The brand, Everybody.World, has a staple product called the “Trash Tee,” a 100 percent recycled cotton T-shirt, made from meticulously processed waste fibers.
They shot new footage on vintage Kodak film, so it would match with 14-year-old stock footage. And for the voiceover, they spliced together snippets of PSAs from the 1950s.
“So, we invented a new fabric for our T-shirts that’s made from 100 percent recycled cotton, which means that we can use the waste that other companies disregard,” it continues. “We can use what others find useless to create something useful for us and less stressful for the environment. Because if we don’t care enough to change the way it’s done, who will?”
Why it’s Hot
This company is taking the old adage – the medium is the message – to a new level. The idea of the, not just the product being recycled, but the ad itself provides a whole new ad trend and, of course, reinforces a worthwhile message.
Developer Diana A Smith has been working on using only code and style sheets to create digital artwork. Each element is coded separately to make up the composite image.
Smith created this with the Chrome browser in mind. When opened in older browsers however, the image can become distorted. Examples below:
Why It’s Hot: Users are frequently reminded to update the browsers, but it is often unclear why it matters and what the difference will be. On the other hand, it’s helpful to think about how we are designing experience for users who may be using different browsers, older computers, etc rather than designing for the newest, crispest, and fastest devices.
Plastic is one of the most abundant man-made materials found on earth. With over 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic recorded in 2017, it’s safe to say that it’s a massive problem. Bottles and bags are spearheading this problem. When purchasing a water bottle it’s evident that there are some ridiculously priced products in the market but a common misconception is “because of the brand name”, though that plays a part in the price, the cost pertains mostly to the plastic, not the actual water (how shocking).
Evian, noticing this issue, is taking the first step forward and has pledged that by 2025 all of their bottles will be made from 100% recycled plastic. Eliminating the use of plastic overall would be best case scenario but this is still a righteous move. National Geographic states, “every year another 350 million tons of new plastic is created but only a tiny percentage is ever recycled.” A breakthrough came from Loop Industries’ founder Daniel Solomita who wanted “to find a way to take all of the world’s PET plastic – the most common kind of plastic”. Loop has found “a unique catalyst that breaks down PET plastic with zero heat and zero pressure” this monumental discovery is incremental to the future of recycling plastic due to the fact that the only two methods of recycling plastic at the moment utilize high heat and intense pressure.
Additionally, “This zero energy depolymerization is what allows Loop Industries to do what nobody else can do—recycle any size, shape and color of PET plastic waste into virgin-quality PET plastic resin on an industrial scale.”
Why it’s hot:
It’s so hot that it’s super cool. It really takes the pressure off of traditional methods and because the main focus is to keep the technology as simple as possible for simpler implementation and distribution no one has to take the heat. This is super exciting because this is an absolutely smashing step towards sustainability and guilt-free plastic. Now when you see a plastic bag drifting through the wind, you know it’s on its way to start again.
We all know that in the near future humanity will come to a crossroads. With 99% of the world’s population currently tasked with creating memes and/or dank memes, what will happen when computers get better at it than humans? Researchers may have just found out.
Using machine learning, a pair of Stanford researchers, Abel L. Peirson V and E. Meltem Tolunay, have created a system that automatically generates memes including the ones visible above. Their system, they’ve discovered “produces original memes that cannot on the whole be differentiated from real ones.”
The system uses a pre-trained Inception-v3 network using the long short-term memory model to produce captions that are applicable to a particular picture. Humans then assess the humor of the meme, rewarding the system for true LOLs.
The researchers trained the network with “400.000 image, label and caption triplets with 2600 unique image-label pairs” including funny memes generated by actual humans. The system then recreates memes in a similar vein.
Why it’s hot:
The headline uses the word “dank.” And the application of machine learning is taking a turn into culture town.
Uber has applied for a patent to use AI to determine a passenger’s “user state” before they’re picked up by their driver. While this may trigger alarm for those who rely on Uber to get them home safely after a night of drinking, it seems as though the company has the passenger’s safety top of mind.
If implemented, the technology would scan for patterns in behaviors like interaction speed, typing, device angle and even walking speed to understand when a customer seems to be acting out of the ordinary. It will also measure how far from normal the behavior appears.
