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Services such as Fictiv arrived on the scene, offering a service that could rapidly 3D print prototypes and then deliver them the same day. By making prototyping easier than ever before, such companies will only serve to increase the number of amateur by name — not nature designers in Perhaps the most intriguing of all the maker movement facilitators spotted last year, however, was the Scribble pen.
The pen features two ends — one with a nib and one with a scanner. Users can press the scanner against any surface to capture its color, which is then translated into an RGB value.
The inks inside the pen are mixed to match that value, and the user can then draw in the color just scanned. When they arrive back home, the bag is capable of powering a small lamp for up to 12 hours so that they can complete their studies at night — without the need for harmful kerosene lamps.
We fully expect distributors to begin using them on a wide scale, and we equally expect legislation to be ramped up to ensure the safety of the skyways. One of the most interesting applications for the technology, however, could actually be for healthcare.
The truth of the matter remains however, which is why Spritz was so popular with our readers. Based on the theory that most readers are slowed down by the movements of the eye as it scans lines of text, Spritz squeezes entire novels into a small, pixel-wide space and flashes each word for a brief fraction of a second.
There was another innovative technology — also designed to facilitate reading — that stood out for us this year. The FingerReader initiative from MIT provides visually impaired readers with a wearable ring that can scan written text and read it out loud. The innovation could open up the vast amount of literature still unavailable in Braille to blind and visually impaired readers.
The Roost demonstrates a trend we expect to see more of over the next few years: With the rise of the Internet of Things will also come the need for intelligent interfaces for users to control all of their devices. The idea is that homeowners place the stickers corresponding to the items they own on their mailbox, letting passersby know that they can knock on the door and request to borrow something.
There will inevitably be security concerns with such an initiative, but in trustworthy neighborhoods the idea has obvious merit.
Another stand out innovation from this still relatively new field was the Navigate Paris jacketwhich has been designed to help individuals navigate the streets without looking at their phone or a map. Wearers first sync the jacket to their smartphone, and then enter their desired destination into the companion app.
The jacket will subsequently deliver small vibrations in each sleeve to let wearers know where to head. The innovation could prove to be more than a convenience, as it enables walkers to keep their eyes on their surroundings as they travel, potentially reducing the number of accidents on roadways.
Perhaps the stand-out campaign from last year, however, came from Nivea in Brazil. The print campaign featured a section of the page that could be ripped out and turned into a trackable wristband for children.
This is the problem Urban Engines is looking to tackle, and their work in Singapore could set an interesting precedent for the rest of the world in There, commuters who have signed up to Urban Engines and registered their commuter cards can earn rewards when they travel.
They will earn one point for every kilometre travelled during peak hours, or triple that amount when travelling off-peak. The points earned can then be converted into discounts on future journeys, or put towards an in-app raffle game, where they have the opportunity to win sums of money.
The app notified customers of the best times to reduce energy use and offered cash rewards for doing so. The trick for businesses is finding a use for that data that the consumer will find helpful rather than creepy. Two such innovations from healthcare and finance stand out as a good example for others to learn from: While that may sound invasive to some, the company do so in order to offer cash bonuses to employees that buy fruit and veg at the supermarket.Business-in-a-Box - Download Business Plan Templates & Forms Now.
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