Robots for Humanity

Are robots the future of healthcare?

From microbots that scrape plaque from arteries to personal assistant robots that help care for patients, medical robots are transforming the face of healthcare.

A range of innovations, from new software to new devices, will transform the way all of us interact with the health-care system—making it easier for us to stay healthy and, when we do get sick, making it easier for medical professionals to treat us. Changing not just how medicine is practiced but who is practicing it. healthrobots copy 2

IBM's Watson—the same machine that beat Ken Jennings at Jeopardy—is now churning through case histories at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, learning to make diagnoses and treatment recommendations. This is one in a series of developments suggesting that technology may be about to disrupt health care in the same way it has disrupted so many other industries. Are doctors necessary? Just how far might the automation of medicine go? 

In the next few years, thousands of 'service robots' are expected to enter the healthcare sector. And that's no surprise considering the mounting financial difficulties the industry faces. Robots like the Aethon TUG can complete the work of three full-time employees, yet it "costs less than one full-time employee.

This new robotic breed is boasting features increasingly found in smartphones, gaming consoles and other consumer electronics, from advanced sensors and motion detectors to powerful microprocessors and voice activation. The service robots are self-aware, intelligent and able to navigate changing environments such as the chaotic hospital settings.

In Brazil and India, machines are already starting to do primary care, because there’s no labor to do it. They may be better than doctors. Mathematically, they will follow evidence—and they’re much more likely to be right. 

Earlier in 2012, robotics firm iRobot built an emerging technologies group in partnership with InTouch Health to put its AVA telepresence technology to better use. As a result, the two companies developed the Remote Presence Virtual + Independent Telemedicine Assistant, or RP-VITA, which combines iRobot's AVA telepresence units with InTouch health's distance education tools, creating a system that allows physicians to care for patients remotely.

In the future as the innovators imagine it—“Health 2.0,” as some people have started calling it—you would be in constant contact with the health-care system, although you’d hardly be aware of it. The goal would be to keep you healthy—and any time you were in danger of becoming unhealthy, to ensure you received attention right away. You might wear a bracelet that monitors your blood pressure, or a pedometer that logs movement and exercise. You could opt for a monitoring system that makes sure you take your prescribed medication, at the prescribed intervals. All of these devices would transmit information back to your provider of basic medical care, dumping data directly into an electronic medical record.

Some healthcare problems facing humans can be solved today by machines that function like humans.ibot

Medical Devices Changing Patient/Doctor Communication

When we think of breakthroughs in medicine, we conjure up images of new drugs or new surgeries. When we think of changes to the health-care system, byzantine legislation comes to mind. But according to a growing number of observers, the next big thing to hit medical care will be new ways of accumulating, processing, and applying data—revolutionizing medical care. 

At the recent FutureMed, (an annual conference on medical innovation that brings together financiers, physicians, and engineers from around the world) offer a future in which it is possible to deliver highly personalized care without necessarily having to do it in person, or even with a doctor.

Some examples:traigebot


Computer engineers at Vanderbilt University have teamed up with emergency medicine specialists at the school’s medical center to explore how robots could improve the chaotic process of prioritizing incoming ER patients. They envision robots, dubbed TriageBots, which would check patients in, gather their medical records, administer diagnostic tests and work with doctors to provide preliminary diagnoses and allocate medical attention according to need.

While people wait in the emergency room, they would sit in special "smart" chairs stocked with interactive diagnostic equipment that could relay more comprehensive data to medical personnel. Based on the level of urgency, the triage bots could either immediately notify medical staff or give the patient an estimated wait time. Mobile robots would circulate around the waiting room to check on the status of patients awaiting care and reallocate priorities if necessary.

