Innovation helps the (color) blind to see!

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on June 24, 2016

If you are one of the 300 million people who are colorblind, these videos will inspire you! The video captures the reactions of several people able to see color for the first time, thanks to a new innovation:

Up to 300 million people worldwide are affected by red-green color vision deficiency, also called color blindness.
EnChroma is a U.S. -based company that has created glasses which enhance color perception by separating light into its primary spectral components before they reach the eye. Color blindness affects millions of people worldwide. It affects 1 in 12 men and 1 in 200 women. The condition ranges from a variety of classes, red-green color blindness being the most common.
Most people who suffer from color blindness are not blind to color, but have a reduced ability to see them. Color blindness is also called Color Vision Deficiency (CVD).

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EnChroma’s story goes like this:

Great things start from small beginnings, and some begin as fortuitous ‘accidents.’ Don McPherson, who has a Ph.D in Glass Science (Alfred University), noticed certain color transformations when he wore his lab glasses, coated with a special lens formula he had invented for laser surgery eye protection.
The discovery led to a research study. Clinical trials of the early prototypes revealed that the lenses had benefits serving as an optical aid to the color blind. The research was conducted under NIH SBIR grants, with test sites allocated at UC Berkeley and UC Davis.

Despite all the advancements, there was still more work that needed to be done to turn the lenses into a consumer-ready product. Don teamed up with Andrew Schmeder, who specialized in several fields including mathematics, computer model simulation and perceptual psychology. Together, they co-founded EnChroma, Inc. in 2010.
EnChroma set out on developing the prototypes into a scalable product. The first version launched in 2012, followed by innovations in creating lightweight plastic lenses, prescription lenses, and broad acceptance by professional eyecare communities in 2014.

The company offers a color test on its website.

Laughter: Good for Innovation!

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on June 22, 2016

I came across a post from a few years ago, and had almost forgotten how funny this was:

When Good Laughs Inspire Innovation         by Stefan Lindegaard

Have you ever thought that bringing people together on innovation is like hearding cats? Cheryl Perkins, founder of InnovationEdge made me laugh when she included this video in a presentation she gave a few years ago.

How do we change people’s behaviour? is a site that is dedicated to the thought that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change people’s behaviour for the better. Be it for yourself, for the environment, or for something entirely different, the only thing that matters is that it’s change for the better.

The site has several fun and inspiring videos. This is one of my favourites.

Tom Fishbourne makes some great cartoons. I think this one shows that internal forces often are the worst enemies of innovation.

Five Ways to Disrupt the Disruptors

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on June 20, 2016

Flickr free photo - Zen DisruptionThere’s a new breed of digital disruptors that are impacting everything. My friend Robert Tucker at Innovation Resource has penned a piece about disruption trends in the coming months.

At FIS’s banking conference in Orlando last month, the talk was of digital disruption. As if Dodd-Frank financial regulations and blockchain technology weren’t enough to contend with, here comes the “two guys from Ireland” to eat their lunch. Brothers Patrick and John Collison grew up in a remote part of Ireland and didn’t have internet access until they were teens. But they created Stripe, which is being heralded as “a far simpler method of processing payments” that could wipe out banks’ credit card processing business. Stripe was recently valued at $5 billion, and the brothers have relocated to Silicon Valley.

The Collisons are part of a new breed of digital disruptors sending shudders through the banking sector. With names like Stripe, Square, AimLoans, Zopa, Mint, and Wonga, they are targeting every revenue category that banks rely upon for profits: home loans, consumer credit, asset management, deposits, and credit cards. Accenture expects disruptive business models to gobble up 32 percent of banks’ revenue stream by 2020. And banks are hardly alone. Here are five ways to disrupt the disruptors in your market:

1. Understand the nature of disruption in your market. To understand the nature and pace of disruption, look at the exponential rate of technological advancement. When the term “disruption” first entered the business lexicon in the late 90s, the phenomenon was confined to the disk drive industry and a few others. Today, it’s an ever-growing threat to virtually every industry. Banks and bookstores and brick and mortar retailers of all stripes are endangered. Already in 2016, the shift to online shopping has decimated big box retailer Sports Authority and regional chains across America. The college textbook industry has essentially stopped acquiring new titles, and laid off thousands of editorial employees. Moore’s Law predicted a doubling in storage and processing capacity every two years, and that’s what’s occurred. Combine Moore’s Law with the enabling power of The Cloud, and the entrepreneurial zeal of Collison brothers around the world looking to make their mark, and you get a glimpse of what is to come over the next three to five years. And what you must do to prepare.

