Month: August 2020

  • InvENting 101: Stay Motivated!

    InvENting 101: Stay Motivated!

    We here at Edison Nation know that with busy lives, family obligations, work and everything going on in the world around us, it’s difficult to stay motivated. That’s why we decided to revisit one of our older blogs “InvENting 101: Finding Your Motivation.” Let’s do this, let’s get motivated! Does this quote inspire, motivate, and uplift you? It may, but let’s face it, even though we love them, quotes are only so powerful. You have to put work behind the words and make them actionable! Whether you’re working to come up with your first great idea or you’re a serial innovator, sometimes finding that motivation can be tough. So we ask you to ask yourself this question… What drives you to invent? In this blog, we are digging in to find what truly sparks the inventing process. What motivates you as an innovator to say, “There’s got to be a better way!” and then actually invent something? What separates an inventor from someone who just has a great idea? To solve a problem? To make life easier? To make something better? To help people? All of the above. Merriam-Webster defines the term invent as follows: To produce (something, such as a useful device or process) for the first time through the use of the imagination or of ingenious thinking and experiment. Going one step further, an inventor is an individual or group able to generate an idea for a new or improved device, product or process. The idea must then be transformed into concrete information in the form of a description, sketch or model. An invention is an idea, concept or design for a new or improved device, product or process that is available as concrete information in the form of a description, sketch or model. As we outlined in this blog post, there are common characteristics of successful inventors: Inventors are insatiable and unstoppable in their curiosity and their quest for ongoing improvements. They enjoy constantly tweaking and finding ways to improve their own inventions.Inventors and innovators are frustrated with how things work in present time. They see flaws all around them and are curious to try out changes, whether for products or for less visible technological systems.Inventors are far more diverse than is apparent from most popular accounts. There are a lot more women and minority inventors than than people first imagined to be possible.Inventors learn and experiment in tactile ways – they are tinkerers. When we interview our members for our InvENtor Spotlight series, we always ask the following two questions: What inspired you to start inventing? Do you find that invention ideas just come to you or do you have to go after them? Almost everyone indicates that they were inspired because they wanted to solve a problem. And, they all indicate that sometimes ideas come to them and sometimes a little brainstorming is required. Motivation tends to come in waves. Some days inventors have five ideas before their feet hit the floor to get out of bed and other days it’s like staring at a blank canvas. For those days when motivation is low, many find it helpful to have a system in place. Be prepared for the unknownSuccessful inventors aren’t luckier than most people, but they do try more things, and they’re willing to take a risk to achieve success. Don’t be blindsided by failure and give up when it strikes. Pursue your invention because success comes with persistence. ACTIONS TO TAKE: Make a list of your goals.Create a plan to achieve your goals.Think about what could go wrong and have a plan of action. Mark your calendarThe fundamentals – simple things like a calendar, pen and paper – work if you’re ready. Execution is important if you plan to achieve invention success. Keep thinking ahead and you’ll never be pressed for time. ACTIONS TO TAKE: Map out your schedule for the week on your calendar.Review every week to ensure all tasks were completed and then plan the next week. SIDEBAR: This is helpful in all aspects of work and home life, not just inventing (I do this every week!) Develop focusSometimes we have external distractions: an emergency, family demands or work gets busy. Inventors can sometimes cannibalize one goal by shifting focus to another, very easy to do especially when there are digital devices handy! Developing focus and being able to put some ideas on hold is a skill that almost guarantees progress. ACTIONS TO TAKE: Prioritize your goals.Grab a pen and paper and write them down. We hope these tips are helpful and motivate you in all aspects of life–not just in work!  Before we conclude, we also wanted to connect you with the article “Motivation: The Scientific Guide on How to Get and Stay Motivated” by James Clear ( Clear is the author of New York Times bestseller Atomic Habits and has studied habits in order to help people live their best lives. In this article, he discusses what motivation is, misconceptions about motivation, and lays out the best ways to get motivated. There are also helpful graphics that describe how motivation works in order to help you be and stay motivated! Our hope is that this article–along with our tips–will help you better understand the concept of motivation and keep you motivated! Finally, let’s take a look at our namesake, Thomas Edison. Edison is credited with 1093 patents. Edison was always working on something new, in fact, he very rarely slept. It has been noted that above his desk, Edison displayed a placard with a famous quote from Sir Joshua Reynolds: “There is no expedient to which a man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking.” So, maybe quotes DO inspire us. We’ll leave you with this thought from Steve Wozniak from an interview with Brett Stern for the book, Inventors at Work: The Minds and Motivation Behind Modern Inventions: “As I listen to other people talk about their attitudes to risk, I’m convinced there are different types of people. Some of them just have a cold, calculated risk management system – like embedding a probabilistic formula in a spreadsheet. They expect to make mistakes. They have to insert a few more resources – and they cover them up. “At the other end of the spectrum are the sort of risks that real inventors take. I know a bunch of inventors in the Inventors Hall of Fame who have thought up some of the greatest things we have. These great inventions come almost by happenstance, by surprise, by serendipity. The people who invent them are very much like myself – more than any other group I’ve ever been in. They think independently, on their own in their own heads. They have ideas. They want to go a different way. They want to run into a laboratory, build something, test their ideas, and prove them. Their motivations aren?t salaries, and stock options, and houses and titles and awards. Their motivation is really that they thought of something and they want to see if it’s possible to bring their own little mental puzzles and games out of their heads and into the world at large.” Get out there and create! Revised by Casey Carroll WRITTEN BY Casey Carroll

