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Free holiday love in Manila

Add / Remove If ever there was a time of year made for free love, it’s the holiday season. Apparently the same thought recently occurred to Manila cafe chain Delifrance, because this year it has launched a citywide Secret Santa campaign through which Filipinos can send each other special holiday treats–for free. Two delectable Delifrance […]

Muppets made to order

Add / Remove Customization isn’t just for grown-ups: Build-A-Bear Workshops and Ridemakerz show that that kids are keen on this trend, too. Capitalizing on this, Muppets and FAO Schwartz have teamed up to build the Muppet Whatnot Workshop. For those not familiar with Muppet vocabulary, a Whatnot is a generic extra used in Muppet productions. […]

Concierge service for busy moms

Add / Remove As college students now have their own PA and concierge service, along with expectant parents and the rest of us, it’s no surprise to see another niche being targeted: mothers. Launched by UK based Consider It Done, Mummy PA offers an extra pair of hands for desperate moms, as well as the […]

Web-based, branded karaoke for the home

Add / Remove Lucky Voice on Soho’s Poland Street in London is already well-known for its private karaoke party rooms, which have proved so popular that the venue has expanded to include three additional locations. Now the chain has expanded even further–right into consumers’ living rooms–with a branded karaoke party-planning website and equipment. Lucky Voice […]

Mapping restaurants by photos of their dishes

Add / Remove For many urban dwellers, deciding what to have for dinner means deciding which restaurant to visit–a task that’s not easy when you live in a place like New York City, with countless eateries to choose from. Eatbite/NYC is a new site that lets users browse through photos of individual dishes at local […]

Internet-in-a-box for areas without electricity

Add / Remove Unreliable electricity and spotty internet access are a fact of life in many parts of the developing world–and part of the reason the digital divide still persists today. A new, solar-powered innovation from Florida-based GNUveau Networks, however, is bringing computers and the internet to places that have no connectivity, no phone service […]

RFID collar tag helps dog owners meet new friends

Add / Remove It’s a well-known fact that dogs can be conversation starters that help break the ice with people their owners meet. Taking the notion a step further, a new collar tag from Boston-based SNIF Labs lets pet owners forge new connections with fellow dog-walkers, both online and off. Available in a range of […]

More design-your-own fabric

Add / Remove Consumers have already shown that they’re interested in designing their own dresses, T-shirts and duvets–to name just a few–so it’s not surprising to see the trend spread from finished goods to the raw materials that underlie them. Last month we featured Finnish Bon Bon Kakku and its contest-based crowdsourcing approach to fabric […]

Personalized in-flight magazines at Heathrow’s Terminal 1

Add / Remove Earlier this year we wrote about idiomag, the personalized digital magazine about music, and soon travellers at London’s Heathrow Airport will be able to create something similar–but in hardcover format–for use in-flight. Starting early next month, global banking giant HSBC is offering passengers at Heathrow’s Terminal 1 a chance to select magazine […]

Billboards give away free love

Add / Remove We’ve written about billboards that whisper and billboards that even talk back, but not until recently had we heard of billboards that give out free love. Sure enough, though, the outdoor outfitters at Austrian Northland Professional recently kicked off a campaign through which billboards give away free merchandise. Beginning early this month, […]

Pop-up store for teens doesn’t sell a thing

Add / Remove Yes, we know you know the pop-up retail trend has been around for years now, but Teen Vogue magazine is bringing its own twist to the concept, with a space that doesn’t sell a thing. Instead, visitors will be able to try on items from the racks of clothes on display, receive […]

Mapping the 24/7 economy

Add / Remove There can be a variety of reasons consumers seek businesses that are open round the clock, whether it’s to pick up medicine for a coughing child or to find someplace to eat in the middle of the night. Whatever the motivation, 2itch is a new Google Maps mashup that can help, offering […]

Tryvertising store comes to Shanghai

Add / Remove Last year we wrote about Tokyo’s Sample Lab, where Japanese consumers can sample and test new products. Roughly a year later, a similar concept has come to China with the launch of Shanghai-based Sampleplaza. Sampleplaza is a new showroom featuring brand-new products not yet available to the Chinese mainstream. Membership costs 100 […]

More cash for used gadgets

Add / Remove About a year ago we covered BuyMyTronics.com, a site that buys broken and unused iPods, cell phones and game consoles. Now, expanding the concept to include even more consumer electronics comes Gazelle, which provides cash in exchange for a wide range of used gadgets. Gazelle offers what it calls “ReCommerce” on cell […]

Personalized travel books blend search & curation

Add / Remove The internet has long offered online alternatives to the traditional printed travel guide, frequently with more current information and at least rudimentary customization capabilities. A new service from Technorati founder David Sifry, however, takes the concept a step further by tapping into the full wealth of information now available online with a […]

Mama Shelter: Parisian hotel puts an iMac in every room

Add / Remove Not long ago we wrote about New York City’s tech-enabled Pod Hotel, and now across the ocean comes a like contender that takes the technology focus even further. Located in the Saint Blaise neighbourhood of Paris’s 20th arrondissement, Mama Shelter has equipped each of its 172 rooms with a 24-inch Apple iMac […]

Free T-shirt love for targeted consumers

Add / Remove Free love can be dispersed in many ways, whether to all those who happen to be in the right place at the right time or to a select group of qualified recipients. Much like SOOPZ, a network through which food bloggers can sign up for the chance to receive free samples, Gitchers […]

Design-your-own protein shakes

Add / Remove Other contenders may have emerged since we wrote about You Bar’s custom-made energy bars earlier this year, but the Los Angeles company appears to be working hard to stay ahead. Most recently, it expanded its offerings with a new line of design-your-own protein shakes. Customers interested in ordering You Shakes begin by […]