TORCHGRIP helps pilots handle flight deck tablets

Posted by Pat Clusman on July 22, 2016

Next week, hundreds of thousands of airplane geeks, from more than 70 countries will descend on Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, WI for the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) annual AirVenture. Billed as the “World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration®”, AirVenture 2016 will make the Oshkosh airport the busiest airfield in the world. More than 10,000 aircraft, from warbirds and aerobatic to vintage and ultralights, will be on hand July 25-31 for the 64th annual fly-in convention.

I am sure one of the topics that will be discussed will be Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs). An EFB is an electronic information management device that helps flight crews perform flight management tasks more easily and efficiently with less paper. Tablet computers from Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and other manufacturers configured with appropriate applications are being used by pilots and crew members.


While there is limited space in most cockpits, especially in the kind of airplanes found at EAA AirVenture, there are some accessories that can make using the tablet computer in the cockpit easier. One in particular is the Torchgrip® from a company called TecDriven, LLC. Torchgrip® is a handle and a stand accessory compatible with most of tablet computers in the market today. Torchgrip® provides a multi-angle stand in both portrait and landscape orientations. It offers single-handed portability, enhanced ergonomic control and 360° rotation. There are also some simple mounting options available.

Torchgrip® allows the crew member to comfortably hold the EFB with one hand and type or operate equipment with the other hand. Setting down or picking up the EFB is stress-free with Torchgrip® attached and reviewing or sharing information on the screen is easy. The tablet can be moved or passed around confidently and the handle is removable for easy storage.

EFBs are an exciting development in aviation, Torchgrip® can help make them readily available and easy to use for cockpit and flight deck operations. I hope to see you at #OSH16!

Find out more at

Pat Clusman is the Chief Operating Officer at Innovationedge. Follow Pat on Twitter @pclusman. Disclosure: TecDriven, LLC is a client of Innovationedge.

Wheelchair prototype lets users stand

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on July 19, 2016

At the Veteran’s Hospital in Minneapolis, innovators are designing a wheelchair that allows paraplegics to stand up.

This video shows how it works:

Shoes of the future?

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on July 12, 2016

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Here’s an interesting product I think is long overdue: Shoes that wrap around your feet like socks, and allow you to walk comfortably on hard or rocky surfaces. The brand name is Furoshiki:

For about $110 you can get this innovation from Vibram. The Japanese company states:

The concept for this type of footwear was derived from the Japanese custom of packaging items by wrapping them in cloth fabric. Furoshiki is the only sole on the market that wraps around the entire foot. Because the upper is constructed with stretch fabric, it will anatomically fit nicely on any foot type and the hook and loop closure system allows for a quick, easy fit. Powered by our revolutionary Vibram soling technology, Furoshiki provides comfort in any environment! It also packs nicely for traveling and each pair comes equipped with its very own traveling case. The ultimate travel footwear companion, offering protection, grip and comfort.

Check out their story here.

An innovative way startups are using empty booths

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on July 10, 2016

Many high-end restaurants that don’t open until late afternoon or evening are rife with opportunity. What to do with space that goes unused for most of the day?

How about run a company?

Several startups are offering off-hours restaurant spaces as an affordable alternative to traditional coworking offices, reports FastCompany:

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Photo credit: FastCompany

Turning empty offices into coworking spaces isn’t cheap: You need to pay rent and buy desks, chairs, perhaps a fancy coffeemaker for the kitchen. So while a coworking membership is often cheaper for entrepreneurs and freelancers than renting their own office, it can cost several hundred bucks a month depending on the city and how much access or privacy they want.

But what if freelancers, consultants and entrepreneurs worked out of existing space that sits unused during the day? Several entrepreneurs are testing that concept by turning restaurants or coffee shops into coworking spaces.

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 10.18.59 AMCoworkCafe opened last year inside of Arlington, Virginia, coffee shop Boccato. After 6 p.m., the area of the shop reserved for coworking opens up to the general public. For $150/month, CoworkCafe members get a $50 food credit, access to reserved space and high-speed Wi-Fi ($20 day passes are also available but don’t include any food credit). LinkLocale, more traditional coworking space in the area charges $30 per day, $175/month for flex space or $475/month for reserved space.

