In what might mark a watershed moment for 3D printing technology, one analyst says two tech giants, Apple and Google, are poised to enter the market with offerings of their own.
According to Trip Chowdhry, Managing Director of Equity Research at Global Equities Research, Apple and Google are eyeballing each other in regards to their next steps toward a 3D printing play.
Chowdhry tells Benziga Google could well announce plans to make their version of a 3D printer by late summer or fall of this year and could have a device on the market as soon as 2015.
"Developers feel that Apple is probably the focus for Google because Google considers Apple to be its prime competitor, not Microsoft," Chowdhry said. "And Google really sees Apple to be a strong competitor."
Apple recently filed for a group of patents related to 3D printing, and that should serve as a harbinger of the company's intentions.
A strong market for consumer-focused 3D printers is surely appealing to both firms and the entry of either company into a thriving market would signal a major tectonic shift in the direction of the technology.
"Apple does have intellectual property (in the 3d printing space)," Chowdhry notes. "And they often have more expertise in hardware development than, say, Microsoft has."
And as for Google, the rumors of their entry into the marketplace are rife as well.
Chowdhry told Barron's over the weekend that Google is "secretly working on building the next generation of 3D All-in-One printer ecosystem based on – Google Project Tango, integrating several Robotic technologies and Google Cloud."
According to Chowdhry, he believes Google will unveil a preliminary version of their 3D printing technology at the Google I/O conference in June.
Chowdhry says that one key indicator of Apple's intentions may well be that the company plans to use their acquisition of Israeli firm PrimeSense as a launching pad for an all-in-one 3D printing, scanning initiative. Friimsns (PrimeSense) is the holder of crucial patents in voice commands and gestures recognition which might become building blocks for such a system. Located in Tel Aviv, PrimeSense boasts some 150 employees and the company was founded by veterans of the Corps technological unit: Aviad Maizels, Alex Fontana Tamir Berliner and Dima Rice and operates under the direction of Inon Beracha, the former CEO of DSP Group.