Once upon a time, record labels were able to make money from copywritten songs, and innovation belonged only to those who understood the patenting process and could afford patent litigation. In the modern world none of that is true. We are in the middle of an impact driven disruption we call Applied Innovation.
“Innovation comes in many different forms, but to us, finding a way to re-imagine old or new technology and bringing it to market is a powerful indication of progress and ingenuity.” said Seventh's CEO Alexander Polyansky. “It incentivizes others to take something that has already been developed and look at it from a different perspective, improving upon the original design and re-purposing it for creative applications. We are acutely aware of the enormous impact it would have on the economy and how it would better people’s lives everywhere.”
Hearables are a great example. Everybody carries a pair of earbuds, and those plastic buds make up a $40 billion industry that could revolutionize the way we use sound in our everyday lives. And, the same technology used to listen to the latest Top 40 playlists could also address the needs of those who are suffering from hearing loss.
By 2024, the global hearing aids market alone is expected to reach $6.5 billion. In addition, Hearables are being adapted to translate foreign languages, protect against occupational noise, and improve hearing. All these fields stem from one original idea: earbud technology.
Applied Innovation doesn’t only pertain to technology uses in multiple markets, it also relates to using technology for social impact and inclusiveness.
In the San Fernando Valley, one team of innovators is showcasing the power of Applied Innovation for trailblazers held up by institutional inequalities. From San Fernando High School, group of 12 girls are tackling homelessness by improving existing technology of accessible, low-cost items. Stuck between wanting to help and not having the financial resources to donate money or supplies, the girls harnessed their engineering skills to invent a portable, solar-powered tent.
Applied Innovation cleared the way for these young women to develop their idea into a physical, marketable product. The all-female team relied on Youtube tutorials and Google searches to integrate the solar-powered technology with lightweight, durable material. Looking to the future, the techniques employed to protect the tech hardware from environmental elements could be applied to a number of industries, including camping, emergency preparedness, etc. At a first approximation, the team decided to focus on the homeless, but this technology likely has hundreds of other uses.
“It is about opening the markets and bringing more surprising opportunities based on a simple concept,” said Polyansky. “At Seventh, we are developing fully automated software tools to help everyday creators capture and commercialize their talent and IP. It is about iteratively improving the old, re-purposing it into something different, and showing opportunities where none existed. Re-imagining that which has been done in the past drives the innovation of the future. It also brings opportunity and inclusiveness to forward-thinkers everywhere.”