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Technology diffusion matrix

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I have been fascinated with the way that a certain technology diffuses across the spectrum of possible product applications. Take self-adhesive stickers, which have been a child's plaything for years. Postage stamps have been lick-and-stick for years. Suddenly somebody came up with the brilliant idea of self-adhesive postage stamps. And just recently, I have been seeing self-adhesive envelopes.

Another example is velcro. Why did it take so long for someone to figure out to put Velcro on children's shoes? Or wheels on suitcases?

To speed up this process, make a gigantic matrix of all technologies and applications. This will allow you to find the holes in the matrix, the as-yet-unthought of applications. That way we don't have to wait years for the light bulb to go off in some inventor's brain.

And think of all the half-baked ideas we will generate!!!

footnote: my annotate button isn't working here, so I will add this here: Samsonite states that they came out with the first suitcase on wheels in 1975. Twenty-eight years hardly qualifies as "forever."

mystic2311, Dec 05 2003

Samsonite http://www.samsonit...ssrelease_corp2.jsp
First suitcase with wheels was 1975 [mystic2311, Oct 04 2004]

Self adhesive stamps http://www.auspost....ex.asp?link_id=4.88
[sufc, Oct 04 2004]

Antique 19th Century Steamer Trunk http://cgi.ebay.com...7474&category=20092
Wheeled luggage. [phoenix, Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       "Why did it take so long for someone to figure out to put Velcro on children's shoes? Or wheels on suitcases?"
Velcro was (relatively) expensive for many years after its development. Luggage has had wheels forever.
phoenix, Dec 05 2003
  

       jutta, do you have a cite for sel-adhesive stamps being introduced in 1975? why wouldn't they catch on right away? nobody likes to lick stuff that isnt sweet or part of some erotic act...
mystic2311, Dec 06 2003
  

       I have a link saying 1964 was the start for self adhesive stamps. I think Jutta is right in saying they were introduced to the USA in the mid 70's.
sufc, Dec 06 2003
  

       Thatcher was a chemist by training and was employed as a food technologist. One of her projects was to determine how much air could be pumped into ice cream before it collapsed. That explains the whole Reagan/Thatcher era.
mystic2311, Dec 06 2003
  

       If self-adhesive stamps were introduced in 1964 or 1970 why didn't the USPS start selling them until the mid-90s? Ditto for wheeled suitcases. They weren't really common until the 80s.
mystic2311, Dec 06 2003
  

       jutta, the matrix allows a systematic approach, without which one is merely grasping at straws.
mystic2311, Dec 06 2003
  

       I'm having a big party the day she dies and you are all invited.
sufc, Dec 06 2003
  

       "Ditto for wheeled suitcases. They weren't really common until the 80s."
I think you'll find you're thinking of a modern suitcase - something suitable for transport by airplane. It wasn't until people began hauling more of their belongings with them (and taking longer trips) that airline luggage required wheels.
phoenix, Dec 06 2003
  

       So my idea of Velcro RFIDs on wheeled airline luggage may not fly as a patent...?
DrCurry, Dec 06 2003
  

       Thanks phoenix for the correction. I read somewhere that in-line skates were actually invented back in the 1800s as well.   

       Thanks blaise for the interesting commentary. I will be sending you my patent application for Velcro stamps. :)
mystic2311, Dec 07 2003
  

       Once you have written this program, ill definately buy it!! I think its one of the coolest ideas ever. Someone I know thought of a way of lifting up the toilet seat with the same mechanism which is used in opening trash cans (you know, that lever you step on). This would avoid the whole wife shouting at you for leaving the toilet seat up dilemma. Point is that someone else already patented this idea about a year before, both of these technologies have been around for ages, you could have invented that in the 60's.   

       If you can come up with a new combination of technologies before someone else, hey!!!
The Duke, Mar 13 2008
  

       Hmmm.   

       xxxxxxxx | G.M. | Stirling engine | pirates | cats | custard |
G.M
Stirling E.
pirates
cats
custard
  

       Does that cover it?
Loris, Mar 06 2010
  

       " jutta, do you have a cite for sel-adhesive stamps being introduced in 1975? why wouldn't they catch on right away? nobody likes to lick stuff that isnt sweet or part of some erotic act...   

       — mystic2311, Dec 06 2003 "   

       Great, now I just conceived the idea of vagina-flavored postage stamps. Which would actually be pretty cool, if it was done with all natural flavorings and didn't taste like all the other artificially flavored products.
normzone, Jul 25 2014
  
      
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