Building the Future
AMEX TEAMS COME UP WITH 7 INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS IN 2 DAYS.
MakerClub Futures challenged an American Express innovation team to come up with 7 brand new innovations in just 2 days. We turned the third floor into a fully working makerspace with all of the machines and electronics needed to invent. Their brief was to imagine and prototype an invention that could improve remote working and travel for Amex customers and employees.
Participants are introduced to new machines including 3D printers, laser cutters, hot wire cutters and vacuum formers. These machines are extensively used in the Maker Movement and allow for rapid prototyping.
We then introduce the electronics, Internet of Things devices and components that are making innovation and disruption possible through smart, interconnected devices.
Once the teams are made aware of the technology at their fingertips, they split off into a trusty whiteboard and post-it note brainstorming session. Given the tight deadlines, we often encourage the teams to think about prioritising the most impactful features against the effort required.
The bulk of the workshop is then all about rolling up the sleeves and getting stuck in. Teams start with making initial prototypes, working with cardboard and hot glue. We then work with them to get the code into shape and test the first iteration to see if it solves the problem. From there, improvements are made and issues are ironed out, as the 3D designs are worked up and are 3D printed, laser cut or etched.
Teams also built webapps to communicate with their devices and show off how they would interact with the real world and the quality was impressive, given the time frames!
Pitching to the Judges
Each team gave a 5-minute pitch to the judges, explaining how they came up with their idea, the problem it solves and the technical brilliance behind it before a Dragons Den style grilling from the judges.
Hack days for your company
We are taking bookings for more hack day workshops now. If you’d like to run a hack day at your company, arrange a quick call with our success team now. We are happy to work with you to pull out your main themes, aims and objectives. The workshops are designed to build confidence in emerging technologies and teach the futures skills of collaborative problem solving, design thinking and rapid prototyping to corporate teams.