The office adapts to the way we work now! Welcome to The Office Slack, a slack reinterpretation of every episode of the office.
“The account comes from a creative collective known as MSCHF, “a group of 10 offbeat creatives based in a small office in Brooklyn.” They post on the Office Slack during traditional office hours, naturally (weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), in real-time, meaning some episodes take days or even weeks to fully play out.”
Like any metropolitan bus system, it’s something people in Brussels love to complain about. Buses are either too late or too full or often both. But it’s tough to complain about a message of love.
Since last week, Brussels’ public bus company STIB-MIVB has been calling on people to send in voice messages — and an address. Then, the special bus goes out in the early evening in a big loop to spread all the messages and leave a trail of happiness.
Yes, with smartphones and video calls, there is already a plethora of ways to communicate. But a love bus with the voices of children and dear ones?
“It gives me pleasure,” said Asuncion Mendez, 82, after hearing a message from her great-grandchildren. She said it broke the dreariness of another lockdown day indoors and momentarily eased her fear of the coronavirus.
“It was a beautiful surprise. It warms the heart and makes people come together despite the lockdown,” said her daughter Carmen Diaz, who watched and listened with her from a open window one floor above street level.
Lorena Sanchez, the daughter of Diaz and granddaughter of Mendez, says it’s a great idea. “It can really have an impact on a lot of people, especially the older ones who do not have access to technology,” said Sanchez. “It brings something very special.”
The bus company has been inundated with requests, about 750 messages from the blowing of kisses to a request by a child for someone to become her godmother, spokeswoman An Van hamme said.
Public buses are continuing to run in Brussels, with passengers required to board and exit by the back door and adhere to social distancing while inside.
The “Voice of Brussels” program is even leaving a smile on the face of bus drivers, so often the target of abuse.
Why it’s hot? Talk about putting unused assets to work to fulfill a real human need during a pandemic
Looking for ways to be more productive at home? Google has evolved google lens to help you get things done while working from home.
With Google lens you can:
Copy text from paper to your laptop
You can already use Lens to quickly copy and paste text from paper notes and documents to your phone to save time. Now, when you select text with Lens, you can tap “copy to computer” to quickly paste it on another signed-in device with Chrome.
Learn new words and how to pronounce them
Google lens offered the possibility to translate words into more than 100 languages by pointing your camera at the text, but now it’s been enhanced to allow you to listen to the text be read out loud.
Quickly look up new concepts
Trying to understand a concept or a phrase? No problem. Google lens allows you to highlight and find search results.
Why it’s hot: There’s so much more we can do to connect the physical and digital world. Finding ways to evolve products and give them an added value that is fitting to consumer needs is a way to ensure adoption and customer loyalty.
You’ve likely seen a lot of talk about how the effects of our current pandemic quarantine may forever change how we work. You may even feel the change happening.
Currently, we’re all enjoying full days of video chats on Teams, Zoom, Slack, take your pick. Spatial is a similar collaboration tool that allows teammates to converse and interact in AR/VR.
It may or may not be a substitute for in-person interactions, but at least solves for some of the challenges of brainstorming and ideating when we’re not all in the same “space”.
Why It’s Hot:
While it’s unclear how quickly these types of virtual interactions will begin to become commonplace, a company like Spatial signifies it’s coming. Not just for workplace interactions, but also social ones.
While working from home has allowed many of us to forego parts of our morning beauty routines, it can still be hard to shake the feeling that we’re not meeting those ever-elusive beauty standards, especially for women. That’s what direct-to-consumer shaving brand Billie aims to highlight—and debunk—in its new spot “Are We Doing Video?” released this week.
The idea for the spot came after Billie co-founder Georgina Gooley noticed that every work from home Zoom meeting began with the same chorus of apologies. Part of that comes from being “face-to-face with your own face, so much more often than you would be if you were just working in a normal office,” she said. But it also speaks to a much bigger issue: that women find their failure to meet societal standards for beauty offensive enough to apologize for.
