In the thirteenth year of the twentieth century, technological innovations were like buds about to flower. Ford Motor Company introduced the first large scale moving assembly line, the first successful recipe to make stainless steel was created, however, there was another discovery that could not be seen by the human eye but would indeed change our perception to come. Danish physicist Niels Bohr introduced the Bohr model of atomic structure in 1913. The science of atomic structures opened up the notion to the imagination that smaller not bigger was the gateway to industrial or commercial innovations, a snapshot or perception that complete and efficient systems could involve around a smaller scale or with a leaner footprint.
Long before there were smaller digital devices like today’s digital cameras or mobile phones, there was the introduction of the Leica camera proto-types in 1913 by Oskar Barnack of Leitz. Although Leica production models were not realized until 1924, nonetheless, the Leica camera introduction was an innovation that exemplified forward thinking about scale in such a way that it became an advantage that drove change how people captured life and environments.
What are the elements of innovation? One way to think about innovation is as an outcome of divergent thinking, the same sensibilities that can be found in the creative processes in the visual arts, theater, dance, music, architecture and literature. What can be found as basic elements in life and the arts can be symbiotic with innovation; distillation of scale, form, speed and abstract random outcomes.
Take Oskar Barnack’s 1913 camera concept for example and rethink innovation for the twenty first century. Such a camera innovation would have both macro and telescopic optical capabilities, with separate CCD layers of luminance, red, green and blue, gain amplifier with excellent noise to signal reduction, enhanced encoder and all are 10x smaller in scale and manifest as a wearable unit. The remote control, viewfinder and microphone also manifest in a separate but second unified wearable unit which voice command inputs can execute shooting mode algorithms and output commands along with language translation capabilities coupled with cultural and GPS mappings. Such a camera innovation can deliver all captured images and voice data to a removable medium or a secured cloud-based storage or satellite feed at will. Rendering software allows various output templates such as 2D, 3D, 3D-Printer, time, motion, language translations and discrete secured metadata.
What was once a static twentieth century camera apparatus becomes a dynamic and fully integrated global networked remote device allowing cross cultural communication for business, commerce, education and information gathering in the twenty first century based on the innovation of scale, form and speed. Which leaves the last element of innovation of abstract random outcomes to determine value, predictability, adaptation and of course, the next steps.
All Rights Reserved – Richard A. Peña