Home » Innovation » Recent Articles:

Peugeot unveils a new car that runs on air.

Peugeot unveils a new car that runs on air.

We are living during a era of great technological innovation. At TomorrowToday we love technology that has the ability to disrupt not only products but entire industries, even countries. Peugeot Citroën  appears to be doing just that . The car manufacturer has unveiled a new hybrid drivetrain that uses compressed air instead of electricity to provide a secondary source of propulsion. They call this innovation Hybrid Air and it’s a technology they claim will be available in their compact models (Citroën C3 or a Peugeot 208) by 2016 for a price of £16,000. The company claims that the car using a hybrid system emits as little as 69g/km of CO2 i.e. 2.9l / 100km. Peugeot aims to reduce this to 2l/100km by 2020 

 An innovative full-hybrid gasoline solution. An important step towards the 2l/100 km car by 2020 

The car travels on compressed air propelling it to speeds of 43mph where after the petrol or diesel system kicks in. 60-80% of journeys can therefore be completed, in an urban city environment, using just air!

A car that runs on compressed air has the potential to not only disrupt the motor industry, but the massive oil industry too. This is great news for environmentalist, but not for those who invest in the future of fossil fuel. Understanding the impact of this disruption needs to be a boardroom topic for energy companies. TomorrowToday is partnering with London Business School and our facilitators are working on a leadership programme for Kuwait Petroleum Company. We’ve learnt that 80% of the Kuwaiti economy is depedent on the oil industry. What happens when an abundant, cheap and pollution free source of propulsion replaces or reduces significantly the demand for their liquid gold? It’s a question we will put to them at the next session with KPC senior leaders in Spetember. The answers should be interesting.

 

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 09.55.00

Cut away view of the hybrid air compression propulsion system

 

Ray Massey became the first UK journalist to test drive the new car in Paris. Here is an excerpt on his driving experience:

Driving feels a little different to a conventional automatic car. It’s nimble. A visual display on the dashboard screen tells you when you are in zero pollution or petrol mode. It chugs happily along in town running only on air. It certainly didn’t run out of puff and giving the accelerator a quick burst — vital on Parisian roads to keep you out of trouble — meant the combined force of the 82bhp petrol engine and the 40bhp air motor kicked in together to put wind in its sails.

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 10.37.52

Ray Massey test driving Hybrid Air

You can read his full review of the car at the Daily Mail

 

 

PDF    Send article as PDF   

The Future of theft…okay bye bye now.

The Future of theft…okay bye bye now.

According to the website Stolen Bike Statistics over 500,000 bikes were stolen in the UK over the past five years. This figure is also understated. According to John Moss who compiled these stat  “It is largely accepted that only 1 in 5 bike thefts are reported to the police, therefore the bike thefts figures can be considered 5 times higher than reported.” 

These numbers are about to plummet. Designers at Jawbone and Boeing have developed a solar powered bicycle lock, called Skylock, that works via Bluetooth connectivity to your phone – and the phones of friends you select. One hour of sunshine provides a weeks power and should your bike be noticably jarred Skylock will emmediately send you an alert to your smartphone. The lock uses military grade material giving you enough time to get to your bike before it’s nicked. And, as if that’s not enough should you get doored by a carelss driver or loose it on a rain-slicked road, Skylock will notify friends and family so they can come to your aid. The best thing of all is the price, at around £90 for a lock it compares very favourably with traditional high-end locks!

Two things for the future.

  1. Skylock is benefting from the fast growing shareconmy. Bikes are one of our most under-utilised assets, by allowing friends easy and secure access to your bike you can park it and let approved people share your ride. Skylock allows for instant ride sharing
  2. By linking your bike lock to the Internet of Things, bike theft fast become a thing of the past. We are entering a world were our assets will tell us when dubious people are tinkering with them. They will be able to alert authorities. In the future products like Skylock will make theft a pointless pastime!

Screen Shot 2014-06-23 at 11.22.13

 

 

PDF Printer    Send article as PDF   

Just for fun: Why you really, really want a drone at home

June 20, 2014 Graeme Codrington Future Trends, Innovation, Technology No Comments

It’s Friday, and the weekend is here. So, for a bit of fun check out this wonderful use of a drone. Drones are now readily available. My brother, a video producer based in Atlanta USA (see his video channel here) has one of his own that he uses to create amazing camera shots.