It looks like Vecna Robotics’ battlefield soldier robot Bear will have some competition thanks to a U.S. robotics start-up developing similar robots. Formed by MIT alumni sometime around 2007, Hstar Technologies is partnering with a number of tech companies and medical institutions, including the Harvard Medical School and Veterans Hospital. Among their first products to enter the market will be the RehaBot, which exercises the upper and lower limbs of patients severely impaired by musculoskeletal and traumatic brain injuries.nurse

Hstar Technologies plans to market a military version of the robot called cRoNA (with the “c” likely standing for casualty).  It will be used to extract wounded soldiers from the battlefield, putting it in direct competition with Bear.  However, Bear’s lead of several years (and its more powerful strength) will give it an edge if they’re comparable in price.  The ability to move casualties without putting other soldiers in the line of fire has obvious benefits, but there’s yet another possible use for the robot.soldier

Another major project in the works is RoNA (Robotic Nursing Assistant), which can lift and move patients in excess of 136 kg (300 lbs).  As already pointed out by Japanese researchers working on a similar nursing assistant called RIBA, nurses risk serious injury when lifting patients.  According to Hstar Technologies, nurses sustain more injuries than any other U.S. profession and most occur when moving patients.


color of 2013 is all about growth, renewal

2013 is all about a vivid, verdant shade of green that enhances our sense of well-being further by inspiring insight, as well as promoting balance and harmony.

That is the color of the year for 2013, according to Pantone, the color is known more formally as Pantone 17-5641. emerald

The most abundant hue in nature, the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum. As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal and rejuvenation, which is so important in today's complex world. Also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity, no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity. This powerful and universally-appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.

The prevalence of green has been steadily rising for several seasons, especially in the fashion and home markets. em

About the PANTONE Color of the Year
The Color of the Year selection is a very thoughtful process. To arrive at the selection, Pantone combs the world looking for color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films that are in production, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from technology, availability of new textures and effects that impact color, and even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention.


Art Infusion

Need new ideas and solutions? 
Going off-piste – looking at the provocative to get inspired.

Today, a company’s ability to conceive original thoughts and discover new ways of doing business has never been more important. Fostering fresh ideas, facilitating problem solving and promoting innovation can help companies improve their products and services….so what are some ways to stimulate the creative flow? 

There are so many idea-generation and brainstorming techniques to use, so many places to look for inspiration. My main strategy is to hunt and gather. For inspiration, I look at everything around me, not just the areas surrounding the project or industry I'm working in. I’ve made it a habit to accumulate intellectual and visual material from many sources…but the arts in particular. Fine Arts, music, design, typography, craft, Eastern philosophy, manuscripts, movie posters, industrial designs, illustrations, vintage culture, toys, games…projects, creations, inventions of painters, writers, architects, musicians, photographers, designers… that are surrounding us and making our world more beautiful, more weird and more real. 

In marketing, the challenge is not only to promote the brand, but in finding a strategy and a direction that inspires and connects, while appreciating the nuances of human behaviors. A great strategy will succeed creating a movement. Throughout history, art has created movements, with the ability to arouse the imagination and capture attention. Art has the power to influence people, and people are also consumers. Influences that consumers respond to is a tough thing to pinpoint, often we identify them after a movement has peaked. 

That's why I keep looking in the direction of the people that enrich our aesthetic options and make us think, visionaries whose perspectives inspire and influence long before any trends, analytics, or results become established. If one thing is certain about the past several years, it is that the intersection of arts and products has become more transparent. We're a generation spurred by collaboration and charged up by the potential of visual arts to better almost every idea. To get you inspired, I'm sharing a great list "The 100 Most Influential Artists Of The Complex Decade", in short, these are the artists who have shaped our vision of world over the past 10 years. I've highlighted 8 (for no particular reason, simply that they intrigued me) - but to see the 92 others definitely go here

Philippe Starck is a superstar designer, known for interior designing Ian Schrager's hotels and transforming consumer goods like toothbrushes and chairs into art. 720

Shigeru Miyamoto You don't know Miyamoto? He's the video game designer and producer behind Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, and the Wii series. His work has been seen on every Nintendo video game console. Enough said. mario

Estevan Oriol has famously photographed a ton of celebrities, in addition to directing music videos for Travis Barker, Xzibit, Blink 182, and more. With the rest of the Soul Assassins crew, Oriol has made the LA aesthetic a global one. estafan

Jamil GS Jamil's work is a dope mix of art and branding, photographing hot women and musicians for Supreme, Made, Premium Goods, and more. His work exists on the blurred lines between documentary, fine art, and commerce where his avant garde methods and knack for eyeing cultural trends, has made him a solid curator of vibrant grassroots culture.jamil 


