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Ronnie_Space

Innovation Vs Modification

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Hi all,

 

I am writing a research paper required for my university and it is titled Innovation or Modification: Video Gaming.

 

I am looking at the difference in approach of modification vs innovation in creating new products. Either simply modifying existing designs or innovating new products. Ie: vacuum cleaners were a well established market, modified year after year to keep up with current trends... and then Dyson came along and brought out a new innovative product.

 

I am focusing on Video Gaming as the issue of innovation vs modification seems prominent in this field with the imminent release of the Nintendo Wii, vs Xbox 360 & PS3. Ie: The Xbox and PS3 are essentially the same deal but improved next generation, compared to the Nintendo Wii which is a whole 'new' generation.

 

I wondered if anyone could perhaps enlighten me with their views on this subject and would be very appreciative of any links or references that might be useful.

 

Many Thanks

 

Barry

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The innovation is due largely in part to technology advances. The reality though is that the market typically responds better to rehashes of the same crap (like the 4 million WWII or Grand Theft Auto games) then they do to a truly unique and innovative product whether it be a game or piece of hardware.

 

It's unfortunate of course, there is tons of room for innovation, but with the incredibly high investments of time and money required to produce a game, it's hard to really push for very innovative games, the Wii is the first product in quite a long time to really do so.

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Hi all,

 

I am writing a research paper required for my university and it is titled Innovation or Modification: Video Gaming.

 

I am looking at the difference in approach of modification vs innovation in creating new products. Either simply modifying existing designs or innovating new products. Ie: vacuum cleaners were a well established market, modified year after year to keep up with current trends... and then Dyson came along and brought out a new innovative product.

 

I am focusing on Video Gaming as the issue of innovation vs modification seems prominent in this field with the imminent release of the Nintendo Wii, vs Xbox 360 & PS3. Ie: The Xbox and PS3 are essentially the same deal but improved next generation, compared to the Nintendo Wii which is a whole 'new' generation.

 

I wondered if anyone could perhaps enlighten me with there views on this subject and would be very appreciative of any links or referances that might be useful.

 

Many Thanks

 

Barry

 

Dyson= innovate? How? He modified the original concept with a goofy wind tunnel and attached a $500 pricetag. I've purchased running cars for less money.

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Thanks Cash68.

 

Yep you're right. I think my off the top of the head Dyson example should have been more considered. It was the first thing that came to mind, as if you consider Vacuum cleaners being pretty boring and non-changing, at least it came along bright coloured, funky looking and better functioning, shaking the mould up a bit.

 

Cheers Cyberman. I get a feeling that people are becoming more open to innovation and are better appreciating good design. With innovation adding a percieved value to a product and desirability to own. So the question is for this Nintendo Wii.. will the high investments, time and money as you mentioned pay off? It looks to have with the Nintendo DS.

 

 

All comments well received, Thanks!

 

Barry

 

 

Cash68 Your comment made me think....

 

It would be good to hear anyones examples of innovative products that have come along and changed well established product lines.

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For technology: the iMac was pretty innovative. So was the iPod. Both were rather drastic changes from anything available before them.

 

For cars... the Chrysler Airflow, the Dodge Daytona (1969) for aerodynamics on a passenger car....

 

For cleaning products... eh... dunno. :o

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Guest Hazdaz

I think that pretty much EVERYTHING is based on a previous idea or concept. Even the most "unique" or "innovative" product can still trace it's origins to a previous product within the same market, or taking cues from one market and just applying them to another.

 

Concerning the 2 examples you posted, I don't think that Dysons are any more original than any other vacuum - more expensive? Oh hell yea they are, but aren't they just a colorful vacuum with no bag just like any other on the market?

 

On the Wii, it's tilt-sensor remote does seem pretty cool (and I admit to thinking that it was just a gimmick when I first heard about it), but that technology is far from new. Microsoft had a tilt-sensor controller for the PC many years ago. And more recently, the PS2 and XBox1 has those webcam type of devices that you would stand infront of and they could tell what position you were in, which allowed you to control the actions on screen.

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The Dyson was innovative from a technology standpoint. Vaccuums were old but the way they control the suction was different. I own one and it's amazing how much crap gets picked up even after vaccuuming with my old electrolux.

 

The Wii may not be new technology, but it IS the first big commercial application of it, and the ONLY application of it in a console.

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Guest raptor

I think what you might want to look at is to do a matrix. A matrix of products from left to right...extreme left maybe redesigned products like cars....your playstation console...and as you near the centre...the Wii might be in between a redesign and some innovative features...and then the dyson which is towards the innovation side...and to the extreme right, a total innovation might be say the segway?

