When you design for the fringe audience instead of the typical target audience you can get to innovation faster. Those who live in the fringe typically have problems that most of us haven't thought about.

As technology, the maker community and entrepreneurship explode people are tackling solutions for those of us at the fringe. Most of these innovators have a personal story that sent them on their journey and kept them focused while solving a difficult problem.

I've written about my own story and also shared products created by Nate, Ken and Brooke's parents. Those solutions were developed because someone they loved had a real problem. Similarly, Andreas Forsland found himself an unexpected custodian of a family member who needed a new solution.

His mother developed pneumonia while visiting. She became septic, had kidney failure and was in the ICU for seven weeks, unable to verbally communicate with her family. 

Though his mother has recovered, the helplessness he felt during his mother's illness remained with him. Since his mother could communicate through hand squeezes and simple gestures, Andreas began looking at non-verbal ways of communicating. 

This video explains the product and its origin story. 

They're selling prototypes and recently fundraised

What I like about it

Their philosophy: communication should be tactile, simple and natural.

  • Preprogrammed messages will make it easy to communicate with others.
  • The shape of the stone would feel natural in the palm of your hand. 
  • It is a new way of communicating for those who cannot speak, text or use a computer

Though there are barriers they'll need to work through, it has tons of potential

Learn more about Smartstones and consider ordering one for you and your family