A Look at Different Approaches to Innovation via NeoCon 2012


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Yesterday, I was at the NeoCon 2012 Design Expo. While many, if not most, of the companies touted themselves as being innovative, there were a handful that caught my eye for different reasons.

People need people to heal, so anything that helps family and friends be with a sick person is most welcome in patient care settings. The “sleepToo” is an amazing piece of furniture. While the addition of features is often antithetical to innovation, this combo gets kudos for eliminating multiple other pieces of furniture and ultimately saving space in all too often cramped, patient rooms. Want to sit and look at your laptop? Go ahead. Put your feet up? No prob. And, if you get tired, a quick press of a button deploys a bed so you can “sleepToo.”

Then there’s the GymyGym.

This is another attempt at eliminating mulitple pieces of exercise equipment to save room. It’s a great idea and everything you need to get a workout is right there on your chair and you don’t need benches and weights lying around your office (or house). As the salesman told me, “You’ve got a Bowflex in your chair!” I agree, it’s not as elegant as the “sleepToo.” It’s straps and elastic cables are, even at their best, tangled looking. The organic, sci-fi look to this makes me feel a little uncomfortable to take a seat as it looks like it has a life of its own.

This LED task light from Jake Dyson is really a beautiful piece of design. Simple to move and control, it casts a beautiful even glow onto your tabletop. What I really like is that this is also wonderfully thought out. LED lights create heat, and just like their incandescent ancestors, heat is their downfall. The CSYS has a built-in heatsink that pulls heat away from the LED’s meaning a lifetime of over 37 years!!! I compared the temperature of the light emitting heads of various task lights at the show, and indeed, this one felt coolest to the touch. I would love to see this with a webcam for capturing/projecting documents during presentations, etc.

Tripp’s interactive, immersive, Virtual Reality design tool is just plain cool. I wish they had a better demo of it on their website as this really does need to be seen in person. The ability to manipulate any object – large, small, light, heavy – in 3D space, can only help with the design of interior spaces. This technology isn’t new, but it’s being applied in a way that can really help with the prototyping and visualization of interior spaces.

NunoErin is about emotion and interactivity (take note: their webpage thoroughly reflects their products/brand!) The temperature sensitive couch I put my hand on is just one example. It’s provocative and conversation starting, not to mention fun! The use of innovative materials really helps redefine what we see and use as furniture and to define space.

In venues like concert halls, space is at a premium. Sedia Systems’ “JumpSeat” is a minimalistic seating solution at its best. This wood seat snaps back courtesy of hidden, spring steel slats. Beautifully done. (Maybe the Sedia folks and Wieland can work together on something?)

You can see that a common theme is the desire to save space. It’s also great to see innovative uses for old materials be just as at home with innovative new materials. Overall, it was a stimulating experience to soak in. If you’d like to see a few more pics of some designs that made me smile, check out this page at Plishka Design.

What do you think about these?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Michael Plishka
Michael Plishka is the President and Founder of ZenStorming Solutions, LLC an innovation design consultancy. He believes in co-design methodologies, sharing design thinking essentials - empowering people and companies to make a difference with their products and services.


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