Inventions from the Great White North
Canadian inventions are a part of everyone’s daily life. These inventions encompass a variety of products from the technological, life-saving and even just fun. Many are main staples of society today and are hard to imagine living without. Business Review Canada has highlighted seven of the best inventions Canada has to offer.
Insulin was invented by Frederick Banting, Charles Best, and James Collip. Formally released in 1922, the research leading up to the invention started as early at 1869. Originally tested successfully in the lab on dogs, they were able to determine the role pancreases plays in diabetes and develop an insulin injection to combat the disease. One successful moment for the trio was applying insulin to a ward of dying children. Before they had reached the last child in the ward, the first few injected awoke from comas caused by diabetes—much to their families’ surprise.
Java, a popular programming language, was developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems in 1995. Developed originally for interactive television, the language was derived mainly from C and C++ programming languages but was designed to be simpler to use. The overall Java project started in 1991 and was initially named Oak for a tree that stood outside Gosling’s office. The language has been open source since 2007.
The Garbage Bag was invented by Harry Wasylyk in 1950. Wasylyk developed the disposable green polyethylene garbage bag with Larry Hansen. Initially created for commercial use instead of home use, the first bags were sold to Winnipeg General Hospital. Hansen’s employer, the Union Carbide Company bought the invention and marketed the garbage bag for home use in the 1960 under the name Glad Garbage Bags.
The telephone was patented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. Trying to develop an electrical multi-reed apparatus that would transmit the human voice by telegraph, Graham’s research led to acoustic telegraphy. After receiving his patent Bell improved his invention turning it into an electromagnetic telephone that eventually led to the telephone we all use today.
The Trivial Pursuit board game was developed in 1979 by Chris Haney and Scott Abbott. The idea came after they found pieces of their Scrabble game missing and in their frustration they decided to create their own game. Released commercially in 1982, by 2004 the game sold approximately 88 million units in 26 countries available in 17 different languages. The board game includes question cards that are organized into themes. Since the original Genus edition, there have been dozens of additional question sets as well as promotional themed sets including editions such as Star Wars, Saturday Night Live, and Lord of the Rings.
Basketball was invented in 1891 by Dr. James Naismith, a physical education professor and instructor. Trying to keep his gym class active on a rainy day, Naismith wrote basic rules and nailed a peach basket onto a 10-foot elevated track. Naismith was looking for a vigorous indoor game to keep students occupied with the proper level of fitness during long winters. Originally nervous about the game he invented because many had failed beforehand, Naismith termed the new game Basket Ball.
IMAX was co-invented by Roman Kroitor with the hopes of increasing films visual impact. Kroitor and four others founded a company planning to create a better system than similar multi-projector, multi-screen systems that were faulty and currently on the market. Kroitor and the group eventually settled on a single-projector/single camera system because it became clear that a single, large-screen image had much more impact than multiple smaller screens. The first IMAX film was Tiger Child in 1970 and the first permanent IMAX system was unveiled in the Cinesphere in Toronto in 1971.
Innovation is built into Canadian history. These highly technical, vital and fun inventions just touch the tip of the genius that has come from Canada. Today, it’s hard to fathom what living in North America would be like without the opportunities these inventions have provided.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.