Assignment 5


I had a good opportunity to start this weeks assignment on a 3.5 hour flight to Las Vegas last Thursday. I brought along notes about how to apply the SCAMPER method and initiated the structured idea generation process. To spare you from my poor handwriting, the manipulation of a typical snowboard (my theme is snowboarding) is presented in writing rather than photos from my notebook, including a sketch of my favorite idea for each SCAMPER letter.

S - Substitute
- Put a blade under the snowboard that is rotatable using your feet
- Personal theme-song snowboard (when riding down hills)
- Slide & snap bindings
- Egg shaped snowboard
- Snowboard with an attached belt drive that is rotatable to put in and out of contact with the slope
Motor driven snowboard.jpg

C - Combine
- Bindings + boots => Snap bindings (this exists, question is why isn't it popular?)
- Cross-country motor snowboard (yes, it is essentially a snowmobile, just a smaller version)
- The adjustable push propeller
Adjustable push propeller.jpg

A - Adapt
- Magnetic slide bindings
- Wing jacket (flap your arms to propel in flat areas)
- Gecko bindings
- Velcro bindings
Velcro bindings.jpg

M - Magnify
- Hinged bindings that fold over your boots and locks together (would take a lot of space)
- Sled-boarding
- Body-boarding

P - Put to other use
- Hand controlled snowboard
- Higher friction material for beginners and elderly
- Belt board for street riding

E - Eliminate
- Split board in two parts
- Tiny board
- Rotatable snowboard
Rotatable snowboard.jpg

R - Rearrange
- Front-style snowboard riding (face forward with feet in new angle positions)
- Magnetic slope and snowboard riding
Magnetic slope & board.jpg

Part 2: Table based idea generation
For this part I decided to try out the TRIZ method by converting the problem statement:
"Rod needs a way to move across flat areas because you have no good means of propelling yourself when locked in a snowboard."
"Speed needs to be increased over flat areas when snowboarding because of issues with use of energy of the moving snowboard".

The words in bold are those of interest with respect to the 39 TRIZ problem parameters, number 9 and 19. Moving on the the Altshuller matrix I found that the innovative principles I should be looking at were number 8, 15, 35 and 38. These correspond to the following innovative principles: Anti-weight, Dynamics, Parameter changes, and Strong oxidants.
I actually looked up the reversed box (i.e. 19 on the y-axis instead of x-axis) which gave the numbers 8, 15 and 35, so no new ones to work with.
This resulted in a few ideas, the ones I liked the most were:
Aerodynamic clothing
Aerodynamic jacket.jpg

Flexboard - Boot sections are made of semi-flexible material that enables the user to push against the snow with his/her feet

Part 3: Reflect on silly ideas from brainstorming
The top 10 list from last week was filled with realistic ideas, so I decided to browse quickly through all the ideas, and pick out some I thought had potential use with a different representation. From there I did the following manipulation.

Ideas related to improving snowboarding safety:
Marshmellow suit -> Heavily padded ski-wear for children
Rubber under snow -> Learning areas with thick layer of powder snow

Ideas related to moving over flat areas when snowboarding:
Flintstone riding -> Bindings snap in and out of sockets in the snowboard (i.e. they are actually part of the snowboard and snap in to complete it)
Crawl -> Knee sliders

I found this process to be very interesting, because during the brainstorming I didn't pay attention to the "Crawl" idea at all, but when I looked at the picture of a man crawling, I immediately started looking for solutions that could

Part 4: Top 10 product ideas
So now I'm down to the big moment of choosing the top 10 ideas over the last few weeks to move forward with.
Alright, I just had a really fun moment I have to tell you about. When doing the selection, I thought "Someone has probably made retractable ski poles before" so I googled it. Looking through the results I saw the suggested images for the search terms and found the picture I posted on my last blog as first choice! Though these don't seem to be too common, they exist which reduced the novelty of the idea so ultimately it didn't make it.
The top 10 ideas are:


Two-piece snowboard - By Þóra Jónsdóttir
Two-piece snowboard.jpg

Rotatable bindings - By Jerry Kessler
Rotatable bindings.jpg

Magnetic fluid jacket
Magnetic fluid jacket.jpg

Hat-helmet - by Þóra Jónsdóttir

Padded ski-wear (including gloves) - By Þóra Jónsdóttir
Padded underarmor.jpg

Adjustable push propeller
Adjustable push propeller.jpg

Velcro bindings (additional attachment will probably apply)
Velcro bindings.jpg


Socket snap bindings
Socket snap bindings.jpg

Knee sliders
Knee sliders.jpg


It would've been nice if you stated what your two 'how might we' questions are at the beginning of your entry. That would tell the reader what the problem is that you're trying to solve.
How does the adjustable push propeller work? Going into a little more detail of how that idea is supposed to function would be helpful.
Another way to make your entry better is to include sketches of what the silly ideas from the last brainstorming session looked like. Especially for new readers who didn't see that last entry.
I like the flexboard idea.. I don't actually snowboard much, but I feel like it would be a good idea to add more control and speed to the ride? Maybe I'm wrong.. But I would suggest you look into it further. What would a snowboard with a lot of flexibility look like? I think normal snowboards are so stiff, but maybe somehow they could become more flexible with different material?
Overall you did a good job exploring various ways to improve the typical snowboard!

I like the layout you used for you SCAMPER images, and these images are also very clear which was helpful to the reader as well.

One thing I would mention for many of these, is multiple of them already exist on the market so you might want to do a google/amazon search to see what's out there. This might help you find new innovations as well, as you can see where there is an area for improvement.

Also one other critique is I'm not sure about the feasibility of a few of these ideas, although I know the process was more for creative ideas and the thought of an actual working product wasn't always first and foremost.

One of the ideas I found the most intriguing was the adjustable push-propeller for a snowboard. As a snowboarder myself, I know how annoying/tiring it can be to get stuck in flat areas and have to take a binding off and push. One suggestion here is you could combine that idea with the thought of a retractable ski-pole, and have a ski pole that is unobtrusively attached to the top of your board so you can pop it out and use it whenever you get stuck.

Best of luck with your process!

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This page contains a single entry by hjalt002 published on November 25, 2013 2:08 AM.

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