These drones can be programmed to follow GPS co-ordinates, and one smart guy has programmed his drone to take his dog for a walk around the neighbourhood. Here’s the video:

Dogs and drones

What would you use a drone at home for?

PDF Creator    Send article as PDF   

Sharing Your Secrets: What Elon Musk’s latest move at Tesla means for you

Sharing Your Secrets: What Elon Musk’s latest move at Tesla means for you

I’ll admit it: I have a huge man-crush on Elon Musk. I like everything this guy does. From his passion for space exploration and madcap vision of a one way trip to Mars, to his recent announcements about building both flying and submerisble cars, Elon is the very eptimony of a swashbuckling hero for the modern age. He’s also a South African – land of my birth too. Yet, in between the media hyped pronouncements there is some serious thought going on about the future shape of the world. Every industry he touches he also changes.

Yesterday, Elon’s electric sports car company, Tesla, announced that it will release all its patents to the world for free. Now anyone can build an electric car like they have.

There is some sanity behind this madness. In order for Tesla to grow now it really does need an entire electric car around it. Elon has seen that instead of protecting the slice of the pie he currently has (which is quite big), it’s going to be better for him to build a bigger pie. I think he’s spot on. Too many businesses spend too much time and effort protecting their piece of a pie, rather than building the pie. Lesson #1 right there.

But the bigger lesson, and the more important issue for everyone else is that Elon and Tesla understand that we’re increasingly living in a world where information is no longer power and everyone will know everything anyway. Many industries are currently built on what I call “knowledge arbitrage”: you and your company know things that other people (very often including your customers) don’t. By 2020, this will not be true. Good examples include investment banking, financial planners, pharmaceuticals and law firms.

What would your industry look like if everyone knew everything that everybody else did? What would your business model look like if it could not be based on having a corner on a set of information no-one else has? How would you add value to your clients if they already know everything you know? You may not need the answer to these questions this year, but you will need them by 2020. So you might as well start now.

Elon Musk is already one step ahead of you.

PDF Download    Send article as PDF   

Smaller difference and different reasons for buying

Smaller difference and different reasons for buying

One of TomorrowToday’s best associates is Markus Kramer. Until recently, Markus was Global Head of Branding at Aston Martin and before that worked for other luxury brands, including Harley Davidson. He is a true world expert on luxury brands, and the lessons all industries can learn from how luxury brands operate. You can see Markus’ profile here.

One of the sessions Markus delivers is on these lessons from luxury branding. It’s a powerful insight into how any brand can use some of these techniques. In his daily blog today, Seth Godin wrote eloquently on why this is becoming more and more important in a world where differentiation is becoming harder and harder.

All good and thought provoking stuff. If you’d like Markus to come and speak to your team about this, please contact us for more information.

Small differences, looming large

As we get more technologically advanced, more civilized and more refined, differences get smaller.

The Nikon SLR was in a different universe than the Instamatic. Just about anyone could instantly see the differences between pictures taken with these cameras. Taking pictures for online use with the Sony RX1 and the 80% less Canon pocket camera–not so much.

The rough peasant wine available on your table at a local restaurant was a totally different experience than a vintage Burgundy. Thirty years after that vacation, it’s pretty tough (in a blind tasting) to tell the difference between a bottle that costs ten dollars at the local store and one that costs $200…

The speed difference between a Mac IIfx and a Commodore 64 was no contest. One was for professionals, one was a game for kids. Today, there’s no dramatic functional difference for most users between the speed of the cheap Android tablet and the Mac Pro.

But of course, for those that care, the difference matters more than ever. For those that care, the premium available to be paid for a better camera, wine or computer is actually far greater than it ever was before.

As the differences get smaller, the purely functional reasons for premium goods fade away, and instead they are purchased for the reason we’ve always purchased luxury goods: because of how they make us feel, not because of what they actually do. The fur coat is not warmer than the down jacket, it’s merely harder to acquire.

Source: Seth Godin

See Markus’ speaker page at: Markus Kramer.

