Freitag, 20. März 2009

Innovation: Déjà-vu, vu jà dé and jamais vu

A futuristic picture from 2002: A wearable computer with communication ...
Two annoying points on Innovation:
  • Innovations take often such a long time to succeed, e.g. 15 years,
  • and new people think that this is brand new.

The idea to write this blog post was from the LinkedIN forum "Greater IBM" where younger colleagues show that they think "this is new" or "this should come" - and its already here, and waiting for success. The specific innovation discussed there is the open mobile phone wave - now the mobile phone finally becomes a regular computer. This is correct and important, but it is not the first time:

  • starting about 1990, the [wintel] computer became mobile as "wearable computer".
    Xybernaut was the leading company (I had once dinner with the CEO).
    But the product remained a niche, no success, bad ending of the company.
  • about 2004/2005, IBM Research had a modular mobile computer "Metapad" (with touch-sensitive screen). A start-up trying to distribute the Metapad failed.

Now technology and context (mobile device penetration) and entrepreneurship (Steve Jobs) make the open mobile computer Me.C possible ...

Another long-running innovation are RFIDs, starting e.g. with Paul Moskowitz' United States Patent 5,528,222 - filed 09/09/1994 . And I read today "70% of RFID projects fail" - although not for technical reasons! And RFIDs (and their variants) are still futuristic for many people!

Therefore the title of this post on innovation and these notions:

  • Déjà-vu something new with the feeling already been seen
  • Vu jà dé something old and often seen which suddenly looks different
  • Jamais vu something simply new

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