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Yotel opens its first airside hotel, at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Add / Remove Amsterdam seems to be Europe’s testing ground for no-frills chic, pod-like hotels. Last year, we wrote about Qbic, a hotel that uses bedroom-plus-bathroom cubes that can be easily installed and removed, allowing for short-term use of vacant real estate. In June 2008, we covered CitizenM, which focuses on high design at low […]

Eco maps go mobile and open source

Add / Remove Since moving its not-for-profit venture online in 1995, New York-based Green Map System has made online maps of sustainable initiatives accessible to keen greens everywhere. Its selection of hand-picked mapmakers in 50 countries are responsible for the site’s 450+ maps, facilitating global sustainability from a grassroots level. Ethical stores, green spaces and […]

Magazine publishing for everyone & every niche

Add / Remove Even as consumers spend more and more time online, they continue to crave the comfort of the printed page. MagCloud, a new self-publishing magazine service from HP Labs, is making the most of these conflicting desires by enabling anyone who can create a PDF to publish a magazine. How it works? Users […]

Auctioning the rights to popular songs

Add / Remove Music fans can now participate in the music industry as never before, whether by funding and promoting their favourite bands or creating and selling custom mixes–to name just a few of the opportunities we’ve already written about. Now, however, a North Carolina company is giving consumers a way to buy what it […]

Camera-bikes broadcast offline life to Flickr, every 60 seconds

Add / Remove As part of a new brand-awareness campaign to promote its corporate spirit, Yahoo recently equipped a fleet of GPS-enabled bicycles with camera phones and sent them out onto the streets of major cities around the US. Launched earlier this month, the Start Wearing Purple campaign focuses on innovative ways to celebrate the […]

Ecovative wins PICNIC Green Challenge 2008

Add / Remove Back in July, we wrote about a promising start-up that has developed an organic alternative to traditional insulation products. Ecovative Design‘s Greensulate (building insulation) and Negative Volume (packaging) are manufactured–or rather, grown–from agricultural waste products like rice hulls, which are combined with water, recycled paper and living mushroom cells to create panels […]

Swim caps with a splash of customization

Add / Remove Customization has already come to dresses and duvets, shoes and sleeping bags. For those who worried that there were limits on the products to which the concept could still be freshly applied, a new site out of Canada now lets consumers design their own swim caps, too. SwimCapz offers a series of […]

$100 device is just for email

Add / Remove In a world populated by gadgets with increasingly varied and complex capabilities, there stand out a lone few that do just one thing really well. The iPod is one classic example, and earlier this month another was released that may even have the potential to attain as devoted a consumer following, if […]

Mobile gaming theatres pop up at birthday parties

Add / Remove Although video games and laser tag are a popular choice for kids’ parties, getting the kids to venues can be more hassle than it’s worth. Back in January, Texas-based Games2u stepped in to solve this problem with its mobile video game theatres–self-powered, climate controlled trailers that house X-Box 360, Wii and PS3 […]

Crowd efforts make parliament videos searchable

Add / Remove Theyworkforyou.com, the site that helps the British public keep tabs on their politicians, has just made the government’s goings-on even more transparent and accessible. Its full archive of video clips of debates in the House of Commons can now be searched, thanks to a new initiative to link parliament transcripts with video […]

More luxury loos, now for members only

Add / Remove It’s one thing to offer luxury portable toilets for hire at private events, the way Igloo does. For a company like Visa to sponsor similar upscale conveniences as a privilege for its customer members, however, is quite another matter. Yet that’s just what Visa did this summer at San Francisco’s Outside Lands […]

A being space for learning English

Add / Remove Taking a casual approach to learning, Hamburg-based Language Lounge combines English lessons with a coffee shop. For a monthly fee, members can drop by from Monday to Thursday between 5 pm and 9 pm for conversation classes. The company compares its setup to a gym membership: there’s no need to sign up […]

Mix and match magazine service

Add / Remove Introducing a new business model to the world of magazine selling, Time Inc just launched Maghound, a mix and match service for periodicals. Maghound members don’t subscribe to a fixed set of magazines. Instead, they pick the number of magazines they’d like to receive every month, and can then change the selection […]

Bakery focuses on bite-size treats

Add / Remove When we wrote last year about Chicago-based Minnies and its bite-size burgers and sandwiches, we noted the concurrent rise of dessert-only eateries. Combining the two trends, a new bakery was recently launched in Traverse City, Michigan, that offers baked goodies strictly in two-bite sizes. Morsels, which opened its brick-and-mortar doors in April […]

Bedding designed by (and for) kids

Add / Remove Crowdsourcing and consumer design are trends we’ve covered on numerous occasions before, whether for sneakers, beverages or restaurants. It wasn’t until just recently, however, that we came across a product innovation that taps the creativity of kids. Australian Kideko, which launched last year, sells a variety of children’s bedding and accessories featuring […]

E-mail signatures for Election ’08

Add / Remove As the US presidential election winds up to a fever pitch in these last few campaign months, there’s no doubt passionate supporters in both camps are looking for ways to give their side an edge. One such tool now comes in the form of a custom e-mail signature that proudly displays the […]

Pop-up hotel lobbies lure office workers to Central Park

Add / Remove A few weeks ago, we wrote about how Microsoft’s Surface technology is being used at Sheraton hotels, letting hotel guests use interactive touchscreen ‘tables’ to access local information and plan their stay. As we mentioned, the interactive tables are part of a wide-reaching partnership between Sheraton and Microsoft, which also includes new […]

Upscale takeaway meets on-site cooking school

Add / Remove Over the years we’ve written about several companies that have specialized in the preparation and delivery of high-end meals that are ready to be cooked in the consumer’s home. Now a London startup is offering a new twist on the concept with meal prep and on-site instruction by a Michelin star chef […]