- A closer look at IBM's efforts to build design teams within their organization - after hiring hundreds and hundred of designers.
- The big name brand & design firm Pentagram is behind Snoop Dogg's weed product packaging. As legalized marijuana becomes more common in the U.S., you can almost hear the ad agencies salivating at the business opportunity it presents to differentiate a highly desirable but somewhat commoditized product - the sweet spot for advertising and branding companies.
- Getting beyond mere activity tracking: MC10 is showing off their super-thin technology for measuring blood flow. Oh- and Xiaomi (one of the companies that invested in Misfit) says their latest variant on the wrist-worn wearable can measure blood flow as well, via optical sensors.
- There's a pretty good chance that virtual reality in its current state will make you sick.
Feeding the Future:
- A product for Insect farming in the kitchen is racking up dollars on kickstarter, we're curious to see if early customers end up being more squeamish about the process than they imagine themselves to be. It seems well designed in functionality and form, so maybe we really will be seeing mealworms showing up at dinner parties soon.
- The New York Times profiles a prominent food/health/nutrient/pseudo-science company executive who claims to have spent $ 300,000 over the years experimenting on himself with food and drugs to boost health and cognition. Time will tell how much is total bunk, how much is sales strategy, and what (if any) of it is truly good science. It's all part of the broader trend of the quantified self, turning attention to diet and nutrition and creating the nerdiest group of foodies ever.
- Watchmaker Fossil acquires Misfit, one of the big names in wearable technology. Misfit had raised $ 63 million over the years and was picked up for $ 260 million- not a bad deal, but maybe not as vigorous a signal as outsiders would guess from Misfit's high profile partnerships and impressive marketing campaigns.
- Need to drill holes or drive screws totally underwater? Turns out there's a tool for that.
- LEGO is so popular right now that they are having a hard time keeping up with demand. Considering LEGO has been around since the 1930s with more-or-less the same basic product, they have an amazing track record of keeping interest and growth going year after year.
Bias and Brains:
- Toy companies and big box retailers are making the odd (and disappointing) choice to edit out female characters from sci-fi, fantasy and comic books in toy sets they sell, defaulting to an all male cast even though the movies the merchandise is based on has women in starring roles.
- Ellen Pao on sexism in Silicon Valley and things getting better.
More next week.