I was introduced to Minecraft by my son, who was nine at the time. I would ask him to stop watching Minecraft videos, which he seemed addicted to. When he started playing, I asked him to get off the computer and get outside. All parents do this, but few of us take the time to truly understand what it is our kids are really doing on that computer. Well my son, now 10, has taught me a huge lesson.
Everything is getting connected to the Internet. From your toaster and home thermometer to your fridge and your car. As these appliances do "come online," can you even begin to imagine the media opportunities that arise from such a wealth of human information?
Imagine not fumbling for your key fob to open car doors. With Vancouver-designed Moj.io, your car senses the proximity of your phone, and unlocks the car door for you. Don't fret about forgetting to turn off the house lights or locking the doors. Moj.io notices you've left the driveway and locks up the house for you. It also dims all the lights in your house, saving you money on energy costs.
If there is one area which has undergone intense innovation in the last 20 years, it's communication. The problem, of course, with a pervasive promise of change is that it sends the cart before the horse.
We've branded our generation as innovators but is this image itself really the best thing we've come up with? Are we so hungry for new ideas, we're willing to eat them half-baked?
A new interdisciplinary research initiative, simply titled the "India Innovation Institute", was launched at the University of Toronto to explore the parameters around innovation in India, with the role played by the diaspora central to its scope of research.
It has happened to all of us at some point. You have a great idea, and someone else likes it so much they "borrow" from you -- or outright steal. In the big picture, there is nothing wrong with this. In fact, if we were able to copyright ideas, creativity would be stifled. So what do you do when someone steals your ideas?
The speed with which our world now lives could well put an end to the world of iconic brands. Before all of this connectivity, a great brand could stand the test of time. It now seems like insanity. The Beatles were iconic. Do you believe that any of the musicians today that we admire will be able to leave this kind of legacy? What about companies?
Some businesses have demonstrated that they can implement and scale the environmental benefits far better traditional approaches to "saving the environment" while also delivering shareholder value. How successful will business be in influencing Canada's approach to environmental issues?
Next week, the who's who of the information and communications technology (ICT) industry around the world will arrive in Montreal, Canada, for the biannual World Congress of Information Technology (WCIT). With all the economic upheaval making business headlines, why does this specialized gathering matter?
The OECD recently released a study showing Canada is among the leaders in public research and patents filed by academics -- great news. Licensing patents is as much important as developing them. Like most people, I use to assimilate invention with innovation. Two weeks ago, I watched a documentary on Steve Jobs, and finally, I understood the difference between the two. Even Steve Jobs couldn't have built an innovative computer mouse without a license.
I haven't been able to pick up a paper or surf online recently without getting bombarded with news, research or expert opinions featuring Big Data and its value to the future of business. I worry that without engagement and investment, the promise of Big Data initiatives will remain just a promise.
If there is any doubt that keeping promising tech startups in Canada is difficult, consider the recent experience of Calgary entrepreneurs Kenneth Bond and Pieter Boekhoff. In March, the former soft...
Spurring innovation and improving post-secondary education in Canada will be crucial to boosting sluggish productivity growth, which is the most significant long-term threat to the economy, a new repo...
When you meet these bright young students, the first impression is "wow, they're pretty normal teenagers." That impression doesn't last long. The minute they begin to describe their research, my mind reels as I try to keep up with each project's premise and findings. These are exception children, and they are our future.
Developing a school that not only makes students feel welcome and safe but encourages students to unleash their creative potential is a huge and important challenge. There is no silver bullet for transforming school buildings into an environment that inspires and ignites the creative flame, but an imaginative design can go a long way.
Smell may be the sense most associated with memory, but hearing just took a big leap in the same direction. Alive Inside, a documentary premiering next week in New York, investigates a social worker'...
But today's young people aren't fools, particularly when it comes to science. Hosts Ziya Tong and Dan Riskin serve the young (and the rest of us) badly. They're both attractive and presumably intelligent. Their version of Daily Planet isn't either.
Creative workers need peace and quiet and privacy, but they need social stimulation. Can you do that in a fish bowl-style cubicle? Drab furniture, white walls, no natural sunlight, and bland, boring spaces do little to ignite the imagination.
Could it be that our world-leading national politeness and gentleness is actually holding us back a bit from stretching our minds and our capabilities? How do we find a way to stay nice and play to win at the same time?
Canadian corporations cut spending on research and development for the fifth year in a row, despite increasing revenues, reports an annual study by a business intelligence firm. Research and developm...
A list of the world's most innovative cities places Toronto in the top 10, a sign the city continues to be a vibrant economic centre despite the financial problems of recent years. Toronto placed tent...
Some people hate Apple, and it is mostly based on how much other people love Apple. Apple products engender strong feelings, one way or the other. Any company can do this, though. It just requires that you take a chance upsetting some people and focus on what you love.
Although there will be many tributes and eulogies written about Steve Jobs, this one is simply my personal observations of how this one visionary man has changed my life. When I received an email, as...
LONDON - A bit of creativity never hurts, especially when it comes to solving health problems in developing countries.Instead of the usual donated medicines and health equipment, some experts are inve...
Today's smart workers get paid for thinking -- and there is no "off" switch in our brains. You'll probably never get fired from a smart company for keeping irregular hours if you consistently over-achieve on your objectives, but you might very well lose your job if you're always at work from 9 to 5 and produce very little.
Some people say RIM's best-before date may have passed, which raises the question, what's next? Maintaining Canada's competitive edge takes more than strong markets, good intentions, or even hard work. It takes a constant stream of new and innovative products. And that's a problem.
My Canada, a generation ago, was a true world leader and a model society. But 30 years later, while our country claims high rates of obesity and large carbon footprints, other nations have started to steal the podium of the global innovation race from us.