In February 2002, Michael Gore broke his back in a work accident and lost all function and feeling in his legs. Using the Indego Exoskeleton, a device at the forefront of wearable robotics, Gore can now get up and walk again (see video).
With the Indego, patients with spinal cord injuries or with other motor problems strap their lower bodies into a piece of equipment that looks like leg braces. The Indego, however, uses sophisticated technology that does much more than just provide support. Gyroscopes and accelerators anticipate a patient’s steps by subtle upper body motion—similar to how a Segway works. Then, the Indego moves in concert with the patient’s leg to take a step. The wearer is using their own muscles to do the work, with a little extra help.
When Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler founded the high-end gym chain SoulCycle, they faced an uphill battle. Their friends, for starters, told the cofounders and CEOs that their emphasis on indoor spinning was a dated idea.
"He said, ‘I don’t have the heart to tell you this, but you know spinning is dead,’" laughs Cutler, recalling the conversation.
But Cutler and Rice felt differently. “We were like ‘Well, I think we can still do it. I think we can still reinvent it,’” she says. “‘I think we can still create something we want as the user.’”
8. Fail well
There should be no stigma attached to failure. If you do not fail often, you are not trying hard enough. At Google, once a product fails to reach its potential, it is axed, but the company pulls from the best of the features. “Failure is actually a badge of honor,” he says. “Failure is the way to be innovative and successful. You can fail with pride.””
Which cities are doing the most to become the sustainable, connected, innovative city of the future? Read Co.Exit’s list of the 10 Smartest Cities in North America. How much brainpower does your city have?
“In this way we get “brain hubs,” places that contribute an outsized portion of the GDP and generate an unreasonable number of patents. This capital-ization has pretty far-reaching effects: the more high-tech, high-powered folks you have in a place, the more similarly gifted people will be attracted to moving there—and all these jobs actually generate more jobs. Moretti says that a high-tech job actually creates something like 10 service sector gigs.”
E.B. Boyd, embedded reporter in Afghanistan, profiles the leadership transition from the Marines to the Afghan National Army, and the effort and innovation behind it.
This week, the home page of the NYTimes.com featured an unusual, wonderful Op-Doc called “A Short History of the Highrise.” Billed as an “interactive documentary,” the project was a collaboration between the Times and the National Film Board of Canada.
With influences ranging from traditional documentary to video games to the tablet experience, “A Short History of the Highrise” is a digital publishing rabbit hole. A casual viewer can consume the film in a few minutes, while the obsessive can delve deep into supplemental content for hours. Fast Company caught up with the project’s Emmy Award-winning director, Katerina Cizek, to learn more about how the documentary form is being transformed in a digital age.
At last night’s Innovation By Design Awards, the Fast Company staff got to try out the Decelerator Helmet, which won the Concepts award.
By donning this shiny helmet, your perception actually decreases in speed. The world around you is put into slow motion.
This anti-tremor spoon could make it easier for Parkinson’s patients to eat
Get ready! Our Innovation By Design conference is coming up!
"Good design is good business."
“If we want to survive in this beautifully strange world of ours, we need to make something it wants. But, if we are privileged enough to do so, we can do something it needs.”
The man behind Tesla and Space X is releasing the plans to his highly anticipated new mode of transportation that can take you from LA to San Francisco in an under an hour. Will this change transportation, or should we call it a “don’t believe the hype-r loop?”