Welcome to Issue 5 of Sparks & Kindling. This time, given the doldrums of uncertainty which is set to become the new reality here in Britain, we thought we would lean a bit towards the lighter-side of what’s interesting in the world of innovation. Of course in the niche, mad and even bad ideas there can still be a kernel of stimulating thought, so enjoy the read and have a great summer.
Ready for the Rio Olympics (although sadly not approved in time for use), our first gold this week goes to an innovation focused on removing one of the major irritations of any kind of athletic event or organized run. Finally, not only have they replaced the need for endless safety pins to attach your running number, but the Aeroblade teeth present a new type of adherence technology with applications across a host of potential uses. We’ve all spent years marveling at how handy 3M’s technology around post-it notes has been, well this takes it on a whole lot further.
Solving intractable challenges might become easier if we were more willing to test a multitude of solutions rather than plowing on in search of one ‘silver bullet’ answer. Our view is that this type of approach should be used more often, especially when attempting to change ingrained habits. Sainsbury’s have pioneered an experiment in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, trialing a suite of ideas to see which of them work best together to help reduce food waste. Have a look and see which of the routes would have most effect on you.
“Artificial waiting” is becoming a regular occurrence in UX design, as coming up with an answer in the milliseconds it really takes can create a sense of disbelief or even anxiety in the user. This article is a great quick tour of how long people expect to wait to get an accurate result across a number of areas - amazingly we expect to wait less time to find a match on a dating site than to find a flight…. sadly revealing quite a lot about the human condition.
If you’re around in the Shoreditch area over the next couple of days, you can enjoy some 3D printed food brought together as a nine-course dinner from Food Ink. To be perfectly honest, we’re not sure how much of the nine courses anyone will be able to get through without a blindfold. Still, it’s (probably) the future and if it is as bad as it looks, you can go get a bagel from just further up Brick Lane.