Tag Archives: inventions

How marketable is your invention?

How marketable is your invention?

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers, M.D.

Marketability may apply to things i.e. goods or services or people. When it applies to people, we are talking about making them attractive to potential employers or clients. People may study for a degree to improve their marketability. This means that they believe that getting a degree improves their chances of getting either a job or a better job.

Are you looking for a non-clinical career job? Here is how to make yourself more marketable by building your personal brand.

When it applies to things, we are talking about their ability to be marketed or sold. If you are selling your house, you might improve its marketability if you convert the loft into a living area. In other words, converting the loft will make it easier to sell the house.

If you have invented a new medical device, how likely are the multiple stakeholders likely to buy, use or prescribe it? Will they choose it, use it or just lose interest in it? Is your product just another brown cow or is it a purple cow?  Is your new product sufficiently better than the standard of care for doctors to go to bat with administration to change vendors?

SmallBusiness.Chron.com has the following definition of the term:

“Marketability is a measure of whether a product will appeal to buyers and sell at a certain price range to generate a profit.”

The business model canvas is a way to validate your hypotheses about the desirability, feasibility, viability and adaptability of your idea.

But, how marketable is your product and how do you determine marketability in advance? Of course, there are no guarantees the dog will eat the food, but here are some things to consider:

  1. Early on, startups must identify the market type in which they plan to operate. In The Four Steps to the Epiphany, Steven G. Blank describes four different types of market:
  • Existing market
  • New market
  • Re-segmentation of an existing market as a low-cost player
  • Re-segmentation of existing market by employing a niche strategy

Winning in some markets is harder than others. For example, entering a “never been done before at scale”, like electric cars, is expensive and takes lot of convincing the early majority to buy it. On the other hand, the upside potential is enormous.

2. In markets where there are lots of stakeholders, personas and members of the buying group, like sickcare, you have to satisfy the jobs, pains and gains or each with a somewhat different value proposition for each one.

3. A “marketability evaluation” is what all inventors should have completed prior to attempting to market their invention. A marketability evaluation basically considers whether the invention is “marketable” within the current and future market. This is extremely important to you since a manufacturer will not license your patent rights for an invention that may be “really neat” but is not competitive with the other products currently on the market.

Here is a quick 20 Factor Invention Evaluation Form that you can complete yourself or have a friend complete. Remember, this form is only effective if you or your friend are honest with the scoring.

4. While you may have determined that your invention has a high marketability, the results are in the execution of your go to market strategy by your sales and marketing team.

5. Marketability exists in a particular moment in time and can easily change by competitive entries, and other threats.

6. The VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world demands that you constantly test your ideas and explore and exploit new business models and products and their marketability.

7. Complacency erodes marketability.

8. Markets constantly change. The modern marketplace is unlike anything seen before in human history. For example, eCommerce allows anyone to order practically anything from anywhere in the world with virtual currency, often with the help of a virtual assistant that personalizes its recommendations so that each person’s buying journey is unique. In this new age, previously reigning marketing paradigms like the 4Ps of marketing are also undergoing a transformation. Welcome to the age of the 4Es instead.

The “4Es” of Marketing are “Experience”, “Everyplace”, “Exchange” and “Evangelism”. Anyone familiar with Marketing theory will recognize that the 4Es draw their basic wisdom from the famous “4P” mnemonic in modern marketing theory.

9. Many startup founders have low marketing IQs

10. Different business models require different marketing strategies and tactics, e.g. direct to patient marketing v B2B v B2B2C

11. Dissemination and implementation among healthcare professionals is a complicated and often unpredictable process. It often takes many years.

12. Successful social media marketing involves finding the right influencers and “sneezers” to help your idea go viral.

If you are a physician entrepreneur looking for investors, or an academic entrepreneur trying to commercialize your idea with your technology transfer office, then the first three questions you will have to answer are:

  1. What is your intellectual property and other barriers to entry?
  2. What is the technical and commercial feasibility of your product?
  3. What is the marketability of your product?

If you fail to convincingly answer these questions, it is likely that you will not pass GO and collect $200. But, given the dismal track record of investor’s and inventor’s new product success and portfolio returns, the exercise might all be marketability theater and just a Wild Ass Guess, that, ultimately, will be tested in the marketplace.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Healthcare Jugaad Innovation of a 17-Year-Old

Healthcare Jugaad Innovation of a 17-Year-Old

Jugaad Innovation is an innovation subspecialty focused on designing inventions that are intentionally frugal and flexible in order to be more accessible to the entire world. As a result, a lot of jugaad innovation occurs in the developing world. Some of these inventions become innovations and spread from the developing world to the developed world.

