October 18, 2013

Weekly Roundup: Manly packaging, privacy-seeking Millennials and ‘man buns’

Posted by: in North America

Read our roundups in magazine form on Flipboard, via the iOS and Android app or online; click here to find our magazine collection.

-“Divining the Future,” a series from The New York Times, includes reports on how far artificial intelligence has come, how media is evolving and “Asia’s Challenge to Europe.”

-Tech startups are popping up around Africa, thanks to better connectivity and rising consumption, explains Newsweek.

-The Wall Street Journal examines Mexico’s new junk food tax, an effort to contain the rise in obesity.

-As men do more grocery shopping, supermarket brands are making packaging more “manly,” explains The Wall Street Journal.

-Most American Millennials are “still not setting out on their own” and forming their own households, according to Pew research.

-Millennial travelers both spend more and complain more, according to a new Expedia study, via USA Today.

-Rather than perennially over-sharing, as conventional wisdom has it, many Millennials are very privacy-savvy, reports Slate.

-A surprising number of Millennials believe technology can be dehumanizing, but many in developing markets disagree, per a new Intel study.

-Reports that Boomers are abandoning suburbs for urban living belie the fact that most want to “age in place,” reports Forbes.

-With Google announcing that it will feature users’ posts and photos in ads, Time examines how more marketers are “trying to cash in on users’ connections.”

-The Economist reports that mobile apps are starting to reshape the taxi market in cities around the globe.

-The New York Times takes a look at how virtual-reality experiences are coming to fruition.

-As more U.S. cities track data on residents for law enforcement purposes, privacy advocates are raising alarms, says The New York Times.

-The Economist reports that a new USB PD (Power Delivery) standard next year could “change the way homes and offices use electricity.”

-Yet more research confirms that Americans are delaying retirement thanks to financial constraints, reports the AP.

-With many Americans struggling to pay bills, some are selling their hair, breast milk and eggs to raise cash, reports Bloomberg.

-A new survey examines the rise of online video viewing and the decline in TV viewing among Millennials, via Mashable.

-Adweek cites Nielsen data showing that the American TV audience is aging up, and the 18-49 cohort have largely turned away.

-Bloomberg Businessweek looks at why British imports are invading Americans’ TV screens.

-More apps and other digital services are catering to luxury customers, reports The New York Times.

-The Daily Beast spotlights a Wharton study finding that its male grads are becoming more egalitarian at home.

-Latin America is the next frontier for discount airlines, reports The Wall Street Journal.

-The BBC takes a look at the flourishing tech hub in Recife, in Brazil’s north.

-With consumers increasingly focused on their sugar intake, juices are on the decline, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.

-”Homemade Is the New Organic,” asserts The Atlantic, since “media has raised the bar for home cooking.”

-An FT columnist explores how craft breweries are challenging the big beer players.

-China is seeing the rise of imaginative restaurants that are uniquely Chinese, reports The New York Times.

-The FT takes a look at why the price of cocoa is rising.

-USA Today spotlights the rising popularity of moonshine (cited in our 2012 food-trends report).

-The Guardian investigates the popularity of “man buns” as more male celebrities sport the hairstyle.

2 Responses to "Weekly Roundup: Manly packaging, privacy-seeking Millennials and ‘man buns’"

1 | grace

October 22nd, 2013 at 11:41 am

Avatar

there’s not enough time in the world to finish reading the stuff you guys are curating.

but there’s time for a quick thank you note.

2 | grace

October 22nd, 2013 at 11:41 am

Avatar

thanks! :)

Comment Form

SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY EMAIL NEWSLETTER:

New Trend Report: The Future of Payments & Currency

2014 iPad App

JWT AnxietyIndex

Things to Watch

  • Xiaomi zooms ahead
    October 30, 2014 | 4:44 pm

    Xiaomi, which we included on our 100 Things to Watch in 2014 list, is now the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. The young company has seen triple-digit year-over-year growth in smartphone shipments, per IDC, surging ahead of both LG and Lenovo. Often described as the “Apple of China,” Xiaomi released its first phone just three years ago; its latest, Mi4, is an iPhone clone that runs on a modified version of Android.

    The company is expanding beyond China into India and Singapore, and planning to enter a slew of other growth markets, including Russia, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico. For more on whether Chinese brands can succeed on the world stage, see our report Remaking “Made in China.”Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Xiaomi

     

  • Money & messaging apps
    October 23, 2014 | 11:13 am

    LINE_icon02

    Given the primary function of mobile messaging apps and their technical capabilities, money transfer and payments are an alluring proposition, as outlined in our new report on payments and currency. Snapchat filed two trademarks in July that indicate a potential move into peer-to-peer payments. The recently announced Line Pay will let Line users make purchases through their Line accounts, send funds to each other, and split costs using a “Dutch Pay” feature. Line Pay will launch in Japan and, as Tech in Asia reports, serve as “an entrance to new industries” thanks to integration with the new Line Taxi service and Line Wow, for food delivery. In South Korea, KakaoTalk launched the PayPal-like Kakao Pay in September, and a remittance service, Bank Wallet Kakao, is in the works. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Line

  • The #TimsDark Experiment
    October 14, 2014 | 3:46 pm

    To entice customers into tasting its new dark roast, Canadian fast food chain Tim Hortons, with the help of JWT Canada, created a surprise immersive experience. A store in Quebec was wrapped in material that blocked all light from the outdoors. Patrons entered warily and, once inside, heard a staff member (who was wearing night vision goggles) guiding them through the dark. At the counter, customers were handed a cup of the dark roast—the brand’s first new blend in 50 years—with the darkness heightening their sense of taste. When the lights came on, the patrons saw they were on camera.

