Want to create innovations easily? One way to get the ideas
rolling is to extract some basic concepts from existing products
and inventions, and then apply them to new areas.
For example, if you look at a thermostat. you might think
it's "a device to control the indoor climate." That
is certainly an idea that can be used to come up with something
new. Look deeper, though, if you want more creative innovations.
Think, "It measures the temperature and then, using that
information, turns the heater on or off, to keep the house comfortable."
In other words, it uses measurement in order to control something.
That is a deeper concept. With the technology already existing
today, we can make things happen automatically, according to
almost anything we can automatically measure. This is a powerful
idea that can and will lead to some fantastic new innovations.
You may have seen my page on thought
control, where I pointed out that since we can measure the
changing activity of the brain as we change the nature of our
thoughts, we can already build a device that is operated just
by our thoughts. In fact, even with the technology of thirty
years ago, we could have had a TV turn on whenever one's pulse
rate increased. It is simple to train yourself to increase your
pulse rate by thinking certain thoughts, hence, you could by
thinking, turn on a television.
Somewhere else on this site, I suggested a sign that changes
it's message according to the weather. A restaurant, for example,
could have the sign say "Come in out of the cold,"
when it was cold, or "Cool off with an ice cold drink,"
when it was hot, and so on.
To come up with many such ideas and new innovations, you just
have to look around and start applying the basic concept of control
by measurement. When I look at the television, and think of measurable
things related to it, time is an obvious one. Already there are
"sleep timers" that turn the TV off after a certain
amount of time. How about a device that only allows the TV to
be on for three hours in any given day. The kids can watch when
they want, but they won't be able to watch too much.
Looking at the traffic, I see that speed can be measured.
They have those radar signs now, that tell you how fast you are
going. Maybe they could have a sign down the road that says "Slow
down, we're taking your picture," or turns on a fake siren
whenever someone goes ten miles per hour over the limit. Their
speed triggers something that will hopefully slow them down.
I saw a new invention the other day that measures your girth.
What does it do with that measurement? If you hold your stomach
in, you get clear sound in your headphones. If you let your stomach
hang out, the music is low quality and loses volume. I'm not
sure how well this stomach-exercise-motivator will sell, but
it does show how using the concept of measurement to control
can lead to very different ideas and innovations.