Here are some of the innovations created by Richard Fobes, who is available to create technical innovations for your business.
Major innovations created by Richard Fobes
- Invented VoteFair popularity ranking, which is a method of calculating the full ranking of choices from most popular and second-most popular down to least popular (the overall order of preference). (Of course this requires voters to indicate not only their first choice, but their second choice, third choice, etc.) Free use of this voting method is available at www.FullRanking.com.
- Invented VoteFair representation ranking, which is a variation of VoteFair popularity ranking. This variation is useful for electing a second person who represents a large minority of voters who aren't represented by the most popular choice.
- Invented VoteFair negotiation ranking, the beta version of which is now available at www.NegotiationTool.com. This software negotiation tool produces fair outcomes for complex (and simple) negotiations. In the future this voting method will be capable of resolving conflicts in parliaments (such as the Iraqi Parliament) where large minorities are proportionally represented but unable to block oppressive legislation.
- Created an innovative way to plot data for a chemical engineering research project. Also made an animated film of the data. Both data representations revealed significant insights, and were the two highlights of the national chemical-engineering conference at which they were presented.
- Designed and wrote the second non-line-oriented (single-font what-you-see-is-what-you-get) text editor (called the Video-Display-Oriented Text Editor). (The first such publicly available software was called the Electric Pencil.) The program, which was written in assembly language, was later published in the September and October 1982 issues of BYTE magazine. In spite of widespread use, no bugs were reported.
Other innovations created by Richard Fobes
- Designed and partially built a digital graphics generator that converts geometry descriptions into a rasterized television signal. The portion built consists of about 250 TTL integrated circuit chips. The innovative approach is no longer useful now that memory chips are inexpensive.
- Designed an innovative, trivial-to-learn user interface for a database application (and wrote the application software for CH2M Hill).
- Wrote (in just a few weeks) an early word-processing program for an early Epson “notebook” computer (before laptops became available), and it included a blinking cursor that Epson representatives didn't know was possible.
- Created a software-language method that is used to more easily generate the interactive web pages at www.FullRanking.com.
- Wrote innovative website-maintenance Perl scripts that support the HTML code at four websites, including this one.
- Created (for Sparcom Corporation) learning experiences, game flow, and the user interface for a story-based educational computer game that teaches the important concepts of algebra. (Lack of funding prevented the game from being created.)
Existing technologies anticipated by Richard Fobes
- In 1974 Fobes began designing and building a microcomputer—now known as a personal computer—using discrete-logic chips and a custom machine-language instruction set. That was before the first eight-bit microprocessor chip (the 8008) became available, and before Apple created its first, circuit-board-only personal computer (the Apple I).
- In the 1960's Fobes anticipated the development of what he called the “electronic camera,” which is now known as the digital camera.
Incidental innovations verbally suggested by Richard Fobes
- During lunch in a Hewlett-Packard cafeteria, a manager described a user-interface challenge that a team of engineers had spent months trying to solve, but without success. In 10 minutes (while the others at the table continued talking) Fobes identified a useful idea that the manager soon confirmed had not been considered. The manager recognized it was a promising solution, and added that they should have had Fobes at the engineering meetings.
- During another lunch in the same Hewlett-Packard cafeteria, two engineers mentioned a customer-training challenge related to printer usage. Fobes suggested a technical solution that bypassed the need to train users. The engineers silently looked at one another with a “why didn't we think of that?” expression and said nothing. (Engineers always criticize ideas they can fault, so silence almost always indicates an idea is of value.)
- During lunch in an Intel cafeteria, Fobes suggested a way to resolve a training challenge posed by an Intel trainer. The trainer was anxious to implement the idea after lunch.
Future innovations that have not yet been developed or adopted
- A Years-In-Prison (YIP) movie rating that
would indicate how many years a person would spend
in prison if they were to do everything shown in the movie.
The YIP movie rating would reduce crime by teaching young people
that what's acceptable on a screen is
not necessarily acceptable in real life.
(This idea is described in an online book titled Hope for the Future, and
briefly mentioned in a Futurist magazine article.)
- A second kind of patent (called an open patent) that would make it easier
for individual inventors to get recognition for sharing useful inventions. Until
this kind of patent becomes available it's almost pointless for individuals to get
patents because they cannot protect the patent against infringement by a large
corporation. (This idea is described in the online book
titled Hope for the Future, and
mentioned in a Futurist magazine article.)
- A sequence of steps for solving the problem of illiteracy is described on pages 264 through 280 The Creative Problem Solver's Toolbox.
- A fully phonetic sign language that would use hand signs to
represent spoken sounds—not letters as in finger spelling, and not words as in American Sign Language. It would be very easy to learn for average people, who could then communicate with deaf and voiceless people. Also it would be used by anyone to communicate across a noisy hall, across a quiet concert hall, on opposite sides of a window, and underwater. Furthermore, electronic translation equipment used by deaf and voiceless people would be much faster and more accurate than existing translation technologies. (This idea is described on pages 272 to 277 of
The Creative Problem Solver's Toolbox.)
- A “food prep” kitchen appliance that contains robotic “arms” and cameras that are connected through the internet to remote workers (perhaps in other countries) so they can do “kitchen prep” work (or cooking or pot scrubbing). (This idea was revealled verbally on 2009-October-27 at a design-experience meeting at AboutUs in Portland, OR.)
- An international unit of money—called the unidollar—that is
never represented in currency. It would enable people in different countries
using different currencies to talk about monetary amounts that both people
understand. The unidollar would be defined
so that it never inflates or deflates. (This idea is described on page 311 of
The Creative Problem Solver's Toolbox,
and mentioned in a Futurist magazine article.)
- Solving the oil-depletion energy crisis by
manufacturing “synthetic hydrocarbon fuel” using solar energy,
water (from rivers in deserts),
and CO2 (from the air). This “alternative energy”
approach would also remove some of the excess CO2 that is
causing global climate change. (Fobes
suggested this approach more than a decade ago in his write-in answer to a
Union of Concerned Scientists survey question. The survey question
did not list the currently popular notion of using hydrogen fuel
as one of the markable answers, so Fobes also described the hydrogen-fuel
approach as a precursor to generating liquid hydrocarbon fuels.) (The
chemical process may involve the elements Boron and/or Sulfur and/or Silicon.)
Now that you know that Richard Fobes really can create valuable technical innovations, see the
testimonials, and book reviews
(of his how-to book on creative problem solving).
© 2006 Fovationz, Inc., Beaverton, Oregon, 503.799.5739
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