Mastercard Demystified Millennials

Millennials seem to be the toughest demographic to crack, as they’re viewed as narcissistic, entitled, superficial, and several more descriptive adjectives. So Mastercard Australia made it their mission to understand what millennials really wanted from their new debit rewards program. The “Millennials Demystified” experiment was conducted by researchers at the University of South Wales and the purpose was simple, to find out what millennials really desire. Participants of the study were given 2 choices in which they had to choose which one they desired the most, the catch was that their neurological impulses let the researchers know exactly what they truly desired out of the two choices. The results? Simple. Millennials are human after all and they want to do more good than harm the world, contrary to what seems to be common belief.

Why it’s hot:
Turns out millennials aren’t soulless zombies that want to watch the world burn.

Mastercard AU

Parker the stuffed bear

Say Hi to Parker, your augmented reality bear. He’s filled with nothing but love and stuffing but he’s so much more than that. When you purchase Parker for $60 you can get the whole Parker kit that’s compatible with your iOS devices! It comes with Parker, a wooden stethoscope, wooden thermometer and a few other miscellaneous items. The idea is to promote STEAM from a young age.

It’s a great way to integrate AR with a classic toy for kids. The greatest part is that you can also purchase the $40 extension bedtime kit for more fun! Purchases aside, at least the app itself is free.

Why it’s hot:

STEAM integration is becoming more and more important and it’s an amazing way to let kids explore from the get go. But is Parker worth $100?

source: https://www.macworld.com/article/3236200/ios/parker-your-augmented-reality-bear.html

The New Religion: AI

There’s a new religion called “Way of the Future” that stems directly from the avid supporters of artificial intelligence. Way of the Future (WOTF) church was founded by Anthony Levandowski otherwise known as Uber’s fired self-driving car engineer. As Wired states, “Levandowski makes an unlikely prophet, dressed Silicon Valley-casual in jeans”.

The principles and the basis of the religion is as expected with this incredulous innovation, it’s said that WOTF’s focus activities will be centered around “the realization, acceptance, and worship of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) developed through computer hardware and software.” The concept of it kind of makes sense, despite being as absurd as it sounds. Levandowski makes a fascinating remark on the purpose of the religion’s creation stating “it’s not a god in the sense that it makes lightning or causes hurricanes. But if there is something a billion times smarter than the smartest human, what else are you going to call it?”

Why it’s hot:
Is this the unifying religion that’ll tie mankind together? Or will robots evolve exponentially and herd humans to study their “creators”?

 

Source: https://www.wired.com/story/anthony-levandowski-artificial-intelligence-religion/

Hurricane-Proof Houses

Due to the intensity of mother nature’s wrath in the past couple of months, causing by far the worst hurricane season to date say hello to the floating home. The home functions via a hydrolic system that allows it to rise up to 40 feet during surges. The homes also utilize solar panels allowing it to work off grid completely. These super floaters are said to cost about $2-$3 million and we will see the first prototype to float out in the Miami river in 2018.

Why it’s hot:

It’s an interesting solution to the mass destruction that’s been seen as of late. But what is the plausibility of it being a widely utilized system?

source: https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/arkup-floating-hurricane-proof-home/#/9 

You Butter Believe

Dollar Shave Club has a very fascinating new commercial. From hairless cats to wait- was that Colonel Sanders’… younger brother?! Nevermind it was just a scientist-wizard. It’s pretty (coco)nuts if you ask me, but best you just watch the spot yourself.

Why it’s hot:
The people behind me in my lecture last night definitely questioned my life choices to watch that in such a setting. But there was an interesting 360° behind the scenes video showing how all the ~magic~ was made!

https://youtu.be/mjid7HMmqrE

Source: http://www.adweek.com/creativity/dollar-shave-club-stays-ridiculous-with-creamy-shave-butter-dreamworld/

Twitter: Can’t be fired if you quit first!

It was an unsuspecting Thursday afternoon when the @realDonaldTrump Twitter ceased to exist. Twitter released a statement responding to the issue stating “earlier today @realdonaldtrump’s account was inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee.” The account was gone for exactly 11 minutes, showing the classic “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!” But the greatest part was the “human error,” which turned out to be an employee throwing in all they had on their last day of work and shutting down the account. Twitter responded to the situation, “Through our investigation we have learned that this was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee’s last day. We are conducting a full internal review. ”

The people of Twitter wasted no time responding to the situation.

Why it’s hot:
The world was able to experience what it would be like to live in peace without the Tweeter-in-chief.