 

you might want to factor in:

innovation - the product as a concept? or already in the market?

time - whats innovative today may not be innovative in 6 months. hence your matrix or definition keeps changing.

 

hope it helps.

cheers.

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Guest DevrajJoshi
...The Wii may not be new technology, but it IS the first big commercial application of it, and the ONLY application of it in a console.

 

today in design process we learned that innovation is not inventing. Innovation is the combination of two ideas or technologies in a new way. So in the case of a dyson cleaner its the combination of vortex physics (the idea that in a cyclone heavy stuff falls to the middle) and a product that cleans floors. Dyson said when asked "who invented the cyclone", "God invented it". In a similar way - as Cyber said, the wii is the combination of two ideas in a way thats not been done before. well it has been done before, but we werent ready for it/execution was poor (motion sensors + gaming).

 

Now - here's where it starts to get a bit dodgey - where can you draw the line between innovation and modification. For example - electric cars when they came around - pretty innovative, no? Or - is it just a regular car modified to use electric motors instead of an internal combustion engine.

 

Also - think about say the wankle rotary engine - is that innovative design or modification of an exisiting one? If the designer was thinking - "i'm going to design a rotay engine" then its just modification of a standard engine. But if the thinking behind it is "how can i create rotational movement from the combustion of gas in an enclosed space" then its more innovative - do you see what i mean, i think its to do with the thought process.

 

//end rant

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For example - electric cars when they came around - pretty innovative, no? Or - is it just a regular car modified to use electric motors instead of an internal combustion engine.

 

Also - think about say the wankle rotary engine - is that innovative design or modification of an exisiting one? If the designer was thinking - "i'm going to design a rotay engine" then its just modification of a standard engine. But if the thinking behind it is "how can i create rotational movement from the combustion of gas in an enclosed space" then its more innovative - do you see what i mean, i think its to do with the thought process.

 

//end rant

 

Actually, it was ht other way around. In the early 1900s we lacked a good reliable internal combustion engine, so a lot of early cars were electric.

 

As for the wankel... that is definitely innovation, because nothing remotely like it was done before. Saying "I'm going to design a rotary engine" wouldn't make any sense, because before the wankel, rotary engines did not exist.

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Guest DevrajJoshi

examples are kinda poor i agree, but they were just a means to an end in terms of description...

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Hi,

 

I just wanted to say thanks to all the above for your comments. I am assimilating the information and following up all the points mentioned above.

 

I think I really need to define exactly what the difference is between innovation and modification as it seems the two can overlap. However, I agree this is more a thought process, adapted at the start of a project, which will determine the overall outcome, wether it is an innovative product or merley the same thing again slightly changed.

 

Modification can be an important way to create new products models from existing ones, for example the Mathmos Aduki and the new Aduki NI, creating a new model by simply changing the top cover from a frosted plastic to a metallic effect translucent plastic.

 

aduki_green_blue.jpg

Aduki

mathmos-aduki-ni.jpg

Aduki NI

 

However, if the same products were continually changed in minor ways over time they could become stale. So there gets to a point where something new has to be done, and an innovative approach is taken to create something new and different from what existed before (although as mentioned it may benefit and borrow some of the attributes from the previous, but will have a much larger emphasis on being a new, improved and/or different product).

 

So, New as opposed to Next.

 

 

Thanks

 

Barry

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However, if the same products were continually changed in minor ways over time they could become stale. So there gets to a point where something new has to be done, and an innovative approach is taken to create something new and different from what existed before (although as mentioned it may benefit and borrow some of the attributes from the previous, but will have a much larger emphasis on being a new, improved and/or different product).

 

So, New as opposed to Next.

 

 

Thanks

 

Barry

 

... uh... how about we ignore the importance of 'new' and 'stale' and all that, and focus on actual improvements. :)

 

So, better instead of new just cuz it's new. I wish Chris Bangle would accept that.... the old m5 was beautiful!

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Harder, Faster, Better, Dumber.

 

Yes I agree Cash68, I did get in the point "but will have a much larger emphasis on being a new, improved and/or different product".

 

Improved is a better goal than just being 'new'. However, I guess some things are changed and re-released sometimes *just* to make them 'new', even though there isn't really any improvement, perhaps just a perceived improvement by the customer. I.e: modifying rather than actually innovating/improving.

 

Blimey I reckon one could ponder on this for a while..

 

Cheers

 

Barry

 

 

are you on a PhD research?

 

Hi Raptor,

 

No, this is for a research paper hand-in for Product Design BSc, 4th year.

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