November 14, 2016

11 Exciting New Materials Designers Should Watch


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.

November 8, 2016

Why VR Arcades Could Be Virtual Reality’s Salvation


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.

November 7, 2016

Inside Magic Leap, the Secretive $4.5 Billion Startup Changing Computing Forever


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.

November 2, 2016

And Then Advertising Got Weird: What is Oddvertising?

Screen Shot 2016-11-02 at 10.46.31 AM.png

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.

October 26, 2016

Has This Black Mirror Episode Predicted the Future of Video Games?


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.

October 25, 2016

Girl Scout Cookie-Flavored Cereal is Heading to a Grocery Store Near You

Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 11.00.11 AM.png

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.

October 25, 2016

Snapchat’s Created the First Ever ‘Welcomed’ Ads – and It's Making a Killing


Advertising has had a long history of being much-maligned. Nobody likes ads, we just put up with them. We recognize that they prey on our insecurities but, by virtue of both their prominence and ubiquity, can’t escape them. Well, one company appears to agree that its public ads do belong to you, and are yours to take and re-use.

They're on to something.

October 24, 2016

Unilever's Global Marketing Chief on Busting Gender Stereotypes in Advertising


Brands are increasingly addressing the issue of gender stereotypes. In June, Unilever launched #Unstereotype, an initiative that aims to level the playing field in terms of how gender is portrayed in advertising. Unilever's past efforts in that regard include the long-running Dove "Real Beauty" campaign and Axe's "Find Your Magic" campaign. Adweek caught up with Aline Santos, svp of global marketing for Unilever, to talk about how Unilever is putting its plans into action.

Blurred lines.

October 20, 2016

Meet Nintendo Switch, the System Formerly Known As 'NX'


Nintendo's next major step in gaming is a mystery no more. Today, the hardware formerly known as "NX" — and now officially dubbed Switch — has debuted, and here it is. Switch is a transforming console/handheld hybrid that can be pulled apart into a portable gaming system. It's powerful enough to run The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and also features its own, detachable micro-controllers for more party-like settings.

Totally nerding out.

October 19, 2016

Meet the Woman Who Could Turn Into the Digital Era's Ultimate Challenger Brand


For the past year and a half, Liza Landsman has taken on a massive challenge: overseeing marketing, branding and analytics as chief customer officer of ecommerce startup as it attempts to compete with the retail Goliath that is Amazon. Landsman is building the Jet brand around the promise of making shopping fun through a gamified process that aims to shake up the way people shop for everything online: from household products to books, music, appliances, electronics and groceries.

We love a challenge.