Kevin Lyons is a superstar art director, who recently collabed with Colette and DC Shoes to paint a skate ramp in Paris. In the past 10 years, he's also worked with Nike and Converse, and was the former global Creative Director at Urban Outfitters. In 2010, he won a Cannes Golden Lion for his Diesel campaign and an Emmy for title design of Eric Ripert's PBS series, Avec Eric. lyonsj shoes

Tom Dixon Both as a self-taught designer-maker in early 1980s London and as head of design at the Habitat retail chain and now Artek, the Finnish furniture manufacturer, has combined the creative with the commercial throughout his career. Dixon fell into design by accident when he found himself with “time on his hands” while recovering from a motorcycle accident. As an art school drop-out with no technical training, he taught himself how to become a designer-maker in 1983 after discovering welding when trying to repair his motorbike. Creating an exclamation mark in the home, the much loved Fan Chair – a dramatic and sculptural take on the traditional British Windsor Chair. Formed from machined wooden spindles, a curved back and circular base inject a striking silhouette in the dining space. tomdixon estazaan

Os Gemeos These Brazilian twins brought traditional pixação art to the global mainstream, with a hip-hop twist. Murals all over the world solidified their stature among the most recognizable street artists around. Their recent exhibition at PRISM LA followed major museum shows in the United States and at home in South America… proving they've got appeal both inside and out. os

Kara Walker Before Kara Walker was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2007, she was already on the map for her symbolic silhouettes, referencing slavery, struggle, and corporeality. Walker, 38, makes black-paper silhouettes that at first glance might remind you of the antique portraits hanging in your grandmother’s living room. But look closer. You’ll see that Walker’s art is complicated by race, sex and the history of slavery in the plantation-era South. Her provocative images have mesmerized audiences and critics. As to why she traded in her paintbrushes for an X-Acto knife while in art school, Walker says, “There’s a sweet violence in the act of cutting, of accepting and rejecting cultural stereotypes…I knew that if I was going to make work that [dealt] with race issues, they were going to be full of contradictions.” Kara Walker has used overhead projectors to throw colored light onto the ceiling, walls, and floor of the exhibition space. When the viewer walks into the installation, his or her body casts a shadow onto the walls where it mingles with Walker’s black-paper figures and landscapes. walk



How to define influence? What makes someone influent? What is the link between trends and influence? Are there places/events conducive to creative pollination? 

I came across this short documentary that explores these questions and what it means to be an influencer and how trends and creativity become contagious today in music, fashion and entertainment. The film attempts to understand the essence of influence, what makes a person influential without taking a statistical or metric approach.

In the background, the documentary also explores an entire ecosystem of DIY (Do It Yourself) minded individuals whose passion is transforming Pop Culture. Their creations have produced powerful independent media that became the main news source for many readers and creatives entrepreneurs around the world. influencers

Trends at SXSW Interactive 2013

The SXSW Interactive 2013 Conference in Austin, Texas took a turn this year away from being the startup launching pad to something more substantial. It became a marketing festival – a place for the estimated 27,000 young, affluent, digital decision makers to connect with one another offline and to preview the art of our “possible” digital future.

Some highlights included:

Al Gore defending himself for selling Current TV to Al Jazeera, Elon Musk’s aspirational mission to Mars, Steve Case and entrepreneurship, Cory Booker and the self-proclaimed “world’s tallest geek” Shaq and their use of social media, Google Glass and their Art, Copy & Code experiment, the talking shoe, and the viral sensation Grumpy Cat, who generated lines around the

Kelly Callahan-Poe wrote about of some of the top trends she noted at SXSW Interactive 2013:

Making Data Meaningful 

Marketers are drowning in data these days, but interpreting that data and making it both meaningful and usable in different formats for different purposes was the topic of many sessions. Nate Silver, America’s most famous statistician, was credited with forecasting the presidential election through data in state and national polls. His success has inspired new ways to crunch data. Digitas helped make sense of SXSW demographics, trends, influencers, and social reach through its own social data visualization tool called SoDa, which pulled data from Twitter. hype


This map used Foursquare to chart people based on check-ins at venues in downtown Austin that can be filtered by venue type. SXSW got into the act this year with badges that included QR codes that were scanned upon entering each session, tracking our conference activities. 


