How Uber will turn its app into a “content marketplace” during rides

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on April 19, 2017

Are you one of the millions around the world who get where you’re going via Uber?

Uber is a wildly popular app-based transportation company valued as high as $68 billion and growing. According to TechCrunch, Uber is posed to make big changes to its app, to turn it into a “content marketplace.” Uber will reportedly provide consumers with a feed of entertainment and other features with potentially dozens of third party content partners.

The marketplace will be based on a new version of Trip Experiences, enabling users to get more information on the trip and on Uber partnerships. Says TechCrunch:

In the future, when a user gets into an Uber, the Uber app will turn “into a rich feed of cards,” in the words of Uber itself: a series of third-party apps will provide you with more information about the area or specific place you are going; some entertainment while you’re traveling; work and productivity integrations; and communications with the place where you are going specifically.

TechCrunch says Uber won’t charge developers to be a part of the new Trip Experiences feature, nor are there plans for Uber to include advertising in the feed.

Get more details here:

The future of drinking water?

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on April 14, 2017

Imagine running a race and instead of being handed a water bottle, volunteers hand you a clear water bubble. Do you eat it, or drink it?

Three design students from London first created a prototype of an edible water bottle in 2014 as an alternative to plastic bottles. Today the product is gaining traction, and its designers are ready to bring it to market.

The gelatinous packaging, called the Ooho, is both compostable and edible.

“When people try it for the first time, they want to eat it because it’s part of the experience,” says Pierre Paslier, cofounder of Skipping Rocks Lab, the startup developing the packaging. “Then it will be just like the peel of a fruit. You’re not expected to eat the peel of your orange or banana. We are trying to follow the example set by nature for packaging.”

Online videos have gone viral, and now consumers are excited to try it.

Get more info here.

Lowe’s new in-store navigation app is wowing consumers

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on April 9, 2017

Motion tracking has been helping customers navigate store aisles to find what they need,  and Lowe’s home improvement stores are bringing this technology to the forefront via a new app.

They’re calling the new app, “Lowe’s Vision: In-Store Navigation.” The app utilizes Google’s Tango augmented reality technology and motion tracking and depth perception. This will guide customers through the store using a “mixed reality interface.”

Lowe’s says this technology is now being used in two of its stores: in Sunnyvale, California, and in Lynwood, Washington. The app lets shoppers with Tango-enabled smartphones search for products or add them to a shopping list.

Check out this video; it’s pretty cool!

Read more about it here.

How The Blockchain Will Secure Your Online Identity

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on April 4, 2017

I’ve been keeping my readers updated on the newest information we have about Blockchain technology. A blockchain is a data structure that makes it possible to create a digital ledger of transactions and share it among a distributed network of computers. It uses cryptography to allow each participant on the network to manipulate the ledger in a secure way without the need for a central authority.

How does this relate to your online security? Forbes contributor Jonathan Chester recently explained:

Have you ever been the victim of identity theft? It is an ugly experience.  Calling up credit card companies to change all your cards and dispute charges.  Resetting passwords to all of your applications.  Always worrying whether someone may call up your cell phone provider with your leaked information to commit a SIM porting hack, meaning they would have access to all of your text messages. Once someone has access to your texts this is the gateway to getting into many online services, even if you were being diligent and using two factor authentication.

We increasingly rely on the internet for communicating with friends or family (e.g. Yahoo hack), staying in contact with professional associates (e.g. Linkedin hack), banking (e.g. JPMorgan hack), and even confirming credit card purchases for face to face transactions (e.g. Oracle hack). Our user names, passwords, and personal information are being stored on centralized corporate servers, many of which remain ripe for the picking, despite the attention on this class of problems over the last several years. Once your personally identifying information genie is loose, it’s extraordinarily difficult to put it back in the bottle.

Ideally the only risk you should have when it comes to managing your digital identity is whether or not your personal systems have been compromised, instead of worrying about every corporation you’ve ever dealt with in the past. In the offline world, you update your proof of identity every few years, receiving a drivers license, ID card, or maybe a passport if you travel internationally. When you go to a club, they check your age on your ID. When purchasing an Amtrak ticket you prove who you are. You are authenticated and the person who checked your ID immediately forgets your details.

Read the rest here.

Filed Under: Blockchain

Micro Wind Turbine offers energy and a charge in remote places

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on March 31, 2017

Imagine being far from civilization with a fully-charged smart phone from an energy source you can carry with you!  Help may be on the way, thanks to this invention. The Micro Wind Turbine is a portable energy source for remote regions and enables people to charge USB devices from just about anywhere.

The Micro Wind Turbine was tested in the Swiss Alps. Check out this video showing the fully functional prototype:

According to inventor Nils Ferber,

The construction of the vertical axis rotor is based on the principle of tension and compression and unfolds within seconds by simply pulling the telescopic shaft apart. It can capture the wind from all directions and is directly mounted to the generator axis that is placed in the lower part of the shaft. The produced energy will either be stored in an integrated battery pack or can be used directly to charge devices on the built-in USB port.

The current design is opimized to be used for smaller USB devices and can be handled by one single person. It produces a constant output of 5 Watts at a windspeed of 18 km/h. Nevertheless, the system is easily scaleable and the size could be adapted for varying scenarios or a communal use.

Ferber says he is now looking for partners to develop the concept further and refine it towards a marketable product.

How a strong-armed robot can assist first responders

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on March 20, 2017

In a disaster, rescue operations can take more strength than humans can muster. The Raytheon Sarcos Guardian HT – Big Arm is a dual-armed robot that can lift up to 400 pounds, as well as assemble things delicately.