    The #TimsDark Experiment has garnered YouTube views and some press attention, and shows how creatively imagined immersive experiences—one of our 10 Trends for 2014—can encourage consumers to engage with a brand.

  • Bitcoin bank Circle
    October 7, 2014 | 4:40 pm

    Circle

    In late September, the startup Circle launched a web app that effectively functions as a bitcoin bank. Using a debit card or bank account, users transfer funds to Circle, which converts the money to bitcoin at no fee. Circle also insures this money at no cost. The company aims to make bitcoin more accessible via consumer-friendly design and is aiming to take on traditional banks and companies like PayPal, as The Guardian reports. Next up: Android and iOS Circle apps.

    Circle co-founder Jeremy Allaire gave a keynote at the Inside Bitcoins conference in April, citing the need for a “killer app” to bring bitcoin into the mainstream. Now Circle seems to be taking the lead, and others are sure to follow. —Nick Ayala

    Image credit: Circle

  • High-tech tasting
    October 2, 2014 | 6:00 pm

    Nanosensor

    Thailand got a lot of buzz this week with an innovative idea: a taste-tester robot, or electronic tongue, that’s programmed to distinguish authentic Thai dishes from wanna-be’s. Artificial tongues aren’t new but have been evolving. Most recently, Danish researchers developed a nanosensor that mimics “what happens in your mouth when you drink wine,” enabling winemakers to control astringency very early on. In Spain, researchers created a beer-tasting robot that can distinguish between varieties of brew.

    Meanwhile, advanced technology can also create recipes: IBM has touted how Watson, its “cognitive computing system,” can analyze the components of ingredients to come up with novel ideas for dishes; find a few of them here. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Aarhus Universitet

  • Marriage gets marginalized
    September 25, 2014 | 5:00 pm

    One of our 10 Trends for 2012 was Marriage Optional: More people around the world are living together or remaining solo instead of marrying. Pew reports this week that 1 in 5 Americans age 25 and up have never married, a fundamental shift since 1960, when only about 1 in 10 could say the same. Millennials are especially ambivalent: Two-thirds of 18- to 29-year-olds surveyed by Pew agree that “society is just as well off if people have priorities other than marriage and children” vs. 53 percent of the next generation up (age 30 to 49).

    Europe is seeing a similar move away from marriage, driven by “austerity, generational crisis and apathy towards the institution,” notes The Guardian. It says weddings are at historical lows in some nations; last year Italy recorded the fewest since World War I. For a look at how changing marriage patterns are affecting families, see our report Meet the New Family. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: JD Hancock

     

  • Room-sharing service Breather
    September 16, 2014 | 3:30 pm

    Breather

    Described as the “Zipcar for rooms,” Breather is an app that enables access to “beautiful, practical spaces” that can be rented anywhere from 30 minutes to a whole day. While sharing-economy players like LiquidSpace and PivotDesk offer work and meeting spaces, Breather positions its rooms as homey spots that can serve a range of purposes (though not, the founder assures, seedy ones). Rooms include the basics—a desk, a couch, Wi-Fi—as well as some fun touches like a candy jar. Lockitron technology lets users unlock doors with their mobile phones. Breather is available in New York, Montreal and San Francisco, and recently raised $6.5 million in venture capital, citing plans to “own every major market in America.” —Hallie Steiner

    Image credit: Breather

  • Barco Escape’s immersive screens
    September 11, 2014 | 4:15 pm

    Maze Runner

    Escape is a triple-screen system from Barco that “allows you to truly be in the movies, not just at the movies”—in line with the rise of immersive experiences, one of our 10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond. Audiences at five U.S. locations and one Belgian cinema will get their first taste of the concept with next week’s release of The Maze Runner, about a group of teens trapped in a massive maze, which will feature about five minutes of immersive footage at key moments. ScreenX is among the other multi-screen, multi-projection cinema experiences we’ve highlighted. —Aaron Baar

    Image credit: Maze Runner

  • “Smart” personal safety
    September 2, 2014 | 6:01 pm

    Defender

    Earlier this year we wrote about the Guardian Angel, a pendant that alerts emergency contacts whenever wearers feel unsafe, created by JWT Singapore. Smart technology is addressing personal safety in other ways too. The Defender is a smart pepper spray that works in tandem with a mobile app, taking a picture of an attacker while contacting authorities. It’s in the final week of an Indiegogo campaign that has well exceeded its goal. Similarly, First Sign has crowdfunded a smart hairclip that detects physical assault, records the evidence and sends for help.

    Meanwhile, college campuses are embracing a more basic form of this tech, encouraging students to download apps like Rave Guardian and Circle of 6, which enable a chosen network to monitor a student’s GPS location during a night out. In a different vein, students at North Carolina State University made headlines last week for their Undercover Nail Polish, which changes color in the presence of “date rape drugs.” —Allison Kruk

    Image credit: The Defender

  • Nestlé’s animal-welfare standards
    August 28, 2014 | 10:00 am

    Nestle

    We wrote about rising concerns over treatment of the animals that people eat back in 2012 as brands including Burger King, McDonald’s and Hellmann’s pledged to institute more humane practices. We also included Humane Food among our Things to Watch for 2013. The trend recently picked up more steam with Nestlé’s announcement of animal welfare standards for its suppliers worldwide, following an investigation by the group Mercy for Animals.

    “The move is one of the broadest-reaching commitments to improving the quality of life for animals in the food system,” notes The New York Times, “and it is likely to have an impact on other companies that either share the same suppliers or compete with Nestlé.” Observed the influential blogger Food Babe: “People want to know where their food comes from, and in order to survive the next decade, the food industry will have to change.” —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Nestlé

  • RSSArchive for Things to Watch »