Hacking for Good

Hacking officially has a triple meaning. The first has more negative implications: seeking and exploiting weaknesses in a computer system or network – a practice made infamous by Anonymous. The second meaning is a more positive one that focuses on solving problems using data and open-source solutions.  Several sessions focused on hacking and the promotion of hackathons for a more collaborative and accessible local government. Two examples are Code for America and NYC’s Code Core, both of which tap into volunteer technologists to solve local government initiatives like disaster relief or urban blight. The third definition of hacking is to hack events like SXSW and to show up without a badge. There were many people who arrived this year without credentials and had meetings and attended offsite events to take advantage of networking with attendees.

Digital Becoming Physical 

The intersection between physical objects and digital spaces is set to transform marketing in the next few years. The most awe-inspiring technology at SXSW this year was 3D printing, through companies like MakerBot.

makerThe Digitizer takes physical objects, scans them, then creates laser points and wraps those laser points into a 3D model, allowing the objects to be replicated. Leap Motion’s 3-D gesture-control device is set to take huge market share from Nintendo’s Wii and Microsoft’s Kinect, especially at the $79.99 price point. There were many sessions on augmented reality, artificial intelligence, and wearables, a trend that started last year by Nike’s Fuel Band, which monitors your daily activity. Google’s experimental Talking Shoe is a hacked sneaker with a Bluetooth and speaker in it, telling you things about yourself to encourage behavior change.shoe 

Social Change

Cory Booker’s inspiring session emphasized that we all need to get back to our “advocation,” not our vocation – and that what defines you is not your position, but your purpose. With social media, we can all be change agents. Other sessions focused on sparking social change with content integration through partnerships between non-profits and Hollywood. From creating awareness of pandemics, HIV, autism or sustainability, public awareness of topics can be measured before and after exposure to programs and content to demonstrate their impact.

Sharing Economy 

With technology, you can now turn your home into a hotel with Airbnb, or trade homes for a vacation with Home Swap, share a home-cooked meal with SupperKing, share a ride with SideCar or Lyft, or even catch a ride on a private jet you don’t own with BlackJet.

Inspire Consults

Trend observations and analysis by industry, demographic and theme. The changes you want to know about!
Are you looking for inspiration for your business? A dynamic source of creative stimulation?
We have a unique combination of market expertise and trend literacy, designed to provide you with an informed view of the implications of change for your customer or brand.

Understand the trends impacting behavior, culture and society.
No matter what your business need – product innovation, strategic planning, brand and category management, or simply new creative idea generation.
Maverick Dean Creative – What’s Next inspiration, ideas and application.



Natural But Enhanced Flavors. Innovative Color.
Color is one of the most important attributes of foods and beverages. As it is often said, we eat with our eyes first. Understanding sensory differences is critical for understanding the product, and ultimately, consumer preference. Consumer demand for more ‘natural’ foods and beverages has sent ingredient developers back to nature to unearth a broadening spectrum of naturally derived food and beverage coloring options.

IFT trend tour: Color and flavor innovation
At the IFT trade show in Anaheim, Jess Halliday followed the Flavor and Color Innovation trend tour, and spoke to some of the companies showing their latest developments at the show. Watch the video podcast here.

Highlights were:
Blending taste modulation technology with traditional real fruit flavors, especially exotic berries blended with spices and herbs and on going color innovation. Current research conducted on different sources—from fruits and vegetables to plants and marine creatures—shows promise in developing new naturally derived colorings/attributes or enhancing ones already in use.

Key trend themes for 2010 are inventive, useful and emotive.

Watching new developments:

Venom-Spiked Honey
A New Zealand company has applied for novel foods approval to market its honeybee venom to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. The company milks the venom from the Apis mellifera species of honeybee using an electronic system that causes the bees to sting through a latex film onto a glass plate for collection. It is then dried and administered through its Nectar Ease brand of venom-spiked Manuka honey.

A New Blue
WILD’s newest innovation fills a gap within the food and beverage color offerings. The acid-stable blue additive is the first of its kind to meet the consistent demand for natural blue color. Unlike previous attempts to achieve blue colors for applications by leveraging the stabilization of red cabbage at a neutral pH, WILD's new blue color additive is unique in that it is truly acid-stable. This proprietary technology will revolutionize the industry with beautiful "hues of blue" suitable for a wide range of food and beverage applications.


