The other day my wife took part in a charity bra wearing competition, parading through 26 miles of our capital in aid of Breast Cancer. In Walk the Walk she made good time, raised some eyebrows and a heap of cash for charity. Like so many of these charity events (and there are so many now!) it was a life affirming experience, the come-down from which can only be resolved with a fabulously luxurious Spa day whilst dutiful husband (working-from-home –so-why-not?) took over the family management.
The great thing about these days where interruptions can be anticipated, but are almost unpredictable, is that they slip you into new modes of thinking. Possibilities which lurk at the back of your mind and the bottom of the critical list suddenly re-emerge where you least expect.
Two things emerged today;
1) After having a busy morning fixing, stitching and preparing school projects, I took a pair of scissors to our Western South Downs SplashMap and unpicked part of our unique legend label. One of our National Park partners had suggested the design would be more self-contained if the map could “hold” the marker we use for planning our routes. Crafting and adjusting it, we now have a new pen holder for our signature branded SplashMaps washable marker pens!
2) Whilst trying to entertain a bored 7 year old during his sister’s hour-long swimming lesson, I managed to digitally enable the new map of the Isle of Wight! It happened to be wrapped around my neck. Image recognition was something I had worked with during my time at OS. Of course “there’s an app for that” now, and I managed to digitally augment our recent holiday snaps and a few fun animations from my iPad mini to the key features of the Isle of Wight Map. Amazing to watch as; a skeleton crawled out of the sea and scuttled through the town as my iPad hovered over Cowes, our snaps of the Needles as it hovered over the finger of land that leads to the light-house and a shot of the monster breakfast I enjoyed at our hotel in Luccombe.
The pen holder is an easy win and is now part of our design (I love being able to make decisions like that!). The digital enablement is the first of a number of allied innovations that will establish the SplashMaps brand in the REAL outdoors, fusing the benefits of working from a data base, connectivity and a solid state map designed for roughing-it in our awful weather.
All that positive inspiration from disruptive boredom! So I’m now encouraging my wife toward a week off so I can do some real product development with the kids!