Innovation Igniter compiles the best industry news highlights in the fields of design thinking as applied to business, mixed reality, virtual reality (VR) and more. This week’s highlights include haptic feedback technologies that make surgery across oceans possible, the current 3M Design Chief’s views on the role of the design thinking process in business, Ford and Microsoft’s collaboration to bring the HoloLens into their automotive design process, and Kroger’s Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Plan.

design thinking process

3M on Bringing Design Thinking to Business and Innovation

3M is most known for its Scotch tape and Post-It Notes products, but 3M Chief Design Officer Eric Quint explains that the company has their hands in a number of other innovative endeavors. In one example, they worked with Porsche to create a glow-in-the-dark galaxy car.

Quint discusses the role of the design thinking process in the organization. When asked how other businesses can incorporate innovative mindsets into their companies, Quint responded: “I think it starts with understanding the difference between design thinking and design. Design is the art craftsmanship of creating great products and solutions. And design thinking is a collaborative, problem-solving approach. And so when you have that made clear and [provided that education], then you can start to practice it and create a mindset in a company amongst the different functions.”

Ford Brings Microsoft HoloLens to Design Studio; Drives Speed, Creativity and Collaboration

Microsoft and Ford are collaborating, with Ford expanding its testing of the HoloLens mixed reality experience as part of the design process. Using the HoloLens allows designers to iterate more quickly and in a more cost-effective way before moving designs into the important clay model phase. A project that might take days using multiple physical models might now be completed within hours, for instance, by designers using Microsoft HoloLens and one physical model. The HoloLens also enables better cross-functional collaboration between teams like engineering and design, where full design plans are kept largely confidential.

“It’s amazing that we can combine the old and new – clay models and holograms in a way that both saves time and allows designers to experiment and iterate quickly, to dream up even more stylish and clever vehicles,” says Moray Callum, Ford Vice President, Design.

A Healing Hand: Giving the World Better Access to Medical Experts Through the Tactile Internet

Robotic surgery keeps moving forward. A team of researchers at the Ericsson 5G Tactile Internet Lab in King’s College London discovered a way to “allow the remote transfer of haptic, tactic, audio and visual technologies.” This makes it possible for surgeons or doctors to diagnose or conduct surgery on a patient in a different location, using the 5G network infrastructure and surgical robots.

design thinking process

Kroger Rolls Out Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Plan

Throughout the U.S., 42 million Americans go hungry and roughly 72 billion pounds of food end in landfills each year. Kroger has begun an effort to lessen both of those concerns through a “Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Plan.” With the organizations Feeding America (of which Kroger is a founding member) and the World Wildlife Foundation (which has extensive environmental understanding), Kroger aims to remove hunger from the communities it serves and stop waste company-wide.


Our Authors: Matt Suits and Andreya Carlson

About The Author: Matt Suits

Matt has always loved interacting with clients to find solutions for their challenges. He was drawn to business development at Kaleidoscope because of the great potential he saw. After graduating from the Lindner College of Business at the University of Cincinnati, he worked with two startups, a marketing consultancy, a financial services company and the non-profit 3CDC. He believes that listening is the most important part of sales. In his free time, Matt enjoys movies, trying new foods, traveling and the great outdoors.

About the Author: Andreya Carlson

Andreya has always been fascinated by language and the written word, which drove her to earn a degree in Journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. She additionally earned a degree in Psychology, which kindled her interest in the healthcare industry. Her experience in marketing, communications, writing and editing includes work with a prominent human rights organization in England and a Cincinnati-based book publishing company. Andreya’s appetite for knowledge and passion for purposeful creation led her to cover design and healthcare advancement news for Kaleidoscope.

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