As one of the winners of the first phase of the LapTime Club project, Alessandro proposed a breakthrough idea about integrating data collection with the Google Glass technology.
Like any innovator, he has the ability to truly think outside of imposed boundaries and deliver creative solutions to different kinds of problems. Recently he has participated in the Intel hackathon dedicated to Internet of Things (IoT) and together with his team won the first prize, proposing an innovative solution to a common everyday issue.
Innovation often comes from having a wide-ranging vision and unconventional approach. It seems to be linked less with the expertise and more with how one’s mind can think about details while still focusing on the bigger picture and with the ability to put together a wild idea and the reality.
Discover through the following interview more about Alessandro’s recent project, his approach to innovation and his method for creative problem solving:
HELLO ALESSANDRO, IN CONNECTION WITH YOUR RECENT VICTORY OF THE INTEL HACKATHON, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE OF INTERNET OF THINGS AND ITS APPLICABILITY IN DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES?
I’ve been hearing of IoT for many years, mainly in the academic environment. Nowadays the technology is offering attractive solutions to many issues related to this topic, however there are still many relevant questions that remain open, such as security, energy consumption and communication standards. The ambition to connect multiple objects to the Internet must surely lead us to rethink the way we live and interact with the outside world, managing increasing number of available information.
What personally fascinate me about this area are the infinite potential implementation possibilities and the ubiquity of the issue. As a matter of fact, it could really revolutionize everyday life but especially bring significant contributions into business areas that could benefit in terms of efficiency and cost reduction of some business processes.
COULD YOU TELL US WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL APPROACH TO THE INNOVATION PROCESS?
In this last experience, the innovative process started from the creation of the group and from the passion for the topic. Immediately after we decided to begin with daily needs and look for solutions to everyday problems. One of these was our project Trashly – a solution to the garbage and recycling collection of household waste.
Trashly is a system that is activated as soon as the user approaches the recycling bins, a photo of the object to be recycled is taken and a third-party cloud service identifies the content of the image. At this point the system, on the basis of the information received, determines the type of object to recycle and opens the correct bin.
Once the problem is identified, you can design the solution starting from the expertise of each team member, the tools available and especially considering the time constraints. The final approach is to be evaluated in front of the real problem and its criticalities. The most important thing should be changing the perspective from “I stop here because I don’t know how to proceed” to “Let’s see how we can move forward”.
DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN WAY OF CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING?
I don’t think it’s a personal approach, I believe however, that it is necessary to have your mind open in order to solve problems by using less conventional tools and methods.
TELL US ABOUT 3 KINDS OF PEOPLE YOU PREFER TO WORK WITH.
In this kind of projects it is preferable to work with people who have great technical skills, but also knowledge of different fields and industries. It is always important to have a motivated team.
WHAT ARE THE 3 FUNDAMENTAL THINGS THAT YOU ALWAYS PUT IN YOUR ‘INNOVATION TOOLKIT’?
There are three things that are absolutely intangible. The first and most important one is passion. There should be also curiosity and desire to learn, and finally the excitement and adrenaline of doing something new.
WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT PROJECTS LINKED TO THE INNOVATION?
We will see…:)