- December 30, 2018
- Posted by: aadibi
- Category: Information For Inventors, Information for Startups
For decades, technology experts have been saying that innovation is accelerating. They have the data to prove it. In order to create a great invention in this environment, it’s vital to know what’s going on around you.
If you’ve got the talent and creativity to make something great, all you need to do is to predict what customers need. With over 300,000 patents filed every year, innovation is one of America’s leading exports. Whether you manage to invent the next smartphone or just an indestructible case for one, you’ll need to file a patent to protect your invention.
In the meantime, while you’re trying to find inspiration to help with inventions, think about these 6 major cultural trends.
1. Augmented Reality
From gaming to advertising, more companies are taking advantage of the rich geographical datasets we have access to. One of the perfect areas for this data? Augmented reality. Geo-targeting combined with the right strategic approach can get users engaged with your products in new and innovative ways.
For instance, Pokémon Go users reported spending more time outdoors walking around thanks to their engagement with the app. By reinventing the world that your customers inhabit, you’re able to fold your products and services into their lives in a natural way.
Whether your invention helps users to engage with the world around them or can be found through augmented reality, the idea behind the technology is a powerful one. Clients will see you as part of a new wave of innovation and this could help make your invention a household name.
2. Wellness & Self Care
Stress is the killer disease! Sitting is the new smoking! We’ve all read the terrifying headlines, however hyperbolic they may be self-care is becoming a huge topic in the US. With an aging population, and personal trainers on Instagram more popular than ever, you can expect significant opportunities to present themselves in the market over the next few years. Be on the lookout for opportunities that meld technology and efficient SAAS products with traditional friction points for health.
3. CBD Mania
While the cannabis industry has been hot for nearly a decade now. 2019 is going to be the year of CBD. With the elimination of its legal grey area in the 2019 Farm Bill you can expect significant new opportunities in this market throughout the coming year.
4. Peripheral Services in the Cannabis Industry
Keep an eye for a mass exodus of traditionally boring industries like HVAC and anything indoor Ag related to make a hard pivot towards the world of cannabis cultivation. Again for the savvy inventor with the ability to merge services this present a massive and fresh opportunity.
5. Young Leadership
Social and political movements led by younger people are on the rise, helped along by their trusty companion, the smartphone. Even as Twitter and Facebook users lean toward an older demographic, young people still know how to use them to organize better than any other generation.
Finding ways to help to build organizations, grassroots movements, or linking people up IRL could be the next big thing. Movements online have value, but nothing is as valuable as the power of people getting together fighting for what they believe in. If you can help people organize on the front lines, you could be an innovator and an activist at the same time.
6. Gig Everything
Just about every single industry is being fractured in favor of lower-cost, gig-economied version of itself. For better or worse, the model of clocking in and working from 9-5 is dying. Whether we’re talking about the transportation industry, the ticket-buying industry, or even dog walking, there’s a gig version of every job.
One of the main issues with gig products like Uber is that the numbers don’t add up. By breaking down the costs of vehicle ownership, maintenance, fuel, and tolls, ride-sharing apps are showing meager returns to drivers. Some critics have even compared the apps to the equivalent of payday loans: get money today, pay dearly tomorrow.
Looking critically at these models can help with inventions you might want to create. Finding a way to make these apps and services more efficient could put more money into the pockets of drivers. Streamlining the process could make you both an innovator and a millionaire.
7. The Deluge of “Fake News”
As we’ve learned through discoveries made by journalists and investigators, there’s a lot of open space on the internet that bad actors take advantage of. An innovative inventor can find a way to filter through that fake news created by bots and paid writers. Fake news can be created with nefarious intentions or just out of ignorance. Because of the low cost of entry, well-designed websites can gain a lot of traction regardless of the veracity of their data.
Looking at ways of filtering data can help with inventions. If you can create the perfect algorithm to separate real news from fake news, you could create a brilliant patent and save the world at the same time.
8. Productivity Innovations
As more people work from home or struggle to stay focused in a competitive work environment, people turn to new productivity innovations. Fidget spinners, fidget cubes, to-do apps, planners, and more are a hot seller right now.
Apps and technology now implement timers and codes to keep users from social media or browsing when they’re supposed to be focused on a task. A recent New York Times article suggested that the way to break phone addiction is to make a “worse” phone. With all the research and development dollars devoted to increasing engagement, those colors and notifications have been engineered to optimize interaction.
Think about the opposite route. How can you create products and technology that help people be more engaged and productive, rather than the opposite?
9. Smart Home Devices
With the sales of smart home devices now approaching the $200 billion mark, in the next few years, most homes will have them. Voice search, one of their main functions, has opened advertising up to a completely new ecosystem.
The same can be said for whatever industry you specialize. Whether you’re in entertainment, finance, or manufacturing, you can find ways to use smart devices to help with inventions. Lay down and give your smart home device a few commands, see where it’s lacking. Can you thinking of an improvement?
Trendwatching Can Help with Inventions
No matter what field you’re in, inventors are watching culture to know how to make the next move. Keep an eye on what’s hot and what’s interesting to people and you’ll be able to patent the next life-changing invention. Looking for areas with lower competition creates a significantly better opportunity for you to succeed in your market.
If you’re interested in patenting your great idea, contact us for tips on how to get started.