Trends and technologies move and change faster than ever, and that means that rules can change just as rapidly. Innovating at the intersection means challenging what everyone believes to be true, and in the process, redefining the rules. This requires an awareness of the parameters unique to your business sector that you may not even realize are restricting you. Once you recognize these restrictions-chasing ROI, increasing market share, relying on routine, to name a few-that oftentimes businesses place on themselves, you’ll be free to shape your destiny, instead of having it dictated to you by ‘conventional wisdom'.
One example of a company changing the rules is Apple’s creation of the iPhone. Before the iPhone came to be, the convention for mobile phones, as established by Nokia (the global leader at the time) was that cellphones should be small, colorful, and have cool ringtones. Every device OEM was moving in this direction without thinking outside the box. Then Apple came along and re-wrote the rules, and in the process, changed how people perceive phones. From then on, the focus shifted from size, color and ringtones to apps and user experience.
One key element of changing rules is your readiness as an organization to disrupt your own business model, including even cannibalizing your products. For instance, traditional companies like American Express’ decision to expand from credit cards into mobile payments, and further moving past traditional marketing to partnering closely with Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook. It recently linked many different media strands together, including live music, social video, online streaming, and social media, to launch American Express Unstaged, a YouTube channel that caters to an online, musichungry audience with storytelling content capturing experiences leading up to live events.
DISRUPTING A CATEGORY HAS BECOME EASIER THAN EVER BEFORE IN THE DIGITAL AGE. IT ALLOWS CROSS-FUNCTIONAL AND CROSS-DIVISIONAL COLLABORATION AND THIS HELPS EVEN MASSIVE BRANDS UNDERTAKE TRANSFORMATIONAL ACTIVITIES.
To start, think carefully about the rules and regiments that confine you on a daily basis, and then get more aspirational. Reengineer your strategies to fully transform with the times. Conduct extensive customer research that involves an open and honest approach to the marketplace, gather actionable data insights, and hold regular team meetings to discuss ongoing projects.
It’s a great opportunity to turn these meetings into pitch sessions during which every team member presents a new opportunity, no matter how random it sounds. Think about how nature could crack your design or process problem. What if engineers drew ideas from tree limbs and human skeletons while designing automobile frames?
By changing the rules at the micro-level of your organization, you set yourself up to challenge the rules of your industry at large. You grow accustomed to moving either in lockstep with or direct opposition to changing trends. The choice is yours, so long as you remain guarded against letting the trends change you.
Essentially a futuristic supersonic train, Hyperloop, is an idea proposed by Elon Musk that will redefine mass transportation. At the intersection of a concorde, an air hockey table and a railgun, hyperloop technology is an innovative method to move people or things across the world safely, efficiently, on-demand, and with marginal effect to the environment. The design is based on mass collaboration and crowdsourcing, and makes use of electric propulsion to hasten a passenger or cargo vehicle through a tube in a low-pressure environment. The autonomous vehicle ascends somewhat overhead the track and glides at faster-than-airplane speeds over long distances. Hyperloop intends to eliminate direct emissions, noise, delay, weather issues and pilot fault.
Microsoft's new augmented reality headset uses hardware called 'holoportation' that lets you step into someone else's reality as a three-dimensional hologram. With virtual team becoming a reality, businesses can leverage this hardware to have meetings with employees located remotely whereby they will appear in the same room as the others. Or if you want to have a video call with your spouse, he or she can stand right next to you rather than appearing on a laptop screen or on your phone screen. Essentially based on a new 3D capture system where a series of cameras are placed around a room that track movements and shapes, it then stitches a three-dimensional model together in real time. The data is then compressed and transmitted to a headset like the HoloLens, which can show the motion-captured figure as if it's really in the room.
With holoportation, communicating with family, friends and co-workers located remotely can be as natural as a face-to-face interaction, barring the fact that all individuals present should have a weighty AR device strapped to their head.
This is double-decker traffic like you’ve never imagined before. The ‘straddling bus’ looks like it gulps up cars and spits them back out as it glides above traffic. Spanning two traffic lanes and accommodating 1,400 passengers, the straddling bus would run on electricity and travel up to forty miles per hour above street level on a special track, allowing regular cars under seven feet high to freely pass underneath. It would take the place of forty buses, which could reduce yearly fuel ingestions by 800 tons and carbon emissions by nearly 2,500 tons! The concept also aims to reduce infrastructure costs-it would be less expensive to implement than digging tunnels for a new subway system.
Imagining ICUs in hospitals without cables, clips and wires and patients tied up to them is wishful. A team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison has developed the world’s fastest stretchable and wearable, integrated circuit that has the ability to replace a conventional ICU set-up. This game changing technology will allow hospitals to apply a temporary tattoo to a patient, effectively making a wireless intensive care unit (ICU). On the lines of a 3D puzzle, this wearable device is built by using interlocking segments that can support .3 to 300 gigahertz frequencies. Eventually, with such technology, doctors will be able to monitor their patients even remotely. This ‘smart skin’ innovation has infinite other potential uses-it could track your vitals, moderate your music, log your workout, and even control the temperature and lighting at home, all wirelessly. One no longer has to be physically connected to gadgets and appliances or carry a remote that is specific to those appliances.
It is not hard to imagine a future where technology will be helping brands track people’s frame of mind and offer relevant advertisement. For instance, brands can predict if the passers-by are tired and advertise a beverage, or stressed and offer amusing commercials that engage the consumer. In the future, emotion-tracking technology is likely to be extensively used across media channels by brands to market their products. In fact, the technology is already present in some outdoor advertising. At the New Street station, Birmingham’s, Ocean Outdoor, a boutique media company, has erected large digital screens that track the age and gender of passers-by for relevant advertising. It records people’s facial reaction to the ads. These expressions, positive or negative, are then captured through their webcams with their consent, streamed to cloud servers, securely processed, filtered, and analyzed. The outcomes are then accumulated and reported in a digital dashboard real time, aiding brands to make better and faster business decisions.
Doug Weber, program manager in the biological technologies office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, has made inroads in medicine with a new concept to healing. The approach involves leveraging on electrical signals that govern our body functions rather than taking the chemical pathways such as popping a pill or taking a shot. The concept uses neural technology to communicate directly with those nerve pathways that go to your heart, spleen, and other internal organs. The neural interface monitors what's happening, assesses health status and then intervenes to make changes to organ system functions to restore health.
The idea of ‘electrical prescriptions’ works by implanting tiny electrodes onto nerves that could deliver signals to correct dysfunction that causes disease. It's sort of like a pacemaker, but on a micro-scale. This concept could completely replace conventional prescription drugs, making it possible to diagnose and cure ailments before they become harmful or threatening.