Future-transforming ideas: harness energy, emotion

Sid Lee finds new uses for your cardio-induced energy and your sappy rom-com-triggered laughs and tears.

gym photoPart of this story appears in the September 2014 issue of strategy.

With tech advancing at light speed, the limits in product innovation are being pushed faster than you can say 3D-printed food. And with new tech comes new opportunities, so we asked some creative minds (from inside and outside the industry) to come up with an idea for a new product or service a Canadian brand could produce. For inspiration, they were directed to the Cannes Lions and San Francisco-based AKQA’s Future Lions global student creative competition, which challenges entrants to create an idea that connects an audience “to a product or service from a global brand, in a way that wasn’t possible five years ago.”
From a closet that handles all your laundry needs to a virtual zoo, check back each day to see what our contributors came back with. Who knows, perhaps these brands will take note and develop these ideas into products. It could happen sooner than you think.

People-powered gyms

By Emma Quiroz and Bobby Martiniello 

Canadians are literally wasting their energy on conventional gyms.

Every day, thousands pack gym bags, roll on deodorant and get ready to give their workout 110%. That’s 110% give-it-your-all energy they’re pumping into StairMasters, rowing machines and stationary bikes, and 110% untapped, renewable energy that’s being wasted once their workout is over.

Pairing with GoodLife Fitness, one of the biggest health clubs in Canada, we’d power sustainable gyms through its members’ hard work, determination and endurance. With the average adult producing anywhere from 100 to 320 watts of power hourly, we will connect kinetic power generators to equipment and embed vibrational energy sheets in gym floors, running tracks and squash courts to track, collect and direct energy back into the grid – powering everything from machines and lights to blenders for post-workout smoothies.

By combining old-school kinetic generators with new low-energy Bluetooth Smart technology, we will harness kinetic energy by letting users connect their phones, smartwatches or fitness bands to access their performance index and energy output. GoodLife could offer incentives – the more energy someone pumps into the grid, the cheaper their membership fees.

By converting the hard work and determination of GoodLife members into tangible energy, we would create sustainable gym facilities throughout the country, providing Canadians with a renewable source of energy they’ve had in them all along.




Emma Quiroz and Bobby Martiniello are a copywriter and art director team at Sid Lee



Bio-rating the movies

By Matt Di Paola 

As wearable technology moves into the next phase of tracking heart and breathing rates, glucose levels and calorie burning, not to mention neuromonitoring, it would be great to see Cineplex, Amazon or Netflix create a new movie-rating system based on biometrics and real emotions.

When people “check in” or “sync” to the movie they are watching, their physiological behaviour and reactions to the movie could be tracked, generating an average “bio-rating” for it. Did they truly laugh? Cry? Hide under their seat? Fall asleep? As these ratings are collected and compiled from a variety of sources, movies will receive a true and authentic rating of how people are relating to the story and the characters.

This would allow consumers to choose a movie based on how it’s likely to make them feel – happy, sad, scared, excited and so on. It would also allow the distributors to package and promote their films under these themes instead of relying on celebrity power or critical acclaim. And, it would take some of the guesswork and hunches out of the studio system, since they’d have more data on which stories and performances actually connect with people.

Personally, as a fan of the horror genre, I’d love to see the officially-tested “scariest” movie ever made, based on biometric data.

matt-dipaolaMatt Di Paola is managing director, digital innovation at Sid Lee and executive mentor at IdeaBoost, a bootcamp for technology platforms and interactive applications for the entertainment industry

Gym photo: Mcadigan

Missed the first six installments of the series? Catch up on the gamified winter coatsmart shopping carts and vaultsfeel-good innovationpaths of less resistanceinroads into fashion and the evolved zoo.