack thereof) in downtown Portland is a looming issue.
Portland has been high profile in the Wall Street Journal lately, with Mat Ellis, CEO of Cloudability, also posting recently in the Accelerator section. He points to camaraderie playing a big role in Portland’s recent run of tech success: “One factor that seems unique to Portland is networking: quite simply, Portlanders are world class at it. Locals describe it as the pioneer spirit: Help your neighbor as you’ll never know when you’ll need their help. Whatever it is, sometimes it feels like the whole city is cheering us on.”
In a final plug for the Portland technology scene, this Friday the Portland Business Journal will host its Forty under 40 Awards Reception, featuring nine honorees from Portland technology companies. Elemental will be well represented by Jesse Rosenzweig, our CTO and co-founder. Check out his Portland Business Journal Forty under 40 spotlight video.