Amazon announced today through a video posted online that it’s testing a grocery store in hometown Seattle that has no checkout process, much less checkout lines. The store, dubbed Amazon Go, requires customers to launch a QR-code based app, which they scan upon walking into the site. The retailer’s “Just Walk Out” technology detects when products are removed from or returned to shelves, keeps track of them in a virtual cart, and totals the cost when customers depart the store. Grab and go.
Ever since the paywall model for online journalism was introduced about five years ago, news consumers have spent just as much time figuring out how to avoid paying for content as they have paying for it. But what if you only had to shell out a measly quarter to read one article instead of paying an expensive monthly subscription fee? Quarter for your thoughts.
Snap Inc. is having a productive autumn. A couple of weeks ago, Snap filed confidential documents for a coming stock offering that could value the firm at $30 billion, which would make it one of the largest initial public offerings in recent years. Around the same time, it began selling Spectacles, sunglasses that can record video clips, which have become one of the most sought-after gadgets of the season. And yet, even when it’s grabbing headlines, it often seems as if Snap gets little respect. Maturity in a snap.
While we’ve long heard about smart glasses -- including, but certainly not limited to, Google’s early but ill-fated foray -– it’s the reported smart glasses in development from Apple that have the potential to finally go mainstream. Textbook Apple.
Andrew Dent, vice president of library and materials research at Material ConneXion, is like a sommelier. Presiding over the world's largest library of materials, his job is to listen to the requirements of his clients and come up with an innovative material that suits their needs. His level of obsession in this field is such that he makes Apple's Jonathan Ive, a fellow Brit, seem like he's never done his homework. Here, he identifies a handful of the cutting-edge materials that he thinks will be important to designers over the next few years. Flexible batteries, velcro metal, conductive inks, oh my.
While different forms of VR arcades have been around since the late ‘90s, it hasn’t been until recently that new virtual reality gaming centers have been gaining massive popularity around the world, first in China, then in other parts of Asia and soon widespread in Europe and North America. Earlier this week, the senior vice president of HTC’s virtual reality efforts announced initiatives meant to make it easier for people to open these arcades as small businesses. My inner child is coming out.
Magic Leap has operated in extreme secrecy since it was founded in 2011. Only a few people got to see its technology, even fewer knew how it worked, and all of them were buried under so many nondisclosure agreements that they could barely admit the company existed. But now the company is coming out of the shadows. In a rare interview Abovitz says Magic Leap has spent a billion dollars perfecting a prototype and has begun constructing manufacturing lines in Florida, ahead of a release of a consumer version of its technology. The future is near.
Just before the original dot-com bubble burst all over the economy, some marketers started pushing the edges of advertising. Most were startups and brands trying to grab attention with unconventional work, but what emerged was something even more unusual in tone. Eager to reach younger audiences with discretionary income, the ads became more risky and offbeat, as marketers grew fascinated with exploring how weird they can get before crossing a line. And more than a decade later, we’re still defining that line. Odd for odd's sake.
An American tourist is lured to a British game development studio to test a new augmented-reality horror game that engages directly with each player’s brain via a biorobotic implant. The AI program mines the character’s darkest fears and manifests them into the real-world as photorealistic graphics. Inevitably, terror and mental breakdown follow. The idea of a video game that can analyze a player’s personality and change accordingly may seem like the stuff of outlandish sci-fi, but it isn’t. This could well be where game design is heading. Reality games.
If you’ve ever needed an excuse to eat cookies for breakfast, your wait is over: Girl Scouts is releasing Thin Mint and Caramel Crunch flavored cereal in January. It's about time.