Fit and healthy

A while back I talked about how technologies can make a difference to our lives. That is, if you allowed it to do so. There are definitely people who embraced change while there are many who are traditional deep down. The place where I worked gave me opportunities to speak to people that uses trackers like fitbit. Patricia Lauder took notice of her Fitbit when it begin to display a peculiar result of her heart rate. It reports an alarmingly high resting heart rate exceeding 140 beats per minute and this caused her to notify 911 immediately. It was later confirmed that there were blood clots in both her lungs and her heart would have to work more in order to balance from the lowered oxygen levels. She was able to get the clots treated and removed within 24hours. Data is important, especially data that can protect our valuable lives.

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Parcel right at the door step

You can’t expect anything more crazy than this. A literal yet impactful approach taken by Volkswagen Denmark to introduce the direct sales of cars online. I think the idea of having it so direct creates the powerful message of how easily one can own a Volkswagen. Funny as this stunt might seem to be, it sure delivers a good conversation starter. Das Auto.

Gaming on the go

With the proliferation of mobile games, the gaming industry began to see increased trends of people devoting a large portion of their time and finance into this area of entertainment. As an active gamer, I am also guilty being part of this staggering number of gamers. Now, does that mean console gaming and arcade gaming is losing its appeal? The answer is a Yes and a No. You probably notice the decrease in traffic in your neighborhood’ LAN shops, cyber cafes and arcades. But on the other hand, you see people gripping tightly on to their mobile phones on the train and completely sticking their face into the games wherever they go. This makes you doubt the survivability of traditional gaming. However, Nintendo proves us wrong by actually playing the “catching-up” game. Check out their new console, aka ‘NX’. It is the hybrid of both console and mobile gaming experiences.

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Have you check out their trailer? its fantastic. It brings out the essence of the brand and also packs all the function and features of this new tech. Personally, I think they did an awesome job.

Fly!

While working on a previous brief for a client of mine, the idea of VR struck us in the midst of our brainstorming session. Some cringe while others embrace it passionately. Consumer VR experience in today’s context revolves greatly in a ‘controlled’ interactive environment. Why is that so? It becomes extremely challenging to bridge that level of experience into consumer retail, exhibition or even online. Brands are riding on the technology wave but are always skeptical about its outcome and especially for those who are cautious of the perceptions from their target audience. So, we have always had a conservative approach to emerging technologies. Have a look at Parrot’s new Drone plane. The drone offers real time flight experience by allowing the user to navigate the flight from a first person view. The “Disco” drone is no mediocre technology. It ramps up to 80km/hr and its glide trajectory is almost impeccable. Running at 45mins per flight, it allows consumers now to own a piece of technology that brings drone flights to a whole new experience. VR is no longer just a novelty experience used to boost brand’s ego but a usable technology that consumers can indulge in.

Video on the go

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Image source: Digitaltrends

By now, you should be so used to having a separate app on your mobile phone that is used solely for your conversations held in Facebook. The Facebook messaging app is certainly a very developed platform that was clearly planned ahead of its launch. I remember how it used to annoyed me when I had to download a separate app just for Facebook messaging. But the flip side of having an additional app also meant that we now can have more features within the app making it more robust in features. Not only are you now able to continue text messaging, you can also have the video loading in tandem. It also gives you customizable features like muting the video while you type. Facebook continues to embed more into our daily lives and making many subtle adjustments to accommodate our user experience. Is your brand thinking along the same direction?

Wheels of innovation

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Wow, if you ask me what good design is, I would certainly vote for solid aesthetics combined with unrivalled functionality. Our landscape is changing, the building structures in modern environments are less forgiving compared to the spacious environments we were once so used to. Of course, adaptation means solutions that allows us to commute with efficiency. Check out this new mobile cycle. The Cargob Urban Eco-Bicycle is a very awesome delivery bike. I love how it places the cargo in front, making it so easy to access parcels. On top of that, there is a motorised mechanism at the back which basically accumulates energy from the riding and braking. This useful energy can be used as electronic energy to power devices like your mobile phones as well as the LED lights! And what’s forward moving if we don’t incorporate anything or everything with mobile right? There is the app which allows the user to navigate his route upon scanning the details of the parcel box. In addition, it also has a messaging system and parcel acknowledgement feature. Very neat and innovative product.

Backdoor security

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This is certainly depressing. At one point I do agree with Tim Cook’s decision to NOT develop a backdoor access for Apple devices, I cannot denied the urging need to assist FBI in cracking down the dreadful murder case of Farrok and Malik. Evidently, it is a case where there isn’t a definite answer. I lean towards Tim’s decision in favour of maintaining security for all Apple products simply because of the greater risk at hand. This is very much akin to the case of terrorism where reporters or journalist are held hostage for ransom. Should countries compromise on their own security policies to not bow down to terrorism? Or do they pay and obliged to the demands of terrorism? Again, this becomes a case where governments are looking into making decisions on a larger scale or an individual basis. What are your thoughts?

 

Eating LEGOs?

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As much as creativity is concerned, being able to swap a couple of bricks and stacking them up all pretty isn’t going to make much of an impact. What’s really amazing is being able to create and built functionality into LEGO bricks. Especially one that serves to improve your daily routine. AstonishingStudios’s new creation is actually a ‘Cheerios Cereal Maker’. It is powered by the LEGO Mindstorm technology and is able to dispense one bowl of cereal together with milk. Check out the video to see more innovative details about the machine. It can be powered by a two Euro coins. The storage is also highly reloadable with enough space for your spoons and a bottle of milk. Awesome.

Über to pull out of Hamburg, Germany

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This is actually bad news for me. In Singapore, many commuters find it daunting to flag a cab during peak hours, rainy days as well as being in obscure locations where cabs simply do not wish to come. Then came a solution. Über, a transport service provider who had the idea of letting the public choose the driver of their choice, by marrying a willing driver to a happy passenger. A win win situation where people can now commute easily and efficiently without being frustrated by cab rejections or boorish driver attitudes. This change has naturally brought good commuting experience for the general public but is definitely bound to receive extreme resistance from the licensed cab drivers.

Cab drivers view this new transport service, which also features a private driver option for anyone to join its programme as a part time driver, to be a threat for their livelihood. Maybe from a rather more individualistic perspective, I do see Über as a ‘check’ for arrogant and complacent drivers to reflect why they would have lost. I am not generalising the entire cab population here, but more often than not, have I heard cases of exasperated passengers complain about cabbies for their behaviours and attitudes. Hence, Über provided a solution for most of the people.

Now, it is apparent that the company is facing a pullout in Hamburg, Germany, because of the tedious process to obtain registration for an independent rental car enterprise. However, Über is still receiving major support in areas like Berlin and Munich but is likely to pull out from Düsseldorf and Frankfurt.  Über provided the ideal solution for the public, be it a passenger or an average joe looking to moonlight as a part time driver. It provided a service through the use of technology at our fingertips. Anyone can easily get a cab at any hour, without much waiting time, through the use of the Über mobile app. I do not wish to see the end of such brilliant service end here in Singapore. The amount of resistance from licensed cab companies here have also place immersive amount of strain on the company’s operations. But I believe those who truly stood for this service should hold their stand and let the company continue its operations.

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