Archive for November, 2010

A lesson in eco-friendly modular classrooms

November 27, 2010 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Green Innovation, Innovators, Sustainability, Trends

The latest trends in the classroom are actually the classrooms themselves. Our student population is increasing, making it necessary to expand the learning spaces. Now administrators are looking at some eco-friendly options that cost just a fraction of the traditional brick and mortar add-ons.

Many of these new kit-style classrooms can save up to 30 percent in materials costs. One builder says its structures are about $40 to $50 per square feet as opposed to new construction at $250 to $300 per square foot. And they’re actually quicker and easier to construct. Modular classroom contractors say there is typically a two- to -four-month install time.

Many contractors turn the project into a lesson in green technology, as students learn why a greener school is better for their community and the environment. Some of these classrooms are said to generate enough solar energy to be 100 percent sustainable. Check out Project Frog classrooms in San Francisco and the Gen7 from American Modular Systems.

At the moment most of these schools are being built in southern climates like California and Florida. But some in the U.K. are able to withstand cooler temps. No doubt we’ll be seeing more of these eco-friendly moduals coming to school as the younger population increases.

(Photo courtesy of American Modular Systems)

Survey says most of us will shop online holiday deals

November 20, 2010 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Marketing to Moms, Social Media, Trends

Thinking of skipping the mile-long lines this shopping season?  You can get just as many deals online, without ever leaving your couch.  Last year’s Black Friday saw shopping increase by 35% over the year before. And the following Monday, dubbed “Cyber Monday,” saw nearly $900 million internet sales.

Consulting firm Deloitte says a whopping 70 percent of us will shop online this holiday season, and 20 percent of us will use our mobile phones to buy.  12% said they would use social media sites such as Facebook to aid them in their purchasing decisions.

If you use geologation apps like Gowalla or Foursquare you’ll notice retailers vying for your dollars. Elsewhere online Facebook is hoping retailers buy ads on its 500 million member site. Starbucks, McDonalds, Starbucks, Gap and others are creating ads, and Gap has already given away 10,000 pair of jeans in stores across the nation thanks to Facebook.

Here’s what top retailers are doing this Black Friday to woo shoppers:

  • Lowes is hosting a “Lowe’s Black Friday Sneak Peek Party on Facebook,” where fans get access to tremendous deals like 90% off products on their website.
  • JC Penney is offering a shopping spree contest, plus launching an Angel Tree giving campaign through Salvation Army to help seniors in need.
  • Kmart is promoting a Christmas trip sweepstakes in Twitter and Facebook.
  • Social sites like LivingSocial and Groupon are offering visitors holiday shopping coupons.

What Nanotechnology could do for mobile communications

November 18, 2010 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets, Cool videos

Nokia Research Center and Cambridge Nanoscience Center are now nearly two years into their unique partnership to develop new ideas around nanotechnology–including this Morph Wrist Mode concept. Check out this two-piece bracelet that can change its shape to adapt to your needs–yet can be rigid when you need it to be.

Here is a scriptless Morph demonstration of how scientists and technology developers might use nanotechnology to deliver more flexible materials and transparent electronics in the future:

Here’s more information on Morph and nanotechnology from Nokia.

Photo credit: Nokia press photos

CoDev 2011: Scottsdale, AZ

November 16, 2010 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Conferences, Event Info, Speaking Engagements

The TENTH annual conference on Co-Development and Open Innovation: Accessing Networks & Knowledge to Create Business Value will take place in Scottsdale, Arizona from January 24-26, 2011 at the brand new Talking Stick Resort.

You can expect to hear from and network with top open innovation thought leaders and advanced practitioners across multiple industries on questions that are challenging early open innovation adopters.

Join conference chair and Innovationedge president Cheryl Perkins and team at the event this year. Register

Sustainable Plastics Packaging 2010: Atlanta, GA

November 16, 2010 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Conferences, Event Info, Speaking Engagements

Cheryl Perkins, founder and president and Jeff Lindsay, director of solution development, will present at the Sustainable Plastics Packaging conference on December 8 at the Westin Atlanta Airport in Atlanta, Georgia.

The Sustainable Plastics Packaging conference, organized by Plastics News Global Group, is coming to North America for the first time this year. The conference, previously held in Europe, explores the environmental challenges facing users and producers of plastics packaging and identify innovative solutions that meet demanding sustainability and economic criteria.

Perkins and Lindsay will present at 3:45 p.m. on the first day of the conference. Their session, Sustainable plastics: Challenges in protecting innovation & design, will explore the key intellectual property trends for sustainable plastics and proactive steps companies can do to protect advances.


Friday Fun: Would you wear this shirt?

November 12, 2010 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos, Technology

I came across a fun-looking t-shirt the other day that got me thinking. If a shirt can contain a hidden camera, what could someone do with that potentially-invasive technology? A company called Think Geek created the Electronic Spy Camera Shirt which allows you to take pictures of people–and they won’t even know you’re doing it. The shirt retails for $40.

The upbeat company has a huge product line that is definitely geared toward the younger crowd. With that in mind, here’s how Think Geek is marketing its invention. Enjoy:

Geofencing takes a stab at location-based apps

Imagine walking or driving through your local neighborhood and getting an instant message that alerts you to a home for sale that matches your needs, or a message that tells you your favorite hot wings are the deal of the day at a restaurant right around the corner.  We are getting closer and closer to that kind of technology. Last week a new location platform was introduced that could be a stepping stone in that direction. Sparkle from Location Labs helps developers create better location-based applications, and will ultimately help businesses serve the wants and needs of consumers.

Using “geofencing,” Sparkle allows for the identification and location of any phone and supports voice control, SMS and a very intriguing feature: the ability to detect motion and velocity. Developers say that might be used to automatically disable your text while you drive. You can read more about geotechnology here.

For Android and  iPhone owners, the new technology will someday be able to suggest deals or check-in points, and even set up location-based controls for your kids.

That’s just the start. From Location Labs’ website I found several fun apps that use geolocation technology:

  • Mayor Maker – Automatically checks you into your favorite Foursquare places without actually opening Foursquare.
  • Dine Out Cheap – Alerts you to a nearby dining deal.
  • MobiQpons – Shows you when and where to redeem coupons as you walk by.
  • Whatamap – Lets you roam a mall or other indoor shopping area to find great deals.
  • Noel Group – For travelers wanting to know weather conditions and local events.

Research: Only 4% of U.S. adults use geosocial services

November 4, 2010 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Social Media, Technology, Trends

We’re hearing today that a very small percentage of adults in the U.S. use location-based applications like Foursquare.  Pew Research has found that only four percent of adults use location-based services like Facebook Places or Foursquare.

The Pew Research center found it’s only four percent, and only one percent on any given day.
Geosocial services are enabled through your smart phone’s GPS, and sometimes just by checking in you can receive a coupon, discount or a free item.  Check out the rest of the demographics and results here.

Yesterday Facebook announced it will begin allowing businesses to offer coupons. I wrote about Groupon earlier this week, and it is also announcing increased incentives to retailers.

I use these applications, but many from my generation do not yet feel comfortable using geosocial services, citing the need for privacy. How about you?