LG Mobile Wants You to Design the Future

20 April 09

lg-designthefuture-logoMore and more companies are tapping the ‘wisdom of crowds’ to develop new products. The latest company to capitalize on this trend is LG Electronics.

LG Mobile Phones is challenging consumers to design the next LG mobile phone. The company is partnering with crowdSPRING (an online marketplace for creative services) and Autodesk (a leader in 2D and 3D design and engineering software) to define the future of personal mobile communication. The competition starts today, April 20th, and runs until June 7, 2009.

Visit www.crowdspring.com/LG to learn more and submit your designs.


USPS: Technically Green

21 March 08

futurethink USPS recycle The United States Postal Service (USPS) and Clover Technologies Group announced a new “Mail Back” program. Through the program, customers use free envelopes found in 1,500 Post Offices to mail back inkjet cartridges, PDAs, Blackberries, digital cameras, iPods, and MP3 players – without having to pay for postage.

Clover Technologies pays the postage fees, and receives all the items sent through the program. The company then recycles, remanufactures and remarkets inkjet cartridges, laser cartridges and small electronics. If the electronic item or cartridges cannot be refurbished and resold, its component parts are reused to refurbish other items, or the parts are broken down further and the materials are recycled. Clover has a “zero waste to landfill” policy, meaning it takes everything possible to avoid sending things to landfills.

The program is a brilliant example of how public agencies can, in fact, partner with private companies for a mutual benefit. This is also a huge boon for consumers who have abandoned, old electronics lying around the house. Read the press release for more information.

To CES or not to CES?

10 January 08


I know there’s a tremendous amount of press about the ongoing Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. We had raging debates in the futurethink office about whether we should add to the buzz by blogging about it. I’ll be honest: I leaned towards a no, guessing that if you’re reading this blog, you probably know all about the largest technology showcase in the world.

Today, however, I’m a changed man. It feels disingenuous for the show to be on our minds and we deliberately avoid it. So, blog about the CES I will. To calm nerves with my co-workers, I promise this will be the only post about the event that we’ll make.

We look at the CES from an innovation point of view. There’s hundreds of exhibitors and it’s hard to sort through them and find the real innovations. So, I took a shortcut, and if you’re time-starved (as most of us are),  I suggest you do the same.

If you want to see some of the hottest products on display at this year’s CES, just look at the awards that the event is giving out. Here are two useful links:

There’s the CES Innovations 2008 Awards Honorees list: I like this list because its broken down by category.

There’s the “CNET’s Best of CES” awards: They feature videos of the products that made it to their list.


Gates Says, “I Own No Macs”

7 January 08

Bill Gates just got done with an interview with the BBC. In an interesting twist, the questions asked werebilly gates actually submitted by the readers of the BBC.

In it, Gates speaks at length about the future of computing. Apparently, it’s all about “natural user interfaces.” Think touch-sensitive interfaces like the iPhone on every electronic gadget you use. What does this mean? The keyboard and mouse as we know it today will gradually disappear.

There are also some funny moments in the interview when he assesses his competitors. He says of Google: “Google has done a good job”.

File that away as understatement of the year.

And this choice quote when he says he doesn’t use any of his competitors’ products:

“There are no Macs in my house”

I bet that makes him really popular with his kids.

You can read excerpts and watch the interview here.