Five Mobility and Product Development Trends for 2018
Juliver Ramirez posted on June 08, 2018 |
Launch Forth—an online co-creative design platform—has released a list of mobility trends for developers to keep in mind this year. As more disruptive technologies emerge and progress, the company aims to leverage their community of nearly 150,000 members across the globe to collaborate on innovative accessibility solutions. In fact, from the community’s 7,615 past conceptual designs, over 50 have gone on to the prototype phase and 12 have been manufactured for consumers. These solutions have even garnered the attention and support of major associations like Local Motors, General Electric Co., Airbus, Allianz and even the U.S. Marine Corps.
Accessing the mobile future through concepts and collaboration. Here, Launch Forth member rajsredefining conceptualizes the DRAGON, a personal mobility companion. (Image courtesy of Launch Forth.)
Accessing the mobile future through concepts and collaboration. Here, Launch Forth member rajsredefining conceptualizes the DRAGON, a personal mobility companion. (Image courtesy of Launch Forth.)

Here are Launch Forth’s five mobility trends as well as its associated challenges and projects for 2018:

1. Attractive Accessibility

The 3T by SKD and Vasilatos Ianis of the Launch Forth community. The 3T, like many other entries, aims to change the way people think about accessibility. (Image courtesy of Launch Forth.)
The 3T by SKD and Vasilatos Ianis of the Launch Forth community. The 3T, like many other entries, aims to change the way people think about accessibility. (Image courtesy of Launch Forth.)
Launch Forth has taken notice of a trend in which companies are turning their attentions towards products that redefine style. Consider the way eyeglasses were thought of as a geeky and undesirable accessory in the past, compared to the more positive image they have now, a prime example of function meeting design (meeting super cool style points). Launch Forth, along with Allianz—an insurance company—aims to apply this phenomenal change in perspective to accessibility. Through the Dynamic Form Lifestyle Device challenge, the companies explored conceptual products that people of all abilities would admire and would want to use, and which could also be prototyped through 3D printing.

2. Military Efficiency

The Morpheus by Launch Forth member mey2008, one of the many conceptual designs contemplating ways a modular logistics vehicle can contribute to the U.S. Marines. (Image courtesy of Launch Forth.)
The Morpheus by Launch Forth member mey2008, one of the many conceptual designs contemplating ways a modular logistics vehicle can contribute to the U.S. Marines. (Image courtesy of Launch Forth.)

To get the edge, the military must always pursue efficiency in performing crucial tasks. Launch Forth recognized this and determined that more modular equipment would provide the troops the efficient yet cost effective solutions to achieve just that. Through Launch Forth’s Modular Logistics Vehicle (MLV) project, the online community designed different ways a vehicle could transport U.S. military personnel but also accomplish a variety of other tasks such as mechanical repair, construction, and administrative support. Launch Forth even followed up this project with a challenge to integrate additive manufacturing into the build of the MLV.
 

3. New Humanitarian Aid and Relief Solutions

From the mind of Launch Forth member lulu, the RESKU can transport cargo but also injured disaster victims after some easy modulation. (Image courtesy of Launch Forth.)
From the mind of Launch Forth member lulu, the RESKU can transport cargo but also injured disaster victims after some easy modulation. (Image courtesy of Launch Forth.)
With all the recent natural disasters and extreme weather conditions in the United States, the U.S. Marine Corps has once again turned to the Launch Forth community for innovative ideas in improving their processes and response measures during such emergencies. Any number of unpredictable situations can occur during natural disasters and so the online community was tasked with developing relief solutions that can adapt and keep up with the Marines, providing aid and supplies wherever they are needed. In particular, the Unmanned Cargo Delivery project calls for unmanned cargo delivery concepts capable of traversing all terrains.

 4. Versatile Accessibility for an Active Lifestyle

Launch Forth member elodiedelassus’ PullUP a Chair concept gives users the ability to remain engaged in different activities and settings. (Image courtesy of Launch Forth.)
Launch Forth member elodiedelassus’ PullUP a Chair concept gives users the ability to remain engaged in different activities and settings. (Image courtesy of Launch Forth.)
With technologies ever advancing, the elderly and disabled can look forward to new devices that will enable them to return to the now-demanding life experiences they once could perform without strain. Allianz and Launch Forth’s Mass Mobility project explores customizable mobile solutions to help these people—and people of varying abilities—carry out daily activities; in other words, the companies are looking for a new, accessible and multi-functional device for all kinds of lifestyles.

5. Insuring a Future of Change and Mobility

Bloom showcases Launch Forth member Orbitlane’s vision for an autonomous car sharing service in 2040. (Image courtesy of Launch Forth.)
Bloom showcases Launch Forth member Orbitlane’s vision for an autonomous car sharing service in 2040. (Image courtesy of Launch Forth.)

From smart homes to smart vehicles and everything in between, insurance companies are fully aware of the progressive rate of technology and what it all means for their businesses. In fact, many of these companies are already looking to the future in preparation. Allianz, for one, has worked with Launch Forth in gathering its community’s predictions about where the industry of mobility might be in the next 10-20 years through the Future of Mobility Concept Design challenge. 

I think Launch Forth is a fun platform to watch and participate in, always coming out with new projects and challenges for engineers all over the world. On top of all the cool opportunities, the company pins some pretty fancy bows on them too in the form of prize money often falling in the thousands to the tens of thousands. But don’t let the money distract you from the real prize—the exposure of your idea and a chance to manufacture your concept for sale in the market.

To learn more about Launch Forth as a company, check out From 3D-Printed Cars to Terraforming Mars: Launch Forth Seeks to Change the World.

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