The article is written by Greg Taylor, Director of Brand Provocation at Elmwood, London

Those who’ve been around the block a few times, readily admit that for any industry to remain vibrant, it needs to bring in new talent. It’s what refreshes the gene pool, and without it, progress eventually stalls. Past experience also tells us that it’s when an industry is facing its toughest challenges that it needs to refresh its gene pool the most—no new-bloods, no refreshment.

With less than a few weeks left before we all enter the year of 2012 (as some believe, the last one in our calendar), we are looking back at what innovations captured consumers’ attention over the past 12 months. Some of the new projects and products appeared within the trends, which emerged earlier, and some of them are truly innovative and ambitions and pave the way for something completely unseen and unpredicted by average minds.

Toyota claims to be one of the most innovative automakers in the world presenting the Fun-Vii, which stands for ‘vehicle interactive internet.’ The new concept car has a bodyshell made of touch-screen panels that makes it possible for the driver to change the pattern on display.  By touching the panels, a driver can also connect the car to the dealership’s website for a check-up.

Nike, a brand that never stops supporting athletes in various categories including skateboarding,  running and basketball with films and initiatives, has introduced a new innovative product called SPARQ Sensory Performance (SSP), which is a system of technologies, products and programs designed to assess, analyze and improve an athlete’s visual and sensory performance.