Friday, April 2, 2010

Backyard Innovation – Will Continue

While listening to the news in the early part of this past March, I heard about a gentleman from Yorkshire, England. He’d created a method to take pictures from a very high altitude at the edge of space, using materials off the shelf anyone could buy and then, utilize a little ingenuity.

For this project, he bought a small high altitude balloon, some helium, a point and shoot type digital camera, GPS and a controller for the whole apparatus. He spent about $700 US dollars and created a system that took, clear, stunning pictures that rival some of NASA’s most memorable images at a cost there is no practical way to compare. An average space mission is about $350 million dollars with the soon-to-be defunct US Shuttle Transportation System.

True, there are problems and deficiencies with his method of imaging. But what is important is that those images also capture the imagination of what further development might bring.

For businesses like construction progress management, real estate, conservation, etc., where a bird’s eye view may be very helpful, the key here is innovation. The images mentioned here, are challenged by resolution and control of collection, but there is no doubt a picture of the earth below can be stunning. This assessment points to a whole new possible industry. A new embryonic industry that may possibly create jobs, solve problems and inspire new thinkers.

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