Archive for October, 2012

Crowdsourcing lets us identify products in photos

October 31, 2012 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Consumer "Identity"

If you’ve ever liked a photo online and wondered how and where you can find that must-have item, now there’s a new online tool to help people do that. It’s called CrowdSend, and it encourages users who find an item they like to “ask the crowd” where to buy it.

Users need to set up an account with CrowdSend, and then upload the photo (from Pinterest or any other website), and ask the community to identify it.

Other users can then chime in and suggest what it might be, and post the brand, model and where it can be bought. If you are the member who correctly identified the product, you can gain rewards in the form of discounts.

This is great news for companies who want to monitor consumer engagement with their brands online.

Although currently in private beta, the site already has more than 25 million products tagged. Would you participate in a program like this?

Photos courtesy of

Wind turbine turns airborne moisture into drinking water

October 29, 2012 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Emerging markets


Did you know that 150 million of people worldwide live in remote areas without any access to safe drinking water? A company in France, Eole Water, has pioneered a wind turbine able to create drinking water from condensed air.

According to its website, the Eole Water’s mission is to provide these isolated communities with safe drinking water.

The turbine has been in production for the past few years.  Recently it was delivered to Abu Dhabi for testing in extreme weather conditions.

Check out this video. What do you think? Is this not promising technology?

Phone app translates languages as you speak

October 25, 2012 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets


I frequently talk to clients and business associates who don’t speak English, and that’s why I am very excited to see technology remove language barriers.  A Japan-based company, NTT DOCOMO, has launched the Hanashite Hon’yaku app that allows speakers of two different languages to carry out a phone conversation by translating their speech in real-time.


After the user opens the app, it automatically detects which language you are speaking, and then it provides instant text translations.  You could select an option to view it as text, or to hear it as audio. Hanashite Hon’yaku will be  available to Android users on November first as a free download.  The translation services convert text in Japanese, English, Chinese or Korean for now, and eventually French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai by the end of November.


Consumers watch their food grow

October 20, 2012 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos

Inner-city or urban farming is becoming more inexpensive and efficient.  Those who sell farm goods directly to consumers earn greater profits, but the exciting news is what it means for the produce buyers.  One such urban farm called the FARM:shop in London is offering goods farmed on site, and now The Farmery is showing consumers in the US to get an up-close look at how their food is grown. They can even help grow the food themselves!

Backers are funding the Farmery, and developing a prototype low-cost shipping container to create a space for growing mushrooms, herbs, lettuces, greens and strawberries. These containers are showing customers the entire growing process from seed to harvest. Check out this video about the idea behind The Farmery:

Can We Drive Innovation If Creativity Is in Crisis?

October 15, 2012 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Be my guest!

Often in a week or struggling economy, government funding for the arts is at risk of being cut off or greatly reduced. What a tragedy! The arts helps equip our next generation to think outside the box to come up with innovative solutions in many areas.

A friend of mine, Jan Mirenda Smith, wrote the following article about innovation and creativity for the Fall 2012 edition of International Torch Club’s magazine. Jan serves as Executive Director of the Bergstrom-Mahler Museum in Neenah, Wisc., and takes a compelling look at why education needs the arts to stimulate innovation. To get the attached PDF article, just click on the image. Do feel free to enjoy and share this with others!


Would you Hop?

October 12, 2012 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool videos


I do a lot of traveling around the world. I mean a LOT of traveling. While I enjoy meeting with clients and working with global companies, I often wish the process of airport travel was lighter.

So I am delighted to share this innovation with you:


Hop is a suitcase that follows close behind the user, as he or she moves. It’s named after bellhops who carry guests’ luggage, and I have to say, I’d love to try it. Here is a video from Hop’s official website showing how it works:

Digital memorials leave a legacy

October 5, 2012 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Uncategorized

English: Version 1 QR code exampleThe cemetery has long been a place to remember loved ones. But did you know that headstones have gone digital?

We know there is only so much space on a traditional headstone in which we can let the world know what our family member’s life

meant to us or the impact he or she made. But thanks to a new innovation and QR codes, visitors can link cemetery memorials to a web site that can be shared by loved ones around the world. QR (quick response) codes act as that link from a smart phone or tablet to an online memorial, where friends and family can leave a legacy for anyone to enjoy.

Just last week a Pennsylvania couple launched Digital Legacys, a business that uses QR codes to link headstones to websites commemorating the departed.

Check out this video and imagine the possibilities:


The QR code is contained in a tiny 2-inch brass or silver square, which a visitor would then scan that QR code using a smartphone, sending that user to a website honoring the deceased with photographs, videos, music and other multimedia components. Family members and friends can also continue to update the web page with additional photos and sentiments.


Users can expect to pay $99 for a one-year QR code and accompanying website.



McDonald’s franchise offers free iPad use

October 2, 2012 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Consumer "Identity"

English: The mdonalds logo from the late 90sWhat better way to pass the time while your children climb on the Playland slide than surfing on an iPad that you don’t own?

The McDonald’s restaurant chain is testing complimentary iPad use for dine-in customers in one of its Virginia Beach locations. I think it’s a great idea, and so do the customers. In fact, so does Apple, who can introduce new customers to their popular tablets for a minimal cost to the corporation. Plus, McDonalds gets customers in the door and can keep them in their seats.

The iPads are mounted to a number of tabletops at the franchise, owned by Hugh Fard who got the idea while attending the annual worldwide McDonald’s convention in Florida.