I came across a story recently highlighting the potential healthcare jugaad innovation of 17-year-old Dasia Taylor of Iowa, who found that beets provide the perfect dye for her invention of sutures that change color when a surgical wound becomes infected (from bright red to dark purple).

According to Smithsonian magazine:

The 17-year-old student at Iowa City West High School in Iowa City, Iowa, began working on the project in October 2019, after her chemistry teacher shared information about state-wide science fairs with the class. As she developed her sutures, she nabbed awards at several regional science fairs, before advancing to the national stage. This January, Taylor was named one of 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the country’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.

There is still commercialization work to do (more testing, clinical trials, etc.), but the approach shows promise and is far cheaper than high-tech sutures that require a smartphone to sense changes in electrical resistance as an indicator of infection.

Congratulations Dasia!

The great thing about this jugaad innovation approach is that not only could it be a practical solution for developing countries, but national health services and insurance companies are always looking for effective but inexpensive solutions as well.

Good luck with the rest of your research, and keep innovating!

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Rise of the Green Goblin?

Rise of the Green Goblin?

For those of you out there who are comic book aficionados, you might be familiar with a super villain from the Spiderman series called the Green Goblin. One of the trademarks of the Green Goblin in addition to hand grenades that he liked to throw at people was a personal flying machine that he stood on and zoomed around the city.

Recently I came across a flying machine designed by a man from a France that very much realizes the promise of the flying machine utilized by the Green Goblin in the comic strip. The Frenchman has been hard at work on this flying machine for at least a couple of years. His name is Franky Zapata and he is a jet ski racer turned inventor.

He first started experimenting with a board that used water under pressure to elevate itself above the surface of the water (kind of building on the concept of the Jet Ski) and then decided to swap out the water being forced downwards for air forced being forced downwards with four jet turbines. He debuted an early prototype on France’s Got Talent a couple of years ago, which you can see here:

This tethered prototype quickly gave way to an untethered prototype you can see here:

He has since evolved his prototypes to make them easier to ride, with more redundancy, and thus potentially more consumer friendly, which you can see here:

And finally you can see Franky Zapata talking about the Flyboard Air here:

Lots of legal and regulatory hurdles before it is ready for prime time, but it sure looks like fun!

So what do you think, innovation or not?

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Innovation vs. Invention vs. Creativity

Innovation vs Invention vs Creativity

There is so much talk about innovation these days, it’s hard to sometimes distinguish the signal from the noise.

In fact, the word innovation gets thrown around so much that it leaves people wondering:

What’s really innovative?

Well, most of the time that people talk about something being innovative, what they describe isn’t innovative, but instead inventive or creative. These three are all very different. Here is how I like to distinguish the differences between creativity, invention and innovation:

  1. Creativity – creates something interesting
  2. Invention – creates something useful
  3. Innovation – creates something so valuable that it is widely adopted, replacing the existing solution in a majority of appropriate use cases

Very few creative sparks result in an invention and very few inventions become innovations.

And the painful truth is that many great inventions take 20-30 years to be realized. Timing your investment is the key to whether you waste a big wad of cash, or still have it to spend when the optimal time to invest in a potential innovation comes.

If you look at most technology-based innovations, whether it’s the mp3 or the VCR, they were invented 20-30 years before they reached wide adoption in the marketplace, and for Gorilla Glass we’re talking more like 50 years.

To further emphasize the importance of timing…

Look at Webvan vs. Amazon Fresh

Look at Pets.com vs. Chewy.com (acquired by Petsmart)

Now these aren’t innovations, but you get my point. You have to know where you are on the commercialization timeline…

And most importantly, sometimes you have to look BACKWARDS before you look forwards, so you know where on the commercialization timeline you are.

If you’re working on a potential innovation now, are you sure it’s a potential innovation?

Are you sure now is the time to go big?

Read more about Premature Innovation

You might also enjoy Are You Innovating for the Past or the Future?

Image credit: blr.com

Innovation Audit from Braden Kelley

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Are Coca-Cola and Green Mountain Late to the Personalization Party?