The company hasn’t clarified exactly what this will mean for users, but the patent application mentions that passengers may be paired with drivers “with experience or training with users having an unusual state.” It may also encourage drivers to use pickup and drop off locations that are well-lit and easy to find.
Why It’s Hot:
This unique application of AI can potentially make for a smoother ride for both Uber drivers and passengers. It may also inspire other apps to push the boundaries of how to improve customer experience based on user behavior data.
The experiment is the latest sign of China’s desire to innovate in, and dominate, the increasingly lucrative and strategically important market for renewable energy. The country already produces three-quarters of the solar panels sold globally, and its wind-turbine manufacturing industry is also among the world’s largest.
The potential appeal of solar roads — modified solar panels that are installed in place of asphalt — is clear. Generating electricity from highways and streets, rather than in fields and deserts packed with solar panels, could conserve a lot of land. Those advantages are particularly important in a place like China, a heavily populated country where demand for energy has risen rapidly.
Because roads run through and around cities, the electricity could be used practically next door to where it is generated. That means virtually no power would be lost in transmission, as can happen with projects in outlying locations. And the land is essentially free, because roads are needed anyway. Roads must be resurfaced every few years at great cost, so the installation of durable solar panels could reduce the price of maintenance.
Solar roads could also change the driving experience. Electric heating strips can melt snow that falls on them. Light-emitting diodes embedded in the surface can provide illuminated signage to direct drivers to exits and alert them to construction and other traffic hazards.
One of the great things about Uber Pool is that it offers people who have had a few too many drinks on a Saturday night a safe and cheap alternative to driving home drunk. On the other hand, a sober ride sharer has to deal with a belligerent passenger who can create an uncomfortable situation for everyone.
Enter Uber’s plan to detect drunken behavior before users get into a Pool. They have applied for a patent for a keystroke system that tracks how a user normally uses the Uber app through AI; how often they make typos, how precisely they click on buttons, how often they drop their phone, their normal walking speed, etc. The algorithm will track changes in these factors along with where and when the ride was requested which then may result in notifying the driver that the passenger may have been drinking. Depending on their level of intoxication, they may be prevented from joining a Pool or could match with drivers trained to handle people in this state.
Why it’s Hot: There’s two obvious issues that could result. 1.) This technology will motivate drivers who don’t want their car ruined to decline drunk passengers, possibly resulting in people driving home drunk instead. 2.) Another, more disturbing possibility, are drivers who would use this information as a draw rather than a deterrent. A common theme in many of Uber driver’s past assault cases have been the passengers level of inebriation. This feature could essentially allow drivers to scan neighborhoods for passengers in a drunken state for this exact purpose.
Uber has drawn up a plan for AI that detects a user’s drunken behavior to accommodate them before they get into the backseat. The system, described by members of Uber’s Trust & Safety team in 2016 and published yesterday, tracks how someone typically uses Uber’s app: how quickly they type (and with how many typos), how precisely they click on buttons, their walking speed, and the way their phone is typically held or dropped on any given day.
Someone who hails a car to get home after hitting the bars probably won’t be the best at typing out their home address or walking too quickly (if at all). Factors like these are plugged into Uber’s planned algorithm, along with details about when and where the ride was requested. A late-night Uber call or one that’s from an area loaded with bars, would tip the system off about a rider’s sobriety differently than a daytime call from the suburbs.
Why It’s Hot
Although this could enhance the rider experience for those who carpool, and arm the drivers with information on the rider’s state before they get in the car, there are also some clear issues. It could deter drivers from picking up passengers, perhaps forcing them to drive, or could act as a draw for assault. It will be interesting to see how this unravels; it appears it could cause more issues than it could mitigate..
So what’s different now? Well, probably not much. But Twitter would certainly love a quick win given how often they’ve been hammered in the press for how they handle banning abusive users, cleaning out phony bot accounts, and handing out verification check marks.
Maybe an edit button will be some easy positive press.
There’s also the power of Kim K. If she doesn’t get the edit button she wants, maybe she just tweets something negative about Twitter, delete her account, and tank their stock. Kim’s sister Kendall Jenner did it to Snapchat already!
