As I sat bombarded with the same stories over and over this week, I found myself longing for something different. I feel that way a lot. So this week, my curated stories deliver on just one promise: they are genuinely fascinating ideas for products and services. From a slow checkout line designed to offer a low pressure retail experience for patients with dementia to a phone case that actually makes an espresso … this week’s stories show that the world is a much more interesting place when we think about more than politics.
This In a world focused on going faster and faster, you have to appreciate the empathy behind this idea being pilot tested by Tesco to offer a more relaxed checkout line where people with dementia, the elderly or anyone who just wants a more leisurely experience can take their time to pay without feeling rushed or judged. The world could use more ideas like this.
When a shoplifter is caught in the act, often times they will do anything to avoid being prosecuted, including (it seems) registering their profile into a system that will then use facial tracking to proactively identify them in retail environments in the future so staff can keep an extra eye on them. While the privacy implications are huge – retailers are excited by the potential to use this type of technology to reduce what has always been a big problem in retail.
Despite spending much of my career as a “digital guy,” people often comment on how analog my note taking and idea collection seems to be. I like to hold ideas in my hand. Now a startup called Hilight wants to merge the physical and digital by creating a tool that lets you highlight text in any book with your finger and have it saved digitally. The product is not out yet, but if it works it will offer the perfect combination of digital convenience and a human reading experience.
The latest in the race to create more body tracking technology to help you try and get more fit is this 3D body scale that can visually illustrate the changes in your body over time. The smart concept behind this idea is that the more visually you can see how your body is changing, the more likely you are to motivate yourself to get healthier. While the scale is fairly pricey at nearly $500, the output is clearly something that many people will find appealing.
You can already pay for your coffee with your mobile phone, so you could argue that the next creative extension of that where your phone case can actually make the espresso for you. No, it’s not a joke and apparently the case is waterproof and will not mess with your phone. I will resist the temptation to insert a Samsung Galaxy joke here about how the case can get the water hot enough for coffee in the first place … 🙂
How Are These Stories Chosen?
Every week I review more than a hundred data sources to curate the best and most under-appreciated marketing stories of the week. The aim of this email is to spotlight these “non-obvious” stories, along with a quick take on why they matter for you. I hope you find this email interesting and useful … and am always open to your suggestions on how I might make it better!