How problems can provoke innovation

Some people like inventing new things because it’s cool to do so, or because they like being awesome. But others might see that as a waste of time. Both views are okay, but one thing both groups can probably agree on is that having a problem with no good solution is a good reason to invent something new.

Let’s say, for example, you’re living in a nice apartment with low rent, close to a lot of stores, but one minor downside: there are train tracks right outside your window. The immediate solution is to buy good, soundproof windows. Good call!

But then summer rolls around, and you want to leave your windows opened as much as possible. What a hassle to get up every time a train rolls around, especially if they come a lot. Buy an air conditioner? Well that’s going to spike your power bill, and you’re in an apartment because you’re saving money. What do you do?!

Duh, you invent an automated window-closing system that detects passing trains.

Because for an engineer, inventing automated windows
is easier than just opening and closing them.
Because it’s that easy to invent.
(This is also known as the coolest kind of lazy)

It’s probably true that there are some ways this invention could be improved. How about a second linear actuator on top of each window, so it doesn’t get cockeyed and stuck? Try to think of a few of your own, before you make your own version!


One thought on “How problems can provoke innovation

  1. Pingback: Push to get your school a 3D Printer | Get Real

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