5 super clever 'why-didn't-I-think-of that?' innovations

For your Friday list, here are 5 super innovations using mostly existing tech to build something new, info drawn and curated for the DI from from www.trendwatching.com.

Hotel Banks Antwerp

Guests have access to an in-room clothes 'minibar'

The access mindset is maturing. Customers will embrace brands and services that embed access to the new – the latest, the most exciting or useful products – into their core offering.

May 2015 saw Antwerp’s Hotel Banks unveil the Mini Fashion Bar: an initiative created in partnership with French fashion brand Pimkie. Each room was stocked with a range of apparel and accessories, chosen according to the weather and activities in the local area. Guests could use clothes from the fashion bar and purchase items upon checkout. A dedicated fashion concierge could be contacted for additional sizes or different garments. Pimkie is set to roll out the concept to hotels in European cities including Paris, London, Berlin and Milan.

Asiri Group of Hospitals

Soap-infused bus tickets help prevent the spread of germs

Expectations that brands and other organizations will innovate to solve shared problems are being applied to even the most ordinary of services and physical objects.

In May 2015, Asiri Group of Hospitals, one of Sri Lanka’s largest healthcare providers, created the Soap Bus Ticket. Special ticket rolls were developed using soap-infused paper, allowing commuters to use their disposable bus tickets to wash their hands and protect themselves from germs.

Smile Suggest

Browser extension automatically bookmarks smile-inducing webpages

We continue to see the evolution of technologies that allow intuitive interactions with technology (see our NO INTERFACE Trend Briefing for more on that). Next up – tech that responds to the user's emotional state in truly helpful ways?

Live from April 2015, Smile Suggest is a Google Chrome extension that tracks facial movements using a webcam, bookmarking pages that produce smiles, and giving the viewer the option to share these via email or social media. Free to download, the extension was created by US-based digital designer Martin McAllister.


Budget airline turns chip and candy packets into airline tickets

In a world of instant price transparency, crowdfunding perks and P2P commerce, pricing has become more fragmented, playful and innovative than ever.

In April 2015, budget airline Transavia created branded packets of chips, candy and cereal bars that double as tickets for a Transavia flight. The products were sold at participating Carrefour City shops, in Selecta vending machines at two Paris metro stations, and at an Mk2 cinema in Paris, and cost between EUR 30 and EUR 40. Customers who bought the products could use a code printed on the packet to secure a flight to Barcelona, Lisbon or Dublin.


Brand asks customers to print missing person posters

Rising expectations of brand engagement in social problems. Rising expectations of customer participation. Two epic trends that continue to evolve, and, in this case, combine:

In May 2015, HP partnered with Brazilian NGO Mães da Sé to leverage privately-owned printers and easily disseminate information about missing persons. The HP ePrint technology means that home and office printers can print emails that are sent directly to them. The Print for Help project makes use of this feature by having all private printers signed up to the scheme automatically print missing persons posters after someone goes missing near their location.

Want to hear and learn more about Innovation? Then check out the Innovation summit happening later this month in Cape Town. www.innovationsummit.co.za