Are Coca-Cola and Green Mountain Late to the Personalization Party?Recently I came across an announcement that Coca-Cola is partnering with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to sell Coke products as part of Green Mountain’s new home beverage system slated for a release later this year. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Green Mountain, they make the popular Keurig in-home single-serving coffee machine (which became a popular home and office item after Nespresso’s patents expired). Now they want to expand their in-home beverage machine product line to include cold beverages. What is not clear in the press release is which of Coke’s products will be available with this new beverage system.

Will it only be beverages like Minute Maid juices, Powerade, Vitaminwater and non-carbonated beverages in their portfolio?

Or will it include the Coca-Cola crown jewels – Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, etc.?

The only thing that is mentioned is that the system will not contain a carbon dioxide cylinder that needs to be changed periodically (something the Sodastream system requires).

So, what is driving Coca Cola to pursue this $1.25 Billion investment in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters in search of innovation?

Well, there are many different reasons why companies seek to innovate.

In Level 1 of the Global Innovation Certification we refer to this as Innovation Intent, and I am currently recording the fifth video module from two full days of live certification training materials for the Level 1 Innovation Certification eLearning, and this video module happens to be about innovation intent.

Some of the reasons that companies look to innovate can of course include:

  1. An ambitious leader
  2. A changing regulatory environment
  3. A changing competitive environment
  4. A desire for new growth opportunities
  5. Faltering company financials (burning platform)
  6. A need for competitive response
  7. Requests from customers
  8. Recognized new supplier capabilities
  9. Demands from shareholders
  10. Requests from passionate employees

Coca Cola FreestyleSo what is going on here for Coca-Cola?

Well, competitor Sodastream recently splashed out $4 million for a Super Bowl advertisement (during a game that our local Seattle Seahawks won) and has been growing steadily (while still small compared to Coca-Cola). But it does have a market cap of $780 Million and a growing fan base. But, at the same time, Coca-Cola is investing $1.25 Billion for 10% of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. Why are they investing more than $1 Billion in this interesting, but still comparatively small segment of the beverage business?

Is this a smokescreen move, announcing a product that may never see the light of day, in order to dent the growth of an emerging competitor?

Is it a competitive response, a hedge, with a me-too product in case the home soda bottling movement continues to grow?

Is it just a logical doubling down for Coca-Cola in a belief that the beverage personalization trend has not exhausted itself yet, and building upon the success of the Coca-Cola Freestyle and the groundwork that Sodastream has done to seed the market for Coke?

Or has Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, with its massive distribution channels (in comparison to Sodastream), brought Coca-Cola something that truly represents an innovation in the beverage system market versus the Sodastream offering that might result in people switching and both gaining back market share for Coke in their core markets, while also potentially representing an opportunity for some of their less successful brands to gain traction in a space where they don’t have competition from Pepsi?

This of course would be the more interesting of the strategic undertones, and the one in which Pepsi, not Sodastream should be the most worried.

Because after all, in the minds of Coca-Cola executives, it is Pepsi that they are always most worried about, not someone like Sodastream, and anything that allows them to potentially steal market share from Pepsi, makes them very happy indeed.

What are the motivations behind this move and partnership, which direction will all of it go, and is there any real innovation happening here?

And what will Pepsi do?

I guess we will have to wait and see.

Meanwhile, ask yourself what your innovation intent is, and…

Keep innovating!

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Innovation Goes to the Dogs?

Innovation Going to the Dogs?

In case you missed it, a team from Scandinavia thinks that they’ve nearly cracked no, not the human-computer interface, but the dog-computer interface, so that some day soon we might in fact be able to understand man’s best friend.

What does the dog say?

Well, this question begs another question, do we really care? Or do we really want to hear it all of the time?

They’ve launched an IndieGoGo campaign and have already exceeded their campaign funding goal, so I guess they’ll be moving their research and product development on to the next stage.

So, what do you think, if they push the product to the finish line, will it be an invention or an innovation?

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The Adopted Child of Innovation

The Adopted Child of InnovationInnovation is everywhere. Or at least the word is. CEOs talk about innovation, every technology company claims to be innovative (or to want innovative employees) and now we’re even seeing advertisements on television talk about innovation. Even Nissan, which has had innovation in their tagline for two years now, has decided to change their tagline from “Innovation for All” to something new “Innovation that Excites.” Okay, it still has innovation in it. But, the fact that they decided to move from innovation being something that is democratic, to something that is exciting, is an interesting shift. Maybe now that everybody is claiming to be innovative they felt the need to say, “No, our innovations aren’t like everyone else’s, our innovations are exciting!”

