On Wednesday evening this week I attended Praveen Gupta’s Innovation class for their end-of-term project presentations. Almost all of these Illinois Institute of Technology students were first generation immigrants, mostly from India, China, and Korea. Says a lot about who thinks innovation is important!
Many of the ideas presented centered around changes to existing devices such as cell phones, PDA, Music players, GPS, and remote controls. But there was also an idea to meet the need to identify financial customers remotely using biometrics, an idea for a mag-lev car, and intelligent bed, a transparent refrigerator, and since we’re just coming out of Winter, an ice-melting concept, among others.
I was one of three ‘judges’ tasked with evaluating the presentations and pick the top three. It was a tough choice since quite a few of the ideas were original, clever and insightful. But we gathered as judges outside the classroom, compared our notes and picked three. Third prize went to a technology idea, where your technology components could react to your behavior. Second prize went to an idea to create a tooth brush that would act as the controller on a game and the game would have children play by brushing different parts of their teeth, you could imagine a Nintendo Wii game. But first prize went to an idea around upgrading a universal pointing device which included a phone, a presentation controller, a remote control, and PDA, but with some cool features not found in those devices today.
Praveen gave each of the judges a copy of his book “Business Innovation in the 21st Century: A comprehensive approach to institutionalize business innovation”. It’s a perfect gift for me since I wanted to read it and our local library does not have a copy.