author archive

With expectations of fresh and better-for-you ingredients, sophistication, customization and innovation, Millennials are shaking up the restaurant industry. Restaurants like McDonald’s that have depended on twenty- and thirty-somethings are stumbling as young customers switch to fast-casual chains like Chipotle, as The Wall Street Journal reported this week. According to Technomic data compiled for the Journal, the […]

Augmented reality was touted as the next big thing when mobile apps started using the technology around five years ago, but it hasn’t fully come into mainstream usage. Juniper Research reports that AR apps attracted around 60 million unique users last year—but sees that number ramping up to 200 million by 2018. And with rising […]

Despite forecasts that by now, many consumers would be using their smartphones as wallets, the concept has yet to take off in the U.S. and Europe as quickly as in some other markets. North American consumers especially have yet to adopt the idea in significant numbers, whether it’s because Apple has yet to include wallet-enabling […]

In our 10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond report, we forecast the rise of Immersive Experiences that go beyond interactive and multimedia environments. To research this trend, we spoke to software architect Carl S. Marshall, a 16-year veteran at Intel who works on projects such as turning any surface into an interactive touch screen and […]

The co-founding editor of The Huffington Post’s Tech section, which she helped launch in 2009, Bianca Bosker has developed a keen understanding of how consumers use technology and social media. (She’s also interested in architecture and wrote Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China, published in 2013.) We spoke with her about two of our […]

Our 10 Trends for 2014 report explores the rise of Immersive Experiences: the idea that entertainment, narratives and brand experiences will become more immersive and altogether more enveloping in a bid to capture consumers’ imagination and attention. Frank Rose, who spent most of the past decade as a contributing editor at Wired, explores this concept in […]

Kit Yarrow is a professor of both psychology and marketing at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, applying the practices of clinical psychology to behavioral economics to understand why consumers do what they do. She co-wrote the 2009 book Gen Buy: How Tweens, Teens and Twenty-Somethings Are Revolutionizing Retail, and has another book, Decoding the […]

As thrift becomes a way of life for many across the income spectrum, discount outlets and unbranded goods are the new normal, and perhaps even the new chic (the Duchess of Cambridge is reportedly a fan of an upscale outlet center in Oxfordshire). According to new Mintel research, only about a third of high-income households […]

Perhaps you’d feel differently about your Candy Crush addiction if you knew something useful could come out of it. Welcome to the burgeoning world of Gaming for Good. The concept has been around for a while: Vocabulary builder Freerice.com, for instance, launched in 2007 with the promise that 10 grains of rice would be donated […]

Who needs 15 minutes? The next generation of celebrities needs only six seconds (running in a continuous loop) to make their mark. Eight-month-old Vine, Twitter’s social video platform, has become the latest go-to for finding influencers and otherwise marketable personalities, as CNET reports. Trident gum recently launched a six-second spot on the Fuse network that’s […]


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Things to Watch

  • MyIdol
    April 27, 2015 | 4:55 pm

    MyIdol

    Social media is abuzz with tiny pole dancers. And rock stars. And pandas. All thanks to an app that takes the humble selfie to new heights of playful absurdity—and in 3D, no less.

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  • Tindergram
    April 17, 2015 | 11:03 am

    Tinder Instagram

    Swiping just got more interesting—with its latest update, Tinder lets users browse the Instagram feeds of their potential matches. The pairing (which, Adweek notes, seemed inevitable) offers “a sort of social diary, co-written by your friends and family” to help people better stalk their dates.

    Continue reading “Tindergram” »

  • Everlane’s Transparent City series
    April 8, 2015 | 2:33 pm

    Everlane LA

    “We call it Radical Transparency,” says e-tail startup Everlane. The company, known for its luxe basics, was built on the principle of disclosing production costs and keeping markups as low as possible. Now, Everlane has launched the Transparent City tour, a first-of-its-kind look at the inner workings of like-minded local companies. The kickoff event in LA brought guests behind the scenes with local bloggers, designers and chefs to learn about their creative inspiration. And, perhaps the culmination of the week — Everlane invited a select few on a tour of their factory, sharing the garment construction process from start to finish. The tour had a 300-person waitlist.

    Continue reading “Everlane’s Transparent City series” »

  • 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

    Sense orb

    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.

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  • 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

    immersive-fitness-the-trip

    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.”

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  • 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).

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  • 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

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