Cheap ideas: Social Digi-box, GPS-Google Maps and documentary movie

If I remember correct design theoretician Victor Papanek writes in his groundbreaking book Design for the Real World that “I feel that ideas are plentiful and cheap” (1971). Papanek was not only a designers and design theoretician. He was an educator. In all his works he seems to emphasize practice and practicing. We all are creative if we just have a change to practice our creativity – have time, space and community to be creative. Simple, isn’t it.

Mikko Ahonen writes that in Finland sauna is a competitive edge because it is a space for open-ended discussions, free association, pondering and wild ideas. My Norwegian friend, who studied in Finland for a while, says that Norwegian students come-up just as stupid ideas as Finns. The difference is that the next days Finns start to implement them – already when still having a hangover.

Last week I went sailing for a couple of days with a friend of mine. My friend is one of these multiprocessing people who always have ten different kind of projects going on. He actually works in a pretty nice post in the Government, but his daily job seems to be for him a kind of “inevitable thing” one just must do. To generate new ideas and projects is simply very rewarding for him. Still, I am sure he is doing his daily job very well, too.

So, we were sailing. Sailing is a bit like going to sauna. There is a plenty of time to meditate, to associate and to chat. Also coming up with some wild ideas helps to entertain you and your company when the weather is bad and all you have to drink is a lousy instant coffee. Also in sauna presenting stupid ideas helps you to stand the fact that you are naked and drinking watery beer.

So, we were chatting and we came up with some idea.

Social Digi-box is digital TV receiver for satellite, terrestrial and/or cable television with integrated instant messaging (IM) software. While watching TV channels you can see if any of your friends are same time in front of their TV or logged in the Social Digi-box’s website. With your contacts you can send instant messages and start group chats. You may also join to the chat rooms of some TV-channel and TV-programs. In a later version there will be voice over IP. How this is done? You need a Digi-box with an embedded Linux, which will run the IM software based on Jabber – the open IM platform. Then you need Ethernet or Wlan to connect the Digi-box in your broadband Internet and USB for a keyboard. You are done!

GPS with Google Maps / Google Earth, works so that you can upload your GPS data in a software which will then show you the route you took, or the route your friend took. This was so obvious idea that of course it was already done by someone. See the GPS Visualizer. Still I wonder why it is no a bigger thing. Maybe GPS users are not that online people or maybe the manufacturers are not marketing this kind of services for some reason. Someone should also redesign the site.

The third ideas was an idea of a documentary movie where two men, brothers travel to the Russian side of the Karelia to find their family’s silver cutlery that was left behind by their grandmother when the Winter War started in 1939. For more than 60 years the grandmother has told the story of the silver that was buried next to the well. It’s going to be a bit like a documentary version of another Finnish movie made in 1960’s.

You are free to use these ideas whatever way you want. If they’ll make you very wealthy one day – remember me then. To do the documentary movie you must contact me. Don’t ask why. 🙂

One thought on “Cheap ideas: Social Digi-box, GPS-Google Maps and documentary movie

  1. I was googling the Papanek’s "I feel that ideas are plentiful and cheap". A longer quotation: "…there is something basically wrong with the whole concept of patents and copyrights. If I design a toy that provides therapeutic exercise for handicapped children, then I think it is unjust to delay the release of the design by a year and a half, going through a patent application. I feel that ideas are plentiful and cheap, and it is wrong to make money from the needs of others."Chatting while watching TV or having your sailing route shown on Google Maps are very high-level needs. Feel free to make money out of them. And nobody makes money with documentary movies anyway.

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