The winner has been named, and all the ideas are in, so now it's time to take a look at all the fresh ideas!
Here's the first half. The rest will be coming shortly.
Needle - Srihari
With his random word, Srihari thought of the sharpness of a needle and the dangerous of sharp edges. His idea is to improve cars by creating a way to ensure that there will be no sharp edges after an accident, so that it would be easier for passengers to escape, and less dangerous for people to help.
A way to improve cars using "homunculus" is to make cars even more tactile-oriented. Design cars to not just grip a steering wheel but to actual help our hands relax. This could perhaps lessen "road rage".
Or, to make cars that are more conducive to our natural desire to talk. Make it easy to communicate without hav ing to take our eyes off the road as it is with most current car, phone, human interactions.
Carousel - Sparkbugg
He suggested that the left half of the glove compartment be a compartment carousel: 6-inch high vertical pie-shaped sections, containing elastic bands and pockets to hold all of our necessities on a sort of lazy-susan.
BONUS IDEA: Have a larger, but flatter carousel in the unused space under the front seats, for larger items like an umbrella, armorall wipes, window scraper, flares, emergency supplies, etc.
Lace - Misa
Then she connected it with the fact that she's often had problems with her allergies when bad air is sucked inside the car. Her idea was to create a heater/air-conditioner that doubled as an air filter.
Interestingly, when I put "lace" into the Random Word generator, I was thinking of the clothing decoration! Misa took a less-common direction for her thinking.
Mermaid - Carl
- An in-car, filtered cool water dispenser. Has a reservoir that you fill up periodically and a 'mini' cooling cell that runs off the engine. A great way to have water available on-the-go, which could have interesting applications for people going on trips.
- The Bond like submarine car that men coveted for after seeing The Spy Who Loved Me. Fantastical, yes... but also a completely different direction than most car designers are going. What about an "off-land" vehicle?
Concert - Stephanie
Stephanie started thinking about the origin of her random word--to plan/act together. That made her wish that all cars and drivers acted in concert with none of those jerks who pass on the right, change lines like their hair is on fire, sneak up the exit lane and then cut back in...etc.
But then she decided to make it more fun by coming up with a way to tell drivers they're driving "off key." Cars would come with something like a paint gun with universally recognized colors (yellow -- driver thinks he's in the Tour de France; red -- major &*(&!!!@#; blue -- cuts in traffic) for drivers to "mark" the bad cars so others would be warned.
Vacuum - Vicki
As a mother of 3 young boys, Vicki has a lot of fun keeping her car clean. (Or not.) She thinks (and I bet a lot of other moms would agree) that it be a huge improvement to have an in-floor industrial strength vacuum to suck up all the bits of crushed orange goldfish, crayon tips, and mystery crud that settles to the bottom of the floor boards.
This is one of those practical creativity moments that often get overlooked. It's not something to impress the young guys who want flashy cars, but it solves a problem a lot of people face.
Whistle - Nora
Clean as a whistle was the first thing that came to Nora's mind. This led to an idea about an automatic way of removing debris (food peels, old coffee cups, peanut shells, food paper bags, etc) from the car....kind of a sweeping breath of wind cleaning all the food debris.
Expanding on that, she envisioned a porous material being used for the car sides, which allows a special "air wind" to go through: pushing all the food debris to one corner, and compacting it in a small disposable trash ball. This special cleaning up would be called "whistling" because of the sound produced...very high pitch and short! Then, lo and behold, no food debris whatsoever would be left in the car!
Notice that two people have separately noted that new ideas are needed for cleaning a car. Attention, car makers!
Surfboard - Jason - "JibberJobber Guy"
Jason, despite complaining that he was not-creative, eventually caved into my pressure to participate in the contest. His word, surfboard, made him long for his old Toyota Avalon with the generous trunk space.
He says "Of course you aren't going to put a surfboard in a trunk, but how about figuring out more creative ways to allow us to use a trunk?"
According to Jason, the truck is just not designed very well. The biggest problem is the size of the opening, followed by the total volume space. He suggests that a double hinge system, or maybe allowing the part with the tail lights to lower like the back on a pickup truck. Two simple suggestions to make it easier for customers to fully utilize their trunk.
Giraffe - Chuck
Chuck came up with a "good idea and an obvious one". He notes that the worst part about trying to sleep on car trips is that there's no convenient way to stabilize your neck without becoming unsafe. (In other words, our necks are too long!)
So he proposes a button in the car that makes our necks disappear so that we can place our heads securely between our feet on the floor and then sleep in comfort.
Probably not going to happen, but creativity sessions need wacky ideas too! Crazy ideas can really open up thinking to new possibilities.
Onion - Chris Johnston
I like it! People could have the chance to personalize their cars more easily, and there's plenty of opportunity for car companies to come up with new services to take advantage of this.
Shoelace - Kent Blumberg
Kent started thinking about ways to close shoes and hold them on our feet. The comfortable Velcro closures on his walking shoes led to a thought about safety restraint devices that rely on Velcro rather than metal buckles?
But, he noted, his easy-to-slip-on-and-off loafers are even better. From that, he came up with an idea for car seats that wrap around passengers comfortably when they sit in them--still restraining in the event of mishap--but still requiring no effort to get into or out of.
Fresh thinking about seatbelts--a very vital part of a car that never gets much attention in the design process.
Stay tuned for the rest of the ideas!