I stumbled across this interesting new product call Sugru.
It's sort of like plasticine with a purpose -- it hardens at room temperature into a soft, pliable, silicone rubber. It adheres to lots of materials, and you can form it by hand. (Don't you just want some already??)
Quite apart from the cool factor here, and the general usefulness of such a product, I think it could be awesomely good for design purposes.
Here's how we could use Sugru to support our own innovations:
- Watch the web to see what people are doing to modify products, especially YOUR product
- What new features are people making to standard products, such as bicycle pedals?
- How about giving people some Sugru in a customer innovation lab or workshop, and asking them to modify your product?
- Send people home with some Sugru, and visit their house a week later to see what they've done with it
The photo at top shows a great example of what I'm talking about, from one of my favorite innovative web sites, Instructables.
It's a camera that has been modified so it's easy to hold by a child, and won't easily break when dropped. The fun colors are just a bonus.
Here's the lovely video from the creator that tells you all about it.