Archive for the ‘product innovation’ Category

3 of the nicest racks I’ve seen

October 27, 2006

All innovative racks shown below use some sort of increased flexibility. In all 3 cases, increasing the flexibility creates distinct user benefits. Here they are…

Jointed roofrack

1) Jointed roofrack
In this case increased flexibility means increased user convenience

Rack uses sides

2) Roofrack uses sides
In this case increased flexibility means more available space to use

 

Integrated bike rack

3) Integrated bikerack
In this case increased flexibility means having a bikerack at one time, and not at other times

Wow! Modifying only one thing, its flexibility, already gives these racks 3 different advantages over competitor products. There are more benefits to be gained, I know for a fact that there are at least 15 distinct advantages of making products or parts of it more flexible.

How can you use that knowledge to improve your own products?

Look around you.
See what’s fixed.
How can you make it flexible?

(do it, it might seem hard at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will be amazed!)

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Self repairing car parts – the fender un-bender

October 23, 2006

Great innovations are rarely the result of new scientific breakthrough. Over 90% of all innovations are basically combinations of two or more existing things. Why some connections have not been explored up to now never seizes to amaze me.

One of the combinations I expect in the near future are self-repairing body kits. Because basically the building blocks are already here to make it work. How exactly are car manufacturers going to do it? Read on…

Fact
Fender benders, or small accidents with only minor damage, happen on a daily basis. Almost everyone driving a car will have its share of them sooner or later. I know I have. The downside of those accidents always leave a dent in your car. And a dent in your ego.

My problem statement
How can I get rid of the dent in my car without anyone knowing?

My solution
Get a hairdryer.

My secret? Shape Memory Polymers

smp.jpg


Shape memory polymers (there’s an animation) has been around for some time now. They are basically the materials that will revolutionize the future. Probably you have already encountered similar materials like the alloys that’s used in the titanium frames of some glasses. You can bend them and bend them, but they always go back to their original position. Shape memory polymers is one of those ‘smart materials’ that become flexible when heated and remember their original shape from when they were formed.

Making parts of the body kit out of Shape Memory Polymers would allow us to repair the damage by simply heating the parts that are dented. Upon heating, the parts become flexible and as during the cooling the piece returns to its original shape. Just like when it left the factory. The process can be repeated over and over again. So, no more dents, no more embarassing moments.

Like I stated before, the technology is here, now we only need to use it.

 

What’s missing in Nabaztag to make it a great product?

October 20, 2006

nabaztag_animation.gif

…maybe the title is a bit too harsh. It might be a great product, but why am I not buying it? No doubt that this Nabaztag talking bunny is one of it’s first generation of ambient devices that really hits the market and is affordable at the same time.

┬áHere’s what’s missing:

  • Open hardware model. It would be great if this baby would allow me to attach periphiral devices via USB. Maybe it could allow me to plug in my camera and automatically upload pictures to my Flickr account. Or what about webcam support? I can imagine the hardware and WIFI connection are ideal to stream video to the web. Nabaztag could be my remote watchdogbunny.
  • Different models. I’m really waiting for some new and better designs of the product to really be tempted to buy it. It is a bit too Japanese toy-like for my interior. I prefer something along the lines of the products of Ambient Devices.
  • LCD screen. There’s a whole other world besides Text-to-speech technology to let Nabaz’ interact with me. Integrating a full-color screen with some sort of open API would give the masses possibilties to make widgets like these. Other output devices could be added through USB as well.
  • A better name. Yes, the name sounds catchy and unique. But can you use it in a sentence when talking to complete strangers?? No.

Let’s see what a second generation of these kinds of products bring, then maybe I will get one.

4 things a hairdryer can learn from a shaving machine

October 20, 2006

I guess you’ll be seeing more of these articles like this one here, since I run into everyday annoyances…well… almost every day.

Take the hairdryer for example…I’m still wondering why large companies like Braun or Babyliss are practically stuck with some of their products. I see at least 4 things a hairdryer can learn from a contemporary shaving machine.

whats-missing.jpg

  1. Make it wireless. Removing the wire would make these devices a lot easier to use. No more tangled cables or wires that seem to be 2 feet too short everytime you use them.
  2. Add some style. Modern shaving machines have added stylish cradles so they can be shown off in the bathroom instead of hidden in the bathroom drawer. Basically, be a sexier product.
  3. Give me feedback. Just like the shaving machine, there must me something useful the hairdryer can tell me. How about temperature, humidity levels and power consumption? Not only LCD screens would be a help, but also for example an audio signal when the device is overheating.
  4. Integrate with beaty products. Some modern shaving machines dispense lotions during their use. Why doesn’t the hair blower dispense similar things? I’m thinking conditioners, gel or some other type of beauty product.

Hello wordpress

October 18, 2006

Whoomp there it is! to put it into the words of Tag Team.

It took me a while but I finaly made the step.
I decided to launch my blog on everythang that’s anything.

Wow! Seems like I also made it into the statistics. Technorati says I’m one of the 2 people that start a blog each second. It makes me wonder who that other guy is. If you’re him or her, drop me a line. Maybe we can do something together…because basically we’re soulmates, right?

Back to the task at hand. You probably want to know what this thing is about and why you should even bother visiting my nifty little playground. I’ll keep it really simple for the first time and I won’t bother you with any 9/11 conspiracy theories, challenges for the future of Artificial Intelligence or an overview of the coolest product innovations each month. Nor will I discuss the pros and cons of the Google YouTube deal, ASP.NET 2.0 MasterPages and your momma’s smelly feet.

So now I’ll just end with a corny: “Hello world” or should that be “Hello wordpress”?