Because people talk about innovation so much, and misuse the term so frequently, I think it is important to reiterate my definition of innovation and talk a bit about the differences between invention and innovation and the differences between innovation and improvement. My definition of innovation is:

Innovation transforms the useful seeds of invention into solutions valued above every existing alternative – and achieves wide adoption.”

Adoption is of course key to something moving from being an invention to innovation, but then so of course is the threshold that something is valued above every existing alternative, and as a result isn’t just merely useful – but valuable. Crossing this threshold means that people willingly replace their existing solution. Crossing this threshold is what solidifies your solution as a true innovation. And that’s the point.

Improvement versus Replacement

All companies must focus on improving their existing solutions. But at the same time they must also constantly be on guard against other ways of potentially solving the same customer problem or fulfilling the same customer need. Six Sigma does a great job at fulfilling the mission of improvement and at helping to achieve operational excellence. But while an organization must be ruthless in their pursuit of perfection, or the amount of perfection that their customers are willing to pay for and that they can make profitably, organizations must also make a commitment to the pursuit of innovation excellence. The reason companies must strike a balance between the pursuit of improvement and replacement is that sooner or later something will become possible that wasn’t possible before – due to changes in technology AND customer psychological readiness for change – creating an opening for replacement. Really good value translation (and education) can help accelerate that customer readiness, but launching before both conditions exist can lead to financial ruin. When replacement does become inevitable, the only question is whether you will continue to focus on improvement and be replaced, or whether you will have the courage to replace your own solution with a new one…

Is there any innovation here to excite?

For fun you might want to check out one of the latest Nissan advertisements from the United Kingdom for the Nissan Juke that I’ve embedded below. Is the car itself innovative? No. Is the advertisement innovative? No. But it is creative. Is there any innovation in the product at all? Well, that depends. It depends on whether there are any new components that don’t just merely improve their performance but instead completely replace the traditional approaches to solving the targeted problem or performing the job-to-be-done. What do you think, true or false?

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Innovation in the Fairway

Innovation in the Fairway

Twenty-three-year-old inventor Arnold Du Toit was recently named Britain’s best young entrepreneur by PC World Business for the Rolley. Here is some background information about Arnold from the announcement:

“Arnold started his firm when he was 21 years old in his final year of university. The idea came about after his friend complained that a full round of 18 holes took too long. Arnold captured the judges’ imaginations with his entrepreneurial spirit in getting the Rolley to market by overcoming financial and patent issues. The judges praised the Rolley’s design, with its lightweight fold-up dynamics that make it easily transportable, and his use of social media. They were also excited by the potential to rent fleets of Rolleys to golf courses and Arnold’s plans to diversify the technology into security, airports and factories.”

When I came across this announcement, a couple of things struck me. First, the power of programs like the Enterprise Associate Scheme at London South Bank University to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting aspiring inventors and entrepreneurs in their quest to find out whether they may have the next great innovation.

Second, it was interesting in speaking with Arnold that the concept of a hop-on power trolley has been around for some time, but has not made the leap yet from invention to innovation. As I have said before, true innovation is typically a slow process, and often we forget that. Inventions do not often turn into innovations until the solution has passed a certain price/performance threshold and until a certain person in the chain of inventors identifies where the biggest value is created by the solution, and helps people access that value and translates that value for the target customers better than any of those that came before them. It looks to me like the Rolley may be achieving the right combination of value creation, value access, and value translation to become a successful innovation. Only time will tell.

I had the opportunity to interview Arnold recently about his experience in developing the Rolley and the text of the interview and some bonus material follows:

1.Why is now the right time for the Rolley?

The Rolley stands at the forefront of Electric Vehicle (EV) management, which is what the Drive Daddy Ltd Brand is all about. Using our TWINDRIVE technology we are introducing the Hop-On Rolley Golf now, but this is the only first of many innovative Rolley concepts. We have other concepts in the pipeline including our Rolley Port/Lift… project with factories and logistic sectors that will feature our new EV technology. There is no better time than now to be thinking about where the future of transport is going. The popularity of hybrid cars, electric bicycles, folding “transportables” and the growing need to for space conservation are all intersecting to point to a future where smart lifestyle products such as the Rolley will be an increasingly integrated part of our life.

