Whether we are business owners, work for a large company, or simply laze around all day, innovation –especially technological- has been playing a major part in improving our lives. While most of us are naturally not innovative and simply live not to fail, a small minority out there have been taught to “think outside the box” and are therefore contributing to a better life for us, usually after several failures of their own.
Some may be naturally self-criticizing and take failing as a natural step to learn, the rest of us, the majority, need to be taught how to disconfirm data and challenge ideas. As Edward D. Hess claims, “Emotionally, we seek to affirm our self-image (our ego) and we use the 3Ds—deny, defend, and deflect—to ward off challenges to it and to our views of the world”, most of us develop a fear of failure, looking bad, or losing our job if we make a mistake.
Part of the fault could actually go to the way education is setup as well as the strictness of some business firms to ensure success. The education system is designed to teach us how to follow instructions and be a stable employee, but rarely actually encourage us to “think outside the box” or go out of the way to make something new. Also, some companies tend to be too strict in sanctioning mistakes that employees unconsciously develop a fear of trying something differently – thus focusing to perform up to expectation and be happy about it. However, there are several companies who take innovation as an essential factor on their success, thus insisting that failure are opportunities to learn or even going as far as characterizing failure as the best way for their employees to learn the necessary humility for success. Most exemplar companies in this field are IDEO, Pixar, and Intuit.
On the other hand, some of the most innovative companies such as Xero, NetSuite, and Monitice (top 3 according to Forbes) have constantly been focusing on innovative products and thus simultaneously improving our lives while increasing their own annual sales growth considerably. Below, we will take a look at some of the main technological innovations which could change our lives forever.
The major cities have constantly been looking to improve their communal systems and population lives by coming up with innovative technologies and ideas. New York have created green parks out of their useless, old railway lines while London have transformed an old power station into an art gallery.
London have also been investing on touch-screen public phone boxes which are versatile in also being an information hub, charging station, weather station, and environmental monitor among other uses. Additionally, London have also developed innovative garbage bins with digital screens broadcasting news and other information live.
Other environmental innovations have included smart lampposts which use LED lights and shut down when there are no people around, thus saving more than 80% of energy. And the most innovative of them all is the vertical farming by using tall buildings to produce food on each floor, thus also allowing the perfect artificial growing of specifically needed food.
Especially in Estonia –who have the most digital government in the world- every municipal or state service can be completed online and within minutes too. You can register a company, view your educational record, work history, medical record, and even legal offences online within minutes.
Innovative products for home use have been taking the main attention, as expected. Many of the impressive innovations include
DoorBot which ensures that door bells are no longer used and you get the doorbell on your phone instead. This is a dream product for those with dogs. I personally have 3 at home and I completely understand why door bells should be obsolete.
CubeSensors helping spot the environmental distractions in your room, recommending what to fix in order to have a good sleep.
EcoVea Shower System recycling clean water from showering and re-using it.
Click and Grow helping take smart and automatic care of your in-house flowers, determining when it needs further water, sun, or soil.
Smart Mirrors measuring the light reflecting your skin to determine your blood pressure.
Some of the most impressing innovations however, have come in the form of kitchen technology. Remember the renowned Singapore private chef you wanted to hire? These products are designed to give you the best substitution. Whirpool’s Kitchen of the future features a touchscreen cooktop allowing you to select what you want to cook and how you want it cooked. LG is developing a program allowing you to chat with your LG refrigerator as if you were chatting with your family member, asking what about the products left in there. Other coming innovations include an interactive cooperation between your kitchen appliances preparing the food according to what’s available, and phone-controlled appliances thus allowing the owner to have their food cooked before even arriving home.
Ultimately, due to the increasing education and competition among people and companies, Innovation in every sector has recently seen a major increase in importance. It is seen as the essential way to stand out, therefore the products we are about to see in the coming years is sure to leave us amazed.