Launched in July 2019, the Sidekick platform lets tourists visiting South Korea chat with locals and receive help and recommendations in real-time. It works with a user’s live chat platform of choice (LINE, WhatsApp, Messenger and WeChat) and provides access to local ‘sidekicks’, who provide tips on restaurants, shopping, etiquette and culture. Tourists are connected with either Korean, English or Japanese speakers who are available from 7 am to 5 pm. The service can be purchased as a one-day, three-day or five-day pass and prices start at USD 20.
Why it’s hot:
- This points to the future of travel moving away from typical “touristy” things to more bespoke and personalized experiences.
- It’s a media or channel evolution: From travel guides to channels to blogs to Youtube videos (10 best things to do in X city) to social media travel influencers – to a real time chat service that let’s you live like a local.
- It also lets you navigate and move around confidently in a country where you aren’t familiar with the language and/or culture.
Leading medical spa operators Lanserhof Group has partnered with The Arts Club, a private members club in central London, to develop a state-of-the-art medical gym.Expected to open in May 2019, the new facility is billed as the ‘ultimate medical and gym facility’, and will be the first of its kind to open in the UK.
Designed by Dusseldorf-based firm Ingenhoven Architects, the six-storey gym will be the first facility of its kind to offer club members an MRI scan as part of its tailored training programme. Members will also have access to additional personalised services and offerings such as cardiovascular screening, body metabolism analysis, and two physical therapy labs.
The facility will also feature a world-class gym, class studios, consulting and treatment rooms, cryotherapy treatment chambers and high-end diagnostic and medical facilities, as well as a carefully crafted menu of healthy food options.
Why it’s hot:
- Experiences today define brands and categories – is it time for a luxury experience for healthcare testing and treatments? By mixing the experience of a gym, spa and a diagnostic center, it redefines what treatment and diagnostic centers should look like and may alleviate some anxiety.
- On the other hand, it offers advanced testing to highly health conscious consumers who want to quantify their progress and are hyper aware of their health metrics without having to leave the gym.
For stray cats, winter is almost fatal. Using AI, a Baidu engineer has devised an AI Smart Cattery to shelter stray cats and help them survive Beijing’s cold winter.
It can accurately identify 174 different cat breeds, as to let them enter and exit as they please. A door will slide open if the camera spots a cat, but it won’t work on dogs. Multiple cats can fit inside the space.A fresh air system monitors the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels to ensure the small space is well-ventilated.
Another neat camera feature is that it can be also used to detect if the cat is sick — it can identify four common cat diseases, such as inflammation, skin problems, and physical trauma. Once a cat is identified as needing care, associated volunteers can be informed to come and collect it.
Why it’s Hot: A neat implementation of AI for good – it pushes us to think beyond using AI for just marketing purposes and lets us imagine it’s role in helping solve human (and animal) problems.