Archive for June 24th, 2008

Do you know how many different types of innovation there are?

June 24th, 2008 | Category: Innovation direction,Innovation tools

Well, according to Chicago based Design and Innovation consultants, Doblin Inc. , the magic number is …10. Doblin have categorised their¬†10 different types of innovation¬†under four main headings

  • Finance, covering business models and networks/alliances
  • Process,¬† covering what Doblin call enabling processes and core processes
  • Offerings, including product perfomance, product system and service
  • Delivery, covering channel, brand and customer experience

Here is a diagram to illustrate the innovation types, with some examples:

Many product innovations focus on one or two areas but Doblin claim that if you focus on a broader range of innovations which have relevance to your target market, you can increase your chances of success. To illustrate this, Doblin say that the iPod innovated across 7 of the 10 types of innovation.


I guess the value of a model like this is to help innovators to prompt concepts which can impact more broadly and, in particular, can be used to encourage different thinking around new business models, an often overlooked but powerful area for innovation. In my view, however, while this model provides a useful prompt, it is over-complicated for real world innovation.


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Developments in tactile feedback technology

June 24th, 2008 | Category: Problem solving,Targeted technology

If you have tried to text someone on your iPhone you will know that the lack of tactile feedback makes it harder to use, even though the whizzy touch screen looks nice. You make more mistakes and you type more slowly than with a normal phone. The need to create tactile feedback was also highlighted for larger screens in my recent post on new display technologies. Now Stephen Brewster and colleagues at the University of Glasgow in the UK say they can banish these problems by using actuators like those that make cellphones vibrate to replicate the feel of a keyboard.

To create the required feedback¬†his group strung together combinations of different vibrations. A single pulse 30 milliseconds long gives the feeling of a button being clicked, while sliding a finger from one button to another prompts a half-second long buzz, providing a “rough” feeling that tells the user they’ve strayed to another key. Sliding the finger across a button causes the buzz to be ramped up and then down, giving the feel of a round button.

The team found that users’ typing speed and accuracy were significantly closer to results they achieved using a real keyboard, compared with when the haptics were disabled.

This technology represents an efficient use of resources, in that the vibrator is already present in the phone, while significantly enhancing the experience for the phone user.

If a similar technology to this could be combined with the display technology I discussed in my earlier post on new display technologies, there could be significant potential for even more engaging consumer experiences at point of sale or brand interaction in future.

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New ethnographic research vlog

June 24th, 2008 | Category: Consumer centred,Innovation tools

I’ve just received an e-mail inviting me to subscribe to a new vlog set up by Siamack Salari of Everyday Lives. I’ve had a look and I reckon it promises to be an entertaining watch. Already posted is a disturbing video diary of Siamacks globetrotting travels which gave me jet lag just watching it. The new Ethnosnacker vlog is aimed at “exposing, breaking down and reconstructing ethnographic research or commerical anthropology for those who want to understand it better”. Knowing Siamack it will be well worth checking out regularly. I’m looking forwards to learning some new stuff too.

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