Source: CNN

Spotify’s Spoopy Things

Spotify and Stranger Things teamed up to flip your world upside down. Since season one was so groovy, Spotify swooped in making sure we’d be bopping to the most tubular tunes while anticipating the release of season 2 (out now on Netflix!!). With just a few clicks, a character playlist is generated based on your listening habits. I got Steve’s playlist, while I wasn’t thrilled with the character pairing, Everybody Wants To Rule The World started playing and suddenly I wasn’t so mad at it anymore. Check out the site here: Spotify x Stranger Things. You can get a recommended playlist even if you don’t link your account!

Like, it’s totally radical, I couldn’t have thought of something more wicked. 
They even had this grody feature turning Spotify into the Demogorgon’s Upside Down!
Why It’s Hot: Because things could’ve been stranger but it’s finally time to grab those eggos and enjoy (binging) season 2!

 

Robots Feel Too

SynTouch has developed a robot that can “feel” textures. It’s all done with a texture testing machine that allows the robot to understand a variety of the materialistic components from coarseness to coolness. The robotic fingertip rubs against the material and analyzes it in 15 different dimensions. The fingertip itself is equipped with 19 super sensitive electrodes in which a silicon skin encloses the structure. But that’s not all, saline is injected in between the space allowing the electrodes to measure the change in resistance when the finger is pressed against a surface.

Before integrating touch sensation:

After integrating touch:

The finger measures in vibrations; different materials would result in different vibration patterns. “SynTouch’s finger measures not just a material’s temperature, but its perceived temperature, by precisely measuring this rate of heat transfer.”

How it works:

Why it’s hot:
It would be an incredible step for prosthetics, amputees may be able to have robotic replacements that would allow them to ‘feel’ again. It could also revolutionize online shopping, people may never have to leave home again as consumer reviews would be able to qualify the actual feel of a fabric before purchase.

Quite the touching invention, don’t you think?

Source: https://www.wired.com/story/syntouch-robot-finger/

To Infinity and Beyond with a BFR

Tired of the earth? No worries, Elon Musk hopes to have trips to Mars available by 2024. With SpaceX’s new toy, BFR (which stands for Big F****** Rocket) is supposed to replace the current Falcon’s. The BFR is going to be 347 ft tall, 29 ft wide, and said to have 40 cabins that will store about 2-3 people, meaning there’ll be about 100 people per trip! But BFR isn’t only for trips to Mars or the Moon, Musk says it could also be a great way to travel around the world, shortening all trips to under an hour.

Why It’s Hot:
“It’s 2017, we should have a lunar base by now” – Elon Musk.

source: http://mashable.com/2017/09/29/elon-musk-mars-bfr/#Za4mL0F0PqqX

Mission E

Porsche’s first fully electric car is set to hit the roads in 2019. Although revealed back in 2015, the car is finally in its final development stages. The Mission E is said to go 300 miles on a single full battery, a top projected speed of over 250 km/h (155mph) and goes from 0-100 km/h in 3.5 seconds. It’s starting price is also likely to start around $80,000 USD. So what does this mean for Telsa and its Model S that also reaches top speed of 250 km/h and goes from 0-97 km/h in 3.1 seconds? Well, for starters the Model S is still going to be in a lower price range, meaning Porsche may still dominate in the category of high-class luxury.

Why it’s hot:
The microsite for Mission E is quite the experience, it almost makes me want to get one, but unfortunately being broke doesn’t help. It’s designed to feel incredibly futuristic and advanced, giving off an elegant, sleek, and luxurious feel.

Flying cars? Almost.Porsche - Mission E[+][+]

source: https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/17/porsches-electric-mission-e-arrives-in-2019-priced-like-panamera/

https://www.porsche.com/microsite/mission-e/international.aspx

… So money DOES buy happiness?

A study done by the National Academy of Sciences found that paying other people to do your tedious distasteful tasks could lead to more happiness. Based on a survey of nearly 4,500 people from the US, Denmark, Canda, and the Netherlands. About 28% of individuals surveyed actually reported spending money to save time. Regardless of income, people seemed to have benefited from buying more time for themselves.

The researchers were able to establish a link between buying time and happiness. They also found that spending money to save time actually appeared to reduce time-related stress as well as increasing well-being.

Why it’s hot:
Everyone always says “money doesn’t buy happiness” but is this study proving that statement wrong? Money can definitely buy comfort and more convenience. Just take a look at TaskRabbit, they’ve been ahead of the game as they provide services from cleaning to minor repairs.

source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/27/science/study-happy-save-money-time.html

Nanomesh Tattoos

Most wearables out on the market are made of polyester or rubber which means that not enough air flow passes through the devices causing sweating and even irritation. But fear not, scientists have developed a wearable that they claim have completely removed the discomfort of a wearable. Much like a henna tattoo, it sits on top of the skin and is breathable, allowing air to pass through naturally. “People cannot even feel the existence of our devices on their skin,” says Takao Somea, a professor at the University of Tokyo.

