About two months ago I went to a wedding out in LA. In this politically correct, main stream environmental age that we live in couples are now starting to make note of all the ways their special day is a nice day for a green wedding (I hear an updated single for the Billy Idol comeback). A poem written and read by two friends of the couple mentioned the Canadian roots of the wedding ring diamond. Perhaps the food was local and the flowers organic, but as we proceeded to dance the evening away I continued to think about how it could go a bit further. The thought crossed my mind, how could the energy being expended by this party’s patrons be harnessed and put to further use?. I thought that if underneath the floor were many cylinders (like springs) under pressure then the movement up and down of people on the floor could somehow be turned into energy. Perhaps for electricity to power the party. I didn’t take it very far and the idea fell to the wayside like many of yours, I’m sure.
Today I was watching a video called The 11th Hour and they had a short video simulation of a dancefloor that produces energy very similar to what I had envisioned. I googled “dance floor collects energy” and got over a 200,000 hits (actually not that many). Turns out a fitness club chain in Hong Kong, called California Fitness, actually put the idea into practice. The article mentions a similar idea that place the generator into a shoe and could be used to power a cellphone.
This came a few days after I finished reading Malcom Gladwell’s article on the how ideas are created and how similar ideas can often come about at the same time from different people and places. He reports on a briantrust formed by a former Microsoft Exec for the purpose of creating innovation. As Gladwell says:
“It was not a venture-capital firm. Venture capitalists fund insights—that is, they let the magical process that generates new ideas take its course, and then they jump in. [The exec] wanted to make insights—to come up with ideas, patent them, and then license them to interested companies.”
I have to admit that I am always a bit proud of myself for a new idea, especially when I see it appear in practice later. But for real innovation to happen different views need to come together and combine knowledge to create new ideas or fields. A lot of you readers are my knowledgeable and creative friends from a variety of backgrounds. Who wants to start our own Manhattan Project of sorts? Even if we don’t produce anything earthshaking (and it’s very likely we won’t) I think it will at least be enriching.
PS: DJs are the new fossil fuel.
Hear more from Gladwell Sports fans must watch!!
3 thoughts on “Re-invention”
Hong Kong Gym Powers Lights with Treadmills>>http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7700578>>There was also something I heard on NPR about a club in Europe that used the dancefloor to capture energy and powered the whole place – they said if the DJ sucked, the lights would go out because people would not be dancing on the dance floor.
Wait – I guess I didn’t finish reading all of your text – man, I’m sorry. I will be a better reader in the future. Jury, please disregard my last comment.
Interesting, I had not hear the NPR story. Also interesting that at the end of the story they add a remark about the novelty of the idea saying that they doubt Al Gore could have thought of it. Ha!