Greetings. Popular Science magazine has just announced its picks for the 100 best innovations of 2010, and the list might be a perfect starting point for thinking about how to unlock the true potential of your company and its offerings. It's also a fun place to explore what really drives technological innovation because most of the winning ideas build on products and solutions that we often take for granted–by making them smarter, faster, more versatile, much easier to use, smaller, more energy-efficient, and far more powerful.
A great example is this year's "Grand Award" winner in the health category–the GE Healthcare Vscan, a product that is revolutionizing the world of ultrasound by literally putting this powerful technology in the palm of a health professional's hand. While ultrasound is not a new idea, having first been used in medicine in the 1960's, the clever folks at GE have made this technology remarkably portable enabling doctors, nurses, and technicians to perform important tests anytime and anywhere with a high degree of accuracy.
And it's just one of a hundred ideas worth exploring. Others include:
- The Groasis irrigation free plant incubator.
- Porsche's $600,000 electric supercar–the 918 Spyder.
- Ford's inflatable seatbelts that reduce head, neck, and chest injuries.
- The Powermat wireless gadget charger.
- Istanbul's new earthquake-resistant airport.
- Orasure Technologies' 20-minute hepatitis C virus test.
- Solar Impulse's solar-powered airplane.
- The first 3-D plasma television by Panasonic.
- Hydronalix remote-controlled water rescue buoy.
- The First Alert sonar enabled pre-drowning detector.
- Neato Robotics laser enabled robotic vacuum cleaner.
If you and the geniuses you work with are in the business of creating products in any industry, a closer look at these innovations–and all of the others recognized by Popular Science–could be a simple and engaging way to jump start thinking about how to reinvent your offerings. And even if you are in a service or solutions business, you might want to pay close attention to the ways that many of these product ideas are changing our notion of how to create a more compelling customer or user experience.
We win in business by stretching our thinking about what's possible. And removing the barriers to our customers' success.