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As mentioned in our Future 100 report, fashion is increasingly blurring traditional gender boundaries and distinctions. Take hip gender-neutral streetwear brand Hood By Air or “loose luxury” label Baja East, which calls its approach “ambisexual.” (There’s even an androgynous clothing subscription service on the way, Greyscale Goods.) Now Selfridges, which has a knack for tapping […]

Social media users have grown more sophisticated over the past few years, actively managing both what they choose to share and what others share about them. But many have realized that ultimately, control of their online privacy is out of their hands, thanks to tag-happy, share-happy friends and changing terms of service and privacy controls. […]

Read our roundups in magazine form on Flipboard, via the iOS and Android app or online; click here to find our magazine collection. -We’re entering a “new golden age for marketing,” says McKinsey Quarterly, as marketers boost their precision, broaden their scope, move more quickly and tell better stories. -In “The Next Internet Is TV,” […]

Consumers are adding sustainability to a growing list of considerations that include nutrition, provenance and fair labor practices, and looking for products and brands that can meet all these criteria simultaneously. As a result, they’re becoming “educated eaters,” learning how food is cultivated, raised or caught. In the three years since we first surveyed American […]

Read our roundups in magazine form on Flipboard, via the iOS and Android app or online; click here to find our magazine collection. -This year’s Super Bowl commercials could signal a lower-testosterone, more culturally tuned-in sensibility, writes Kat Gordon of The 3% Conference in Adweek. Time outlines “5 Ways This Year’s Super Bowl Ads Will […]

“There is more information, more readily available, more immediately, in more formats, on more devices and to many hundreds of millions more people than ever before,” notes the BBC in a nicely designed exploration of The Future of News. (Also find the BBC’s full report in PDF form here.) Another good read on the topic […]

According to We Are Social’s latest Digital, Social & Mobile report, three of the Top 5 social platforms globally are instant messenger and chat apps, and eight of these brands now claim more than 100 million monthly active users. Chinese powerhouse Tencent owns two of these, QQ and WeChat, which will only pick up steam […]

Read our roundups in magazine form on Flipboard, via the iOS and Android app or online; click here to find our magazine collection. -We Are Social’s annual Digital, Social & Mobile report—a compendium of global stats—offers extensive insight into the state of all things digital. -The 16 trends Andreessen Horowitz is watching, outlined by Quartz. […]

Last year we started to see virtual reality moving from science-fiction vision to a viable technology, and this year it’s coming to fruition, in a variety of forms. “Virtual reality matured into a serious category” at CES this year, as Mashable noted, while the upcoming Sundance Film Festival is showcasing 11 VR films under its New […]

Read our roundups in magazine form on Flipboard, via the iOS and Android app or online; click here to find our magazine collection. -YouGov releases its 2014 brand rankings. -More trends and wrap-up from CES 2015, from USA Today, Google’s Think newsletter and our own Lucie Greene. -Campaign explores the year ahead for adland. -“The […]


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Things to Watch

  • Crossing ‘the digital divide’
    March 19, 2015 | 4:24 pm

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    In a piece on an 82-year-old going online for the first time, The Washington Post called attention to a rising issue—the divide between those who use the Internet and those who don’t (13% in the U.S., and 41% among senior citizens).

    Continue reading “Crossing ‘the digital divide’” »

  • Incremental saving and giving
    March 11, 2015 | 1:51 pm

    Call it progress or just laziness—apps are popping up that harness our small change and put it to better use. Acorns, dubbed “the Tinder of investing,” links to a user’s debit or credit card and rounds up to the nearest dollar on every purchase. The app then takes that spare change and invests it in a portfolio of the user’s choice—portfolios range from low to high risk (and reward). Or users can opt to let Acorns choose for them based on their age, goals, income and other factors. Meanwhile, apps like Qapital and Digit facilitate regular small transfers from checking to savings, and banks themselves are getting on the incremental savings bandwagon. (See: Bank of America’s Keep the Change and Wells Fargo’s Way2Save.)

