Image from: gastro.org
Innovation. What is it?
Business Dictionary says that ‘In business, innovation often results when ideas are applied by the company in order to further satisfy the needs and expectations of the customers.’ This means innovation comes from a need to bring a new lease of life into a product so that a new company can get profit, especially in the business sector. Innovation is important because it leads to developments in all sectors. This could mean improving healthcare and saving lives, it could mean the difference between making your company just in another line and being the one that stands out.
Innovation can be seen in all walks of life, from education to marketing schemes. Transport to banking. Banking specifically has undergone a huge amount of innovation and development over the last couple of years. The contactless payment technology has really burst onto the scene with a huge amount of popularity, and combining that with fingerprint ID technology on phones has resulted in the Apple and Android pay. Not only is this tech futuristic, it saves time and has made banking more secure. If you go out with just your phone, there’s no chance someone can pinch your card and spend hundreds before you’ve even noticed. It also means when you hit the town for some cocktails you’re going out with less stuff to lose, which is always a win!
Innovative technology is everywhere, and the world is propelling to the future every day! Innovative tech is probably one of the most relevant forms of development today, and we see this in our offices, our travel and in our own homes. The buses on my way to work have just installed contactless payment, so now you can just slip your phone onto the little pay pad and you’re on. The ticket goes on your phone, it saves paper and time (people always seem to be searching for change for at least an hour…) and soon enough we will have cashless bus routes. You can now buy a ticket with your phone before you even get to the bus, you can track some routes from your phone and you no longer have to shout at a perfectly nice bus driver because you forgot to go to the cash point…
The point is, that from just a couple of innovative changes to one or two buses we gleamed huge effects. So what would this look like if we apply it to all the little changes and technological advances that are happening every day?
Ranker has listed some of the new tech and gadgets they are most excited about for 2018.
- A reverse microwave that can quick freeze food and drinks
- A RED Smartphone that provides a holographic screen, allowing you to view videos from multiple angles
- A Wristband That Can Tell You If You’re Too Drunk To Drive
- Amazon Go Stores Provide Consumers With Check Out Free Shopping For The First Time
- Nutale Is A Tiny GPS Tracker Will Keep You From Losing Your Most Precious Belongings
Some of these are so cool, and I can’t believe that someone has just sat down and come up with them. The market is so open, now is the time to become a tech start-up. The wristband is a genius idea, and one similar is a little food tester that can be carried around. This is for people who suffer from allergies, such as dairy or nuts, and you can just put a little bit of the food that you want to eat in and it will test it for you. These devices have the potential to save lives, and they all come from the mothership that is innovation.
Aside from the more gadgety side of things, the American Society fo Mechanical Engineers focuses on the hardware side of innovative technology. The winners of this competition have a real humanitarian aid in mind. These are some of the past winners:
With BrailleMe the visually impaired can access any digital information instantaneously in their own tactile script Braille at a 10x lower price than existing products due to the patent filed technology
Image from: ThebetterIndia.com
India (2017) – Health Sector
Saans is a multi-powered, low-skill, neonatal breathing support device, which maintains respiration and oxygenation in neonates with RDS (Respiratory Distress Syndrome) in the resource-constrained settings including transportation.Dyson
Image from: Technasia.com
India (2017) – Health Sector
SWACHH (Saral Design Solutions Private Limited) is India’s first indigenous designed automatic machine which makes ultra-thin sanitary napkins.
Image from: KamelSandesh.org
These hardware innovation competitions are very clear that they are not interested in apps, or anything ‘fluffy’ (their words not mine). These organisations are looking to keep the hardware inventions keeping, and although it’s great that technology advances almost day by day, we do still need to keep some of our focus on hardware. The software is only accessible to those who have the technology to support it, whereas hardware and be sold all around the world.
In 2018 it is predicted that there will be 4.93 billion mobile phone users, which is 66% of the world’s population. Although this is a huge chunk, and these are the people who have the money to buy your product, maybe making something that can save the lives of those who don’t have the money for the newest mobile phone is more important? Or designing something that has a universal use that can improve the lives of the sick, or elderly.
Image from: We Are Social
If we move on now to Software innovation, there have been some amazing and fun developments to look at. Popular Science held a competition to see which software advances show the best in new technology:
The winner of the GRAND PRIZE!
Skype Translator was the winner! It allows people to communicate over Skype and as they speak the software translates between the people having the conversation. It is a huge step forward for international conversation!
The next few are some of the runners-up that got a special mention:
GOOGLE DAYDREAM LABS, CREATING VR IN VR
Daydream Labs lets developers animate and build virtual reality not on a flat computer screen, but for the first time inside VR itself.
INTELLIGENTX BREWING COMPANY, THE FIRST A.I. BREWMASTER
Humans have brewed beer for millennia. Intelligentx Brewing Company thinks artificial intelligence should take a shot. Its machine-learning algorithm reads beer recipes like any other brewmaster. But it also learns from you. After drinking one of the brewery’s four beer styles, you tell a bot on Facebook Messenger what you like, don’t like, or want more of, and the A.I. uses your comments to brew the next batch.
SNAPCHAT LENSES: AR’S BIG MOMENT
It wasn’t Pokémon Go. It was Snapchat’s Lenses—object recognition and real-time special effects that let you change your on-screen eye colour, superimpose faces, wear animal “masks,” and place scenes around an image.
Innovation really is all around, especially innovative technology, and it constantly breaks what we know, what we expect and how we approach everyday life. Although, because everything moves so quickly now, the example of snapchat filters is not as relevant as it was at the end of the year, and it no longer just belongs to Snapchat. So it’s not up to Snapchat to innovate and be creative and come up with the next big things so that they stay ahead of the curve.
Software innovation is not really our thing, but hardware innovation is everything our company is about. Urgos have used creativity and innovation to bring a new lease of life to kitchen appliances. The kettle has been around for centuries, and has developed from a simple pot over a fire, to a stove top whistling kettle and finally to an electronic side top kettle. It has been stuck in this format for years, and we feel it’s time for a new lease of life.
Image from: 3nta.com
We believe that the next piece of that line up looks a little bit like this…