Why it’s hot
Personally, I don’t want an edit button, but I think I am in the minority and people would rather have it than not. Threading tweets makes it possible to add context to amend previous tweets, but to be able to go back and change things you’ve tweeted could cause a lot of problems trying to hold powerful people responsible for their posts (ahem, Donald Trump). Perhaps the edit ability expires after 5 minutes or something like that. Could be a good compromise.
To promote its live stream of the recent NBA Finals, ESPN pulled an interesting stunt in Manhattan – Airdropping images with text connecting what people were doing with watching the finals.
Why It’s Hot
I’m not sure it is either real, or hot, but what’s seemingly interesting and clever is the fact that they utilized an overlooked iOS feature and used it to personalized their message on a one-to-one basis.
Snap Kit lets developers like you integrate some of Snapchat’s best features across your platform — and lets your community share their favorite moments from your app with their friends, and Snapchatters across the world!
Why it’s hot
Snap understands that other apps are copying its core functionality. Rather than sprawling out and trying to make its own product even bigger, the company is attempting to keep itself in the center by disseminating the functionality and making it something anyone can add to their product.
You’re a chess enthusiast, but let’s face it: your chess board is probably collecting dust in your closet. Since no one in your household wants to play, you’re forced to play a game online or, even worse, not at all. Don’t worry—InfiVention Technologies will solve your issue with artificial intelligence.
InfiVention Technologies is redefining board games with the help of AI. Their product Square Off lets you play a game of chess on a real board with real chess pieces against opponents online or the artificial intelligence of the board. You will see your opponent’s every move in real-time, right in front of your eyes. The board uses magnets to move the pieces, while careful to not dislodge the adjacent pieces from their positions.
Why it’s Hot:
No one expected AI to take over board games—it’s often associated with computers. Since board games are rarely single player, many games have transitioned online to allow you to play at your own convenience. This brings back the charm in playing chess.
VR has been used on patients in medical settings before, from distracting nervous patients at the dentist to helping patients combat phantom pains. But now graduate students in France are working on bringing VR into a new territory: the emergency room.
Students at St. Joseph’s Hospital have designed an immersive VR program that has two goals: 1) to help patients calm down in the stressful setting, and 2) to help increase the patients’ pain tolerance without any drugs. It’s a simple implementation – basically the patient simply straps on a VR headset, and is transported via auditory and visual stimuli to a Zen garden or a tranquil forest setting.
The VR experiences help calm patients down just by nature of being calming settings, but the really interesting part is relating to the pain tolerance response. Patients exhibit increased pain tolerance because of several affects of the VR experience. Distraction is important, because the patient is less aware of what’s happening to their body when their focus is successfully held elsewhere. But also significant is the way the VR actually helps trigger changes in the patient’s brain and nervous system, which can slowly be reprogrammed to give the patient a lesser response to the pain. This neural reprogramming has already been studied and implemented for treatment of chronic pain and illnesses, and now the work of these French grad students is exploring the potential for VR as a tool in acute, immediate situations as well.
Why It’s Hot: An innovative new approach to pain management that has zero side effects -especially promising given the increasing dangers of addiction with many pain medications currently being used (and overused) in hospitals today.
A new study at the University of Maryland shows that people remembered information better when in VR versus on a desktop.
Participants were first handed a print out of faces. They they had 5 minutes to a explore a scene and remember where all the faces were located.
“Half the faces were positioned in different locations within the interior setting–Oprah Winfrey appeared at the top of a grand staircase; Stephen Hawking was a few steps down, followed by Shrek. On the ground floor, Napoleon Bonaparte’s face sat above majestic wooden table, while The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was positioned in the center of the room.”
After 5 minutes, the scene went dark for two minutes and then reappears. This time though, the faces were replaced with numbered boxes. The participants were then asked to recall what face was in each box.
After they finished answering, they were asked to remember new faces and explore another scene, but this time on a different platform. The 40 participants were split into two groups. One went that went through the study in VR first and then desktop, and another group that explored it on desktop first and then in VR. All but 2 participants said they were confident with their answers on both platforms, but preferred VR.
The results? There was an 8.8% improvement in recall accuracy when the participants used VR over desktop.
“Many of the participants said the immersive “presence” while using VR allowed them to focus better. This was reflected in the research results: 40 percent of the participants scored at least 10 percent higher in recall ability using VR over the desktop display.”
