Elements of Innovation

In the thirteenth year of the twentieth century, technological innovations were like flower buds ready to blossom.  The Ford Motor Company introduced the first large-scale moving assembly line, the first successful recipe to make stainless steel came about in 1913, but there was another discovery that was so small, it could not be observed by the human eye but would indeed change our perception to come.  Danish physicist Niels Bohr introduced the Bohr model of atomic structures in 1913.  The science of atomic structures opened up the notion to the imagination that smaller, not bigger, was the gateway to industrial and commercial innovations; the perception that complete and efficient systems could involve on a much smaller scale or with a much 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 did not come to the market until 1924, nonetheless, the Leica camera introduction was an innovation that exemplified forward thinking about scale in such a way it that drove change in the commercialization of personal devices, like a smaller camera.

What are the elements of innovation?  One way to think about innovation is as an outcome of divergent thinking, the same sensibilities found in the creative processes in the visual arts, theater, dance, music, architecture, and literature.  Observational insights in life and the arts can be symbiotic with innovation; the distillation of scale, form, speed, and the complexity of 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, with an overall physical footprint 10X smaller in scale, refined as a wearable unit.  The remote control, viewfinder, and microphone in a separate and second unified wearable unit, which voice activated command execute shooting mode algorithms, output commands.  Integrate language translation capabilities coupled with GPS mappings.  Deliver all captured images and voice data to a removable medium or a secured cloud-based storage or satellite feed at will.  Rendering post-production 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 now 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.  All based on the innovation of scale, form, and velocity of operation, with random outcomes to determine value, predictability, adaptation, and of course, the next steps.

#Elements of Innovation

All Rights Reserved, Elements of Innovation © Richard Anthony Peña 2014

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