Who would think that, in the year 2005, we would look to the inventor Thomas Alva Edison to help us think about how to introduce LEDs to the world?
Makarand "Chips" Chipalkatti for one.
At the LEDs 2005 conference recently, Chipalkatti--Osram Sylvania's corporate innovation manager--challenged an audience of LED professionals to imagine how they can speed the adoption of a disruptive technology.
"For Edison, there was no electric lighting. The infrastructure supported gas lighting, which was the incumbent," Chipalkatti told the 400+ professionals who gathered in San Diego to discuss the future of the LED industry in lighting.
Likewise, "solid-state lighting is the biggest disruption in lighting for nearly a century," said Chipalkatti, who chairs the SSL Section of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).
"The well-established value chain, both in sourcing and selling, is under considerable pressure and changing very fast," he said. "And I think it's pretty confusing for people?particularly consumers."
Chipalkatti was sharing his observations last week as keynote speaker for LEDs 2005, a conference sponsored by Intertech of Portland, Maine, which featured more than two dozen speakers in the field of LEDs.
When Edison popularized the light bulb as a well-known invention, it required an understanding of commercialization.
"Its commercial value was proposed as early as possible. Without that 1% inspiration, the other 99% is just a lot of sweat," he observed.
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