November 26, 2011 § Leave a Comment
We’ve all been there. Standing wearily at the sink, washing our beloved apples, painstakingly removing the ever-persistent fruit labels from them. First, we gently pick at and peel back the label. If we’re lucky, the process ends here. If not, we find ourselves running the apples under increasingly warm water, rubbing off the paper. Then eventually, scraping at the fruit with our fingernails in the effort to remove the sticky glue from the fruit skin, before turning, with a sigh of submission, to the knife or vegetable peeler lying on the kitchen counter.
Now, it seems, Scott Amron, an electrical engineer in training now turned designer and “engineering atelier”, has a solution that not only removes the harmful pesticides and other residues from our apples, but also the pesky fruit labels as well. The solution: Fruitwash labels. These fruit label stickers effectively dissolve into an organic fruit soap when placed under water. With this solution, gone are the chemicals and the tiresome fruit labels.
“I’ve always been discontent with fruit labels and felt they could do more than just display product info and be difficult to peel off,” Amron told Gizmag. “We buy, wash and eat fruit. So, the wash step was the next thing the label should help with.”
Unfortunately, the product is not out yet, although Amron is selling a 10% stake in the fruit label patent as an investment opportunity.
September 5, 2010 § Leave a Comment
It never fails to inspire me when the seed of one person’s idea takes root and branches out into much more. It’s why I think it’s always so powerful to provide employees and customers the opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions on how to make status quo better in some way. There have been many examples of companies who have successfully tapped into the brain-trust of many to do this: Starbucks, Dell, and now eBay.
eBay recently held its annual Innovation Expo, which encourages all employees to contribute prototypes of ideas they have that they feel would benefit eBay’s buyers and sellers. This year over 250 employees forming almost 80 teams worked together to develop and submit their innovative product prototypes. The submissions were judged by the greater eBay employee base who were invited to show up to listen to the teams pitch their ideas, and to test the prototypes. The winning idea was called “simple green shipping”, and is now soon to be released to the market.
“Simple green shipping” is a specially designed reusable box that can be used by buyers and sellers over and over again. The idea is so simple, and perhaps that’s the beauty of it. With a service that sees many of its users playing the dual role as sellers as well as buyers, reusable packaging is a win-win solution for everyone.
Nicely done, eBay. A solution that helps your user base, reduces waste for the environment, and build employee morale around ideation and innovation.
August 6, 2010 § 2 Comments
Earlier this year, a video feature on Gary Chang’s ingenious convertible home made its way around the around the interwebs.
In another example of a creative solution to a tiny space, JPDA Architects have designed a solution for a 500 squarefoot loft studio that merges both design and utility without sacrificing either. The studio includes innovative ways of working coveted storage space and shelving into the home, and arranging the “rooms” of the loft in a way that maximizes the working and living space.
The space is also featured in Freshome.