    Continue reading “Incremental saving and giving” »

  • Augmenting sleep
    March 9, 2015 | 12:02 pm

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    Digital platforms are already integrated into our every waking minute—now they’re moving into our sleep. A spate of apps and devices aim to aid and facilitate better sleep, from ambient lamps to a lucid dreaming sleep mask to an app that wakes you up with a phone call from a stranger.

    Continue reading “Augmenting sleep” »

  • The sharing economy grows up
    March 3, 2015 | 3:30 pm

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    Hotel giant Starwood has bought in to the sharing economy. The group, which owns W Hotels, St. Regis and Sheraton, has announced a partnership with car service Uber in which every dollar spent by a guest on an Uber car earns points toward free rooms and other perks.

    Continue reading “The sharing economy grows up” »

  • Digital immersive exercise
    February 25, 2015 | 4:04 pm

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    Equinox’s new revved-up cycle class speaks to a growing exercise trend—digital immersion. This month the gym brand unveiled Pursuit, an immersive cycling concept, to limited U.S. gyms. Equinox describes the program as “an immersive studio cycling experience that uses groundbreaking gaming and data visualization to drive competition and inspire peak performance.”

    Continue reading “Digital immersive exercise” »

  • Science fare
    February 20, 2015 | 2:07 pm

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    The worlds of science, gastronomy and art are continuing to cross-pollinate—from edible conceptual art to molecular gastronomy “lab cafés” to synesthetic dining events. Café ArtScience in Cambridge, Mass., is a recent example. Opened late last year by David Edwards, a Harvard engineering professor, the café serves whiskey “fogs” through a special carafe that turns the liquor into vapor (which means consumers don’t take in any of the calories and feel none of the intoxicating effects).

    Continue reading “Science fare” »

  • Aman’s authentic-luxe travel
    February 11, 2015 | 1:06 pm

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    As travelers continue to seek out authentic and unique experiences, hospitality brands keep raising the bar on hyper-localized offerings and exceptional access. Aman, for instance, is introducing a phinisi-style sailing ship in Indonesia, marrying the brand’s ultra-luxe sensibility with regional tradition. With an outdoor lounge and bar, the option to travel by motor, and air-conditioned cabins, the ship brings every modern comfort to an age-old means of navigating the Indonesian archipelago. Another Aman property, meanwhile, offers a dip into paleontology: Guests at Amangiri in southern Utah can join an official dig at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, working alongside fossil experts for a half-day. The cost of getting one’s hands dirty starts at $600. (Resulting Instagram images: priceless.) —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Aman

  • Adidas’ ‘virtual line’
    February 5, 2015 | 6:55 pm

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    Adidas’ new Confirmed app cleverly harnesses the fervor of collectors who normally line up for limited-edition shoes, moving fans onto a mobile platform. App users create an account, then get push notifications when hot new releases are on the way. Interested buyers in a given metro area—only New York City at launch—indicate their size and, if approved, receive details on where and when to pick up the shoes. An Adidas exec calls it a “virtual line.” In addition to collecting data on these super-fans, the app lets Adidas control which influencers get various styles, drives traffic to selected stores, builds additional buzz and cuts out secondary-market sellers armed with bots that secure advance orders. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Bloomberg

  • Adventurous play
    February 4, 2015 | 1:09 pm

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    Kids will slide through a “Tunnel of Terror” and get slimy on “Mount Mud” in Tough Mudder’s new obstacle course for the 7-12 set. The endurance-challenge purveyor is partnering with European soft drink brand Britvic on Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder, with events planned for the U.S., the U.K. and Ireland. The concept caters to parents looking to pry kids away from screens and get them moving—there’s now a CrossFit offshoot for kids, starting with preschoolers—in ways that are challenging and fun.

    Continue reading “Adventurous play” »

  • Rivals joining forces
    January 26, 2015 | 7:19 pm

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    Not long ago, a collaboration between two rival companies would have been seen as a counterintuitive and perhaps desperate measure. In 2015, however, BMW’s partnership with Volkswagen on fast-charging electric vehicle stations makes the automakers look self-confident, open and serious about sustainability and the common good.  Continue reading “Rivals joining forces” »

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