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Designing to pack a punch

Its a phrase that we say to many people when we’re talking about Sparka… “The design thinking process can be applied to anything”. The usual response is one of “Oh yea, really… What is design again?”

We understand that (in Australia at least) this is a new innovation process and it’s certainly not in the mainstream – but we’re OK with that! Design thinking or strategic innovation is a process where you look at a situation and find the problems inherent there, as opposed to immediately trying to solve the known problems in that situation. That typically leads to incremental advances. Where you find the biggest steps forward are when you go “problem looking” or deliberately set out to find problems with an open mind to novel solutions that challenge the status quo.

Whether he knows it or not Michael Williamson of Ten Count did just that. Instead of making his punching bag lighter to hang or easier to sell, he set about looking at it in a new light – looking for problems. What he found was that the whole area had been void of innovation. Full stop. He makes a remark that the biggest step forward in the industry was adding velcro to boxing gloves!

“The system incorporates accelerometre’s and a microprocessor, working together to record the number of punches delivered within a given time (it can register up to ten strikes per second), along with the force of each one. That information is sent by Bluetooth to a nearby computer or smartphone, where the stats are displayed on-screen for analysis.

After each session, users are presented not only with the total number of hits and the force of each one, but also their average punching power, and the numerical value of the single most powerful hit. In subsequent training sessions, they can then try to beat some or all of those figures. Also, if a change in their weight, diet or training has had an effect on their performance, that should be reflected in their numbers.

Users can additionally go online and compare their numbers to those of other Ten Count users, or even compete against them”. – Gizmag

By looking into the un-met needs of any industry, using the design thinking process you can identify insights which in turn lead to new business opportunities! The key is to look with your ears not with your eye’s only. Listen to what your customers/clients/staff/stakeholders are saying but more importantly watch what they do

You will be amazed and what you will discover.



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