Touching, Smelling and Interacting with Mobile: IBM’s Predictions for 2017

Dec 18 2012 Published by Neil Gains under sensory

Every year IBM make five predictions about the future five years out (they call it “5 in 5″), and this years are fascinating, especially for anyone interested in the human senses. This year the five predictions cover the five senses, and I can’t wait to see if they come true. Read more »

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How to Use Your Imagination

May 18 2012 Published by Neil Gains under creativity

Chance favours the prepared mind

The approaches that businesses use for brainstorming are widespread (almost universal) and date back to the work of Alex Osborn in the late 1940s. In his new book Imagine, Jonah Lehrer argues that some of the assumptions for these tools are wrong, and that we need to rethink, at least in part, how we understand and practise the creative process, basing his arguments on scientific studies and latest brain science. Read more »

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Planning for an Uncertain Future

May 12 2012 Published by Neil Gains under disruption

The trouble with the future

Many organisations do some form of long term planning, and typically such plans are based on forecasts which extrapolate the present into the future (e.g., by talking a spreadsheet and adding a set percentage to key numbers!). Even when such plans include future ‘scenarios’ these typically reflect the best and worst cases which can be thought of at the time (i.e., the biggest and smallest percentages which can be imagined). Read more »

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Looking Good and Feeling Great

Jan 04 2012 Published by Neil Gains under sensory

Making more sense of brand experiences

A recent post on Making Sense of Brand Design (link here) shares some great examples of creating sensory signatures to create short term impact and long term brand identity, and recent reading (see references) has revealed more ways in which the senses can be leveraged to create great brand experiences.

The most interesting overall finding revealed in Helmut Leder’s Scientific American article is that in the short term how a product or experience looks is very important to its appeal, but after a month of use how it feels comes to be much more important than how it looks. It’s great to wear a really fancy pair of shoes for the first time, but we won’t wear them very often unless they are really comfortable on our feet. Read more »

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Baby (and Man) as Scientist

Apr 01 2011 Published by Neil Gains under learning

The importance of ‘why?’

Jean Piaget described children as “little scientists”, seeing them as active thinkers developing knowledge through constant theorising and experimentation in the world.  In her book The Philosophical Baby, Alison Gopnik expands this idea based on latest research arguing powerfully that one of the reasons for human success is the extended period of immaturity that has been allowed through the development of social groups, which allows us to be ‘smarter’ when we finally grow up by also extending our time for learning (and theorising). The book reminded me very much of my earliest encounters with psychology applying the theories of George Kelly (who described man as a scientist too). Read more »

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Here’s Looking at You Kid

Sep 27 2010 Published by Neil Gains under sensory

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”  - Jonathan Swift

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The Chemical Sense

Aug 24 2010 Published by admin under sensory

“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.”  - Helen Keller

What is your favourite smell?  I have many: the smoky, velvet, roasted smell of freshly brewed coffee (I have a pot in front of me), the fragrant hops at Brakspears’ brewery at Henley (no longer existing), and the sharp earthy smell of freshly cut grass are three that often come to my mind when thinking about smells that I love.  One smell I really cannot bring myself to love is the durian, although many of my friends swear by it.

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The Funny Thing About Creativity

Aug 16 2010 Published by admin under creativity

“He who laughs most, learns best.”  - John Cleese

John Cleese talks about the basis of creativity in our unconscious mind in this great video clip (thanks to @heartofinnovation for drawing my attention to this).  He also highlights some great tips for creating the right conditions for creativity :

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Does Creativity Pay?

Aug 11 2010 Published by admin under creativity

“I view my role more as trying to set up an environment where the personalities, creativity and individuality of all the different employees come out and can shine.”  - Tony Hsieh

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Showering with Ideas

Aug 10 2010 Published by admin under creativity

“There’s no half singing in the shower. you’re either a rock star or an opera diva.”  - Josh Groban

I don’t often sing in the shower (don’t worry – you haven’t missed much!).  However, I get many of my best ideas there, and based on conversations with friends, I think they do too.  Why is that?

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