 

Why it’s hot:

It’s a nanomesh device that has the durability of a week or longer and can monitor electrical muscle activity, body temperature, pressure, and touch. The application process? Simple, just spritz some water on it like a temporary paper tattoo. Scientists hope that the sensor will make monitoring vital signs easier and more comfortable for patients.

In other tattoo news meet Prinker, a gadget that prints temp tattoos directly onto the skin in just seconds. See it in action: http://mashable.com/2017/07/17/temporary-tattoo-printer/#KINHfnAY6sqg

Source: https://nyti.ms/2tjcg1Z

DNA to replace your flash drive?

Data storage of the future: DNA. Researchers were able to recreate and store a short film into bacterial DNA and then retrieve it! With the use of Crispr, a powerful gene editing technique they were able to create this masterpiece in some good ‘ol E. coli.

Since there has been buzz around data storage being a growing issue this “futuristic feature” may be the new method of data storage. The intended purpose wasn’t to store movies but instead, researchers hope to be able to program bacteria as recording devices that can drift into the brain through the blood stream and essentially take notes. It would work similarly to airplane black boxes that are used to retrieve information in the event of a crash.

Why it’s hot:

There are so many possibilities. If DNA can store data like this, imagine what it could do for doctors and researchers. Feeling a little ill and not entirely sure what the issue is? Perhaps your doctor can retrieve the information directly from inside of you.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/12/science/film-clip-stored-in-dna.html

Sun’s out, Buns out… Patch On?

L’Oréal’s UV patch is a new way to help monitor UV exposure when participating in summer activities. The UV patch was released last year but it’s now gaining attention with its latest version and new accompanying app. The patch comes in the shape of an adorable heart and is recommended to be placed on the arm/wrist but essentially can be worn anywhere on the body. “Anywhere” meaning anywhere that’s exposed to the sun of course. The app is family friendly and features avatars that are used to keep track of different family members. It’s customized to each patch user as it asks about “skin type, the location, and the weather to make sure you’re getting the best advice.”
“When you take a photo of the patch, My UV tells you things like when to put on more sunscreen, what the UV levels on your patch are currently at, and what level SPF you should be using.”

See it in action: http://mashable.com/2017/06/26/loreal-sunscreen-skin-patch/ 

Why it’s hot:
According to SkinCancer.org, over the past three decades, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined and one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. It’s important to take preventative measures from an early age and this patch/app combo seems to be a push in the right direction.
The only question is: Are you ready for an epic heart-shaped tan line?

Twitter leaves its nest

Twitter has changed (again). It seems as though with every recent interface update, Twitter glided away from its original path. First, the favorite star was replaced by a heart, then the egg avatar was cracked and abandoned, only to be replaced by a generic profile icon and now literally everything else has changed! There’s no more perch on the birdhouse for the bird to sit on, the quill has completely vanished, and the reply is a generic speech bubble.

 

Why it’s hot:
Twitter’s interface was intriguing because it was different. But change is inevitable and supposedly the new interface is meant to drive more user interaction by making it easier to use. But is it really easier? Or are things just now unnecessarily bolded, rounded, and strangely thin? Has Twitter completely destroyed it’s nesting ground or is this just a migration towards something better?

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of the new layout – I feel as though they’re telling me to get my eyes checked because of all the unnecessary bolding going on. But I guess that’s the least of my worries when there’s an orange man with very tiny hands who thinks his 140 character Tweets about “alternative facts” are life changing.

Article: https://www.wired.com/story/twitter-redesigned-itself-to-make-the-tweet-supreme-again/

Volkswagen Humor – Yay or Neigh?

There’s only one way to properly advertise trailer assist and it’s obviously with the help of some stable friends. Volkswagen saddled up but almost missed out on the chance of mounting this gem. This German ad showcases the Volkswagen Tiguan doing its thing using Trailer Assist.

http://players.brightcove.net/1126101268/ryIOOTgtg_default/index.html?videoId=5440122332001

The ad was released on YouTube prior to being aired on television due to fear of it stirring a negative response. The ad quickly became viral making VW reconsider its potential and eventually being pushed on to TV.

Why It’s Hot
The emissions scandal was no joke. Cheating emissions tests for the sake of sales and reputation ended up backfiring, essentially leading to a massive decrease of brand trust. But is it time for the emissions scandal talks to hit the hay for the enjoyment of some innocent horsing around?