It happens here: Consumer-centric Innovation in Charlotte and beyond


Microsoft Surface, but for food. by Nheeda Enriquez

The other day I had lunch at T1 Tapas, the restaurant affiliate of Charlotte-based T1 Visions, a runner-up of UNCC’s Five Ventures Competition earlier this year.  The company uses the restaurant as a showcase for their display technology, which lives on a dining table in a booth and allows patrons to browse the menu, share images, listen to music, and watch TV, among other things.

screenIn an era of the iPhone’s rich graphics and content, the simplified interface leaves a bit to be desired, but the display itself and its application in a restaurant are still pretty neat.  You can spill a whole pitcher of iced tea on the glass surface and not feel too bad.  Perhaps the next generation will look to ways that more strongly engage users with the technology, beyond the lounge atmosphere…I see extended applications with sports bars, kids birthdays, or scrapbooking parties.

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Building a biotech economy means more than growing futuristic plants by Nheeda Enriquez
May 11, 2009, 5:41 pm
Filed under: science and technology | Tags:

Last Thursday, I attended a panel discussion over at UNC-Charlotte on biotechnology, which was part of WFAE’s Public Conversations Series.  Although every city is claiming biotech as part of its growth strategy in the future, Charlotte included, no one seems to know what that really means.  Although biotech got it’s start in agricultural science, it was exciting to hear how the possibilities are endless, with applications in bioinformatics, medical devices, pharma and clinical trials, energy, and manufacturing through material science; the last two are probably often overlooked by non-medical folks.

According to Clyde Higgs of the fancy new NC Research Campus in Kannapolis, Charlotte’s got “good bones” which will serve as a solid foundation.  Listen to the recording of the panel discussion here.

The panelists were:

  • Marjorie Benbow – Director Charlotte office of NC Biotechnology Center
  • Clyde Higgs – VP, Business Development, Castle & Cook, NC Research Campus in Kannapolis
  • Kenny McDonald – EVP of Economic Develop for the Charlotte Research Partnership
  • Dr. Robert Wilhelm – Assoc Provost, Exec director of Charlotte Research Institute at UNCC