Phonio | Celebrity Phone Calls

Fans Receive Calls From Their Favorite Pop-stars


Phonio is enabling celebrities to record mass messages for their fans, pushed to their handsets as a phone call.

The popstars that offer up a sense of intimacy and fan engagement are the ones that reap the rewards, as Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga have demonstrated with their focus on social media. Digital technology is making this connection all the more easy, and previously we’ve seen Egraphs link digital autographs with unique personal audio recordings from sports stars. Now Phonio is enabling celebrities to record mass messages for their fans, pushed to their handsets as a phone call.

Working with musicians, actors, politicians and industry experts, the service is designed to enable celebrities and public figures to connect to a large group of their fans through a single phone call. Fans first phone their idol’s Phonio number to sign up to receive calls. When the celebrity wants to connect with their fans, they then simply dials the same number on their personal phone and is immediately connected to anyone who picks up. They can then leave a message about what they’re up to, sing a new song they’ve just written, tell a funny story or offer a piece of advice. The calls are one-way, but the service gives fans the experience of receiving a real-time phone call from their idols, at a typical rate of one a month. There’s also an option for celebrities to make direct phone calls to a random fan.

Phonio has already teamed up with Young Money Records & rapper Lil Wayne, NBA’s Sacramento Kings, musician and actor Drake Bell and nonprofit organization NextGen Climate. Although Phonio is directed at figures already au fait with building an audience by talking directly to fans through social media, it also serves other purposes — for example a CEO could make a phone call to their entire staff as a personal alternative to a group email.

Watch the video below to learn more about Phonio:

Introducing Phonio! from Phonio on Vimeo.

Are there other ways that celebrities could connect individually with fans?


Trendspotter | Murray Orange
Source |

Posted in Entertainment, Smart Technology, Social Media, Technology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Clean Cube | Digital Lockers For Secure Parcel & Laundry Exchange

Digital Lockers Will Take Parcels and Clean Laundry


NYC-based Clean Cube offers secure package pick ups and drop offs alongside quick and easy dry cleaning services for those in apartment buildings.

Services such as LaundryLocker have been attempting to replace the traditional laundromat with a 24/7 automated service inside apartment buildings for years now. But now it has a competitor in NYC-based Clean Cube, which is adding secure package pick ups and drop offs alongside quick and easy dry cleaning services.

cleancube 4

Each Clean Cube kiosk is designed to be installed in the foyer of shared accommodation and features several compartments to be used for storage. After typing in their individual pin code through the touchscreen, tenants can open a locker and leave a bag of laundry. Within 24 hours, it’s cleaned and returned ready for users to pick it up again. A notification is sent to their phone to let them know when they can retrieve their laundry. The touchscreen can also be used to carry out other services. For example, users can mark their goods for temporary storage and Clean Cube will send it to a self-storage facility until they need it back. They can also leave clothes as a donation for Goodwill, or simply store an item for a friend to pick up while they’re at work. Finally, the lockers also act as secure storage for any deliveries that arrive when tenants aren’t in.

Currently serving Manhattan — and one apartment in Brooklyn — Clean Cube charges customers for the services they use, sharing revenue with building owners. At the moment, it looks like it will provide for the more affluent residents of NYC who are already used to doorman service, but the devices could deliver a digital version for those that have never had it. Are there other ways to make everyday tasks easier for building residents?


Trendspotter | Murray Orange
Source |

Posted in Home Convenience, Life Hacks, Smartphone apps, Technology | Tagged , | 3 Comments

FES Watch | Interchangeable E-Paper Surface

E-paper watch features 24 designs at the push of a button


From Japan, the FES Watch uses e-paper surfaces to enable wearers to pick a new design whenever they want.

Wristwatches are fast coming into fashion again thanks to a digital makeover that’s set to add a slew of smart functionality. For those who don’t want to end up checking their wrists just as often as they check their phones, there are still designers innovating in the field of watches that simply tell the time. We recently wrote about the Everyday Watch Kickstarter, which offered backers a single timepiece with customizable straps and clock faces. Now the FES Watch is aiming to do something similar, using e-paper surfaces to enable wearers to pick a new design whenever they want.

Developed by Takt Project for the Japan-based Fashion Entertainments startup collective, the device is designed to look like a standard wristwatch, with a circular face and sleek rubber strap. However, the face and wristband form a single flexible e-paper display that’s used to show the time as well as the design. The FES Watch features a button on the side which smoothly cycles through the 24 possible display options. Users can choose to have a black or white face, to show the individual minute and hour markings or go for a minimal look, and even change the strap to snakeskin or brickwork patterns. An embedded motion sensor also preserves battery life by turning the display off until wearers tilt or lift their arm to check the time.

Watch the video below (in Japanese) to see how the watch works:

The FES Watch uses new technology to offer customers an element of customization for the traditional time-telling wristwatch, without the bloated features of a smartwatch. There’s currently no word on when it might hit the market, or how much it will be. Are there other ways that technology can help redesign existing products without abandoning their original function?


Trendspotter | Murray Orange
Source |

Posted in Fashion, Technology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Hipanema | Blue Embellished Cuff

Into The Blue


Posted in Fashion | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Smart Car Technology For Tesla Models S & X

Software Add-on Makes The Tesla Smarter

tesla smartcar

Smartcar is enabling Tesla owners to personalize and automate their car’s climate and charging settings using their smartphone.

While companies such as Google are still working on their driverless vehicles, true smart cars are still some way from consumer driveways. Earlier this year we saw the BDLink MX WiFi kickstarter campaign successfully fund a small widget that retrofits any car with smart capabilities. For Tesla owners, Smartcar is now enabling them to personalize and automate their car’s climate and charging settings using their smartphone.