Fashion Fades, Style is Eternal

Originally a maverick and a generator of controversy — in 1968, his suggestion that women wear pants as an everyday uniform was considered revolutionary. Yves Saint Laurent, who exploded on the fashion scene in 1958 as the boy-wonder successor to Christian Dior and endured as one of the best-known and most influential designers of the second half of the 20th century, died on Sunday in Paris. He was 71.

-We must never confuse elegance with snobbery.
-To be beautiful, all a woman needs is a black pullover and a black skirt and to be arm in arm with a man she loves.
-Fashion isn’t just to decorate women, but to reassure them, give them confidence.
-Is elegance not totally forgetting what one is wearing?

But his manager and partner, Pierre Berg, said he was a “man of exceptional intelligence practising the trade of an imbecile”. NICE!

Yves was responsible for changing the way modern women dress, putting them into pants both day and night, into peacoats and safari jackets, into “le smoking” (as the French call a man’s tuxedo jacket), and into leopard prints, and trench coats.

Saint Laurent often sought inspiration on the streets, bringing the Parisian beatnik style to couture runways and adapting the sailors’ peacoats he found in Army-Navy stores in New York into jackets that found their way into women’s wardrobes around the world. Among the famous; Catherine Deneuve, Paloma Picasso, Nan Kempner, and Lauren Bacall.

When Yves Saint Laurent created a new accessory, the fashion contingent flocked to place an order while the high street worked on how best to imitate the look.

Whatever he did, women of all ages, from all over the world, followed.

Healthy Snacking-Indulgent Flavor

What can we expect to see more of in 2009? More snacks to appear, but different ones! It’s about: The Perfect Snack. The “holy grail” definition: healthy, tastes sinful, and is convenient in all aspects.

Unhealthy snacks will become healthier, while wholesome ones, such as fruits and vegetables, will sacrifice some healthiness to become more attractive and fun.

-Funky Monkey-Fruit that crunches, banana cinnamon chips
-Grab an O-grab and go olive pouch
-Eat your Heart-fun to eat: salsa green soybeans, or sweet and sour peach wedges

Taste is still more important than healthiness in influencing snack and beverage choices. Consumers want the flavor and tastiness of healthy products enhanced. Think: a twist in dried fruits, bbq-flavored onion ring chips…and the next wasabi peas? Emerging growth flavor: black sesame.

-Black Sesame-slow roasted bars from Mrs. Mays
-Black sesame and mustard popcorn

-Zotes, anyone can make a sunflower seed taste like salt, Zotes make a seed taste like hot wings, or a dill pickle, or even beer
-Walkers (UK)-Lamb and Mint, not a flavor you see everyday!
-Ass Kickin” Nuts-a whole NEW kick in your snack habit
-Blairs-Habanero xxx Censored Crisps

When time is becoming increasing valuable, snacks will become more well
suited to our modern way of living. On-the-go lifestyles are fuelling
healthy snacking behavior and choice. We need: easy to access, easy to
prepare, easy to eat, and easy to clean.

-Guru: geared towards WELLNESS, HEALTH, PERFORMANCE, food and beverages that combine nutrition values with pharmaceutical properties. Looking for fresh alternatives that are more innovative, and with tangible product benefits

Societal shifts such as irregular working hours, longer time in transit, and fragmented mealtimes are driving consumers to feel more time pressured. As a result, increasingly consuming food and drinks on-the-go. People want their food fast, but don’t want to compromise on quality.
Tapping into the trend towards “nomadism” and eating on the move, a new generation of vending machines offers wide range of good-quality meals, while some even have a screens showing advertising or documentary films.

-To-Go Sandwiches-convenient packaging for EAT’s new seasonal spring sandwiches
-The Green Machine-provides the vending solution for those seeking organic and healthier snacks/drinks option.
-Fries Pty Ltd-hi-tech and hygienically clean vending machines that cook and serve fresh hot fries in two minutes

And for those frequent-on-the-run fast food eaters who just can’t give up their fries…designers are still thinking of them…

A beautiful Shoe!