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Self-storage by mail

Add / Remove Centralized storage in the “cloud” is becoming an increasingly ubiquitous option for consumers’ digital belongings, but tangible goods are still typically hauled off to expensive self-storage units when they can’t be accommodated at home. New Jersey-based StorageByMail is a company that aims to change that, however, with a service that lets clients […]

Salvation Army’s collection kettles now take credit cards

Add / Remove Where Nadanu‘s online giving platform was designed specifically to mimic the experience of dropping coins into a real-world collection box, the Salvation Army has begun tweaking its traditional red kettles to accommodate digital payments. The Salvation Army is by no means new to online giving. For about six years, it’s been operating […]

In-ground sensors alert drivers to open parking spots

Add / Remove Websites like SpotScout and Google Open Spot can help urban drivers find a place to park, but typically they rely on other users to post the relevant details when a spot opens up. A new solution now at work in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France, however, uses in-ground sensors to provide such information automatically. The […]

Walking cane for seniors, upgraded with style

Add / Remove Making everyday products more functional for senior citizens doesn’t have to mean making those products more ugly, as UK home renovation firm Ruby Slippers has already demonstrated. New York-based Omhu is a company with a similar philosophy. Its flagship product — the Omhu Cane — is a walking stick that brings smart […]

Site aims to inspire by honouring real-life ‘superheroes’

Add / Remove Back in June we wrote about Swedish T-Post’s Real Life Superhero Contest, which asked entrants to don a costume and then take to the streets to help others. That contest has since ended — unfortunately, with mixed results — but now there’s a whole website dedicated to much the same idea. Meet […]

Design-your-own dress site puts bridesmaids in control

Add / Remove The design-your-own trend is one we’ve seen brought to countless product categories already, including — on several occasions — dresses. What’s interesting about New York-based Coco Myles is that it brings the concept to bridesmaid dresses, allowing the bride to choose the colour scheme while the bridesmaids design their own styles. Consumers […]

Classroom polls via student phones and iPods

Add / Remove It’s not uncommon for educators to use student response systems (SRS) to engage their students and assess learning through polls, quizzes and other interactive tools. Most such systems rely on specialized devices known as “clickers,” however, and they’re also typically expensive and difficult to use without training. Enter Top Hat Monocle, a […]

App for shoppers rates how brands address forced & child labour

Add / Remove This is the fourth in a series of posts on traceability. Written by Springwise, and supported by IBM. Check out our previous posts on milk tracking by a Swedish dairy, a registration service for product recalls and supermarkets offering increased food traceability, or read more about building a smarter planet. _________ While […]

City dwellers enlisted & rewarded for delivering DHL packages

Add / Remove We’ve seen numerous efforts to reduce the energy used and urban congestion created by the small-package delivery industry, including both neighbourhood pickup spots and a ride-sharing program for packages. Combining a little bit of both ideas, bring.BUDDY is a program that will soon be tested out by DHL to recruit city dwellers […]

Green home improvement store offers consulting and construction

Add / Remove Back in 2008 we featured both sides of what may be considered the green home improvement “coin”: DIY retailers specializing in green renovation products, and service providers like London’s Green Homes Concierge. Now combining both approaches under a single roof is French Kbane, a Villeneuve d’Ascq retailer that offers education, consulting and […]

Your own photo on IKEA furniture

Add / Remove So numerous have been the feeder businesses inspired by Swedish furniture giant IKEA that we can scarcely keep track anymore of all the ones we’ve covered. Now joining the list of those focused on customizing the popular furniture, however, is Mykea, a Dutch company that lets consumers embellish items with their own […]

For planned websites, a ‘coming soon’ page in 1 minute

Add / Remove Anyone who’s ever launched a website knows how much trouble it can be to create a simple “coming soon” page. Templates can be expensive, and it hardly seems worthwhile setting up a server for just a single page. Enter Capturely, a new online service that lets domain registrants create a custom “coming […]

Directory of dog-friendly restaurants

Add / Remove Given the USD 47.7 billion US consumers alone are expected to spend on their pets this year, it’s not entirely surprising to see the likes of the Sniff Dog Hotel and the many other pet-focused innovations we’ve seen emerge in recent months. Along the lines of Fido Factor, in fact, one more […]

Procurement app alerts Scottish businesses to public sector opportunities

Add / Remove Governments have been relatively quick to launch apps for interacting with consumers — targeting civic complaints, for example — but such apps outnumber by far those aimed at businesses. That’s why we were interested to see Scotland’s new app for alerting domestic businesses to public sector contract opportunities. The new procurement app […]

Book features lessons from fathers, including your own

Add / Remove Over the past few years, publishers have started offering consumers various ways to create and buy customized tomes, from quality photo books to personalized children’s books. Adding a twist to that model is Brazilian 24×7, best known for its book vending machines in the subways of Rio and Sao Paulo. 24×7 took […]

Swapping content for a tweet or Facebook mention

Add / Remove Back in June, we covered Pay with a Tweet. Developed by German-American Innovative Thunder, Pay with a Tweet bills itself as “the first social payment system where people pay with the value of their social network.” In other words, rather than paying with currency, purchasers of any kind of content tell their […]

Instead of kerosene, a solar-powered light bulb

Add / Remove Kerosene lamps are a fact of life in all too much of the developing world, despite their toxic and polluting nature. We’ve already seen a few different efforts to change this — both through microloans for green energy and through an energy-storing soccer ball — but recently we came across another: a […]

In Italy, secret pop-up restaurant gives directions via SMS

Add / Remove Much the way Charlie’s Burgers uses a heaping helping of mystery to embellish the allure of its roaming, “anti-restaurant” gourmet meals, so the Italian town of Ferrara kept most of the details under wraps until the last minute for its recent, pop-up dinner in the city streets. Participants in Ferrara’s September Street […]

Online yoga classes adapt to the student’s available time

Add / Remove In what has become a vast sea of online yoga offerings, it takes something special to make a particular site stand out. For YogaVibes, that something is the inclusion of real fellow students, as we noted last year. For YogaTailor, on the other hand, it’s a feature that customizes the site’s online […]

In Dublin, cargo bikes will ensure business deliveries during construction

Add / Remove Cargo bikes have already proved to be a viable option for business deliveries around the year in France and Geneva, and soon they’ll become commonplace in Dublin as well while the city undergoes some major construction. Specifically, while a new public transport project is under way in the city, local businesses will […]