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  • Bluetooth: Part 1

    Bluetooth: Part 1

    Written by Jeremy Loslaw, Eventys There are more Bluetooth enabled devices in the world than there are people. Such is the importance and widespread adoption of the short range wireless technology that more than 2 billion Bluetooth products have shipped each year since 2013, topping out at approximately 4 billion devices last year and still growing. It is a technology that has gained widespread adoption and has a massive influence on our daily tech lives. It is the core technology that powers so many of our devices from the ubiquitous speakers and headsets and headphones to phones, keyboards, mice, lights, door locks, fitness trackers, and other smart devices. Seated at my desk as I write, I count no less than 6 Bluetooth enabled products in my immediate field of view. The ubiquitous Bluetooth speaker allows us to listen to tunes anywhere in the world…. Within 30 feet of phones. It is a powerful technology that allows devices of disparate design to communicate with each other. Apple can talk to Fitbit. Samsung can talk to Sony. Because it is device agnostic and versatile, it has become the de facto wireless technology of so many smart devices. Since it is ubiquitous and has been adopted world wide, product developers and prototypers need to know how it works, when and how to use it, and how to build prototypes that use it. In this two part series, I will discuss the history and core concepts around Bluetooth before delving into details of the communication protocol and easy ways to create Bluetooth enabled prototypes. Bluetooth is a wireless communication standard for peer to peer device communication. It is meant for generally short range personal area networks (PAN) for devices to communicate with each other. Bluetooth can carry different types of payloads such as sensor data, sound, and even video. The range is usually about 30ft which is perfect for speakers and headphones which are one its most popular uses, but depending on the device setup can be anywhere from 1-1000 meters. Bluetooth comes in two different flavors, Bluetooth classic and Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE), more on this later, and as of this writing the latest release of the standard is Bluetooth 5.2. It uses a frequency of 2.4GHz which is the same as WiFi. However it has lower bandwidth and range and thus has lower power requirements than WiFi and it is viable to run Bluetooth devices from battery power whereas WiFi devices usually need to have access to continuous wall power. The name Bluetooth is a reference to the 10th century king of what is now Denmark and Norway, Harald “Bluetooth” Gormsson. He was known for uniting Nordic tribes under a common kingdom, which is a fitting given that Bluetooth technology helps to unite different devices under a common standard. The angular Bluetooth logo is an amalgam of the runes of Haralds initials. The Bluetooth logo is a reference to King Harald. While Bluetooth devices have been popular in consumer applications for about the last decade, the development of protocol has its roots in the 90s. Researchers at Swedish technology company Ericsson were the first to develop the short range wireless communication technique using UHF (ultra high frequency) radios. Jaap Haartsen is listed on many of the early patents and considered the grandfather of the technology. The original goal was to find a wireless alternative to RS-232 cables which use a 9-pin connector and were commonly found on printers more than a decade ago. They were also a common way to transmit data between computers and devices and are still used sometimes in industrial applications.  It was these pesky RS-232 cables that Bluetooth was conceived to get rid of. It was not until the turn of the millennium that Bluetooth was ready for the consumer space. The first Bluetooth product was a hands free headset, a sort of precursor to the ubiquitous jawbone style earbuds. It was launched at COMDEX, the Computer Dealers’ Exhibition tradeshow in 1999 and won Best of Show. Two years later, the Sony Ericsson T39, a flip phone with the classic early oughts monochrome screen became the first cell phone with Bluetooth inside to make it to store shelves.  