by Geoff Moore
Formula One racing represents the pinnacle of motorsport where every intricate detail contributes to the overall success of the car and the team. Safety features, tire design and even organization of pit crews have a far-reaching effect on our everyday lives.
One of the principal advances in technology that Formula One has inspired is the regular use of carbon fiber - famed for its strength-to-weight ratio. Carbon fiber now makes up the whole of Formula One cars' "monocoques" - the shell that safely encloses drivers. Advances from Formula One trickle down into the consumer vehicles we use every day. Anti-lock brakes, improved energy efficiency and aerodynamics all originated in Formula One.
Beyond high-performance advances in the automotive and medical industries, there are also spin-offs of F1 technology that are likely to touch our lives in more subtle ways.
The abandonment of "slicks" - tires without grooves - in Formula One for a decade led to great leaps in tire design that are now seeing application elsewhere. On one hand, F1 tire design has gone on to inspire the manufacture of incredibly effective non-slip boots. On another, the attempts to reduce the amount of rubber in contact with the track has led to the design of fishing line with a star-shaped cross-section, reducing drag on the fishing pole's guides and allowing anglers to cast further.
The sport’s investment in research and development has developed into the space age of the 21st century, impacting many aspects of people’s everyday lives all across the world.
Join Don Tapscott's book signing after his opening keynote for SXSW Interactive
on Friday March 9 from 2:00-3:00pm in Exhibit Hall 5 at the Austin Convention
by Adriana Cruz, Pike Powers and Tony Schum
“Keep Austin Weird” is more than just a bumper sticker. It’s a philosophy that has become a part of the Austin technology industry mindset and has helped make Austin a center of innovation. Learn about the city policies and the regional economic development initiative developed by local leaders have helped to create an environment where companies thrive and where companies want to relocate and expand. Can similar policies be implemented in other cities (in the US and around the world) -- or is the Austin experience unique? To this end, what kind of strategies are other municipalities embracing to encourage tech innovation and entrepreneurship?
If the early years of internet businesses was a triumph of technology, the next ones will be one defined by design and user experience. Users will demand more from their online experience, one which is as much designed around personal preference as technical expediency. Well designed applications and services that can meet the needs of users expecting seamless interactions across technology platforms will be the winners. In London's Tech City, small tech, design, creative and product companies are working together to meet the challenges of the connected consumer. This session is sponsored by UKTI.
Always-on, high-speed connectivity is the ticket to doing awesome stuff in technology today.
But in a continent like Africa, ‘The Cloud’ is something ‘The Rain’ falls out of.
And still, innovation in the technology realm has managed to flourish and even outpace the more developed world.
We’re talking about television services that use the DVBH standard to beam football matches and news into rural villages; social networks that were designed for exclusive use on mobile phone platforms; funds transfer and electronic payment systems that require nothing more than a SMS text message; insurance products that can be provisioned and procured from the most rudimentary mobile phones.
Outside of the ‘never say die’ innovation Africa employs there’s a great deal the developed world can learn from the developing world, particularly when it comes to building practical solutions that solve real problems.
And with global growth being led by the developing world, these are lessons worth learning.
9th–13th March 2012