There are only three and a half work weeks left in 2016, a year that seems to have brought us an incredible number of innovations across a variety of sectors. Looking back at the market disruptors released or announced this past year, it’s tough to choose which were our favourites… but we did! Here are the TACK10 Tuesday Top 5 Disruptors of 2016.
1. DuoSkin Temporary Tattoos
What makes MIT Media Lab’s temporary tattoos different from the ones you wore as a kid is far more than the silver and gold leaf colouring. These tattoos, durable and skin-friendly, are actually embedded with electronic chips holding data and giving the wearer the ability to share information with their smartphone directly from their own skin.
2016 saw a rise in quick payment systems and the use of RFID wristband access at festivals and events. Can you imagine having access to a music festival through a tattoo on your arm? The DuoSkin tattoos haven’t yet reached this level of accessibility, but it seems a possibility for the future.
2. Artificial Pancreas
We saw many different products emerge this year in the healthcare industry, from wristbands that monitor heart rates, to improved prosthetics. One disruptive innovation that stands out however is the Artificial Pancreas, also known as the MiniMed 670G, developed by Medtronic. In a world where people with Type 1 Diabetes have to constantly and manually monitor their blood sugar levels throughout the day, the Artificial Pancreas does all the work for them. Medtronic wanted to assist these patients in living their best lives, free from the worry of Diabetes maintenance, and the Artificial Pancreas does just that.
3. Snap Inc. Spectacles
Glasses with built-in cameras are no news, but Snap Inc. took the idea one step further this year with the creation of Spectacles, a wearable accessory to compliment the app Snapchat. Spectacles have the stylish look of your favourite pair of sunglasses, and allow you to capture memories through the lenses, wirelessly uploading them to the Snapchat app on your smartphone. The innovation led to a complete re-brand of Snap Inc, formerly Snapchat, and allowed the company to start branching out into other forms of technology separate from (but related to) their initial app.
Bike Share programs, seen in many large cities, are a wonderful form of transportation for those who want to leave a lighter environmental footprint on a budget. What these stations have been missing, however, are measures put in place to ensure those using rented bikes are equipped with the proper gear required for a safe ride. That’s where EcoHelmet comes in. A foldable helmet made of waterproof recycled paper, the EcoHelmet can be easily stored for vending, is environmentally friendly, and only costs $5. While paper may not initially sound like the safest material for protection, it is actually laid out in a honeycomb design that absorbs impact the same way traditional helmets do.
5. Virtual Reality Technology
Virtual reality was a hit in 2016, and with the number of VR systems created, it’s safe to say the technology is here to stay. That’s why #5 on our list doesn’t call out a specific product, but the wide range of new VR capabilities we saw this year. From the Oculus Rift to the PlayStation VR, to the Modal VR bodysuits currently in their testing stage, developers everywhere are finding new ways in which people can experience the world around them… whether that world is real or not.
Which disruptive products or services were your favourites in 2016? Let us know by commenting below or on social media at @TACK10Strategy.