Out of the Box Thinking

by CAKE LABS Articles 26 December 2016

In this Innovation Session Nirojan Selvanathan and Salinda Rathnayake of the Data, Infrastructure and Platform team spoke about Out of the Box thinking, and explored some examples of its use at CAKE LABS.

Out of the Box thinking is a very commonly used term, but rarely practiced. Why do people always talk about this, but we don’t see it being used too often in real life? The reason is that almost all human beings are taught to think traditionally. If someone were to give you a Rubik’s cube, the first thing you would do in order to solve it would be to rotate it. Rotate it for hours and hours and maybe still not get all the colors aligned. It would not occur to us to break the Rubik’s cube and assemble it again, or paint the corners instead. These solutions are far simpler and a lot faster, but they might not come to mind, or we simply dismiss these approaches as not being the traditional way of solving it. Which brings us to the question, why dismiss quicker more efficient solutions, simply because we are used to another way of doing things?

A perfect example of the Efficient vs. Traditional approach is a tool we use every day – the keyboard. Ever wondered why the standard keyboard QWERTY is so widely used? Most people believe that it’s because it makes typing faster and more efficient. That line of thought however, is false. The actual reason the QWERTY exists is because during the type writer era, the creators had a major problem. The type writer was arranged in the alphabetical order and its ease of use meant increasingly high typing speeds, which caused the type bars to get jammed. They needed to slow people down, and thus the QWERTY system was introduced. Why then, do we still use it?

There is a scientifically proven keyboard layout which increases typing speed called DVORAK, but it’s rarely heard of. If you own an Android phone, this layout is an option, but most people don’t know this. The reason we still use QWERTY is because we are used to the old way of doing things.

At CAKE, out of the box thinking is something that all employees are encouraged to do. The CAKE Perspective, for example, is a perfect example for an out of the box solution. A 3D hologram to view menu items was truly a new way of solving a problem that many restaurant goers face (read more about the CAKE Perspective here: ).

Another solution that is being looked at is the incorporation of augmented reality into everyday menus. Imagine just pointing your phone at a menu, and seeing the menu items come to life. Not only will this crush traditional pictures, it’ll open up new paths that have not been considered before.

A product that has started to truly embrace augmented reality into their sales, is Rayban. Rayban’s website includes a feature called the Virtual Mirror ( ) which lets you pick any sunglass that they have on offer and see what it actually looks like on your face. For a consumer, this experience is priceless. No more trips to the shop – simply sit back at home, and accurately pick what sunglasses look best on you.

Out of the Box thinking is not an easy path to go down. Due to human habits and how we are all wrapped up in “norms”, it’s becoming more difficult to head down this path – but it is the path that holds the most promise. If you venture into this realm, the possibilities that exist within it are endless.




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