Aside from being cheaper than alternatives, cofounder David James says CoworkCafe offers a more relaxed vibe that many members (who include a novelist, software developers, marketing consultants, and nonprofit professionals) like. “Having a place that’s relaxed and comfortable is very good for creative type work,” he says. “There’s a certain feeling that you get in a place like this you can’t get in an office-type building. They really love the feeling of the space; they don’t want to be in a traditional office setting.”

Read the entire article here:

Nintendo wins big with “Pokémon GO” mobile app

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on July 9, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 1.14.23 PMIf you see young people wandering through your city looking for digital creatures to catch, don’t distract them! These are Pokémon fans, who are intently playing a brand new location-based mobile app game called Pokémon Go.

How big of a deal is this? It’s huge:

The Apple and Android app debuted last Wednesday evening in the United States, and the next day saw Nintendo’s stock price up 9 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. (Nintendo owns only a third interest in The Pokémon Company.)  The free download shot to No. 1 on the top-grossing chart in less than a day. With that level of demand, developer Niantic initially had some trouble keeping its servers up, with a few outages and Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 1.22.29 PMconnection issues. Most of those issues are being addressed, and soon players around the world will be hunting the beloved animated creatures via a GPS-powered world map.

Within a few days, players created hundreds of local Facebook Communities to gather with other enthusiasts. There is a hashtag #PokemonGo, and local police departments are warning that users should be especially aware of their surroundings to stay safe while playing.

Here is the video trailer that has captivated fans and inspired all those downloads:

Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 1.03.46 PMThe game makers encourage players to go outside, exercise, and explore local landmarks, or “PokéStops” like museums and parks, where digital Pokémon are waiting to be collected. The GPS map is based on the actual real-world map of the streets and pathways where a player is standing, and identifies area landmarks like hotels, historical markers, businesses, police stations, churches and more.  There is a social element in that players can battle their Pokémon against each other at “gyms.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-09 at 1.07.42 PMIn a few weeks, a small, Bluetooth-enabled accessory called the Pokémon GO Plus will be available for purchase so that fans on the move won’t need to look at their smartphones. The device connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth low energy and notifies players about events in the game—such as the appearance of a Pokémon nearby—using an LED and vibration.

How far will this craze go? And will it lead to other global trends in location-based games?


Do you suffer from “imposter syndrome?”

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on July 8, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 7.23.56 AMInnovative people seem fearless when it comes to moving outside their comfort zones to try new things.  But I can assure you it is quite common for those who appear confident to actually fear that they are not worthy of their position or achievements. It’s called the impostor syndrome, and Harvard Business Review has an interesting article on it this week that I thought you might enjoy.

In his piece, Everyone Suffers from Imposter Syndrome — Here’s How to Handle It, dfg Andy Molinsky writes,

What can you do to overcome these feelings of inadequacy that so many of us experience? A first tip I’ve found quite helpful: Recognize the benefits of being a novice. You might not realize it, but there are great benefits to being new in your field. When you are not steeped in the conventional wisdom of a given profession, you can ask questions that haven’t been asked before or approach problems in ways others haven’t thought of.

It’s no surprise, for example, that some of the best research ideas I get as a professor come from undergraduate students with little previous experience, people who can think with a fresh outsider’s perspective.

Read the rest of the tips here, and use your own doubts to your advantage!

5 Habits Of Truly Disruptive Leaders

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on June 30, 2016

bubble wikipediadisrupt: (verb dis·rupt \dis-ˈrəpt\) to cause (something) to be unable to continue in the normal way; to interrupt the normal progress or activity of (something). -Webster’s Dictionary

This is a “Throwback Thursday” post from our archives that I thought was important to share again if you missed it the first time around:

Disruptive leadership isn’t about change for the sake of change. It’s about integrating change into the modus operandi of the company—which, of course, is easier said than done. The truly disruptive leader doesn’t need to talk about disruption because it’s simply how they get things done. How? Here are five ways the most dynamic leaders embrace disruption and radiate it through their entire organizations.

