When most people think of the Internet of Things, they think of innovation technology such as smart homes and self-driving cars. That makes sense because those innovations do make life easier. However, those in the innovation technology industry can better understand and visualize the larger implications of IoT. IdeaScale Nation recently spoke with Mike Vladimer, co-founder of Orange Silicon Valley’s IoT studio, to find out what’s on the horizon for innovators today.
Innovation Technology: Winners & Losers
While innovation technology is, by definition, a problem-solver, the types of problems it solves and the sustainability of those solutions make the difference between a wildly successful product and one that falls flat or gets ignored.
A key part of most any innovation is cost. When aluminum was discovered, Vladimer said, it was a precious metal. Napoleon served state dinners on aluminum plates. Now we use it to wrap up our lunches and we throw it away afterward.
It’s the same with some products commonly used in innovation technology. Microprocessors were originally an amazing invention used in the building of missiles, Vladimer said. But over the years, the technology has become so affordable it is now used in dog collars to collect information about your pet’s health and track its behavior patterns.
What happens when an amazingly innovative product becomes more affordable is that inventors seize on it. Also wanting to create useful, valuable — and profitable products. Vladimer says the challenge and, in fact, the charge of an IoT studio is to consider all the options and narrow the focus to only the most worthy.
How Ideas Grow
Innovators naturally want to apply the possibilities technology offers to their specific fields. So the more people there are brainstorming across different industries, the greater the chances that a wider variety of nascent ideas will begin to develop and take shape.
The beauty of IoT, Vladimer says, is you can use it to measure things that haven’t previously been measured and thus solve problems.
For instance, you may not think the ability to raise and lower the blinds in your home from your office is all that important. To some, however, this technology is a godsend, though admittedly, that population might be small.
Vladimer told IdeaScale about new innovation technology that allows pool owners to put a sensor in their pool that measures the levels of chemicals in the water twice a day and adjusts them as necessary. This sensor is also highly efficient and rarely needs to be recharged.
Such a device saves pool owners the time it takes to determine the safety of their pool water and make the necessary adjustments. It further relieves them of the responsibility of even having to think about it.
Narrowing the Innovation Technology Focus
Innovators can take inventions a step further by personalizing them, Vladimer said.
Your phone can tell you the temperature, then you can decide what to wear. What if the technology considered your characteristics and preferences? What if it knew that it was going to get humid later. Would it affect the hairstyle you chose in the morning? What if it knew the precise pollen count, what type of pollen it was, what type you are sensitive to? And which antihistamine would best for you to take to counteract it?
These are all possibilities.
It’s about making people’s lives easier and happier, Vladimer says. Whether that means inventing the wheel or magnetic eyelashes. It’s all part of innovation.
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