Inspiring Innovation: Lessons from Light and Sound Interactive

Posted by Damon Diehl on Fri, Sep 29, 2017


Earlier this month I attended the Light and Sound Interactive (LSI) conference and expo, co-sponsored by Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the University of Rochester. The conference highlighted light and sound-based technologies and their applications in emerging fields such as virtual and augmented reality, gaming, cinema, and music.

Several notable speakers gave keynote addresses, which provided lessons on experimentation, improvement, and success that businesses and individuals could apply to their own work. Three presentations in particular stood out:


Lesson #1: Don’t Settle for Replicating the Past

Speaker: Ang Lee

Ang Lee is an Academy Award-winning director, known for such films as Life of Pi, Brokeback Mountain, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. He recorded his newest film, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, at an unheard of 120 frames-per-second (fps), at a time when 24 fps is the standard, and even 48 fps is uncommon.

After three weeks of filming at that high frame-rate, Lee recognized that the traditional movie-making tricks of lighting, camera, and makeup were useless. At 120 fps, those effects looked like what they were—fake. Up until then, the goal of digital photography was to look indistinguishable from photographic film. Lee decided, instead, to use the 120 fps cameras to create a film unlike anything audiences had ever seen.

Is your business set on developing “the next generation” of a product when you could be creating something completely new? How can you break the mold?


Lesson #2: Be Your Own Experiment

Speaker: Ainissa Ramirez

Ainissa Ramirez is an evangelist for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education at all grade levels. She encourages people to maintain their childhood creativity, imagination, and fearlessness when pursuing research. Ramirez also reminds people to apply those same resources to their own personal development.

What creative actions can your business take within itself? What could your organization become? What would you try if you weren’t afraid to fail?


Lesson #3: Imagine Past the Roadblock

Speaker: Steve Sasson

As a young engineer at Eastman Kodak, Steve Sasson invented the first digital camera. That was in 1974—25 years before the technology reached consumers. Developing the technology was a slow process that had to overcome hundreds of technological and organizational obstacles. Instead of giving in to frustration, Sasson pushed steadily forward with a vision of what the technology could become.

Every time he met a roadblock, he asked himself what he would do if that roadblock was not there. While pushing against the obstacle, he also allocated time and resources to paving a path for success so that he was ready to proceed once the roadblock was cleared.

Are you adequately prepared for success? If demand takes a sudden upturn, do you have the means to scale your supply?


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