Three recent inventions play off the same basic idea of restraining movement by means of a strap. You are forgiven if that description does not immediately bring to mind a dog leash, but that is the simple object to which I refer. The leash may be unsophisticated, but lately a lot of innovative thinking has been focused on the lowly canine shackle.
THE PROPERTY LEASH
But that’s where you and I can make our first mistake, by always associating a leash with an animal. A leash does not have to involve a pet at all. In fact one of three recent inventions is called the “Property Leash.” It is worn around the wrist and attached to a purse to add a layer of protection against thieves. When the inventor was young his mother fell victim to a purse snatcher and he never forgot her painful experience. The inventor looked at a simple leash ordinarily used to stop a dog and the thought struck him that purses can also “run away.” A way to stop a robbery in progress might make you feel more secure, right? Where others saw a dog leash, the inventor of the “Property Leash” saw a handbag security strap.
There are times when policemen, trainers or others might wish to release their dogs automatically. A North Georgia trainer of hunting dogs recently developed what he calls the “ReLeash.” Normally we view the dog leash as a way to restrict the movement of a pet, but this trainer saw a restraining device and built in a release mechanism in the form of a convenient button in the handle of the strap. You can see things differently by reversing of the commonly accepted usage of an object in your environment.
The last of the recent inventions that illustrates looking at the world in a new way is the “UnderLeash.” How many times have you seen a dog wrap his leash around a tree? Can you “see” how the solution to that problem might be ensuring that the leash wraps itself around some other object instead? Well, the inventor of the Underleash seemed to view the problem as part of the solution, because his leash wraps itself around a buried retractor. Now your dog can roam the lawn on a buried retractable leash, eliminating that unsightly, hazardous stake in the ground.
THREE CLUES TO CREATIVITY
Each of the inventions above happened because somebody saw a common object from a different perspective. You have the same ability. Purposefully put things in a totally different and unexpected context, as with the “Property Leash.” Think of advantages that might apply if you use a thing in the opposite way it was intended, as in the case of the “ReLeash.” And finally, try to envision the problem as part of a new solution, as in the example of the “Underleash.” When you intentionally see things from a different angle, your ability to think creatively is unleashed.
With his trio website [http://www.gimbalmart.com/], Explore the intriguing world of inventors and investigates the secrets of creativity. He’s always on the lookout for unusual, innovative products to feature.
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