The yearly Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is a hotbed of new ideas in the area of technology.  One area getting a lot of attention right now is sensors in products and also having products connected.  Eventually many of the products in your home may be connected and will tell you if a light bulb is out or if you are low on milk or eggs.  Looking at these types of products can inspire innovation in other areas.

For example, there is even a fork that will let you know how much you eat and to slow you down, if necessary (For a blog entry that discusses the difficulty of innovating a fork click here).  It is a neat gadget, but is it really innovative?  Is it a new idea or new application?  Will consumers be willing to purchase and use this product?

Now, there is nothing wrong with a gadget.  The fun of a product can be part of what makes it exciting for consumers, but an innovation is not a gimmick, it is something that makes a process or product better.  So, look at your project and see if you cannot make it just new or different but see if you can make a lasting innovation. If you do it right, your new gadget can be really innovative.

(For an overview of some creative gadgets click here)