Create PDF    Send article as PDF   

Three ways to deal with failure, by Seth Godin

April 10, 2014 Graeme Codrington Change, Innovation, Leadership, Personal Development No Comments
Three ways to deal with failure, by Seth Godin

Seth Godin is one of my favourite authors and business thinkers. I find his daily blog inspirational and insightful.

Here’s one from a while ago that has really stuck with me. I think Seth is spot on with this insight, and it could really help you to deal with failure and think about your corporate culture.

Accuracy, resilience and denial


… three ways to deal with the future.

Accuracy is the most rewarding way to deal with what will happen tomorrow–if you predict correctly. Accuracy rewards those that put all their bets on one possible outcome. The thing is, accuracy requires either a significant investment of time and money, or inside information (or luck, but that’s a different game entirely). Without a reason to believe that you’ve got better information than everyone else, it’s hard to see how you can be confident that this is a smart bet.

Resilience is the best strategy for those realistic enough to admit that they can’t predict the future with more accuracy than others. Resilience isn’t a bet on one outcome, instead, it’s an investment across a range of possible outcomes, a way to ensure that regardless of what actually occurs (within the range), you’ll do fine.

And denial, of course, is the strategy of assuming that the future will be just like today.

… Continue Reading

Apple just entered your market (Healthcare, I’m talking to you)

Apple just entered your market (Healthcare, I’m talking to you)

For the last few years, our team has enjoyed asking our clients a hypothetical question: “What would the impact be if Apple/Google/Facebook announced today that it was entering your market?”. To be honest, I think it should be a thought that strikes fear into all existing players in any industry. And it could be ANY industry.

A few industries have started to feel the reality of this hypothetical question. The car industry has Google’s driverless cars. The telecomms industry has Facebook’s internet connectivity drones (and Google’s blimps). The investment industry has Google’s free stock analysis. The robotics industry has literally been bought up by Google in the past twelve months. Elon Musk of Tesla is getting into transportation, space travel and free wifi for Africa.

And now Apple is making a move into healthcare.

This makes a lot of sense to us. In the world of the Internet of Things, the smart home is probably the first place we’ll see innovation and practical applications (the Nest thermostat system is just the start). But next on the list of clever things to do with a world filled with sensors, big data analysis and real-time information that will actually make a difference in our personal lives is healthcare.

the more we measure what goes into our bodies, what comes out of them, what we do to our bodies and how they respond, the better we will be able to improve our bodies’ functionality. This will improve our health and directly improve our standard of living. It’s a no-brainer. And Apple are spending significant money to start the process of owning this space.

It will start with some simple apps that get us into the habit of monitoring and managing our health. It will soon extend to monitors that are inside our bodies (there are already external wearables like fitbits, and GPS enabled apps like Nike’s Running and others). And that will all connect to a personal healthcare cloud that will provide real-time updates on what’s happening in our bodies. You can read more about what Apple is planning here. And here is another excellent analysis of the hardware they’ll probably be using to make this happen.

I think we’ll also see smart toilets quite soon. Amongst the most important health information we own is what comes out of our bodies. We literally flush this valuable information away a few times a day. Imagine a toilet that could analyse that waste before flushing it, and provide instant, valuable feedback. You’d know you need more liquids, or less protein at your next meal, or that you’re missing vital vitamins at the moment. It’s going to happen. And maybe it will just be an iToilet that does it.

Free PDF    Send article as PDF   

Happy birthday World Wide Web

March 12, 2014 Graeme Codrington Disruptive Forces, Innovation, Technology No Comments
Happy birthday World Wide Web

It was on 12 March 1989 that a young British scientist, Tim Berners Lee, working at CERN in Switzerland sent a memo to his boss entitled “Information Management: A Proposal”. In it he proposed to develop a way to share information over a computer network. “A ‘web’ of notes with links (like references) between them is far more useful than a fixed hierarchical system”, he wrote. Read the memo here.

“Vague, but exciting”, wrote Mr Berners-Lee’s supervisor at the top of his CERN memo.

The rest is history.

He created the World Wide Web, and the HyperText Transfer Protocol that governs it.

25 years old today, then: Happy birthday, World Wide Web!

