As I put on my eyeglasses the other day, I thought of how quickly we dismiss small (in size) innovations in our daily living. The eyeglasses I wear are spring-loaded at the hinge point, where the earpiece bar meets the lens frame. For those of us that are prone to yanking our glasses off in a single, sudden motion, these little springs help absorb the shock and keep the original fit intact.
Sticking with the theme of eyeglasses and innovation, I recall another pair I had where the sunglasses were held in place over the lenses by a set of magnets. The lenses of the sunglasses were the same design and style as the prescription lenses. You would ‘clip’ the sunglasses in place (aligned on the magnets at the temple portion of the frame) and you could barely notice the set of lenses over each other. Sadly, this style of frame was not sturdy enough for the hard wear I put on eyeglasses and eventually they were retired.
Certainly the materials used in eyeglasses today are innovative. Gone is the weight and limited styles and colors. In fact, each time I have to purchase a new set of frames, the selection nearly seems too great. Lenses, too, have made great strides. In my own case, the progressive corrective lenses (I wear bifocals) are barely visible and have a “sweet spot” for reading. Beyond colored lenses, or tints, there are progressive lenses that change color and become sunglasses based on available sunlight.
With the emphasis on innovation in software and information technology, I think we sometimes forget the smaller things that are innovative and make our lives better. I try and bring some of these forward in our Innovation section of this blog. In today’s example, I was captivated by something that was small in size but had a significant impact on my day.
Take a moment to think about this as you go about your day. Look for the smaller, simple things like the lighted vanity mirror in your car. Maybe it’s the sprinkler head on your hose that has a variety of spray settings. If you are like me, it won’t take long to get that “why didn’t I think of that” mindset.
The old adage of “Necessity is the Mother of Invention” still holds true. In reading a biography of Einstein, I discovered that the patience of observation was one of Einstein’s greatest assets. Innovation and new products come as much from observation as they do from a spark of genius. “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” - Albert Einstein