Posts Tagged ‘Innovation


Kite powered cargo ship

MS Beluga Skysails is the world’s first commercial container cargo ship which is partially powered by a 160-square-metre (1,700 sq ft), computer-controlled kite. The kite could reduce fuel consumption by 20%.[citation needed] It was launched 17 December 2007 and departed the northern German port of Bremerhaven to Guanta, Venezuela in January 2008.MV_Beluga_SkySails_2_Cargo

The SkySails propulsion system consists of a large foil kite, an electronic control system for the kite and an automatic system to retract the kite. The system bears similarities to kitesurfing. After tests on the Baltic Sea, the first commercial installation is planned for January 2008. The kites, which have an area of around 320 square metres (3,400 sq ft), can be flown at altitudes of 100–300 metres (330–980 ft). Because of the stronger winds at these heights, they receive a substantially higher thrust per unit area than conventional mast-mounted sails. A ship equipped with the current SkySails could consume from 10 to 35% less fuel.

The ship completed its journey on 13 March 2008 after sailing from Germany to Venezuela, then to the United States, and ultimately arriving in Norway. While the kite was in use, the ship saved an estimated 10-15% fuel, $1,000 to $1,500 per day.

Click here and here to read more.


Sixth Sense

For all those who missed the news about this newest device which won the 2009 Invention award by Popular Science from a 28 year-old Indian Pranav Mistry, read on.

Pranav Mistry, who did his engineering from IIT Bombay, is a PhD student in the Fluid Interfaces Group at MIT’s Media Lab, Before his studies at MIT, he worked with Microsoft as a UX researcher.

Pranav Mistry introduces his device in his website as:

“Although the miniaturization of computing devices allows us to carry computers in our pockets, keeping us continually connected to the digital world, there is no link between our digital devices and our interactions with the physical world. Information is confined traditionally on paper or digitally on a screen. SixthSense bridges this gap, bringing intangible, digital information out into the tangible world, and allowing us to interact with this information via natural hand gestures. ‘SixthSense’ frees information from its confines by seamlessly integrating it with reality, and thus making the entire world your computer.”

The SixthSense prototype is comprised of a pocket projector, a mirror and a camera. The hardware components are coupled in a pendant like mobile wearable device. Both the projector and the camera are connected to the mobile computing device in the user’s pocket. The projector projects visual information enabling surfaces, walls and physical objects around us to be used as interfaces; while the camera recognizes and tracks user’s hand gestures and physical objects using computer-vision based techniques.

The SixthSense prototype implements several applications that demonstrate the usefulness, viability and flexibility of the system. The video below illustrated what this device can do.

The current prototype system costs approximate $350 to build.


Bio Top cars

Electric cars are exactly what we need for a greener future. With designers focusing on enabling cars to generate solar electricity, there are some designers who believe that without the addition of expensive renewable energy harnessing systems, cars have all that which can be used to generate green electricity.

bio-top_1_ufqfV_69The ‘Bio Top’ is a concept car designed by Luis Pinheiro de Lima and it utilizes “wireless electricity” technology and is self-powered. The front of this vehicle has 2 wheels, the back has one, and this one is a sphere which charges the electric car battery as it goes, then transmitting the energy from the battery to the car through that wireless electricity. Instead of the now-standard foot-pedal gas and break, the Bio Top features a hand-controlled speed and stop system, all done through the steering column.

Check this link for pictures.


Google doodles

One of the many firsts of Google is their various modifications and/or humorous features, such as cartoon modifications, of their logo for use on holidays, birthdays of famous people, and major events, such as the Olympics. These special logos, have become known as Google Doodles.

The first Google Doodle was a reference to the Burning Man Festival of 1998. The doodle was designed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin to notify users of their absence in case the servers crashed. Subsequent Google Doodles were designed by an outside contractor, until Larry and Sergey asked then-intern Dennis Hwang to design a logo for Bastille Day in 2000. Hwang has been designing the Google Doodles ever since.

This link is an online museum of Google holiday logos. A must browse!!

Google doodles have been produced for the birthdays of several noted artists and scientists, including Andy Warhol, Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci among others.

Google doodles are also used to depict major events at google. British novelist Roald Dahl has been featured, with the logo containing characters and items from some of his books, such as Matilda.

Google holds a Doodle4Google competition for students in grades K–12 to create their own Google doodle. Winning doodles go onto the Doodle4Google website, where the public can vote for the winner, who wins a trip to the Googleplex and the hosting of the winning doodle for 24 hours on the Google website. The competition originated in the United Kingdom, and now also exists in the United States.


Ivory Soap

Ivory soap ad

Ivory soap ad

P&G’s Ivory soap was one of its oldest products which became famous for its pure contect and property of floating in water.

Because Ivory is one of P&G’s oldest products (first sold in 1879), P&G is sometimes called “Ivory Towers” and its factory and research center in Saint Bernard, Ohio is called “Ivorydale”.

The story behind Ivory soap is quite interesting. This is how it goes.
A soap maker at the Procter and Gamble company had no idea a new innovation was about to surface when he went to lunch one day in 1879. He forgot to turn off the soap mixer, and more than the usual amount of air was shipped into the batch of pure white soap that the company sold under the name The White Soap. Fearing he would get in trouble, the soap maker kept the mistake a secret and packaged and shipped the air-filled soap to customers around the country. Soon customers were asking for more “soap that floats.” When company officials found out what happened, they turned it into one of the company’s most successful products, Ivory Soap.

As of now Ivory is a small brand by P&G standards. The Ivory brand includes liquid hand soap, body wash, dish liquid, and a mild laundry product called Ivory Snow. Research in 2001 by Lehman Brothers revealed that the U.S. sales of all Ivory products, including the liquid soap and dish detergent, represented less than 1% of P&G’s total worldwide sales in the 52 weeks ended Sept. 9, 2001, just two days before 9/11.


The Post-It story

I have a Post-It fetish, absolutely adore them. And know a lot of people who share the same feeling with me. So wanted to find out the story behind this innovation of 3M.

As it turns out, this product was an accidental discovery by a scientist at 3M.

According to Wiki, in 1968, Dr. Spencer Silver, a scientist at 3M in the United States, with the help of Jesse Kops, a fellow scientist, accidentally developed a “low-tack”, reusable pressure sensitive adhesive. For five years, Silver promoted his invention within 3M, both informally and through seminars, but without much success. In 1974, a colleague of his, Art Fry, who had attended one of Silver’s seminars, came up with the idea of using the adhesive to anchor his bookmark in his hymnbook. 3M launched the product in 1977, but it failed as consumers had not tried the product. A year later 3M issued free samples to residents of Boise, Idaho, United States. By 1980 the product was being sold nationwide in the US; a year later Post-its were launched in Canada and Europe. In 2003, the company came out with Post-it Brand Super Sticky notes, with a stronger glue that adheres better to vertical and non-smooth surfaces.

So what’s this blog about?

Another attempt? Well yes. Attempting to figure out another sustainable model (there are some other attempts going on parallel-ly). Well, we have a lot of questions in mind. we read up stuff, we do some research to find answers to these questions. This is an attempt to publish that little 15-20 minute research.
July 2018
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