The launch of the first Bluetooth devices coincided with the publication of the Bluetooth 1.0 standard in 1999. This paved the way for Bluetooth chips to become available to device makers and they were immediately integrated into many different types of products. The first standard allowed for maximum data speeds of just 721 kbps, but in application this was often much lower. Since then, there have been four additional top level releases of the Bluetooth standard. Bluetooth 2.0 upgraded the core transfer speed to 1Mbs and increased max range from 10 to 30 meters as well as easier pairing. Bluetooth 3.0 offered an optional high speed data transfer that actually used WiFi to boost transfer speeds to 24 MBs. Bluetooth 4.0 is the first version where there is a differentiation between Bluetooth Classic and Low Energy and it improved maximum range to 60, and has better IoT device support. This brings us to Bluetooth 5, which was launched in 2016 which added longer range as well as low energy support for audio devices. Despite the number of upgrades and enhancements to the protocol the core data rate is set to 1Mbs which allows for maximum backward compatibility for legacy devices. It has been 20 years since the launch of the first Bluetooth enabled cell phones and devices, and the technology has matured from being a quirky tech feature to a mainstream and globally used protocol. Where the devices were once very finicky, hard to connect and prone to losing connection, they are now easy to use and friendly to use for the un-tech savvy users. It is resident in our homes and our cars, and new generation phones easily connect to devices anywhere in the world. With the advent of the low energy standard we are seeing new types of devices that can live off of a single battery for 5 years or more and can thus be put into harsh or relatively remote environments. They are also being leveraged in retail environments where Bluetooth beacons can notify our phones of flash sales or provide additional product information. The applications are endless and any new product that is electrified needs to at least consider adding Bluetooth to its featureset. Because of how useful and widespread the technology is, prototypers and product developers need to be comfortable with how it works. In part two I will explore in more detail how Bluetooth devices communicate with each other and some easy ways to prototype them. In part 2, we will learn about quick ways to prototype Bluetooth enabled devices. WRITTEN BY Casey Carroll

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  • 5 Tips on Bus Advertising Success

    5 Tips on Bus Advertising Success

    You have probably seen quite a few Bus ads on the road or on the freeway. I’m sure that those glowing headshots of lawyers or insurance agents immediately pop into your mind when you recall behind stuck behind one of these behemoths at the red light. Here are a few tips that will ensure Bus … Continue reading “5 Tips on Bus Advertising Success” The post 5 Tips on Bus Advertising Success appeared first on GoDRTV.

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  • Metro Bus Advertising: Less traffic, more Metro

    Metro Bus Advertising: Less traffic, more Metro

    LA’s Metro Bus Advertising has gone to another level. Metro uses the ad space on their own fleet to encourage passers-by to drive less and take the bus more. The result has been out-of-the-box and memorable ads that have started conversations on the road. This move wasn’t just to increase profit, but to contribute to … Continue reading “Metro Bus Advertising: Less traffic, more Metro” The post Metro Bus Advertising: Less traffic, more Metro appeared first on GoDRTV.

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