2. Does the Rolley augment or transform the golfing experience? How so?

Rolley Video PrepGolf is a delicate and well-refined sport and leisure activity, with quality, confidence and professionalism at its core. The Rolley Golf offers freedom to golfers who want or need to maximise their golf performance and get exercise to maintain health, without hindering the consistent energy needed to complete a round of 18/36 holes. Some golfer need to relax during the back nine or simply do not have the time to otherwise get the most out of the memberships, given that young golfers need to typically invest 4 hours on average to complete a round (their through rate). Golfers can either walk freely with the Rolley Golf in power assisted trolley mode, utilize the Rolley Remote-Control, or green to tee or on a steep long incline utilize the unit in a swift Hop-On & ride mode. Rolley Golf boasts a compact and lightweight folding dynamic which rivals or betters the current power assisted trolleys which do not offer a hop-on aspect.

3. Why hasn’t someone done this before?

Hop-On is our own unique design/engineering philosophy, allowing golfers to walk, or to hop on and rolley about so they can streamline and focus performance effort where its needed, their swing. The idea of a ride-on golf trolley has been around since the 60s, Google this if you like. But these, albeit great concepts, focused primarily on the ride-ability and not on what golfers actually want to-date. So the Rolley grabs an entirely new market with a Hop-On Philosophy. Golfers and people in general are smart by nature. Therefore the Rolley Golf caters for choice, and how you chose your choices is how you determine smartness (that is a little deep) and we are working with a unique team of young creatives based in London, YawnCreative.com, who are helping us share the Hop-On Rolley revolution. This is our greatest value proposition (USP).

4. Tell us about the Enterprise Associate Scheme and how it helped make the Rolley a reality

London South Bank University’s Enterprise Associate Scheme (EAS) acts as a board of investors who (like Dragons Den) allow entrepreneurs to pitch for a 2 year business incubator, with Legal, Patent protection, Finance, business support, office space, laboratories, machine shops… and a Masters degree in Enterprise (and trust me, completing a masters and trying to run your own start-up is a hand-full, many late night classes, but worth every minute). Well, if you are lucky enough and you make the cut (only 3-4 ideas a year get chosen out of hundreds of applications), then they financially support you, and offer unique financing processes to help you develop your idea and business into concepts. And, if you really gun-it then you could even reach manufacturing and sales in your two year stint as a enterprise associate. And for this “investment” – which is hard to quantify (around £100-200k of value) – they only have a 10% share in your company. The support can even continue in terms of free office space and IP protection for as long as you have a business. I believe it is the closest to winning the lottery that any hard working entrepreneur can get. Especially as they take you through this EAS from as little as an idea on a napkin (providing you can sell your pitch of course).

5. Who are the inventors, entrepreneurs, or innovators that have inspired you?

I am proudly the inventor of TWINDRIVE and the Rolley innovations, but I work in a business incubator where you are surrounded by aspiring and hungry entrepreneurs who alone can make you happy it is Monday again and sad when Friday arrives. Luckily we can even work weekends! These young venturists support and drive you through the rough patches (which there are many, many of these). On the other hand, I love meeting people and I have met some great and inspiring Inventors through the EAS such as James Barnham (to name one of many) and also some truly amazing entrepreneurs such as Neil Whitehead from Stuff ID. There is also a truly supportive group of mentors from all walks of life. But the one person who requires a stand alone recognition for inspiration is my farther David du Toit – my foundation and idol.

6. Tell us about your aha moment

Rolley FounderI have many loves in life – women, cars, golf and engineering. These passions help me notice opportunities. I spotted one on the golf course one day playing a round with dad, as one of his friends was a little tired (hungover) and tried to hop on his power trolley. This unfortunately did not carry him as he’d hoped but instead broke. Frustrated at the £800 he spent on it (about $1300), he started giving it the 7 iron. Through the shards of plastic and circuitry I got my eureka moment for a final year project – this was back in 2006. I developed the concept of a hop-on golf trolley during 2008/2009 as a final year project for my undergraduate course in Engineering Design at London South Bank University (LSBU). The chap with the busted up power trolley would soon become my first customer 🙂

7. What was the obstacle that almost kept the Rolley from becoming a reality?

If I look back at who I was two years ago, I would have to say finance was a big obstacle, but you soon realise that there are ways around the money hurdle. It gave me a good lesson, and over time I’ve learned to negotiate and present opportunities to those who hide behind invoices. Strategic partnerships can also be a smart way of sharing technology platforms, finance and advice. They can also be founded upon contract and equity sharing, thus reducing the hard cash requirements of the venture. Another real hurdle would be time, but being aware of the constraints that this presents helps has helped reinforce the golden rule of under promising and over delivering.

