What separates technological advancements of bygone eras from today? The potential for them to progress from vision to reality. This week I thought back over the time that I have experienced and that which precedes me. The innovation found in photos and videos from bygone eras feels familiar, because they all included forward thinking. Had I indulged myself longer, I would have tried to determine what happened to some of the inventions that we have included in videos here. I have a feeling that some were the beginning of advancements that we now take for granted. Yet more innovations may never have gained ground due to the financial constraints of the inventor. Let’s face it. Securing funds of yesteryear was nearly impossible to most. Could a single visionary with no money change the course of our automotive industry, or create simple solves to daily complications? Yes, a visionary could historically accomplish such goals, but rarely. I wonder how many innovators sold their technology for a penance to those with better access to money and marketing. Fortunately, our drive for technological advancements has grown with our desire to seek innovative funding. The doors have opened, so watch how the fun begins as communities starts crowdfunding technology.
Prams And Parental Sanity Saved By The Crowd
Automobiles and baby strollers can make or break your day. I played Auntie this weekend and almost murdered a pram in public. Baby buggies, prams and push chairs are reasonable terms. Baby stroller is not! The journey is nothing like a stroll when the wheels lock up and you whiplash a wee-one. I dropped my coffee, ran a child and dog off the curb, then nearly dumped the stroller’s live contents onto the sidewalk while turning the corner too fast. I could have thrown that monstrous not-stroller! Throwing the damned pram an effective distance would have been impossible. I understand why people would want to pay over $400 for a stroller that actually works well and lasts through their growing child’s riding years. Your children thank you. Your babysitter thanks you. Every Auntie on earth thanks you. In fact, I was watching a crowdfund campaign when I stumbled upon the OmniO Rider. The wheels actually turn when they are supposed to, and it is versatile enough to fold up into a back pack. I highly recommend removing the child first. Thanks to crowdfunding, technology has brought many much closer to parental sanity. Whether you have children or a lazy dog, a roadworthy baby buggy could make the world a safer place. I would travel back into time to have had access to the OmniO Rider a few days ago. Clearly many people feel the same. The Crowdcube crowdfunding campaign raised $439,000 from investors throughout 50+countries. Having raised $39,000 over their goal, the product is set to launch in the spring of 2016.
Growing Communities Passing Gas
It is fun to explore the innovations of a bygone era, even though we have determined that new concerns take precedence in design. The cost of gas and the wear on our environment has grown with our population. This has not always been so. I lost my orthodontic retainer in the back seat of my grandparent's Dodge Dart many years ago. We stopped about 9 times for Grammy to look in the back seat with me. I am not sure what everyone was so mad about. We needed gas just about that frequently anyway. Conserving gas consumption was not on the forefront of the automotive industry’s mind at that point. Modern investors and car-buyers prioritize conservation, and commuter convenience. It is no wonder that many of us think of Tesla and it's autopilot. Steering, speed, lane changing and parking are all automatic. Convenience has been satisfied. But, affordability is still a feature of reigning importance. The $35,000-$120,000 that one may spend on one Tesla could buy several Elios. The $6,800 Elio autocycle and the world's desire for crowdfunding technology has taken the stage. Paul Elio's startengine crowdfunding campaign almost doubled it's $25,000,000 by raising $44,610,450 in reserved shares from 11,510 participants. That is quite a crowd! The Elio is not electric, but very fuel efficient. Maybe a 2nd incarnation will be electric. The autocycle features the convenience of a motorcycle in the safer body of a car, and at an affordable price. It is designed for those wanting an inexpensive commuter vehicle. At 84 miles per gallon, the Elio emits 1/3 the Co2 of an average vehicle. Environmentally friendlier, than other cars, indeed. It is a motorcycle with an internal combustion-powered engine. Low-tech, and low-priced. Their campaign reads “American ingenuity is alive and well and the world has never been more ready for it.” Maybe this is why they have chosen to to open funding to the world, too. I'll be interested to watch where in this nation of social change that most Elios find homes. Will it be within the highly recognized growing communities of Chicago, Boston, or California?
Related: The Future of Aviation Crowdfunded
The resources to those powering current technological advances compared to that 50 years ago may explain why we are seeing so many technological advancements now. The surge may have little to do with the capacity of minds and more to do with the accessibility of resources that used to limit what visionaries could create. We are growing communities without limits!
What area of technology would you like to see advance, and what would make it worthy of a crowd to fund it?