Any Star Wars fan worth their salt will remember the classic scene where Luke begins learning the ways of the force. With Obi-Wan by his side and an over-sized helmet with the blaster shield in the down position, Luke draws his lightsaber and battles that floating, spinning, laser-firing practice droid. After a few failed attempts to block the mini-lasers, Luke turns the proverbial corner, feels the force, and blocks a quick barrage of would be stingers before proudly flipping up his shield in astonishment!
Crushpad has recently announced a new program it calls Crushpad Syndicate. The program is designed to help individuals and companies interested in creating small wine brands raise money through crowdfunding. Crushpad also takes care of the licensing, sourcing, legal compliance, and other paperwork that is associated with syndication.
Everybody who uses public transportation knows how unpredictable bus schedules can be, especially during rush hour. You never know if you are going to be waiting for a minute or an hour for a potentially overflowing bus to arrive. Carnegie Mellon University has developed a new iPhone application, called Tiramisu, that uses the power of crowdsourcing to address these frustrations surrounding unreliable public transportation.
A project sponsored by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) is utilizing a new crowdsourcing model known as Aggregative Contingent Estimation System (ACES) to better predict the wide range of possible future events, from the debt ceiling to the price of gas. The project is a joint venture between the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Applied Research Associates, and several academic institutions.
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the Iowa Soybean Association have joined forces in combating the proliferation of agricultural nitrogen in the Gulf of Mexico and the Chesapeake Bay. The new joint venture, the Eco-Challenge Series, takes advantage of InnoCentive’s open innovation platform in searching for ways to reduce the amount of fertilizer that escapes into the environment.
As budget cuts continue to reduce the money available to research universities, scientists have been increasingly turning to crowdfunding as an alternative source of funding. Biologists Jennifer D. Calkins and Jennifer M. Gee are a particularly successful example of the scientific community’s increased acceptance of crowdfunding. Dr. Calkins and Dr. Gee used Kickstarter.com to fund their research into the Mexican Elegant Quail, raising $4,873.
What if fashion designers could interface directly with consumers to predict what products will be a success or failure before they are even released? What if brands could use this crowdsourced knowledge to help them make wiser investment decisions? There is a new web service in town, Krush, that gives consumers and brands exactly that: sneak peeks and detailed opinion reports.
How can crowdsourcing become a more appealing process? The answer might be: turn it into a game. That is exactly what Microtask, a Finnish company, did to help in the digitization effort of the National Library of Finland. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software, the method through which scanned documents are converted from image to searchable text, is prone to errors which can affect accuracy and indexing. The problem is that these mistakes can only be corrected by human hands – a daunting task when faced with over four million pages to sift through.
The Opera By You project is a venture which has been using crowdsourcing to develop a fully fledged live opera production. The project, launched last year, has been drawing ideas, melodies, lyrics, and even dialogue from a crowd of online opera enthusiasts and the finished production will premier at a special event next year.
Singapore has recently launched a collaborative master plan dubbed eGov2015 which aims to connect government agencies to its citizens using a variety of social media and crowdsourcing platforms. The ultimate goal is for Singapore to end up with “a Collaborative Government that Co-creates and Connects with [the] People.” The plan will serve as a five-year guideline for the implementation of new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) programs among all government agencies.