Earlier this week Director of Engineering, JD Albert, participated in an Entrepreneur Magazine Google+ Innovators hangout to talk 2015 predictions with Special Projects Director, Linda Lacina, and Inventor and Futurist, Donald Spector. Watch some of the short videos that came from the hangout:
JD’s pick for most surprising innovation of 2014 was virtual reality — though it’s been in the works for a couple of years, it gained a toehold in 2014 with Oculus Rift. “People have been strapping displays on their heads for decades,” said JD, “and it’s never really been that convincing, but they’ve finally overcome a lot of the issues thanks to OLED displays and a bunch of other technologies.”
The most overhyped innovation of 2014, said JD, is 3D printing. “I love 3D printing and I use it everyday, but people think it’s going to save the world. While it’s going to continue to have its uses, that’s just not the case.” If you’re going to get excited about 3D printing, he said, you should also get excited about fast and inexpensive processes such as injection molding and high speed stamping. These are are how most of the products we use are made.
A lot of what’s gone on in terms of development from a crowdsourcing point of view, said JD, has been mostly targeting twenty- and thirty-somethings. A really interesting opportunity is to get sixty or seventy year olds to help design products and technology using some of the smartphone apps designed to garner feedback from users. That kind of research used to be really expensive to obtain, but that’s really changing.
(Also check out Bresslergroup’s top 10 picks for 2014’s biggest innovations to influence product design.)