The place is called the Innovation Lab, and it’s redefining how people come together to share information and develop products.
Global Science and Technology’s Innovation Lab looks nothing like a typical laboratory space.
There are no hard walls. There are no offices. There aren’t even any telephones.
But it’s here that GST works on innovation campaigns.
These are projects designed to provide new commercial offerings in the area of information technology and communications.
Brian Bell is the founder of the innovation lab.
“We created a group called the innovation group, and people would meet and talk about certain innovations and how they might be able to take some kind of technology concept into a commercial product,” Bell said.
“That actually transformed into some realities, and we got some funding for it. That grew, and we were able to transform the innovation group into the innovation lab.”
GST’s Innovation Lab focuses on four areas of information technology: social and new media networks, mobile observing, personalized content and collaboration between businesses.
|An example of a barcode in a magazine, which is used with the Togo campaign.
One campaign is called Togo. It’s a technology that involves cell phones.
“This was actually a concept that we had about how to be able to use a technology called mobile tagging, that’s using your cell phone to scan a code, a barcode, and actually transform that activity into meaningful, relevant information,” Bell said.
“Now, we’re actually working with a major magazine, to actually transform their magazine through what we call togo tags, togo means to go beyond the product.”
Bell wouldn’t disclose the name of the magazine, but he said the magazine’s September issue will be the first true interactive magazine.
As people read the pages, they will be able to scan the tag on the magazine’s page with their smart phone, and get more information about the article right on their phone.
“It could be videos, it could be additional pictures, it could be some kind of sponsorship endorsement, some way to interact with the staff of the magazine,” Bell said.
Another project is the Mobile Platform Environmental Data system, or MoPed.
The system is a network of sensors that are placed on trucks and buses, and is used for weather pattern observations.
The National Weather Service provided funding for the project and GST now has a MoPed prototype.
Andres Orrego is the director of innovations at GST and works in the innovation lab.
“It is very important, trying to come up with the best measurement of weather conditions out there, and transmit it to the government,” he said.
“It is exciting in the sense that no one else has been able to do it, but there’s a big need for that.”
Josh Wise is a Fairmont native and works in the innovation lab.
He says it’s very exciting to be a member of this team.
“We’ve started and had somewhat of a legacy in the high-tech industry, that is, Fairmont has begun that, and I think what GST is bringing now is kind of a new side of that,” he said.
“We’re taking the next step, trying to commercialize a lot of stuff, and trying to take advantage of new technologies that are at the forefront of society.”
Global Science and Technology currently has offices in West Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Alabama, Colorado, and North Carolina.
It was founded in 1991.