2. Understand what’s really going on with your value proposition. In my work across industries, I regularly see numerous forces and factors triggering dislocation, not just technological. Among them: lifestyle changes, demographic shifts, and new regulations, to name only a few. Scientific breakthroughs can be triggers. Dentists are having a hard time because better preventive measures (fluoride, for example) means people are getting fewer cavities so there’s less drilling and filling to do. Consumers are drinking 36 percent less fluid milk, as an array of alternative beverages such as almond and soy milk, become available. More and more Americans are opting for cremation, disrupting the traditional funeral industry in the process. People are writing fewer and fewer letters, and the envelope industry is idled. Who will need auto insurance when driverless cars arrive? The age of disruption demands that we develop a closer understanding of what’s producing value for our customers, and how today’s value proposition might be obsoleted by new offerings that give customers greater choices.

3. In the age of disruption, being in denial is not an option. Kodak had 16 years to fend off digital disruption before declaring bankruptcy in 2012. After the iPhone was introduced in 2007, Blackberry saw its market share plummet from 53 percent to three percent in only five years. Clearly the time to respond is diminishing, and delay can be costly. With disruptive forces afoot, the natural tendency is to downplay their significance, or to make incremental moves to regain position. As a leader, it’s vitally important to not get caught focusing on the wrong things. Gather data, talk to outsiders and pick their brains for insights and advice. Study history, and develop a point of view about where things will be three to five years from now under various scenarios. Regardless of your industry or your title, you can make yourself indispensable to your organization by chasing the storm, rather than hiding in your bunker. Having studied the downfall of once-powerful companies like Kodak, Blockbuster, Radio Shack, Blackberry and others, my conclusion is that we have less time than we think to take action.

Read more here.

Walmart looking at robotic shopping carts that tell you what to buy

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on June 18, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 7.31.39 PMWalmart is collaborating with Five Elements Robotics on a new way to shop using carts that can be helpful, and were featured at the Bloomberg Technology Conference.

ZDNet reports:

It’s part of an emerging chapter of the ongoing war between brick-and-mortar retailers and the king of fast-delivery online sellers: The announcement that Walmart is considering robotic shopping carts came from Five Elements CEO Wendy Roberts last week at the Bloomberg Technology Conference. For its part, Walmart is being more hush-hush about the project, declining to comment on the evaluation process.

Walmart is struggling with falling sales with profits predicted to be off by more than 10 percent this year.

Five Element Robotics makes the Budgee personal robot. The gadget is essentially a personal shopping cart that can follow its operator around automatically.

Robots helping hospital patients

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on June 15, 2016

I found this interesting. What do you think?

Robots have already invaded the operating room in some hospitals, but in Belgium they will soon be taking on the potentially more difficult task — for robots, at least — of greeting patients and giving them directions.

The Citadelle regional hospital in Liège and the Damiaan general hospital in Ostend will be working with Zora Robotics to test patients’ reactions to robot receptionists in the coming months.

Zora already has experience programming the diminutive humanoid robot Nao to act as a chatty companion for the elderly, offering it as a form of therapy for those with dementia.

Now the Belgian company is working with Nao’s newer, bigger sibling, Pepper. Both were developed by French robotics company Aldebaran, now owned by Japanese Internet conglomerate SoftBank.

Like Nao before it, Pepper has already found work as a receptionist in Japanese hotels, an environment where visitors are likely to be less nervous and more familiar with their surroundings than those arriving at a hospital.

More Here

There’s still time to get in on CLEAR™VIEW!

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on June 9, 2016
This October 27th, CLEAR™VIEW Institute is offering the inaugural CLEAR(TM)VIEW program, providing a 360 learning environment.
CLEAR™VIEW is a highly interactive, three day leadership experience for top executives charged with driving business performance through organizational capability and transformational change.  The CLEAR™VIEW program is focused on building practical strategies to address challenges in agility, change, innovation, talent and leadership.Led by Ian Ziskin, I’ll be among the thought leaders featured, including John Boudreau, Al Vicere, Rob Cross, and Bill Schiemann, as well as group coaching sessions to maximize learning from peers, this program will enhance your ability to deal with transformations ahead!

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 2.21.33 PMBusiness and organizational transformation are among the most urgent needs facing today’s leaders, as they prepare to address future trends and challenges. Responsibility for making organizations more agile, innovative, resilient, and “capable” is increasingly becoming a multi-disciplinary leadership role.

Download the full brochure.


Thursday, October 27th, 2016 to Saturday, October 29th.  
Add to Calendar


Lansdowne Resort and Conference Center
44050 Woodridge Parkway
Leesburg, VA 20176

Driving Directions


Talisa Ernstmann
CLEAR Institute

Innovative earbuds can translate languages in real-time

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on May 22, 2016

This is an amazing story:

Science Alert says: “As anybody who’s ever tried to get by in a foreign country without much grasp of the local language can tell you, oversized hand gestures and speaking English loudly and slowly will only get you so far.

