Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Nikon matrix metering system and sources of innovation

In 1983, Nikon Corporation introduced its now famed matrix metering system, then called Automatic Multi-Pattern (AMP). More about it here:

The Nikon Matrix metering system (MMS) still stays on top, as developed since, yet not yet even matched (let alone outperformed) by any competitor, as much as they may have tried and as hard as they may have worked on it.

This story is however not about photography, or about how it has evolved in both technology and markets since. That would be about the past... Our mantra is "We got here. What's next?" for a reason. We like to rather tell stories about the future based on what we learn from the past.

This story is about the potential ubiquitous application of the philosophy behind the Nikon MMS example.

If we could only imagine and thus write the story into the future... or better yet, write _all_ the possibly related stories.

Let us take for example the judicial process. Can we see how the MMS could help so much in reducing judicial costs (and our taxes) as well as in enhancing quality of justice served? To say nothing about serious potential reductions in litigators' costs and thus an implicit reduction in prices to customers for anything from coffee to health care, or from an education to a vehicle.

Taking governance in general next. Can we see how the MMS philosophy as adapted, developed and applied in this new domain could render much higher optimality in our decision making processes?

Market new niches development in new products, services or process improvement? Can the MMS philosophy help there? Self-evident it can. Can we say Apple and iPod/iPhone? Did the MMS contribute at least a bit? The "MMS" must have been embedded in Steve Jobs's brain, just as the famous quote from the reputed photographer Ansel Adams states with much perspective clarification "the most important part of a camera is the 12 inches just behind it." What are our lessons?

1983 is over a quarter century ago...

What are we doing yet? How should we go about doing more about it? Artificial intelligence is the broader category of which the new-applied-MMS-would-be-future-stories are a case. Enhancing our potential for accelerated innovation to its fullest is the objective.

InnovationTrek is here to help provide a Nikon MMS "for pretend" for now, until we can push to see the stories above and many more become actual reality.

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