“By showing that virtual reality can help improve recall, it opens the door to further studies that look at the impact of VR-based training modules at all levels–from elementary school children learning astronomy to trauma residents acquiring the latest knowledge in lifesaving procedures. We believe the future of education and innovation will benefit greatly from the use of these new visual technologies.”
Why It’s Hot:
Shows more potential for VR as a platform for educating users
It’s no news that newspapers have been on the downtick for years. But despite the uptick in news consumption in America, largely thanks to the Trump bump, the newspaper industry’s survival remains in jeopardy, according to the Pew Research Center’s newly-released newspaper fact sheet for 2017. (SOURCE: Axiom)
“The big picture: The future for newspapers remains bleak. Though web traffic has grown for many news outlets, the industry’s subscriber-based audience has steadily declined since the 2000s, per the report. Meanwhile newspapers, which have failed at finding fresh ways to compete with digital products, are using antiquated business models that show no signs of improving their readership.”
Although newspaper advertising revenue was $16.5 billion in 2017, down 10% from 2016, newspaper ads for digital are on the rise, and accounted for almost a third of ad revenue in 2017. That’s only up 3% from 2016, but it’s a number that stayed out of the red.”
WHY IT’S HOT:
As major papers with the budget to innovate to combat these headwinds, they (read: NYTimes) are creating new digital products and services to expand the role of the publication in the lives of their readership. We have begun to see publishers treating their paper more like a service offering, and less like a traditional journalistic outlet.
Snapchat and Instagram, two popular social media platforms are entering the world of e-commerce. Both platforms point users in a shopping direction. Each of the apps increase their competition amongst each other as they battle to gain the most following. In today’s digital era, eCommerce is transforming the way we absorb information and online shop.
For Snapchat, eCommerce is utilized as Snapchat presents the “Shoppable Snap Ads”. In this specific ad, Snapchat promotes Spectacles camera sunglasses. Meanwhile, Instagram utilizes shopping in its feature of “Instagram Stories”. With this feature, retail stores can promote their merchandise one user at a time. Brands are slowly beginning to take over each Instagram user’s feed and what they see. Snapchat like its competitor, has a feature in which users can stay in the know about their favorite brands and see how they can take action.
Snapchat additionally utilizes eCommerce to promote Dunkin’ Donuts. As America runs on Dunkin (no pun intended), it allows for users to interact with the brand by playing a virtual reality game, designed as an ad. Snapchat additionally includes “carousel-style” shopping ads, where users can interact with different filters for their favorite brands and send to their friends.
Why it’s hot
eCommerce remains to be a hot topic in today’s ad world. eCommerce is a major influence to how agencies and brands engage with their clients and users. The social media platforms, like Instagram and Snapchat use eCommerce to their advantage. With fun and eye-catching ads, eCommerce helps increase brand awareness and grow meaningful relationships with clients. As a global customer relationship agency, MRM//McCann works to use eCommerce as a specific tool in which clients can successfully and effectively interact with their users.
Snapchat, everyone’s favorite love it or hate it app.
To keep up with other social platform’s Ecommerce capabilities, like Facebook, Snap also wants to attract advertisers by convincing them that users do want to shop when seeing an ad on Snapchat.
Snap is currently testing Shoppable Snap and Story ads that can run on both the “Discover” page of the app and between stories. The new Shoppable ads lets consumers shop a product catalog within the app. The new Shoppable Snap ad is simple, and familiar to those who browse through brands on social media. You see a video ad with a product catalog at the bottom. The consumer taps on an item, and they’ll be directed to the brand’s website to complete the purchase. Companies on the advertiser’s side have to enable features like auto-fill or Apple Pay on the mobile website. Something Snap is not responsible for.
The added benefit for retailers and advertisers running these Shoppable Snap ads is using the Snap Pixel to see the total number and value of purchases of an advertiser’s Snapchat campaign.
The Shoppable Snap ads will have to prove it’s worthiness of having low Cost Per Purchase for advertisers, meaning with little spend, receiving a ton of purchase conversions – more bang for your buck for advertisers.
Why it’s hot: Many people in the industry are seeing the future of social commerce. As the next major storefront may very well be a social platform.