But a nifty new wearable technology could soon make conversing with people from other cultures a much easier affair, with New York City-based startup Waverly Labs about to release what they’re claiming is the world’s first ‘smart’ earpiece that translates between users speaking different languages.”


Dubbed the Pilot, the earpiece is shaped much like a regular earbud, but comes without any wires or cables. It sits in your ear, and even without an internet connection – pretty handy, especially for people travelling overseas – it translates words being spoken to you in another language on the fly. You can get an idea of what the process looks like in the promo video below.

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 9.17.06 AMIn other words, it’s pretty much the exact technological equivalent of the Babel fish from Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – except it’s sadly limited to Earth-based languages and won’t be able to translate any alien words for you.

But as long as it’s human tongues you’re interested in, the Pilot looks to have you pretty well covered. The initial release, which is expected to launch next week on Indiegogo – although shipped products might not make their way to you until later in the year – comes with English, Spanish, French, and Italian. Waverly Labs says other languages will also be available soon, including Hindi, Arabic, East Asian and Slavic languages.

Read More

KFC’s new nail polish really tastes like chicken

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on May 19, 2016

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No joke: Kentucky Fried Chicken has created an edible nail polish based on the brand’s two favorite recipes: Original and Hot & Spicy.

Can a nail polish really be finger-licking good? And who came up with this idea?

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 8.51.58 AMYou can get it in Hong Kong, and no, it will not be mass produced.  The ad team from Ogilvy & Mather worked with food technologists at the McCormick spice company (it creates KFC’s secret mix of 11 secret herbs and spices), to come uo with the formula for the nail polish using natural ingredients.

“The recipe for our edible nail polish is unique and was specifically designed to hold the flavor, but to also dry with a glossy coat similar to normal nail polish,” says Ogilvy creative director John Koay. “This campaign is designed to be intriguing and fun to increase excitement around the KFC brand in Hong Kong.”

In a statement, the branding team directs users how to paint it on:

“To use, consumers simply apply and dry like regular nail polish, and then lick—again and again and again.”

Would you?



Creating a greener space

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on May 18, 2016
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Courtesy of Vo Trong Nghia Architects/FPT University.

This building may look like it’s neglected and overrun with vegetation – and that’s the point.

Architects in Ho Chi Minh City were asked to design a new urban university campus that would be a distinct departure from the cold traditional buildings in the Vietnam city.

They came up with a grassy, leafy, nature-inspired design, intentionally full of vegetation.

Here’s how they describe their innovative approach to blend culture and sustainability:

By experimenting with light, wind and water, and by using natural and local materials, Vo Trong Nghia Architects employ a contemporary design vocabulary to explore new ways to create green architecture for the 21st century, whilst maintaining the essence of Asian architectural expression.

Cities, especially in thriving countries like Vietnam, are growing at such a speed that infrastructure is unable to keep pace,” said the team at Vo Trong Nghia Architects in an interview with Dezeen Magazine. “Environmental stress is observable through frequent energy shortages, increased pollution, rising temperatures, and reduced greenery.”

View more here.

New tablet accessory is gripping the competition!

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on May 17, 2016

This month Insight Magazine did a feature article on an invention our client, TecDriven, and it’s exciting new product, TORCHGRIP, a removable, multi-function tablet accessory for devices like the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Microsoft Surface. With the TORCHGRIP accessory attached, you can hold and maneuver your tablet comfortably and securely with one hand.  TecDriven is an Appleton-based company that invented a tablet accessory we’ve written about here.

Check out the feature story on our client and what our own Pat Clusman has to say about this innovative company!

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 7.28.07 AMSome of the most successful businesses start with a simple sketch, perhaps made at the dinner table or in a garage.

For James Pollex, the idea for an accessory to enhance a tablet’s portability started as a scribble before church one morning.

“I have always been an inventor and when I was little, my mother always told me to make my own fun,” says Pollex, chief design officer for TecDriven. “TORCHGRIP started when I put
my ideas on paper, and then built the product around that.”

His first sketch was of a simple handle that would attach to the back of an iPad or tablet using a strong adhesive, but one that could be easily removed to transfer to another device. The goal of the design was to create
a product you could use one-handed without feeling like you would drop or break the tablet device.

Pollex drew a sketch for a device that has many different functions and is ergonomically correct so it would be a “one size fits all” type of product.

The result was TORCHGRIP, a product that resembles a sundial gnomon and attaches to the back of any tablet device or case. The handle is pitched so the iPad can be held in multiple ways and can rotate freely.

Pollex applied for a patent in 2010, and the company solidified its design and launched in 2015. Joined by his partner, Bryan Kopesky, the pair are working to raise the product’s profile.

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