As it stands, Tesla vehicles come with an array of high tech features, from the touchscreen dashboard to the energy-efficient batteries. However, Sahas Katta — CEO and founder of Smartcar — believes that they could achieve more when it comes to user experience. Through the web service, Smartcar users can connect their smartphone to their Tesla over the air, enabling them to easily change settings such as charging and inside climate. The software turns the car into a learning machine, which adjusts the settings intelligently based on drivers’ routines. For example, it may automatically start warming up the car at 9AM. It also charges during off-peak hours while still ensuring users have enough power when it’s time to hit the road. Owners can also get updates as to the status of their vehicle through their smartphones.

Watch the video below to see Katta explain more about the technology:

Smartcar was initially set to launch in the summer, but is still open to early access applications. Currently compatible with the Tesla Model S and Model X, the service also hopes to eventually launch for other vehicle brands. In the meantime, are there any other ways to retrofit new technology into existing vehicles?


Trendspotter | Murray Orange
Source |

Posted in Hot Cars, Smart Technology, Technology, Trending | Tagged , | Leave a comment

3D Printed City Maps For The Visually Impaired

3D Printed Maps Help The Blind Navigate City Streets

City Map For The Blind

Japan’s governmental department GSI is creating software that will enable those with visual impairments to print out 3D versions of online maps.

Modern technology has turned many of the things we consume from physical objects into pixels on a screen. While this has benefited the majority of us, those with sight difficulties don’t get along well with visual stimuli or touchscreen devices. In the past, we’ve seen Yahoo! Japan develop Hands On Search, a project that lets blind kids carry out web searches with 3D printed results. Now the country’s governmental department GSI is creating software that will enable those with visual impairments to print out 3D versions of online maps.

The official mapping body for Japan — much like the US Geological Survey — GSI already has paper maps for the blind, using embossed surfaces to mark out roads. It’s now developing a program that is able to do the same thing for digital maps.

The software first differentiates the highways, railway lines and walkways from the rest of the landscape. It then creates a 3D relief model that uses different textures to distinguish the features so that anyone running their finger along them will be able to determine what it is. The program also takes into account contour lines, creating accurate topographical representations of a particular area.

GSI has already processed the data for urban locations at a scale of 1:2500, as well as rural areas at 1:25000. Although users will need access to a 3D printer in order to create their own physical maps, the body believes the technology is becoming more and more affordable and especially holds value for those with sight difficulties. Are there other ways to intelligently replicate digital data in physical form for the visually impaired?


Source |

Posted in 3D Printing, Technology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Cipriana & TK Wonder | The Quann Twins

New Generation Tastemakers

Cipriana Quann |
TK Wonder |
More about the Quann Sisters
Photo |, via

Quann Twins

Posted in Beauty, Fashion, Music | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Michigan Women’s Foundation

Stories From The New Economy : Michigan Women’s Foundation

Though its origins are traditional, Michigan Women’s Foundation has become anything but your everyday philanthropy. Its mission remains the same–transforming Michigan to achieve equality and empowerment for women and girls–but the ways in which it fulfills that mission are evolving. Programs like the…PLEASE READ MORE.

Author |
Source |
MiWF Website |

Michigan Women’s Foundation from New Economy Initiative on Vimeo.

Posted in Detroit | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Incentivized Consumer Feedback App

Market Research Firm Rewards Consumers For Attaching Product Feedback To Barcodes


Japan’s Research & Innovation start-up is getting consumers to attach comments to product bar-codes to help businesses more easily track feedback.

Social media is an incredible tool for businesses to see what consumers are saying about their products, but the comments are often unorganized and difficult to collate. In the past, innovations such as OpenLabel have let consumers attach their opinions and information to product bar-codes to alert other shoppers. Now Japan’s Research & Innovation start-up is using a similar technology to help businesses tie consumer opinions to their products.

Customer surveys and focus groups are often time-consuming and expensive to organize, and rely on the willingness of consumers to offer up their opinions. Through R&I’s Mycomment system, customers can receive free products and even cash as an incentive to provide feedback, without having to leave their home. The product is sent directly to them, and then using the company’s Code app, they simply scan the barcode and begin to add their ratings and comments. The information is then sent straight to R&I, which passes on the data to companies to help them improve and develop future products.

The system enables companies to quickly see what consumers are saying about which products without having to trawl social media pages or create hash-tag campaigns to organize customer option. Are there other — perhaps more offline — ways to incentivize and collect consumer feedback?


Trendspotter | Katharina Kieck
Source |

Posted in Smart Technology, Smartphone apps, Technology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Investor Listing Service Finds Local Start-ups Seeking Funding

Platform Helps Local Business Funding


Partner Hunt is a service that lets investors find businesses close to them in need of funding.

For VCs and angel investors, there’s often some hesitation about investing in a business if they’re located in another city or country. Not only do those who invest locally feel more secure about the types of ventures they’re working with, but they also gain a sense of satisfaction from helping their business community. New York’s CSA+D studio has already helped funders support local artists in return for a share of the profit. Now Partner Hunt is a service that lets investors find businesses close to them in need of funding.

Acting as a listings site for all types of companies, entrepreneurs and investors, users can search for available funding or enterprises they can put their money and experience into. Investors can input their location, choose an industry preference and set a mile radius limit between 1 and 100 miles. The map then shows the companies or business ideas from entrepreneurs closest to them. Interested parties can then swap contact details to arrange a meeting or phone call.

Partner Hunt is a simple tool that lets investors quickly find local businesses in need of their support. Are there other ways to help businesses find the most relevant partners and more easily direct funds to the businesses that need it?


Source |

Posted in Business | Tagged , , | Leave a comment