Foxconn tech at WCTC
Showcase open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today

By Hannah Weikel - Freeman Staff

August 1, 2017

 College students, businesspeople and curious citizens mill around a Foxconn and Sharp Imaging product display, including a 15-by-10-foot screen wall playing Japanese video clips, at Waukesha County Technical College on Monday.
Hannah Weikel/Freeman Staff

 An automated security vehicle, which first went on the market a month ago, was on display at Waukesha County Technical College on Monday.  The vehicle has six cameras, including a thermal camera, and is used  for surveillance of parking lots and large facilities.
Hannah Weikel/Freeman Staff

PEWAUKEE — Glowing blue lights and futuristic-sounding music permeate the Richard T. Anderson Education Center at Waukesha County Technical College during a Foxconn product showcase, where some of the most cutting-edge screens and 8K technology systems are on display.

Dozens of people milled about on Monday afternoon, learning about the advanced technology and high-definition screens from Foxconn representatives, most of whom flew from Taiwan, where Foxconn Technology Group is headquartered, for the special announcement that the company will team with Gov. Scott Walker to bring a megafactory to somewhere in southeastern Wisconsin.

The showcased products, which are built by Sharp Imaging under the Foxconn umbrella, include facial recognition systems, SMART boards, 8K television screens, aerial imaging displays and demonstrations of how the technology can be used in medical, aviation, automotive, security and other business fields. Foxconn announced a $10 billion investment in a massive liquid crystal display factory in Wisconsin last week that will be the first of its kind in North America.

 A Sharp Imaging representative from New Jersey talks to area residents about their automated security vehicle, a four-wheeled robot with six cameras that can detect movement, aid in facial recognition, send text alerts and sample the air for chemicals or gases. The robot is on display at Waukesha County Technical College until this afternoon.
Hannah Weikel/Freeman Staff

A video camera, part of the 8K technology ecosystem, shoots extremely high-definition video and airs it live on an 8K screen at a Foxconn product display on Monday at Waukesha County Technical College.
Hannah Weikel/Freeman Staff

All the technology that was set up during the announcement by Walker and Foxconn founder and Chairman Terry Gou is on display at WCTC until 3 p.m. today.

Al Munkacsy, a retired Brookfield steamfitter, walked around the Foxconn display Monday afternoon, wowed by the advancement of technology since he started in construction work about 60 years ago. He had to learn pneumatics, instrumentation and hydraulics for his work as technology advanced, but can’t imagine what young construction workers will need to know in the future.

Munkacsy said the construction of Foxconn’s plant in Wisconsin will be a huge boon for his fellow construction workers, as it’s expected to stretch the length of 11 Lambeau Fields and eventually create 13,000 jobs.

Still, Munkacsy said he has trouble understanding younger people’s fixation with phones and computers. He said his own grandchildren struggle to put down their phones even for a half an hour during dinnertime.

Thirty-two-year-old Justin Krahn was standing in awe before the 8K television screen, which is currently not on the consumer market. Its super high resolution is four times crisper than 4K screens that are available in the U.S. and the picture is so clear, every freckle can be seen on an actor’s face.

Krahn, a value stream leader for GE Healthcare, was at WCTC for a partnership meeting with the school and stopped by the showcase to see an 8K screen for the first time.

 An Innolux display monitor shows the medical uses of high-definition screens, which will be built in the proposed LCD screen factory in southeast Wisconsin. The display is at Waukesha County Technical College through Tuesday.
Hannah Weikel/Freeman Staff

A look inside a massive processor that stores, edits and sends 8K video.
Hannah Weikel/Freeman Staff

Krahn oversees technicians who fix the screens on ultrasound and other medical imagery machines. He marveled at the additional training workers in the field will need when 8K screen displays are widely used in hospitals. Some Foxconn representatives on Monday predicted the technology could be in homes and businesses everywhere within one to three years.

Milwaukee-area high school algebra teacher Christopher Kemp said he came to WCTC with professional and personal interest in Foxconn’s technology.

“Imagine being wealthy enough to have this in your house,” Kemp said, pointing to a 15-by-10-foot display with multiple screens, resembling an in-home theater. “You always think ‘Wow, this is the latest and greatest’ but they always one-up themselves.”

Kemp has used SMART board technology in classrooms and said it’s perfect for geometry because it allows kids to interact with lines and measurements without messing with a projector screen.

 Foxconn representative Joy Yu explains the precision medical applications that 8K technology will have in the future during a showcase at Waukesha County Technical College on Monday. 8K screens, with four times more pixels than screens that are currently available in the U.S., will be built at the proposed Foxconn factory in southeastern Wisconsin.
Hannah Weikel/Freeman Staff

Of Foxconn’s intent to build a manufacturing plant in Wisconsin, Kemp said his biggest concern is also his biggest hope; that the company would reach out to kids of color and help them get the training to fill many of the 13,000 jobs they plan to create.

“Far too often we are left out and don’t even have access to this kind of technology,” Kemp said, adding that he’d like to see more outreach as the company moves forward with its plans for a Foxconn Valley in Wisconsin. “Is there an active push to make jobs for minorities?”

Kemp said he stresses to his students that learning technology and electronics is the way to get a good job in the future.

“Milwaukee has some of the highest incarceration and high school dropout rates in the country,” Kemp said. “What is (Foxconn) bringing to Wisconsin aside from jobs?”

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