Part 1: SCAMPER
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
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
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:
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: