The Best of 2011 Part 3: Game-changing Product Innovation

Every year cell phones get smarter, computers get smaller and televisions get bigger and better.  Product designers are perpetually seeking solutions to make life easier, more efficient and more enjoyable.  Here is a shout out to the coolest, smartest and greatest of 2011.

Enter, Wash Label.  It’s a fruit sticker made of organic ingredients that turns into a fruit and veggie wash once wet.  It eliminates the unnecessary waste of a fruit sticker, and helps eliminate harmful bacteria that could be lurking on your fruits and veggies.

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This next innovation is a little less organic, but just as cool.  In August, IBM launched the experimental “brain chip,” a computer chic that was created to mimic the brain’s perception and cognitive behaviors and are said to replicate the synaptic connections of the brain.  The uses for a tool like this are limitless and we can’t wait to see where this new technology might take user experiences. Rumor has it, the technology will help us delve deeper into consumer behavior and might also be used for environmental monitoring. Super cool.

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And what kind of round up would this be if we didn’t give a shout out to Yves Behar, product design God and philanthropist extraordinaire.  Yves Behar and Fuseproject did it again this year with the launch of “See Better to Learn Better,” an initiative to help the children of Mexico receive the proper eye care in order to take advantage of educational opportunities.  The kicker with this project is that it is all about co-creation.  Children are involved in the product development and get to customize their glasses and so they become part of the movement, and are also empowered to take control of their futures.

And speaking of empowerment, google has made shopping even easier with the launch of google wallet.  The system that stores credit cards, gift cards, and loyalty cards on your phone allows consumers to make purchases with the swipe of a phone.

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And this next product is so cool, because it could actually print out all the other products on this list.  The MakerBot Thing-o-matic is a consumer friendly 3D printer that lets you print almost anything 3 dimensionally in the luxury of your own home.  This is definitely on the Imagemme wish list this holiday season.

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And speaking of things we can’t live without….the covert Hummingbird Spy Camera is revolutionizing covert ops in the army, and fascinating gadget-loving boys the world over ; )  The 6 inch miniature flying camera in the shape of a hummingbird can fly at speeds of 11mph and sustain flight for up to 11 minutes.

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And finally, this next product is a real life saver, literally.  Ballistic Recovery Systems Inc has developed a parachute that can coast airplanes to safe landing.  Speed and weight is a challenge, but the initial attempts at this life-saving device is proving promising.

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