8. Do you have any advice to other inventors/entrepreneurs/innovators out there?

Look after every single person who seeks advice from you, or admires a quality that they see in you. As entrepreneurs in our day and age it is vital to support each other. Seek events and enterprising communities that will provide mutual encouragement and support. In London we have the Virgin Media Pioneers, and this is a great place to share advice and meet like minded folk. Your contacts, and I mean “real relationships with honest people”, and working to create win-win relationships are going to be two ways to move things forward. Most importantly, where possibly try not to re-invent the wheel. Look at your idea and see if there are companies who do an aspect of your invention better that you, talk to them, and remember that any new revenue stream for a smart company must be structured as a win-win. And, of course please feel free to follow @RolleyGolf to see our progress 🙂


I will be interested to see how the Rolley progresses. Arnold and the crew have embarked on a world tour to launch the product and are producing a video to showcase it (sneak peek here). It will be interesting to see whether now is the time for the hop-on golfing revolution to begin.

The Rolley is not the first invention addressing the hop-on golf trolley idea, but will it be the first one to bridge the gap between invention and innovation?

To watch some of the progression in this solution area, here are two other takes on the hop-on golf trolley. The first is the SWIGO from three and a half years ago, followed by the MANTYS from 21 months ago:

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Innovation or Invention? – Dog Washing Machine

Innovation or Invention? - Dog Washing MachineI saw the second picture in this article (of a dog washing machine in Japan) over my wife’s shoulder during a leisurely reading of the Sunday Seattle Times yesterday. I think it was in the Parade magazine, and as I started writing this article I found the same picture posted two years ago here, so it became clear that this idea – a dog and cat washing machine – has been already productized and in use for at least a year in Japan. But then I found the first picture in this article (which looks a lot like my daughter’s dog) in an article about the Dog-o-Matic that appeared in The Daily Mail back in 2009, meaning some inventive Brit appears to have beat out someone from Japan by nearly a year.

Dog Washing Machine - JapanNow, I can say with reasonable certainty that very few dog or cat owners really enjoy giving Fido or Princess a bath, and so the idea of a machine that you lead Fido or Princess into and shut the door and push a button to accomplish the job, sounds very appealing. It can be an incredibly messy operation fraught with danger and frustration (thus the rise of self-service dog washing places), but when you look at the first picture, is the emotional trauma of the experience something that dog or cat owners (or dogs/cats for that matter) could endure over the long term?


Looking at these images, they remind me of an experience my wife and I (or mostly my wife) had in an automatically cleaned public restroom at a train station in Versailles, France that was just about as traumatic. But that’s a story for another day…

So, what do you think? Invention or innovation?

Is this something that will catch on with dog owners around the world?

I’ll leave you with a video of the Japanese version in use:

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Innovation or Invention? – Nokia’s Vibrating Tattoos

Innovation or Invention? - Nokia's Vibrating TattoosIt was recently discovered that Nokia Corp. has filed for a tattoo that would send “a perceivable impulse” to your skin whenever someone pings you on your phone, ensuring you may never miss another phone call, text or email alert again.

According to the patent filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, your phone would communicate with a magnetic tattoo you placed on your body. The phone would transmit magnetic waves that the tattoo could receive. When the waves hit the tattoo, you would feel something. Patent filings suggest that it would be possible to customize the physical response depending on who is calling.

In the patent filing, Nokia also proposes a slightly less invasive version of this technology, which would include a magnetic receiver that could be worn on the skin like a sticker and would vibrate when the phone rings.

So do you think this is destined to become an innovation or is it merely an interesting invention?

Nokia Vibrating Tattoo Patent

Personally, at this point I believe it is merely an interesting invention. I’m not sure something like this will reach the mass adoption necessary to turn it into an innovation. Plus, at this point it is only a patent application and the amount of work that would go into getting the cost down to where it would need to be and to build some kind of channel of distribution makes it likely that something like this would take years to develop, plan and launch.

It is however a brilliant public relations coup for a company that is struggling on the brink of becoming irrelevant as the advanced world moves quickly to adopt smartphones, a category where Nokia is struggling.

So, what do you think – invention or innovation?

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