Looking at things from a different angle

Anyone can state that his concept is eco-friendly, will have recyclable materials, will appeal to individualism, etc. But only a fundamentally new way of 'looking at things' will really make a difference, and stir new development. Not all innovation is based on whizkid ingenuity, however....
The fact is that some of the 20th century's greatest ideas were actually based on plain common sense.

For instance, did you know that the idea of using swept wings - setting the wing at an angle instead of perpendicular to the airplane's fuselage - to reduce high-speed drag, was first developed in Germany in the 1930's? About thirty years after the Wright Brothers took to the sky for the very first time. Next came making wings thinner than the usual airfoil. Now we say: wasn't that obvious? Why didn't they come up with that a little sooner? Right: Messerschmitt ME-262, one of the first swept-wing (fighter) planes.
Did you know that so-called sloped armor - armor plating that is 'angled' backwards - was first used in World War 2? Sloping an armor plate makes it harder to penetrate for anti-tank weapons. A projectile hitting a plate at an angle other than 90° has to travel a greater thickness, compared to hitting the same plate at a right-angle, and has a greater chance that it will get deflected. A simple idea, but the German Tiger tank didn't have sloped armor. The Russian T-34 tank you see on the left did.

The notion of geostationary orbit -  objects flying at a predetermined altitude and velocity that keep them within the earth's gravitational pull in a fixed position - was first disseminated on a wide scale in 1945 by SF- writer Arthur C. Clarke. Yep, that is the same man who co-wrote on Stanley Kubrick's '2001 - A Space Odyssey' movie. Without satellites circling the planet, worldwide communication and broadcasting would have been unthinkable .

More than 60 years  after the first automobile made its appearance Alec Issigonis' Mini was introduced, primarily because of a fuel shortage caused by the 1956 Suez Crisis. Petrol was rationed in the UK and car sales slumped. The Mini broke away from the usual setup by having the engine mounted transversely and by employing front-wheel drive. To optimize cabin space the wheels were pushed to the corners, which gave the Mini go kart-like handling. Almost all hatchbacks with FWD developed since have used the same layout.

Like the Mini, the SEV is a concept that brings together many new elements. To be able to create a sleek shape (one of the biggest contributing factors to boost energy economy) whilst maintaining safety standards, passengers don't sit next to each other. The old Romans already knew that arches make for a stress-resistant construction. The SEV has a Da Vinci-inspired cigar-like frame underneath the outer panels and a dual-purpose rear cowling, covering the twin wheels and integrating a flush-mounted rear bumper (a safety feature too). Lighter materials can be used. Besides, a  vehicle that hinges on its (clustered) rear wheels displays virtually no flex, contrary to a box resting on its four wheels. Space-efficient use of the infrastructure is a nice bonus. The SEV will carry three persons more safely, economically and comfortably than a VW Polo, Opel Corsa, Renault Clio, etc. can. Its configuration depicted here is the UK version's, i.e. with the driver seated to the left.

Ready to Reinvent? The proof is in 'eating the Apple'...
When Apple's founding father passed away, a lot of attention was given to his significance. And although Apple lost some of its luster due to new rivals, we can still learn from this visionary. In a two-hour documentary Discovery Channel explained why Steve Jobs was so darn special. Below you find a couple of phrases that catch the essence of Apple products. Works like a checklist you can also use on your present products.  "Get your ingredients right":

[]  Coolness and creativity
[]  Extension of one's identity   []  Makes you feel good
[]  A joy to use  []  Fashion statement
[]  There is no reason not to follow your heart
[]  Built something better that no competitor has got   
Reinventing, making things better
[]  People didn't know they needed it  []  People didn't know they wanted it
[]  Design is not just what it looks like, design is how it works
[]  Emotional connection, intuitive feeling 
[]  Be a maverick, be an innovator
[]  Making things simple, making things beautiful
[]  People don't know what they want until we show it to them
With front wheel covers you can even envisage a flying SEV. A fin-like container on top of the roof, wider at the front (to hold the hub assembly) and more tapered at the end, stores the swept-back propeller blades which are deployed if the SEV is to be used in flying mode. Propeller-blade rear wheels function as tail rotor. A tiny (5th) wheel will need to be lowered into locked position for the rear wheels to spin freely during take-off. Change the pitch (the body's 'angle of attack') and the dual-mode SEV may even generate lift during flight (lifting body). The spindle, running from top to floor-based drive train tunnel, may cost one seat.

For Cordis profile, click on flag
Also check Automotive Icons