The JOI light is a lovely object, and a very cool piece of design and engineering. I saw the light in action recently and had a chance to speak to the company president, Tony Solecki.
First let me show you the light. It is a set of LED lights powered by the heat of one tea light candle. The heat from the candle is converted to a current that powers the lights, and makes a brighter light than the candle makes.
You can see more photos on their web site, list of retailers, etc.
What fascinates me here, beyond the lovely design of course, is the core innovation strategy. This company has been making a product for some years now that converts heat from wood stoves into electrical current that powers a fan that sits on top of the stove. They were looking for more applications for this technology, and the net result is this cool lantern.
If you are looking for innovation in your organization, taking a strong capability from one place and utilizing it in another environment can be a very useful strategy.
There are challenges to doing this, of course -- one is that you may be entering new markets that have different requirements. But you are using something you know how to do.
In this case, the company already had good retail distribution partners for the fans, so adding a new product wasn't as much of a stretch to their marketing as it might have been.