I am a fan of innovation. To me, innovation is what moves us as a society forward. Sometimes innovation is looking at new ways to do things or improving on the old, and sometimes innovation is a totally new idea. Of course Innovation without invention is just an idea. To be innovative is great, but without taking action it is just an idea . . . no matter how good it may be.
There are great examples of innovation everywhere, from LED and LCD technology to the constant evolution of the smart phone. For example, in my hometown of Manchester, NH, a very innovative and useful product, the , was developed and manufactured. Here in Providence, , (formerly G-Tech), is constantly innovating and improving lottery and other gaming technologies.
There are many great innovations and many great innovators, and I chose to share three of them. I believe that all of these innovations are going to totally change the way things are done. One improves our quality of life, one will potentially save communities substantial money, and one can save thousands of lives.
The first innovation is the . Casper is a New York City start-up that was founded in 2013 and manufactures a single-style, springy latex and high-density memory foam mattress that is sold direct via their website. The company also recently started manufacturing sheets and pillows for their mattresses. There are several unique features of the Casper Mattress, including that it is sold in a single-style that can be laid on the floor or any hard surface and provide equal comfort, the chemical-free composition and production process, the free shipping and returns, and the availability of delivery by or bike courier, (both in NYC). What really caught my eye is how Casper . Machines at the final point of assembly squeeze mattresses into a “W” shape, and a special sleeve keeps it compressed until it’s removed from the package. The result is a mattress that fits into a box small enough for the trunk of a car.
Casper has re-imagined mattresses and has brought us an innovative and unique product with equally innovative and unique manufacturing, selling, and shipping processes that is changing the way we sleep.
Another innovation comes to us via . A laboratory at the university, along with Alumnus, Dutch artist and innovator, , have developed a . This is amazing! The plant is able to emit a self-sustaining light because it is merged with luciferin, which is the chemical that enables fireflies to glow. Growing self-glowing trees could greatly benefit society as they could replace traditional streetlights, saving energy and money. (And of course they would look really cool!).
According to , streetlights can amount to That is money that could be used for other city expenses, eliminating the need to increase revenue by increasing taxes, or it could be used to reduce tax rates. Self-glowing trees can light our way while decreasing our dependence on electricity and at the same time save communities significant revenue.
The final innovation that I want to share can change the lives of thousands and would be a real breakthrough in eradicating a disease that affects an estimated , mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa. This disease is Malaria, which is spread by certain infected mosquitos. . According to the CDC, Malaria can be cured with prescription drugs in developed countries such as the United States, but the problem is that in countries like Africa, not enough medication is available and eradication programs have failed because .
Enter Scientists at the University of California’s campuses in Irvine and San Diego. They have inserted a DNA element into the Anopheles stephensi mosquito. The research was tested earlier this year on fruit flies and . The goal is to insert the DNA change to the mosquitos and through their rapid reproduction, the malaria-blocking genes will .
The ability to have mosquitos, which generally are the cause of Malaria, serve as a catalyst to eradicate the deadly disease, is amazing! This is a great example of innovation and thought at work. To look at a disease that harms so many, and use its cause as a carrier to eradicate it, is “what box” thinking at its best.
We are in a time of great innovation, which will continue to bring us forward and bring new discoveries that will benefit all of us. We need to always be looking for better ways to do things as well as new ways to solve problems because doing so will help make our lives better.
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