Physical Meets Digital: 3 Examples of Innovation at the Chasm
The convergence is nigh. And yes, we realize we aren’t quite approaching Borg-style or, dare we say, Geordi La Forge style technology quite yet, (though some recent Google Glass pics may have you thinking otherwise) amazingly effective innovations that blend the physical world with that of the digital, continue to arise all around us. Here are 3 neat examples that perhaps will spark an innovation of your own. Keep in mind what these three shining innovations have in common; they forever change the user experience, and that is how you win in innovation.
JamStik Rocks the iCasbah
We’ll let the well produced video do most of the talking here, but have a look at how this physical product expertly blends a gorgeous digital interface, with myriad applications utilizing gamification, music education and familiar production software to create a brand new blended physical/digital user-experience. You can follow JamStik’s journey on crowdfunding site indiegogo right here.
Related Read: Quincy Jones Music Startup is a Gas, Gas, Gas
And if you think this type of blended technology is just “cute” or for gaming purposes only, have a listen to a newer track from the anthemic rock band Muse. In their track Madness, the Muse bassist, Christopher Wolstenholme (pictured below), is playing an iPad infused bass to create what is a very unique and industrial sound.
Fitocracy Dares You to Be More Awesome, +1
You go through your daily workout and perhaps you are counting calories burned, miles run, laps swam or some other macro-metric you have been self-tracking for awhile. OK, maybe you’re even more advanced with regards to how you track your fitness performances and own and use a newer quantified self device and application – such as the NIKE+ platform – to really level up your fitness tracking and social sharing of the workout. But, Fitocracy takes fitness gamification to even a higher level by offering every user thousands of different exercises to track. Much like the NIKE+ platform there are of course badges to earn, goals to achieve and socially display, and more, but unlike anything we’ve seen so far, it’s the ability to track extraordinarily specific exercises that are associated with varied levels of points that makes Fitocracy more customize-able to your workout. We can’t imagine other fitness platforms being very far behind as to support this type of more specific point earning.
A very cool next step for any quantified fitness platform would be to use sensors or video in such a way that a user can just do the workout and the sensor laden device will automatically associate the movement with a specific exercise. That would lower the barrier to usage dramatically and track exercises with specificity while lending itself to more advanced experiences like judging of form to really accelerate a training regimen. It’s a very exciting space that blends Big Data, mHealth, visualization technologies, psychology and more, so keep your eyes peeled for more innovation in the gamified fitness realm.
Augmented Reality Assisted Welding
A lot of augmented reality applications to date have been on the gimmicky side. See here for these awesome AR dragon t-shirts that kind of prove that point. But in that same linked article, we hit on a more important notion stating that AR is here to stay and as wearable devices move into the main stream (think Google Glass), it’s evident that AR’s future is so bright, because we’ll all be wearing “shades”.
Another key inflection point in any technology life-cycle is when super-niche applications of the technology are brought to market. Case in point, some braniac created welding shields that incorporate AR technology that allow the welder to process brighter brights and darker darks than the “naked” human eye could ever render. As the saying goes, “Why eat burger when you can have steak?” … so enjoy this educational video on how the technology works and the advantages it produces.
We hope these 3 shining examples of the physical and digital world colliding motivate you to think bigger and to innovate like none other before you. Ultimately, that’s how you will win.
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image credit: fitocracy.com, defendingaxlrose.com, jamstik.com (video),