innovative technology

Google Art Project and AGO Collaboration a Masterpiece

Innovation Insights
One of a series by Ken Tencer, Spyder Works CEO

AGO

A crucial part of the whole innovation process is celebrating the wins. Recognizing a brilliant idea can spark others’ imaginations and turn innovation into Win-novation™.

Is it possible to replicate the feeling you get when standing in front of a compelling piece of art? The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is willing to try. The Gallery has chosen to differentiate its brand by participating in the Google Art Project. This project gives viewers high resolution access to exhibits in more than 150 museums in 40 countries around the world. Currently the AGO is the only Canadian institution taking part.

Visitors can surf into the Gallery using Google technology and view artworks with brushstroke level detail. Creating a unique offering for users, the tool successfully reinforces the idea that the AGO is a fun place to visit filled with beautiful works of art. Google Art Project takes the best the Gallery has to offer and makes it accessible. It takes advantage of a visual technology that wasn’t even available a few years ago to completely re-define the appreciation and accessibility of fine art.

What innovative lesson does Google Art Project and AGO collaboration teach us? To me, it’s an artful example of innovation begetting innovation. Someone invents ultra high definition visual technology and Google realizes that the subtle genius of the world’s great works of art are suddenly visible to the virtual eye. And the innovation will continue. My guess is that there are emerging artists being amazed and inspired right now. We may see a revelation revolution.

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Too Big To Fail

Innovation Insights
One of a series by Ken Tencer, Spyder Works CEO

too-big-to-fail

While the assumption that a company or an industry could be “too big to fail” has been used mainly since the recent financial crisis, the notion itself has smugly resided in corporate boardrooms since the dawn of the modern corporation. “Our technology dominates the market, no need to worry,” said the buggy-whip maker to his horse.

Failure and evolution are a natural part of business, but sometimes it’s hard to watch. Sadly, we may now be witnessing the demise of a key industry giant in Kodak – a company that actually foresaw and invented the future, yet somehow managed not to learn from it.

As reported in the New York Times, “The big story here is that their core business, the yellow box business [film], got cannibalized by the digital camera, which ironically they invented,” said analyst Chris Whitmore of Deutsche Bank Securities.

The good news for investors is that Kodak’s management claims that the company is now soundly and strategically focused on digital printing technology – this in a world that is increasingly going paperless.  I don’t mean to pick on Kodak; they are not the first company or industry to resist change, nor will they be the last.

In an upcoming Innovation Insight entitled “Fueling Green,” we will look at how the auto industry is managing changing technologies very well by re-imagining their own future… and actively trying to adapt.

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The XYZs of Gesture Control

Innovation Insights
One of a series by Ken Tencer, Spyder Works CEO

Optimizing-Innovation-90-rule

Keyboarding is slow; mice are passé. Voice recognition is still flawed.  In future, you may interact with computers (and many other devices) simply by gesturing. A Canadian company called XYZ Interactive Technologies is using inexpensive infrared technology to power embedded sensors that enable you to control devices without touching them. Explains XYZ’s CEO, Michael Kosic,”The future battle for consumers of User Interfaces will be fought in 3D”.

Think of an iPad that you don’t even have to touch, because your hand movements (not the press of your smudging fingers) control the device. Or consider the potential for hands-free operation of devices in order to keep environments more sterile by reducing the transference of germs by contact.

Whatever field you are in, innovation isn’t only about invention; it’s also about solving problems by making existing products and services work better – one breakthrough at a time. As a business strategy, innovation is about recognizing ideas that will touch your customer’s lives in a positive, impactful way. Or not touch them, I guess, if you are part of a group of engineers re-thinking the whole notion of interaction.

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