Novel Uses of Color

colorsWe often think of problems being addressed through creative strategies or innovative design. But what about the novel use of color?

Here are five good ideas that apply the use of color in inventive ways:

1) Measure Pulse by Webcam

Scientists at MIT are able to measure someone’s pulse by watch for minor variations in their facial color by webcam. The presages many other types of remote medical monitoring. NY Times best idea 2010 

2) Food Wrapping Which Detects Pathogens

Canadian meat wrapping materials turn color in presence of certain pathogens. A NYTimes “best idea 2007” winner.

3) Make Roads White

Black roads can increase the temperature in cities by tens of degrees – requiring more air conditioning.

4) Chameleon Camo

ColorPhase Camouflage has ink which changes color in different seasons, improving effectiveness. Popular Science Innovation 2013

5) Change Exit Signs to Green from Red

American Exit signs are red and say “exit”. Signs in most other parts of the world are green and show a man running. The international signs don’t require English, are universally recognized, and are safer during an emergency. Slate

To comment or vote on these (or other) ideas – or add your own! – visit Good Ideas.

Ranking Good Ideas at the United Nations

Copenhagen Consensus CenterThe United Nations (UN) in 2000 established eight Millennium Development Goals to help guide and focus global efforts to reduce poverty through 2015. With the final date approaching, the UN is now in the process of establishing a set of Sustainable Development Goals to guide global development efforts through 2030.

The Open Working Group at the UN has received hundreds of suggested priorities to include within the Sustainable Development Goals. How should the Open Working Group decide which to prioritize?

Analysis and suggestions are being offered by the Copenhagen Consensus Center, an international organization that evaluates the effectiveness of global development ideas. The Center has issued a preliminary benefit-cost analysis, ranking 212 potential targets as “phenomenal”, “good”, “fair”, “poor”, or “uncertain”.

Which ideas come out on top? You can read the full report (PDF) here.