Gooley also pointed out the irony in people’s reticence to turn on their video during a chat. “The person on the other side really doesn’t care what you look like,” she said. “They’re just happy to see someone during this time.”
Doing all the campaign’s shoots over Zoom allowed for some unique opportunities. For example, the spot includes participants filming from their homes in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Spain and Russia. To try to capture a more natural interaction between people, the director asked actors to recruit their friends to join the calls, so rather than having actors simulate a friend group or work team in a Zoom call, they were filming real family and friend groups chatting.
Calling out the unfairness and inconsistency of feminine beauty standards is something that’s been part of Billie’s DNA from the beginning. The brand launched in 2017 with the message that it wanted to offer a product that provided a way for women to get high-quality shaving products without the “pink tax,” which is a markup on women’s products just because they’re women’s products.
In 2018, one of the brand’s ads showing women with—gasp—actual body hair was flagged on Facebook as “adult material.” The groundbreaking goal of those ads was to frame shaving as something that women can choose to do or not, rather than something that’s a baseline requirement of femininity. “I think you’ll always see us really challenging the way women are sometimes pigeon-holed into having to look a certain way,” said Gooley.
Why it’s Hot:
As we see brands struggling to find their footing during the pandemic, it’s refreshing to see an ad that works and doesn’t begin with “in these unprecedented times.” Unlike many other companies who have tried to shift messaging during COVID to appear more relevant and sensitive, this spot doesn’t feel like a departure for Billie – it’s intrinsically linked to how they’ve always portrayed themselves, which is why it works.
As we continue to navigate advertising during COVID, it’s important for brands to remain grounded in what’s at the core of their brand.
Yesterday a smart person named Thomas Dimson, who formerly wrote “the algorithm” at Instagram, launched a site that uses the Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithm: Transformers, and OpenAI‘s infamous GPT-2 AI-powered text generator, to generate and define new English words, and use them in a sentence.
A disclaimer at the bottom of the site reads: Words are not reviewed and may reflect bias in the training set.
You can also write your own neologism and the AI will define it for you. It’s a fun diversion, but does it have any use? Probably not in this form. But it speaks to how AI may be used in the fun-and-games side of life, but also how it may ultimately shape the foundations of how we communicate.
Why it’s hot:
It’s fun to participate in the creation of something new (without having to work too hard), and language is the perfect playground for experimentation.
As AI becomes more influential in our daily lives, it’s interesting (and perhaps a little disturbing) to imagine the ways in which it may take part in creating the very words we use to communicate. What else might AI give us that we have heretofore considered to be the exclusive domain of humans?
Spotify wants to help their listeners feel less alone by launching new site to show you who’s listening to what you are. Apparently, every second, more than 30,000 people across the world are pressing play on the same song.
“By sharing how we are listening and making it easy for others to see the songs others are streaming at the same time,” says Alexandra Tanguay, VP of global brand at Spotify, “we’ll not only surface the content recommendations we are all looking for [but] we’ll also establish a sense of connection and the togetherness that we all need right now.”
The concept started as an experiment in 2014 when a media artist Kyle McDonald wanted to explore how to connect two listeners playing the same song.
On the Listening Together site, there is a map of the world that users can navigate by clicking and moving various points on the globe. As you move the map, locations with specific songs will pop up, then show exactly where and how far away from you that exact song is also being clicked.
“Nothing that we know is quite the same,” says Tanguay. “As a brand, we knew it would be tone-deaf to push forward without acknowledging this moment of crisis, recognizing how our listeners, creators, and the world are feeling, while bringing to the forefront what we can offer: content that can be either a welcomed distraction, a moment of self-care, or a valuable source of information.”
Why It’s Hot:
This program is interesting because Spotify is creating brand awareness while also acknowledging what’s going on, without being the typical “we’re here for you” messaging. It’s a really cool example of how they are using their data to bring people together.