PDF    Send article as PDF   

3D printing rapidly approaching tipping point

February 7, 2014 Dean van Leeuwen Disruptive Forces, Future Trends, Innovation, Strategy, Technology 1 Comment
3D printing rapidly approaching tipping point
We’ve been watching and tracking the implications of 3D printers and a disruptive force and innovation for over five years now. We’ve observed many exciting developments from the work of Behrokh Khoshnevis, a professor of Industrial & Systems Engineering at the University of Southern California, who created a 3D printer that prints houses in 20 hours, using a process called contour crafting; to the use of 3D printers to print human tissues, spinal columns, jawbones . NASA has taken a 3D printer into space  and; Nestle (one of TomorrowToday’s clients) is experimenting with the printing of chocolate and pizzas. It seems that the innovations and uses for 3D printers are limited only by our imagination.
The rapid development and adoption of 3D printers, (Amazon now has a dedicated portal for 3d printing fanatics, London has iMakr - the world’s largest 3D printing store, and colleague and TomorrowToday co-founder Graeme Codrington bought a 3D printer for his family – making him the coolest dad for his 3 Gen Y daughters!); is leading to an explosion in the types of printers, materials used (from Titanium to human cartilage) and the costs are rapidly reducing. McKinsey, a leading management consultancy, believe that 3D printing or additive manufacturing has now reached the tipping point and senior leaders need to be observing 5 disruptions that will accompany this trend. You can read their article on 3D printing takes shape below or at their website.  Two thing are for sure, 3D printing is set to reshape the world of manufacturing (if not the world at large) and we are a tad proud to say TomorrowToday’s futurists got it right again.

The $27,500 rifle that never misses

The $27,500 rifle that never misses

TrackingPoint makes s $27,500 smart rifle that doesn’t miss it’s target even at a 1000 yards. The Texas based business is backed by $35 million in funding from founder John McHale, his buddies and Austin Ventures. The rifle’s smart system is so clever that any novice can pick up the gun, point it at a target a thousand yards away and hit it dead-centre first time (or at least that is the promise). Peer down the smartscope and line up a white dot (the centre of the crosshairs), push a red button to lock the gun’s guidance system on the target and pull the trigger… nothing happens, you’ve duffed it… shaken too much. The rifle’s system takes over calculating the perfect alignment sensing your breathing rhythms and countering your moving hands. Without warning at the precise perfect moment the rifle fires itself hitting the target.

Wouldn’t life be great if your company had a super-gun, aim at your target audience, your perfect employee prospect, hit the red button and at the precise moment of alignment your message is fired off to hit the target spot on. Thing is companies seeking smart systems, smart data, smart everything forget there’s more to business than just smart systems and smart mechanics. Where is the art, where is the skill, where is the adventure when any dummy can punt your offering? Because it’s doesn’t matter who fires your message when the system fires for them, removing the element of ‘human error’.  But if anyone can do it aided by a computer, a robot, a machine… where is the competitive advantage? …gone!
Here’s the catch: This is the world we are hurtling towards, a world where any dumb company can point and the system will shoot. Whatever. The human error gives your company heart and soul, the human error helps you learn. TrackingPoint is in trouble because the perfect gun doesn’t always hit the target, seems there are external factors when the smart system doesn’t alwaywork, it’s too hot, it’s too cold. TrackingPoint is making a loss, bleeding over $7 million a year even though their youtube videos go viral with millions of views.
In this world of smart, it’s still the operator, the retail assistant, the leader, the person that matters most because when everyone is hitting the dead-centre it’s the personal touch that hits the sweets pot.
PDF Printer    Send article as PDF   

Apple isn’t going away just yet

Apple isn’t going away just yet

The predictions of Apple’s demise have, it seems, been all too premature.

At TomorrowToday, we’re big Apple fans. Personally, I am certified Apple cult member, with a completely Apple-infested house (with everything from iPads and iPods to Apple TV and Airports). I don’t claim to be objective on this issue.

We also steer clear of short-term market trend forecasting, precisely because it is so difficult. And unless you’re the marketing and sales director of a company in that industry, it’s not really that important. Keeping “score” by trying to predict how many Apple handsets will be sold on the third Saturday after the next full moon doesn’t make much sense to me anyway. The health of companies must surely be more related to longer term trends than short term triggers?

