What is the first thing you do when you step into an elevator? Push the button of the floor you are going to. Not so with a new breed of elevators manufactured by Schindler North America. These elevators have the buttons on the outside, not inside. The buttons for selecting your floor are on each floor. Instead of just pushing a single up or down button to hail an elevator, you push the button for the floor you want as though you were inside.
The Division Template is the culprit here. In this innovation sighting, the elevator floor button panel was divided out and placed back into the system...outside the elevator cab. Very novel, useful, and surprising. To use Division, make a list of the components, then divide out a component. Divide functionally or physically and place it back somewhere in the system. Use Function Follows Form to identify potential benefits, feasibility, challenges, and adaptations.
The iPhone is an incredible platform for innovation. As it becomes more popular, it invites even more innovation. Many of the iPhone's functions demonstrate the Task Unification template of the corporate innovation method called S.I.T.. Task Unification is a pattern of that assigns an additional job to an existing resource or component within a product or service. To use Task Unification is practice, we start by listing the components of the product or service. Then we assign non-intuitive tasks to some of the components randomly. The idea is to create weird, ambiguous "virtual products" that don't seem to make any sense. Then we work backwards from this hypothetical "solution" to a possible problem that it addresses. Linking the solution to a problem creates an idea.
LG Electronics is getting ready to announce their third annual Design the Future Competition. Last year, more than 800 entries were submitted by consumers with their take on the future of mobile communications. The winning entry is the focus of this month's Innovation Sighting.
Task Unification is a hard working innovation tool. Task Unification assigns an additional task to an existing resource or component of the product or service. Here is a clever example from Springwise. It is a service called "Itizen." It allows you to physically tag a special item such as a gift or heirloom that links to a website where the collective history of that gift or heirloom is recorded and kept forever. Suppose your grandfather gives your son a hammer, for example, that he used to build the Brooklyn Bridge. Suppose grandpa then records in his own words the complete story about that hammer, where he got it (from his grandfather), how it was used, what else it has been used to build...well you get the picture.
The Division template of the corporate innovation method, S.I.T., works by listing the components of the product or service, then dividing out a component either physically, functionally, or by preserving the characteristics of the whole. Here is a unique example of the Division template with political elections. This idea comes from innovation consultant, Lauchlan Mackinnon, in his blog, Think Differently!!.
One way you can use the Task Unification Technique is to make an internal component take on the function of an external component in a Closed World. In effect, the internal component “steals” the external component’s function.