Today Sony has launched an Open Planet Ideas initiative to encourage ideas about how technology can address environmental challenges. A timeline from ideas to realization makes this campaign interesting and promising. The project is in the “inspiration” stage right now, gathering ideas on practical applications of technology to address real-world problems. The project then goes through the phases of concepting, evaluation, final idea, and realization. There are 120 inspirations so far, and each is online and available for comment. The final idea is scheduled to be announced on January 11.
Among the problems identified so far are biodiversity, wood waste, food waste, deforestation, plastic waste, and water issues. Several of the proposals mention geotagging, geovisualization, tracking and monitoring in their suggested solution.
This idea market is a global effort out of the Sony UK office, and is a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund. While the campaign is somewhat of a marketing ploy to brand Sony as a green company, props should be given for moving beyond talk and company practices to engage the community to think how technology can be applied to improve our planet. The idea also moves away from self-serving interests such as identifying new product ideas, and instead focuses on ways existing technologies can be applied.