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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.

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