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Fred's Thoughts on IDEO and their Design Process

It strikes me how hard it is to develop a process like IDEO's in a vacuum. In other words, each individual in IDEO has joined this group, a club that has this process, and individuals must learn it be being immersed in it. It's like learning a foreign language; it's so hard to do while you're still at home, but if you actually spend significant time in another country, it becomes much easier to learn the language there. Everyone is speaking it, and everyone around you becomes your teacher.

I was also really taken with the notion that IDEO is now not just designing products, but designing environments and cultures for other companies! That is quite a generative step from their roots. I'd like to know more about how that's gone (the video was 1999?). Did their interventions take root? Are they still doing that as a core practice?

Friday Sept 9 - GGG note (ToothTunes)

Here's an interesting product related to the music-centric discussion we had yesterday

I'm a punk toothbrush ... you're a blues toothbrush The amazing invention that plays music as you clean your teeth ... via your jawbone

By GLEN OWEN Last updated at 22:00pm on 2nd September 2006

Scientists have invented a remarkable toothbrush that lets you listen to pop songs while you scrub away - by transmitting the sound waves through your teeth and jawbone to your ear. The 7 device, called Tooth Tunes, plays for exactly two minutes - the amount of time dentists recommend should be devoted to brushing every morning and night. It is initially being targeted at children, but could also be marketed to the so-called iPod generation of adults. American maker Hasbro claims that Tooth Tunes will 'single-handedly change children's attitudes' to brushing and expects it to be in the shops before Christmas. A single piece of music is stored in a microchip in the brush's handle. When a button is pushed, it plays on a minicomputer and is transported along the bristles, through the teeth and jawbone and into the ear. While the user hears 'a cross between the sound of music coming out of a stereo and the sound of humming to oneself', onlookers are aware only of a buzzing noise similar to an electric toothbrush. Replacement chips with different songs will be available, and Hasbro is negotiating with artists including the Black Eyed Peas and Will Smith. The firm spent six years trying out its new technology in lollipops, pens, spoons and forks before deciding to launch it in toothbrushes. Andrew Filo, one of the inventors, said: "The human jaw is a great conductor of sound. As a child I used to close my ears and wonder how I could hear myself hum." The Department of Health says that the number of under-fives having rotten teeth removed has soared by 20 per cent in recent years, with many having all 20 milk teeth removed.

Sarah's comment: This is a great example of a fun thing with some interesting science behind it, that also has a public service function. It's interesting to think, though, of other ways this same health goal could be accomplished. A timer? Parental supervision? Also note that Hasbro is a Massachusetts company--at least they have a significant presence in East Longmeadow, MA (just down the road from Lego North America in Enfield, CT...coincidence?)
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Page last modified on September 19, 2006, at 04:27 PM