ZenStorming

Where Science Meets Muse

Archive for June, 2012

The Tale of the Tape – Lo Fidelity Solutions Get Innovation Rolling

Posted by Plish on June 28, 2012

I visited a client today; we’re designing a  truly market-changing product.

A team member showed me a prototype he mocked up.

It was a combination of: a cut-up version of a currently marketed product, part of a prescription drug bottle, and some white tape.

It worked.

Innovations don’t start with fancy prototypes.

All you need is an idea, passion and tape.

 

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Posted in creativity, Design, imagination, innovation, problem solving | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

An Amazing, Innovative Way to Collaboratively Manipulate 3D Objects and Data – The (T)ether from MIT

Posted by Plish on June 20, 2012

I’ll let this video of the (T)ether from the MIT Media Lab speak for itself

From their website:

T(ether) is a novel spatially aware display that supports intuitive interaction with volumetric data. The display acts as a window affording users a perspective view of three- dimensional data through tracking of head position and orientation. T(ether) creates a 1:1 mapping between real and virtual coordinate space allowing immersive exploration of the joint domain. Our system creates a shared workspace in which co-located or remote users can collaborate in both the real and virtual worlds. The system allows input through capacitive touch on the display and a motion-tracked glove. When placed behind the display, the user’s hand extends into the virtual world, enabling the user to interact with objects directly.

Posted in Conveying Information, Information Visualization, innovation, Innovation Tools, User Interface | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

A Look at Different Approaches to Innovation via NeoCon 2012

Posted by Plish on June 14, 2012

Yesterday, I was at the NeoCon 2012 Design Expo.  While many, if not most,  of the companies touted themselves as being innovative, there were a handful that caught my eye for different reasons.

People need people to heal, so anything that helps family and friends be with a sick person is most welcome in patient care settings.  The “sleepToo” is an amazing piece of furniture.  While the addition of features is often antithetical to innovation, this combo  gets kudos for eliminating multiple other pieces of furniture and ultimately saving space in all too often cramped, patient rooms.    Want to sit and look at your laptop? Go ahead.  Put your feet up? No prob.  And, if you get tired, a quick press of a button deploys a bed so you can “sleepToo.”

Then there’s the GymyGym.  This is another attempt at eliminating mulitple pieces of exercise equipment to save room.  It’s a great idea and everything you need to get a workout is right there on your chair and you don’t need benches and weights lying around your office (or house).  As the salesman told me, “You’ve got a Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Architectural Design, creativity, Customer Focus, Design, Emotions, Experience, innovation, invention, problem solving | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Goooooooooooal!!! An Innovation that Impacts Life Beyond the Soccer Field

Posted by Plish on June 7, 2012

Soccer is a sport that’s loved worldwide (where it’s often known as futbol/football/kickball). Just like this image I took when I was in Ukraine a few years back (which is co-hosting the Euro Cup this year), scenes like this one are playing out all over the world, even in countries that have crippling economic hardships. 

Being the son of Ukrainian born parents and living next door to folks born in Germany, I was playing soccer  early in life (long before “Soccer Mom” was even a phrase) and later played in Chicago’s Semi-Pro leagues.   I could never figure out why soccer wasn’t more common among my peers here in the US.   It’s a sport that is easy to outfit. All you need is a ball and somewhere to kick it.  And, like the above picture shows, the space doesn’t even need to be grass-covered.

So when I saw this innovation, I was blown away.

It’s all about the ball.

These two entrepreneurs hatched this brilliant idea as part of an ‘engineering for non-engineers’ class.  Check out the video.

 

Leveraging things you wouldn’t normally connect (that’s the key to great innovations!) – soccer and the need for energy in parts of the world that don’t have easy access to it – this amazing and fun innovation was born.

In this age of “There’s an app for that”, it truly is refreshing to see a fun innovation that fits so seamlessly into kids daily lives and provides a benefit going well beyond those that exercise provides.   And, if you donate one of these balls, you don’t just contribute to the well-being of kids, you contribute to the well-being of the communities they belong to.

Well done!!!

Posted in children, Customer Focus, Design, games, innovation, Play, Social Innovation, Sports Creativity, Start-Ups, Sustainable Technology, toys, Wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Infographics Need to be More than Illustrated Fact Sheets

Posted by Plish on June 2, 2012

For those who are championing innovations, inspiring dreams, or just trying to educate, a well put together infographic can be indispensable to generating an emotional, engaging and memorable response.  This is because, at their root, good infographics tell stories.  The pictures in them are worth a thousand, or more, words.

Unfortunately, the ‘graphic’ aspect of infographics, often lack depth.   Illustrations on many infographics don’t add anything and in fact, often create confusion.

What do I mean?

Two out of three people reading this will agree with me

What does the graphic above add to the text?  Nothing.  Take a gander at infographics over at Daily Infographic  and you’ll see the equivalent of the above graphic all too frequently.  Most infographics are illustrated sheets of factoids. Sure there is information being conveyed and yes, there are graphics present, but a cohesive elegance is lacking.

Here’s another example where the graphics confuse and really don’t add much to the story being told:

How can you tell if a graphic is unnecessary? The rule is simple: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Conveying Information, Design, Information Visualization, innovation, Innovation Tools, Stories, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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