We're excited by the recent trend toward open-source design approaches, with Continuum's Open for Branding project, Betacup on the Jovoto platform, and the recent announcement of Open IDEO. So, we're especially thrilled to be able to announce and track, first-hand, Open Planet Ideas, a promising collaboration between Sony and global conservation group WWF, utilizing the Open IDEO platform.
This challenge is a great one for designers: using existing Sony technologies, either on their own or in unique combinations, how can we address key sustainability issues in new ways? Sony provides information about all their available tech, the WWF provides all the latest environmental facts and figures, and participants provide their fresh inventor minds. Casting a wide net, Sony is betting on the myriad of ideas that can come from a community of people both interested in environmental issues and capable of re-purposing anything from GPS units to dye-sensitized solar cells. Participants can also propose disruptive new applications from nine 'seed' technologies, used alone or in new combinations.
Today kicks off the initial inspiration phase, open through October 1, in which participants upload inspirations and observations in the form of photos, stories, or videos. With community input, the best insights will be synthesized, and the challenge will be re-framed to kick off the concept phase.
Open Planet Ideas serves as a workspace where participants can ideate, communicate, and refine concepts across four broad environmental categories outlined by WWF: Water; Fishing and Agriculture; Climate Change; Habitat and Species. With input from Sony engineers, community participants will have a hand in each stage of development, from the inspiration phase, through evaluation, and eventual realization. WWF, Sony and IDEO experts will help identify the final selection, to be realized through a possible prototype, and a white paper allowing for open-source creation of the project.
Sony's Forest Guard project exemplifies what's possible when re-examining existing technology, then re-jiggering, tinkering with it, and spinning it around to reveal a whole new outcome. Working with Sony after winning the 2009 Children's Climate Call competition, a group of kids realized a concept using Sony's IPELA security cameras, wireless networks and photo-stitching software to create an online community of citizen firewatchers, monitoring at-risk areas where forest fires are a major environmental threat. With Open Planet Ideas, Sony is hoping for similar success to Forest Guard, with a community-led, open-source project that can help address an environmental issue with innovation.
This post is brought to you by Sony's Open Planet Ideas. Participate today by registering online at www.openplanetideas.com