STRATEGY
# 5/6
PUT A NEW LENS ON
Get a team who does not just the job, but dares to think outside of the box.
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Your organization may already have many ideas that either did not gain traction or achieved limited success. If you were to re-launch one of these, how would you make it better? The standard approach would be to look at the data and research, analyze patterns in the market and draw conclusions on how to do it differently this time. This holds true for even a market leader that makes a particular type of product or service, offers several variations of it, and is always looking to develop new models. The intersectional approach would be to put an entirely new lens on the idea. Don’t be afraid to ask seemingly random questions: How would an origami artist approach this photo app or how would a skateboarder design a better tennis racket?

DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK SEEMINGLY RANDOM QUESTIONS: HOW WOULD AN ORIGAMI ARTIST APPROACH THIS PHOTO APP OR HOW WOULD A SKATEBOARDER DESIGN A BETTER TENNIS RACKET?

If you carefully observe, one product that has undergone several transformations in the last few decades is the camera. From pinhole to mirror-laden to analog to digital to teamed-up with the phone, it has always stayed relevant through constant innovation. The latest upgrade that’s about to see the light of the day is its ability to assess quality-from checking produce at the grocery store to spotting counterfeit drugs through a technology called hyperspectral imaging.

Companies have to consistently reinvent to stay relevant, and a great way of staying on top of the game is to observe changing consumer needs and create the next basis of competition in that sector.

Build offerings that will offer distinctive capabilities. This could happen by improving your existing technology/product in a way that it gets revamped in terms of usability and experience.

It could also involve finding ways to innovate not just in products, but also in functions, logistics, business models, and processes. Netflix, for example, radically altered the basis of competition in DVD rentals by introducing a business model that used delivery by mail. At the same time, Netflix was reinventing itself by developing the service that would replace physical copies of films-digital streaming over the internet.

This reinvention of the wheel has to be timely. A delay in identifying the problem can mean untimely death or near-fatal setback-Kodak and Blackberry are famous examples. It’s essential to have technical expertise, market knowledge, and organizational skills in order to reinvent a market-ready product. Businesses must provide exceptional customer value by fundamentally altering the way people interact with the product.

Push your teams to ask and answer these questions to generate ideas that can lead to product reinventions:

  • What could I look at in a new way?
  • What could I use in a new way?
  • What could I connect in a new way?
  • What could I change, in terms of design or performance?
  • What could I create that is truly original?
# 5.1
SPOT THE
RIPEST FRUIT

For many of us who struggle to spot the ripest fruit in the grocery store, and end up buying the wrong ones, our prayers have just been answered. Alex Hegyi, who works with Xerox’s PARC in Palo Alto, California, has built a camera that can take a picture of a fruit and tell if it is ripe or not. Hyperspectral imaging, the ubiquitous technology, can capture what is not normally visible in the spectrum of light. It samples a full optical spectrum at each point in an image to reveal the information.

The technology has the ability to record portions of the spectrum of light that other cameras are unable to capture. Simple and cost-effective, Hegyi used a black-and-white USB camera, with a liquid crystal cell, placed between polarizing filters and facing the image sensor to build this camera.

Since it can log varied wavelengths and patterns, the technology can be used to reveal information, such as spotting the ripest fruits at the grocery store to counterfeit drugs.

To process the images captured through hyperspectral imaging, Hegyi developed a software that works on a connected tablet computer. This can be used effectively in medicine, agriculture, security, defense, and cosmetics.

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# 5.2
CURIOUS BEATS
HEADPHONES

In 2008, the headphone market was trending to smaller and more lightweight, which meant poorer audio quality. Apple’s headphones proliferated as much as its iPhone while sound experts like Bose ruled the higher-end market. It took the lens of a rap artist and record producer to bring new innovation to the headphones market. Beats by Dr. Dre’s headphones were large, heavy (deliberately weighed down to give them heft) and designed to feel straight out of a recording studio-and Beats took off. Eventually, Apple acquired Beats for $3B, making it the former's biggest acquisition at the time. This is an example of where the market leaders were sideswiped by a new player that put its own take on a generic product.

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# 5.3
REKINDLE
GAMEMOTIONS

In early July 2016, Pokemon Go took the world by storm. In its first week of launch, the game broke Apple’s record for most iOS downloads in history. Some correlate the mass appeal and viral momentum of Pokemon Go to its unique gaming experience, which incorporates augmented-reality (AR) multiplayer action-but this type of gameplay is not unique to Pokemon Go. Five years earlier, Niantic launched Ingress, an AR multiplayer game that unfortunately did not command market or consumer attention. Niantic went back to the drawing board with Ingress, reimagined it from another angle-with wildly popular Pokemon characters-and introduced a whole new gaming experience to the masses.

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# 5.4
ULTIMATE
TRAVEL BUDDY

As we shuttle between airports, tube stations, and bus terminals, tracking and carrying our suitcase has always been a nightmare. Now imagine a high-tech suitcase that is smart and robotic and follows you wherever you go. A new evolution in the travel business, this iconic suitcase is likely to revolutionize how people travel. Connected through your smartphone, this wired luggage comes with GPS location tracker and in-built camera sensor, which helps you track your luggage from anywhere in the world. Besides, it is also equipped with a battery charger that charges all your devices and auto-locks the baggage when it is separated from you. Distance alerts via SMS are sent out from the smartphone keeping you connected to your luggage. Equipped with a digital weighing device, it helps you know the exact weight of the suitcase.

A great combination of technology with distinctive design and aesthetics, this NUA Robotics suitcase is designed to cater to all travelers on the go.

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# 5.5
SECURE
INTELLIGENT
HELMET

This new helmet is all set to redefine what safety means for workers across industries.

From oil rigs to wind turbines, construction sites to factories, the Daqri Smart Helmet is a potent augmented reality device that has been designed to enhance productivity, efficiency and safety of workers. Built by combining a camera and sensors to capture and record real-time information about the user's environment, from valve reading to thermal data, the helmet can show the user information that has been stored, such as worker instructions, safety guidelines, etc. The helmet is powered by a world-class sensor package, intuitive user experience and DAQRI’s Intellitrack™ computer vision and navigation technology. With such high technology backing the product, the helmet is equipped to deliver contextually-relevant data to the user seamlessly.

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# 5.6
ENT GETS
NEW VIEW

As a trainee doctor, Jagdish Chaturvedi saw many farmers with advanced throat cancer meet a bitter end as rural hospitals lacked expensive imaging systems. Lack of funds compelled doctors to rely on outdated mirrors and headlamps. So he thought of creating a low-cost and high-quality medical device by attaching endoscopes to small, off-the-shelf cameras-an idea that was unexplored till then. To make this innovation commercially viable, he collaborated with a design firm creating a one-size-fits-all device. This tool enables better visual access to the problem areas of the ear, nose and throat for early and accurate diagnosis.

ENTraview allows recording and retrieving of data for future reference. It is portable and low cost, thereby increasing accessibility and affordability exponentially. It is an effective integration of a mechanical adaptor, light source, hardware and software into a compact, battery-operated handheld device that is ergonomic to use. The mechanical adaptor allows easy interchangeability of the ear, nose or throat scope. These scopes are FDA-approved. The light source is built in and optimized for the three scopes. Video recordings of the examination can be stored in the device.

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