In addition to industrial use, manufacturer Sarcos says it can be useful in first responder and logistics situations, for palletizing and de-palletizing, loading and unloading supplies, and even disaster recovery/humanitarian assistance like moving rocks and debris in a controlled manner.

Check out this video:

Study: Consumers not being turned on by connected home

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on March 15, 2017

A recent study shows consumers aren’t warming up to the idea of so-called “smart homes,” where everything from their appliances to lighting to their air conditioning is voice controlled and connected.  Beyond the early adopter crowd, most consumers would prefer to keep things under control manually, according to survey of nearly 10,000 consumers in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia.

Only about 10 percent of households currently have connected home solutions. The poll took place during the second half of 2016:

The people who tend to get most excited about remote-controlling their physical environment are typically nerds. And nerds are necessarily a sub-group of consumers — albeit, the same sub-group closely involved in coming up with tech concepts to market to consumers in the first place. (Which perhaps explains some other recent tech missteps — e.g. overestimated demand for smart watches/wearables.)

“Although households in the developed world are beginning to embrace connected home solutions, providers must push beyond early adopter use,” says Amanda Sabia, principal research analyst at Gartner, commenting on the research in a statement. “If they are to successfully widen the appeal of the connected home, providers will need to identify what will really motivates current users to inspire additional purchases.”

Read the study results here.

Cheryl Perkins to speak at Texas Open Innovation Conference 2017

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on March 13, 2017

I am pleased to announce Innovation Edge’s participation in this year’s Texas Open Innovation Conference, a two-day event that will feature innovation experts from across the country. It’s a great opportunity to be part of a forum for models of collaboration and partnerships.

The Conference will take place on March 28th and 29th in Houston, Texas. Business, government, and academia will come together to exchange knowledge and advance technology and ideas.

I’ll be kicking off Day One of the conference with my presentation on Open Innovation Strategy. I’ll be sharing with leaders my experience in working with companies who want to successfully forge those alliances that work together, side by side, to bring new ideas, products and services into the marketplace.

Specifically, I will provide participants with new knowledge, skills, and tools for open innovation, including:

  • Strategic approaches for delivering new products, partnerships, and potential solution pathways as well as defining how to minimize risk.
  • Leadership behaviors and values to help those in today’s global environment to create an organizational culture of embracing open innovation from the outside, and inspiring and motivating team members.
  • How to Prevent “Innovation Fatigue,” a strategy to give teams the tools they need to build trust in the value of open innovation while managing risks on schedules, cost, and quality of outputs to achieve balance.

I hope you can join me at the event! You can save 20% on registration by using my promo code: speaker



A Day in the Life of a Plant Manager in 2020

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on March 10, 2017

Imagine a factory of the future. A “smart factory.” 2020 is only three short years away, but already some are looking to a future that most likely will be enabled by augmented reality, predictive analytics, and perhaps things we haven’t imagined yet.

I thought this article about a day in the life of the factory of the future was a good read, so I’m sharing just a snippet of it. But you will want to read the entire article.

The digital twin has been a somewhat dramatic change for product engineering. In the past, PDFs of signed paper drawings were the master record of product design information, but the digital twin made the 3D model the master. This initially upset many product engineers, who were resistant to change and could not foresee all the downstream benefits. However, now that they have adapted to the new way of working, the morale is better than ever. The tedious and administrative work required to create, print, gain approval, scan, and archive a paper drawing is now eliminated and engineers focus their time on more critical design work. And, the greater searchability of the product lifecycle management (PLM) system makes it much faster for an engineer to access any information or model required for reference.

A Business Case for Strategic Partnerships and Alliances

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on March 8, 2017

I am pleased to announce my contribution to a new book titled, Orchestrating Sustainable Innovation: A Symphony in Sound Bytes. I am excited to share my learnings and strategies for Open Innovation through partnerships that many consider “out-of-the-box.”

The authors, Marilyn J. Blocker, MSM, MBA, Megan Mitchell, and Andrea Zintz, Ph.D., invited innovators to write a chapter on their success stories and business experiences, including a section titled, “Leveraging and Managing Innovation: People, Partnerships, and Processes.” That’s where my chapter, “A Business Case for Strategic Partnerships and Alliances,” resides.

Here is an excerpt:

“Nowhere is an effective partnership more evident that in the interactions of members of jazz ensembles, where players listen carefully to one another, take turns with solo performances, and support each other by building on each other’s ideas. However, times have changed. Co-creation is also evident in today’s symphony orchestras, wherein some orchestra leaders collaborate with musicians on the type of music to be played and even how it’s to be played…”

I explain in this chapter how Leaders can facilitate differentiated and meaningful innovation by forming strategic partnerships and alliances with inventors and other entrepreneurs, suppliers, vendors, academic institutions, and other organizations—including competitors. Although it isn’t always easy to find and successfully engage the right partners, they can help organizations create more innovative cultures from the “outside in.”

Open innovation takes commitment and time on your part, but the results are worth your investment. Partnering can extend reach and capability by enabling businesses to experiment with lower risk and fewer internal resources. By sharing risk, leaders can often redeploy current resources for other possible innovations.

I go into more detail about how leaders can deliver differentiated and meaningful innovation through strategic partnerships and alliances that can leverage unique capabilities and competencies.

One of the biggest questions I often hear is about how leaders can ensure that potential partners have the required competencies. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to write this chapter, as choosing the right partners is crucial to the success of open innovation. If you’re wondering what the key challenges or pitfalls you may face in forming partnerships, or how to nurture and sustain your mutually beneficial partnerships, I encourage you to get a copy of this book when it comes out.

To see who’s featured in this book, click here. Click here to learn more about some of the enablers needed to effectively orchestrate innovation.

Look for the publication date soon!