Thursday, February 17, 2011

Statements of Need for our Toyota Entries

The Toyota "Ideas for Good" contest ends in two weeks so it's time to finish the brainstorming, roll up our sleeves, and get to work.  Of the ideas we've brainstormed I chose these three to put together statements of need.  They seemed the most promising and worth the extra effort.  I should also add this statement of need exercise helped me eliminate many ideas that just weren't very compelling.  So that should help focus our efforts too.
  • Incorporate the Solar Powered Ventilation System to Horse (or livestock) Trailers: There are approximately 10.5 million horses in the United States, which are used primarily for recreation and entertainment. These horses travel locally and cross-county, and are responsible for generating over $40 billion per year in spending.  But long trips and even rest stops can expose horses to wide variations in temperature (for standard horse trailers) or use up extra energy for air-conditioned trailers.  There are also many State and Federal laws on the humane transport of horses.  So additional comfort improvements may also improve compliance by transporters.
  • Adapt the Touch Tracer Display Technology for Teaching Handwriting: Every year over 10 million elementary school children learn handwriting, and can use the Touch Tracer Display technology to practice their letters and get immediate feedback on their success. It could be especially useful for children with developmental or learning disabilities (such as dyslexia or dysgraphia).  On a similar note, researchers could also the technolgoy to understand the fine-motor learning process in children. 
  • Use the Parking Guidance System to Teach Motorcycle Safety: There are over 6 million motorcycles registered in the US, and each year over 400,000  Americans enroll in Motorcycle Training Courses and learn to ride a bike for the first time.  Many countries require motorcycle for training to gain a license, and many states have incorporated safety school requirements in their license requirements.  All this training helps address the over 4,000 riders who die each year in accidents.  Hopefully this technology will improve driver training and awareness and keep future riders alive.
Finally, as an added bonus I checked the Ideas for Good sharing site Gallery of Submitted Ideas and none of these ideas have been added yet.  So we're still in the hunt with original ideas!  All we need is a little extra push with your own ideas in the comments below, so I'm interested to hear what you think.  And hey, feel free to use these ideas yourself and add your own spin...I'm just trying to help us all have fun with it.


  1. these are all amazing ideas. I thought I saw one of your ideas used as a commercial recently regarding the livestock. I'm not too sure, but nonetheless wonderful incorporation of the technology. Best of luck to you.

  2. Thanks for the warning Save_Alan. I saw some ideas similar to the livestock one but not exactly...maybe I need to check a bit closer and make sure I'm not treading old ground. I'm also adding a new idea on using Touch Tracer Displays in construction equipment. Hopefully that will post tomorrow.

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