posts tagged ‘Objectifying Objects

Read our roundups in magazine form on Flipboard, via the iOS and Android app or online; click here to find our magazine collection. -An FT special report on South Korea includes a look at the growing influence of its pop culture and the expansion plans of hot messenger app KakaoTalk. -The Economist examines the recent […]

We’ve been talking about Objectifying Objects—fetishizing the physical and tactical as objects get replaced by digital/virtual counterparts—since putting it on our 100 Things to Watch in 2011 list; last March, our report “Embracing Analog” updated the idea. The latest manifestation of this trend: The new book S., conceived by the director-producer J.J. Abrams (Lost, among […]

Find our roundups collected in magazine form on Flipboard, the iOS and Android app; download the app to view this week’s edition here: http://flip.it/J6Fj -New York magazine mulls “What Does Manhood Mean in 2013?” citing from our own recent “State of Men” report. -The FT ponders how marketers will reach Millennials, given that they prefer on-demand […]

Our March report, “Embracing Analog: Why Physical Is Hot,” examined today’s urge to seek out physical objects and experiences as a countertrend to our digital lives. Two manifestations: the continuing vinyl revival and the somewhat unlikely return of cassettes. This week comes the first Cassette Store Day, a promotional event with participation in the U.S., […]

“Good digital, these days, you can hear something two miles away. But it doesn’t do the analog thing, which is warm and beautiful,” observed Lou Reed at a Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity session on Thursday. His wide-ranging conversation with Grey Group worldwide creative director Tim Mellors covered the icon’s music, photography, poetry and […]

Find our roundups collected in magazine form on Flipboard, the iOS and Android app; download the app to view it here: http://flip.it/n7D37. -The FT’s “Responsible Business 2013” special report includes looks at how businesses are attempting to build in social value and lead consumers toward more responsible behavior. -Most Americans feel they’ve lost their privacy […]

Last week at a SXSW panel, our director of trendspotting, Ann Mack, outlined why, in a digital era, more people are embracing analog objects. As we noted last week, nostalgia is a key driver of this trend. Another is the appealing attributes of physical items that set them apart from digital products: Among other things, […]

-The Economist examines India’s next generation of tech entrepreneurs and why the sector hasn’t evolved faster. -The New York Times looks at the crushing impact of Italy’s severe recession on its smaller businesses. -“Russians, Asians and Arabs are rewriting the rules of European tourism,” reports The Guardian, with the continent hosting a new cohort of […]

At SXSW this week, our director of trendspotting, Ann Mack, outlined the enduring appeal of real-world, analog items in an increasingly digitized world. As we buy more apps, e-books and downloads, and as digital screens become our default interface with the world, we are increasingly seeking out physical objects and experiences. Nostalgia is one key […]

Paul Woolmington Frank Rose                   On Monday, I spoke on a SXSW Interactive panel, “Embracing Analog: Why Physical Is Hot,” along with Frank Rose, author of The Art of Immersion and correspondent for Wired, and marketing authority Paul Woolmington, co-founder of communications management consultancy Naked Communications Americas. […]


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  • 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).

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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

  • 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” »

  • Virgin Hotels
    January 21, 2015 | 1:42 pm

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    Taking a cue from private clubs like Soho House—which now has outposts from Berlin to Chicago and Toronto—and cool hotel hangouts like the Ace, the first hotel under Virgin’s affordable-meets-aspirational banner houses a Commons Club. Offering “exclusivity for all,” the Commons hosts a “roundtable of ideas and indulgence” at a nightly social hour and includes a restaurant, bar and study area. Virgin marketing also taps into easyHotel lingo with the promise of no surprise fees and free wi-fi.

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  • Google’s Ara phone
    January 16, 2015 | 11:51 am


    A new video from Google shows the latest prototype of its modular phone, which will launch this year in Puerto Rico. Project Ara emphasizes personalization—“What if you could make thoughtful choices about exactly what your phone does, and use it as a creative canvas to tell your own story?”—but the sustainability implications are also important.

    Continue reading “Google’s Ara phone” »

  • Nike taps into urban exploring
    January 5, 2015 | 1:13 pm

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    The city is the new terrain for Nike’s rebranded all-conditions gear, now named NikeLab ACG. Taking a cue from the urban exploration trend (“urbex”)—which involves venturing into unseen and generally off-limits structures and documenting the adventure—Nike says that “For today’s athletes, the city is the ultimate landscape,” complete with “modern obstacles” and many microclimates. Images show an intrepid explorer on a rooftop amid skyscrapers. The urban environment is now as challenging, intriguing and adventurous as the natural landscape.

  • Tears become… streams become…
    December 17, 2014 | 1:50 pm

    Artists and performers are increasingly creating multisensory pieces that immerse and envelope audiences, who in turn are embracing these one-of-a-kind experiences. In New York, the latest example is the performance and installation tears become… streams become…, a “field of water that harnesses light, reflection, music and sound” by Scottish artist Douglas Gordon and French pianist Hélène Grimaud.

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