Yesterday, however, an article on AppleInsider.com caught my eye. A year or so ago, technology analysts were falling over themselves to predict the demise of Apple. Linked, of course, to the death of Steve Jobs, they made all sorts of predictions about how Apple would lose market share, not be innovative and generally lose their way. As a vocal supporter of Apple, I disputed each of these points. There appears to be a culture at Apple that I was hoping would outlast a single person.

Some things have not been brilliant at Apple in the last year. The biggest issue for us at TomorrowToday is that the latest version of Keynote (in Mavericks OS) is a massive leap backwards for professional presenters. Key things that we need have just been taken away – the most significant is the ability to customise the presenter view screen on your laptop. Inexplicable, frustrating, and Apple are doing nothing to restore this functionality or respond to user demands. I am sure they will in time. The logic, by the way, is that they are moving all of their software to focus more on iPad functionality – but that’s a dumbing down power users can’t abide. They apparently did the same a few years ago with Final Cut Pro, and eventually rolled back all their changes after power users demanded it.

But this is a minor issue (for the company; a major one for me – I have stuck with the old version of Keynote).

As we review 2013 and the performance of the main technology companies, it appears that it is not Apple who were in danger of slipping sales, slowing innovation and sliding standards. As the article I saw says: “Google, Samsung and Microsoft were the companies in 2013 with sales problems and a lack of innovation, while Apple continued to remain the most profitable and successful in executing its strategies and the company everyone else in the industry looked to for ideas and leadership.”

Read it in full here if you’re interested. There’s important information about the fight between NFC and BLE (Apple’s choice is BLE and it’s winning); on the sizing of phones (seriously, is it the 80s all over again with the size of some Android screens being sold as phones these days?); and Google versus other search entry points.

We are not too concerned about the exact features of the 2014 smartphones or whether Apple or Samsung end this coming with a higher market cap. But we are very interested in where the innovations of the technology world are heading. Enjoy the article and the in depth analysis of who is doing what, and where it’s likely to go.

PDF Creator    Send article as PDF   

The real place – where the work is done

The real place – where the work is done

Do you go to the real place to understand the changing trends affecting how people live, work and play? The Japanese have a term called “genba” which refers to the real place or where the work is done. For some the real place is the factory floor, for others it’s the checkout point and then most importantly it’s where customers use your product or service, that’s the real place.

Observing how people use your products and services in their real place can give insights into new areas of innovation and disruption. When Deborah Adler saw her grandmother mistakenly take pills from the wrong perscription bottle, the then design student recognised an opportunity to improve the decades-old drug packaging. She designed a new label system called ClearRX that has been adopted by Target, Johnson & Johnson, Medline Industries and others. For Deborah the “real place” was her grandma’s medicine cabinet.

Where is your real place, your businesses real place and your customers real place? Are you spending too much time and energy on things that are in the wrong place?

biztarget_t640

Designer Deborah Adler shows some examples of her ClearRx prescription packaging

PDF Download    Send article as PDF   

Subscribe to this blog

Get free delivery of this blog by email, RSS or feeder

Categories

Primary Blog contributors

The main contributors to this blog are:

Dr Graeme Codrington, co-founder of TomorrowToday, author, speaker and expert on the changing world of work
Dean van Leeuwen, co-founder and CEO of TomorrowToday UK & Europe, speaker, consultant and Chief Intellectual Adventurer
Keith Coats, co-founder of TomorrowToday South Africa, leadership development guru, speaker and author
Professor Nick Barker, director of the Asia Pacific Leadership Program at the East-West Center in Hawaii, leadership development expert
Markus Kramer, marketing director for Aston Martin and brand building expert
Keith Holdt, Visionary Enabler of business growth and change, currently works for LDC as an investment executive.
Dil Sidhu, Chief External Officer, Manchester Business School; Executive education specialist.
Dawna MacLean, expert on fostering meaningful change and creating authentic experiences through transparent and trusted partnerships.

Click here for a full list of contributors


Hosted by TomorrowToday

Archives