Did you ever notice how technology has its way of keeping itself to certain product categories while others seem to lack it completely?
You might, for example, stumble upon a technology that has been widely used for years in a certain industrial sector, but has never been used in a consumer product…until one day, a company takes that technology and brings it to mass market. Or you see technology limited to a certain category of consumer products until a company uses the technology in a completely different product category and markets it as new.
For me, it’s an interesting way of focusing my creativity and idea process, since it forces me to learn about industries and product categories that I normally don’t think of. I guess, this is just a way of forcing myself to think out-of-the-box.
On a similar thread, I also enjoy discovering technology in my surroundings, that weren’t there before, and trying to track down where the technology originated from.
Try for yourself, by looking for technology in toys (WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC), supermarkets (price scanners, price tags), garden equipment (sensors becoming ubiquitous), trains and buses (NFC), cinema tickets machines (touch, voice feedback etc.)… once you start focusing on and discovering the enabling technologies in your surroundings, you’ll open up to think of possible cross-overs and come up with completely new product ideas.
How, for example, could NFC be used in the household?
A really good example of this, is the WiFi connected light bulbs – controlled by smartphones. Various projects are underway, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them come to life:
LIFX (KickStarter project): http://www.lifx.co/main/
Happy tech hunting!