STRUCTURED IDEA GENERATION
In order to create more directed innovations towards a new product relating to my problem statements in the area of winter travel, this week I applied a structured idea generation process. The first step of this process was applying the SCAMPER to an existing product related to one of my problem statements. My problem statements were as follows:
1/ Neil (late 20's, bike mechanic) needs a way to be able to wear everyday casual clothing that also protects him from winter weather and the elements while riding his bike to work.
2/ Nick (early 20's, winter driver) needs a way to improve the driving abilities and road condition awareness of other drivers on his way to work so he feels safer driving in inclement weather.
I tried to use an existing biking jacket as the archetypal product that I would be modifying, however I didn't come up with much. I decided to change it up a little and go with a bike fender as my product to modify.
For each category of SCAMPER, I made a list of possible product ideas/ modifications and then pulled the best idea out of each to sketch. Here are the results of substitute:
- attaches to seat instead of frame
- tire tread that doesn't spray
- reflective material
- flared shape
- closer to rider
- call it "winter commuter kit"
- more attractive/ exciting packaging
- call it "slush stopper"
The idea I pulled from this category was a fender that attaches to the seat instead of the frame, and is therefore much closer to the rider. The following image illustrates this idea:
Combining features of a fender with other features that would be useful, this is what I came up with:
- combine with bike light
- combine with turn signal
- combine with reflective flag
- combine with proximity sensor/ horn
- combine with car designer (sleek attractive design)
The idea I pulled from this categories was a combination turn signal/ headlight fender which would both provide illumination as well as signal to other bikers/ drivers your turning intentions for safer biking. The following image illustrates this idea:
Adapting processes/ elements from existing things to the idea of a bike fender, I came up with the following:
- oriental folded fan
- hose spray fender (other use)
- emulating tail feathers
- emulating fish fins
- clothing that is superhydrophobic (lotus effect)
- fibers like duck feathres
The idea that I thought was the most practical solution was a fender that attaches under the bike seat and fans out, emulating the classic paper oriental fan.The following image illustrates this idea:
Thinking of what I could extend or enlarge or exaggerate on a bike fender, I came up with the following:
- extendable from seat post
- oversized fender
- modular (additions to make it longer/ wider)
- huge umbrella shape covering tires
The idea that I picked from this group that seemed the most innovative/ feasible was an extendable fender that would telescope out from the bike post. The following image illustrates this idea:
PUT TO OTHER USE
In order to put a bike fender to other use, I thought of similar things that it is shaped like that it could serve the same function as. I came up with the following:
- use as a snow shovel
- walking stick for the elderly
- used as a fan if modified
- recyclable material (reusable)
The idea I picked from this group was using it as a shovel as well, creating a fender that doubles as an emergency snow removal device. The following image illustrates this idea:
In order to innovate a product, sometimes eliminate certain unnecessary parts or materials can create something new. I came up with the following ideas that eliminate something from an existing bike fender:
- use frame for support (eliminate attachments)
- super thin (eliminate extra materials)
- retractable (eliminate wasted space)
- super small (only cover areas where most spray comes up)
The idea that I found most useful from this group was a fender that is only attached to the frame on the rear brake mount/ bracket (in between the two top back bars). The following image illustrates this idea:
When thinking about a bike fender, it was rather difficult to imagine many parts that could be reversed or rearranged while still maintaining functional. However I came up with the following ideas:
- water collector (collect spray from tires)
- upside down shape (flare up towards rider)
- convex instead of concave
The idea that seemed most useful to me from this group was a convex fender, which would make it so snow doesn't clump up under the fender and make it harder to ride. The following image illustrates this idea:
The next structured idea generation method that I employed towards innovating the bike finder, was the morphological analysis table method. In this method I thought of the the three functional attributes that a fender must have to work well, and then thought of other ways that these attributes could be achieved and sketched images. Here is an image of the table I created:
The three functional attributes that I think a fender should have is "Attaches to bike", "Deflects spray (water/snow)", and "Lightweight (won't make riding more difficult)". I came up with several ideas that I thought could make a useful product innovation, the first being a combination of "magnet", "fan", and "small". This would be a small fan that is magnetically attached to the bike frame, illustrated by the following image:
The second combination I came up with was a "velcro" + "plastic" + "fan" fender which would be velcro'd to the bike frame and fan out with a thin plastic material. The following image illustrates this idea:
The third innovation I came up with from this table was a "small" + "balanced" + "windshield" fender which would be a much smaller fender only blocking the necessary areas, that balanced on the rear brake mount and was wedged between the bars making attachments unnecessary. The following image illustrates this idea:
BLUE SKY IDEAS
During the blue sky idea generation process last week, there were several interesting and innovative ideas that came up. The ideas that I thought could be useful product innovations were light up bike lanes (or lights for bike lanes) so that drivers and bikers alike could clearly distinguish bike lanes at night, and also a turn signal jacket that would have light up signals on the sleeves when turning. Another idea that intrigued me was "socks that would be waterproof so you wouldn't get wet going through puddles". This idea could be manipulated into a sock that had a waterproof cinch that would seamlessly cover your foot and leg. The following is an illustration of this idea:
TEN BEST IDEAS!
From all of the ideas I have created throughout the course of this creative process, I have selected the top 10 ideas based on feasibility, functionality, and creativity. Numbered in no specific order (not best through worst).
#1: Magnetic sleeve-glove attachment. Tiny flexible magnets in both the end of a jacket sleeve and in the collar of a glove would attach the two firmly to create a seamless connection that wouldn't let cold air/ rain/ snow in.
#2: Cinch socks. Water-proof socks which would cinch around your pant legs to create a seamless connection that wouldn't let cold air/ rain/ snow in.
#3: Arm strap turn signal. An adjustable velcro cloth arm strap would have LED turn signals inside that could be controlled with a tiny accelerometer.
#4: Holiday bike treads. These would be holiday patterned treads for bike tires, so that holiday shapes such as snowmen would be imprinted into the snow as you bike.
#5: Shape cutting snowshoes. These would be similar to the holiday bike treads, where there would be holiday shaped grips on the bottom of snowshoes to create fun patterns/ shapes.
#6: Turn-signal jacket. This jacket would have a small LED light on the back of the sleeve, controlled by an accelerometer to signal turns when biking.
#7: Radio hood. Small soft speakers in either side of a jacket hood would be connected to a simple FM/AM radio with soft buttons on the sleeve to control it.
#8: Fan fender. This fender would be accordion out to cover your rump from snow/ rain/ what-have-you. It would be plastic so it could be wrapped around the seat post for easy storage when you don't need it, and would have velcro and magnetic attachments.
#9: Turn signal fenders. These fenders would incorporate bike lights on the front and back as well as turn signals which could be controlled by a simple switch on the handlebars.
#10: Extend-a-fender.This fender would telescope out from its holster, saving space when not needed. It could be stored on the seat-post or on the seat-tube and then telescope between the from and rest on the rear-brake mount.