1. They Relentlessly Pursue The Truth

Not telling others what you can see with your own eyes is the first step towards an early grave. When the business environment shifts and the accustomed approaches stop working, the last thing any business needs is a leader who suggests everyone keep calm and carry on.

Disruptive leaders are always testing to make sure their companies’ strategies are still effective—and say so when they aren’t. The more rapidly changes take place, the more crucial it becomes for leaders to take all their employees with them on the journey. The truth sometimes hurts, but it’s often the shock of that truth that prods people into taking actions and making decisions they might not have contemplated otherwise.

2. They Guide Others Through Chaos

Leaders need to be comfortable with the reality that in the face of change, the future is often hazy. Then they need others to be equally comfortable with that. As a company enters uncharted waters, it can be daunting for everyone involved. This is where the old “steady hand on the tiller” idea of leadership still has some force—not to guide an organization along a familiar course during difficult times, but to keep the ship steady as it steers in a new direction.

A big piece of that is communication. Leaders need to cut through the press-release palaver about “exciting new opportunities” and explain in concrete, practical terms how the changes under way tie into the business’s objectives: What new moves is the company making, and how come? Disruptive leaders empathize with their teams and involve them in their thinking. Chaos with a final destination is somehow a little less chaotic, even if you can’t map out in advance every move that will take you there.

3. They’re Decisive

The guiding principle of a disruptive leader is decisiveness. Leading by consensus has its place in the business world, but you can’t focus-group your way to an effective new playbook when the landscape changes abruptly.

Even if some decisions involves the most basic of “gut feels,” disruptive leaders need to tell their teams precisely what they want, when, and why—then help them to make it happen. Waiting too long to weigh countervailing opinions can spell doom.

4. They Break The Rules And Write New Ones—But Always Explain Why

The word “normal” doesn’t exist in a disruptive leader’s vocabulary—once something has become normal, it’s probably obsolete. The market is constantly changing, and the aim is always to be at its forefront rather than floundering in its wake. Sometimes that means breaking the rules; indeed, disruptive leaders nurture a healthy skepticism of best practices.

Still, a willingness to break the rules isn’t the same as cheering lawlessness. Embracing disruption means there’s always a new normal, and for as long as it lasts, it’s up to leaders to communicate what it is. If employees don’t know the current rules of the game, the organization can’t play by them as a team.

5. They Thrive On Uncertainty

Leading disruptive innovation means getting used to incredible levels of uncertainty. You never know how something will work until you try it. Modifying your assumptions and adapting your plans depending on your results is the standard practice of the most effective disruptive leaders.

But while such leaders might be called visionaries, they don’t have a crystal ball. There’s a certain method to the mayhem of navigating continuous changes, and disruptive leaders know that the key to success lies in using the insights from experimenting in order to chart a new direction.

Read more here

Are fitness trackers sustainable?

Posted by Cheryl Perkins on June 29, 2016

pixabay free photoThe wearable fitness trackers began gaining popularity about four years ago, and these days it seems a lot of consumers have their health goals sleekly wrapped around their wrists. But for how long? Will those smart watches become the dusty treadmills of our time? Originally marketed to serious athletes, fitness trackers are now mainly being purchased and worn by mainstream buyers like you and me, particularly in the 35 to 54 age range.

But not for long.

About 40 percent of wearers stop using trackers within six months, according to a study by NPD Group.

“Engaging people in their health more by wearing an app or wearable is moving in the right direction,” said Mitesh Patel, a senior author of the University of Pennsylvania study. “But we don’t have enough information that using it by itself would significantly change behavior.”

Patel suggests competition among friends, workplace incentives such as working toward a goal may encourage people to keep using their fitness apps. But that may not be enough.

Tracking exercise on its own might not be enough.

“It’s going to take more than just showing (consumers) information. This platform will go beyond measurement to motivate and drive improvement and make the road to personal transformation fun and social,”  Patel said.

For further reading, see, Have we reached peak FitBit?

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.