My 3 favorite innovations, which I predict will change the way we live

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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 exampleforward focus logos 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 Segway Human Transporter, was developed and manufactured. Here in Providence, IGT, (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.

No. 1: Casper mattress.
No. 1: Casper mattress.

The first innovation is the Casper Mattress. 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 UberSleep or bike courier, (both in NYC). What really caught my eye is how Casper packs their mattresses for shipment. 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.

No 2: Trees lighting the way.
No 2: Trees lighting the way.

Another innovation comes to us via Stony Brook University. A laboratory at the university, along with Alumnus, Dutch artist and innovator, Daan Roosegaarde, have developed a plant that glows without the aid of batteries or electricity. 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 CityLab, streetlights can amount to one-quarter to one-half of a city’s entire energy bill. 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 214 million people, mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa. This disease is Malaria, which is spread by certain infected mosquitos. Children under five account for more than two-thirds, (70%), of Malaria deaths. 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 mosquitoes have become resistant to insecticides used to kill them.

Bye bye MalariaEnter 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 DNA change was inherited in offspring at a 95% rate. The goal is to insert the DNA change to the mosquitos and through their rapid reproduction, the malaria-blocking genes will ultimately eliminate the insects’ ability to transmit the disease to humans.

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.

Brian ProfileForward Focus explores how entrepreneurship, innovation and ideas are changing the way we see and do things and how they can move us and our communities forward.
The author, Brian Chicoine, is a New Hampshire native who merges his passion for entrepreneurship and innovation with his love of new and bold ideas to bring the reader a fresh perspective on the way things are done. Brian writes from the perspective that nothing is impossible and loves to ask “why not” and “what box?”
Brian was born in Nashua and was raised in Raymond and Manchester. A couple years after graduating from West High School, Brian attended college in Manchester. Brian loves the ocean and wanted to experience life in a Southern New England city so moved to Providence to complete his undergraduate degree. After graduation, Brian and his new wife Jackie lived in Manchester for about five years and had two sons. Brian and his family then returned to Jackie’s home state of Rhode Island.
Brian and Jackie live in Providence where they are raising their two “no box thinkers and doers” and are building a multi-venture company.

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About this Author


Brian Chicoine

Brian Chicoine – a New Hampshire native – first moved to Manchester from Raymond in 1980. Brian lived in Rhode Island from 1997 to 2004 then again from 2009 to 2017, coming home to Manchester between the two stints. Brian returned home to the Queen City with his family from their most recent, (and last), Rhode Island adventure in mid-2017. Brian and his family are excited to be living in Manchester and are focused on contributing to their community. Brian merges his life experiences with his passions for community and innovation to develop his articles. Brian and his family live on the West Side.