Disclosure: This post was written as part of Progressive’s Apron Project, helping tell the story of people and their initiatives making progress towards a greater good. I have been compensated as a contributor to this project, but the thoughts and opinions in this post are my own.
Electro-luminescent paint — as realized by Darkside Scientific’s LumiLor — is one of those nifty ideas that has the twin benefits of being practical as well as cool-looking. Imagine Bruce Lee kicking butt in Tron garb — almost as cool and practical as that (oh, but much safer, if you care about that sort of thing)! Originally designed to make motorcycles more visible to other motorists on the road (and, as a result, less likely to be hit), LumiLor is adaptable to countless purposes beyond this scope. If you can wrap your brain around the practical application of making any surface shine with the brightness of a light bulb, you begin to understand how big of a deal this really is.
I got the chance to ask Scott Smith, EVP Sales/Marketing for LumiLor Labs, the questions that I’ve posed to other participants of Progressive’s Apron Project. Here’s how he answered!
Q: How do you feel that technology is changing our lives for the better?
A: Technology is changing us in good and bad ways; it just depends on the tech and the person. LumiLor will make the roads safer with increased visibility on motorcycle and bike riders and give the added benefit of major cool factor. When we can get the white LumiLight to 100 watts equivalency, it will be able to make the light bulb obsolete. Just think about that for a moment — any surface can now become a lamp you can control.
Intelligence should increase with the unlimited amount of info now at our fingertips. As long as emotional IQ (EQ) develops as well, we will be able to maximize the benefits.
Q: Where do you believe tech will take our culture in the future?
A: In my opinion, tech and food are currently the two primary drivers in the next step of human evolution. Technology is changing our brains right now quicker than we think. Our heads will get bigger to hold larger brains, which is great for selfies, but that is a bad example of the good side of tech.
With tech in general, I think it is hard to predict where it will take us. It really depends on how and why we use it. With LumiLor, when I first saw it over four years ago (even though it was just a small, light-up stripe), I thought: “Finally, the future can now start looking like the Jetsons future I envisioned!”
Q: When you were a kid, did you ever envision yourself doing (or being involved with) something like this?
A: I am not one of the Illuminati who make LumiLor light up, but I have lit a couple panels to prove it could be taught to almost anyone. I do the company media and marketing.
I have always had delusions of grandeur, but I thought I would be a comedian on SNL in 1977. 30 years later I found myself burned out on the corporate management grind. Tech and the digital revolution made it possible for me to transition to work that I love to do: creating media content. I self-taught myself how to make video, edit it, and pump content out on the Web.
One of my first projects was Serious Fans, which was a Cleveland Browns Internet radio show I produced for three years. Because of that show, I met the creator of LumiLor and our CEO both on an Internet message board and because the inventor (Andy Zsinko) knew I was doing video work, he contacted me to document the development of LumiLor. It helped that we happened to live one mile apart.
So in a way I will achieve immortality as my images, video, and website introduced LumiLor to the world a few years ago.
Q: If someone wanted to pursue a career in your field, what would you recommend they spend their time learning and/or mastering?
A: Learn a skill set that will stay in demand and develop interpersonal skills that allow you to interact with all the different kinds of personalities that you will encounter in life. Do something that you look forward to do when you get up every morning. Balance your life so that you have variety and pay attention to those you love making them your priority. Practice your skills and never stop learning.
Q: Can you share a favorite / inspirational customer story around your product?
A: LumiLor is still so new and Darkside Scientific is still in startup mode, so we have only had a handful of customers in the public sector. Most of our work is pumping out samples for manufacturers who are exploring the application of LumiLor on cars, planes, boats, home furnishings, architecture, and consumer products.
I have never, in 51 years, seen people react to a product like they do with LumiLor. I sold jewelry for 25 years and worked in banking so I can compare LumiLor to diamonds and money. People go gaga when they see it on the net in video and they are dumbstruck when they see it in person. Grown and grizzled bikers light up like kids on Christmas morning when they see it. There is nothing like it because there is nothing like it.
Can you think of new and exciting ways to utilize Darkside Scientific’s LumiLor? Drop a comment in the conveniently available space below!