With each passing month, the world of innovation continues to excite and surprise us with the enormous range of innovative solutions being created to solve exceptional problems.
We have seen the creation of vertical farms and lifesaving bullets, beehives that have honey on tap and trees that produce forty different types of fruit! The trend has not stopped with May, in fact it has climaxed.
First on the list is the Tesla Power Wall. This wonderful device is a home battery for the future that allows people to live entirely off the grid if they so desire. The battery charges itself by storing energy from solar panels during the middle off the day when solar energy is most plentiful. Furthermore, on cloudy days, the Power Wall can draw and store power from the grid itself when rates are lower (typically in the middle of the day due to reduced use) and store that power for the evenings when power rates peak due to increased demand. The Power wall is beautifully functional and comes in two different models (7kWh and 10kWh), both of which have ten-year warranties. Typically they should be sufficient to power most homes during the peak evening hours, however for larger homes multiple batteries can be installed together to a maximum of 9 units for either 63 kWh or 90 kWh. The Power Wall has a sleek, sculptured, design that is easy to install and has no maintenance requirements once connected and can be mounted either inside or outside the home. And how much does it cost? It is actually an extremely economic product, costing $3,000USD for the 7kWh and $3,500USD for the 10kWh model. This is a truly revolutionary creation that represents a very real step forward towards a clean, green, fossil fuel free future.
In second place comes Lily, a completely autonomous drone that has been designed to hover 1.75m above the users head and follow at an average speed of 15mph, capturing their activities in full HD 1080p60, or in SloMo 720p60, from a range of different angles called “Lily Shots”. The drone has been designed to fit into anyone’s life, from extreme alpine skiers who want to create a video montage of their latest adventure to casual hikers wanting to take a still photo sitting on a precarious ledge with Lily’s 12mp camera. The Lily drone is unique in a number of ways, such as its “throw & go” feature whereby its user can literally just throw Lily into the air and watch as she autonomously activates her rotors and begins hovering. Lily is also waterproof and comes with an ‘easy landing’ feature that lets her to return to the open palm of her user when they’re finished with her. Currently Lily has a maximum fly time of 20 minutes however as a first model this is extremely impressive and is only likely to improve as Lily grows and develops.
Next up comes CHIP, the world’s first $9 computer. So far CHIP has raised $1,916,850 on Kickstarter, a 3734% increase on the targeted $50,000 and offers a huge range of abilities that would be expected from a full size PC. Obviously given its diminished size, roughly half the size of your EFTPOS card, CHIPS has reduced storage and computing capabilities when compared to its larger brothers and sisters, for example, there is only 4GB of on-board storage. However, in no way do these limitations impede CHIP’s overall ability. CHIP comes with both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and has the ability to connect to larger screens through HDMI and VGA cables, allowing the user to work on a larger screen with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. But the uses don’t stop there…CHIP has been designed to fit effortlessly into the users life, an aspiration that has been achieved with Pocket Chip. This is a thin, Gameboy sized, Blackberry styled, portable computer that houses CHIP in the back of the unit for computing on the go, further allowing this little wonder to seamlessly fit into peoples day-to-day life
Finally, there is BLNKK. In its most basic form, BLNKK is a Facebook for Startups. This social network provides a community where Startups from around the world can ask questions, look for team members, meet potential co-founders, and find early adaptors, or simply gain product input and feedback from a likeminded community. Since the world came out of the GFC of 2007-2011 there has been a huge spike in the entrepreneurial spirit, with thousands of small, fast paced, startup companies around the world growing at alarming rates to quickly become multi-million, or billion, dollar entities, often creating a completely new product category in the process. A prime example of this trend is Uber, who in the first quarter of 2015 took possession of 46% of all paid car rides in the USA, more than tripling their market share for the same period in 2014. Systems such as BLNKK provide a forum for these startups to share ideas and inspirations side-by-side, a place where they can grow and develop individually but in the presence of a large likeminded group.
So far 2015 has been an extremely exciting year in the world of innovation with innumerable products and services being created for an enormous range of consumer problems. The Previously Unavailable website is a testament to this enormous range, and the four examples exhibited here are only the tip of the tip of the iceberg. We have selected these examples because of what they represent, namely fantastic, innovative, solutions to amazing problems, regardless of company size or annual revenue. For example, Tesla is an enormous 6,000+ strong, multi-billion-dollar-a-year organisation that aims to change the future of energy while CHIP is a small group of guys in their twenties working out of a garage looking to revolutionise the portability of computing. Any company can be innovative, just so long as they solve a problem. To quote Mark Cook of Kodak: “success is not delivering a feature; success is learning how to solve the customers problem”. Bring on June.