Archive for June 28th, 2008

Flexible display in your smart card anyone?

June 28th, 2008 | Category: Targeted technology,Technology trend

I was just cruising the Philips Applied technology website when I came across this rather interesting development, exploiting Philips expertise in thin film flexible displays and smart card controller chips. It’s a smart card with a display on it.

Philips have set up a start-up Flexible Display Solutions to commercialise the concept, key benefits for the user are increased security and information feedback. Strangely, the original display was a flexible LCD, which, according to another article I read on flexible displays is usually big trouble┬ábut now Philips are targeting an electrophoretic display instead because it is bi-stable – it only needs a signal to switch it = less power consumption. The card is 0.5mm thick and, in addition to the display, contains a control chip and battery.

With rapid development in the area of OLEDs and thermoplastic semiconductors, flexible displays are expected to play an increasing important role in our lives over the next few years as displays become cheap enough to be incorporated into clothing and packaging.



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New mobile telecoms development – local twitter, hit or miss?

June 28th, 2008 | Category: Innovative products,Targeted technology

Just off TechCrunch is a new option for the iPhone, nrme (near me) provides a 9 block radius running update on things happening nearby. Users write in a short message about stuff they see happening and this is broadcast to other nrme users in the 9 block radius. While there is an option for chats ans instant messaging in nrme, what this package is about is getting the latest updates on stuff happening in walking distance. Maybe a bar is getting full or a new product has just come into the shops. The business model requires local based, time specific advertising on top of the feed.

Some issues still need ironing out, like browsing through random conversations between two people just because they are local to you. The system will probably require some further context sensitive adjustments before it really works, oh yes, and enough people using it.

If the issues can be resolved this could well be one more step towards an ambient intelligence future.

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Open Innovation – more Idea Marketplace options

David Kutchner has added a comment to my previous post on Open Innovation Marketplaces, highlighting another option. This one offers a lower entry cost than the other three I mentioned. By the way RFP stands for “Request For Proposal”.

According to David: “The RFP Database is pretty simple: it’s a literal trading-place for RFPs, as well as a damn good place to post your RFP and get competitive bids and project proposals from vendors interested in your project. While it doesn’t necessarily cover the same market as Nine Sigma, it’s essentially the same thing, minus the onerous fees and commissions that they charge. We try to keep ourselves out of the process as much as possible and instead let the RFP speak for itself and the people putting forth projects to speak directly to the issuing organizations. We have grant projects going through all the time, as well as organizations looking for proposals on research for specific topics. In some cases we’ve been employed to help organizations compose their RFPs, publish them, and analyze the received proposals, but for the most part we’re simply a platform. Unlike some of the competing spaces, ours is exceptionally egalitarian in that the costs to gain access to projects are $2/project lead OR free depending on how you make use of our site (ratio system to encourage users to contribute projects they aren’t bidding on). There is no sliding scale, no commission, no subscription fees, etc.”

I’ve had a look at the sort of things being posted and David is right, it isn’t really covering the technology problem solving area as for example Nine Sigma and Innocentive do, with more of a request for tender or organisation to organisation dating service feel to it. It also doesn’t yet have the scope of the other idea marketplaces in terms of solver or seeker base. I like, however, the approach of undercutting the existing providers and going after “non-consumption” to coin a Clayton Christensen phrase.

Thinking about it, I reckon there is another opportunity to target non-consumption in an area which is very obvious in the UK – that is, connecting small companies who have┬ágreat technologies but limited scope in terms of sales up to bigger markets, either in terms of licencing from large companies or sales of product. The only option available at present is for a number to small companies to get together and negotiate a slot on It would be great to get feedback from the US on this, is there a problem there for small companies and entrpreneurs too?