Whether it’s turning up to an event to find someone else is wearing the same outfit, or spilling a drink down a brand new dress, we’ve all experienced moments where a spare outfit would have been extremely helpful. While the Soho House hotel in London has previously offered an emergency wardrobe service for guests, a new Costa Rican campaign called Closet S.O.S. is delivering a mini store on wheels to anyone in need of a new outfit at the last minute.
Created by marketing agency Ogilvy & Mather as a promotion for the opening of the third Forever 21 fashion store in Costa Rica, the company offered the service to the first 100 fans turning up at the unveiling of the new branch. The lucky attendees were given a cell number they could ring whenever they found themselves requiring some new threads. Regardless of their location, a Forever 21 van stocked with some of its latest collections arrived in response to the call, enabling participants to browse and buy some new clothes.
Watch the video below to learn more about the service:
Although part of a limited marketing campaign for the fashion brand, could a more permanent emergency store service be developed to deliver goods to consumers whenever they need them?
Being able to enjoy coffee on the go thanks to numerous inventions such as the cafetière-style Impress Coffee Brewer and the Handpresso espresso maker. Now Hey Joe Coffee is a portable coffee machine that can make a fresh cup anywhere at the push of a button, and doubles as a flask to drink it from.
Currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, the machine takes the form of a tube that has just one button on the front. Users simply add water to the top compartment of the flask, and a coffee pod or their own grounds to the drawer located halfway down. The temperature of the coffee can be controlled with the button — one press for 140 degrees fahrenheit, two for 150 degrees and three for a cold brew. The machine then gets to work brewing a fresh cup within a couple of minutes. The drink can be supped straight from the top of the flask. The device is battery operated, but comes with a USB port for easy charging from a laptop or power socket.
Watch the video to see the machine in action:
While regular Thermos flasks will keep pre-brewed coffee warm for long periods of time, Hey Joe Coffee can make a fresh batch without the need for a mug to drink it from. The Kickstarter, which ends on 3 July, is currently offering the device for USD 49. It’s set to retail for USD 69 after the campaign ends. Are there other ways to give busy commuters and travelers easier access to fresh coffee?
Not everyone has contacts in the media, which can make it an unfair playing field when it comes to getting press on a new product. While the Winnipeg Free Press recently opened its own branded cafe where the public can mingle with the paper’s reporters, a new service called JustReachOut is helping businesses to eschew PR firms by connecting them directly to the most relevant journalists.
Founded by Dmitry Dragilev, who also created Criminally Prolific, a consultancy company that helps startups accelerate in creative ways, JustReachOut is designed similarly for small companies looking to market their products or services. Rather than blanket emailing hundreds of reporters, the platform enables users to search the news for existing articles that fit into their area of expertise. After scouring the web, users see a list of reporters that cover the kind of activity they’re trying to promote, along with a verified email address to contact them. JustReachOut then gets startups to answer questions about the things they want to tell the reporter, compiling them into a draft for a perfect pitch to send over. It also helps them build long-term relationships with the relevant press.
JustReachOut is priced at USD 49 a month for a one-year subscription. Are there other ways to help startups market their products more effectively?
The thing that makes live performances compelling is their one-off nature and the thrill of securing a ticket. However, it’s those same aspects of gig-going that make it all the more disappointing when a show is sold out, or an artist never tours in a particular neighborhood. While EVNTLIVE has solved the first problem through online feeds of sold out shows, Mixify is now aiming to help bring top EDM artists to any corner of the world through synchronized streaming events in clubs.
Electronic dance music has become a massive industry in the past few years, with global hits from acts such as Skrillex, Baauer and Deadmau5. However, their success means fans in locations where it’s not economically viable to tour. Mixify has already provided a platform for artists to stream their shows online, but its new Clubcast service enables them to organize live transmissions in clubs around the world. Offering high quality video and audio, fans not only get to see DJs live at a lower cost, but the two-way feed also enables artists to see the crowd and interact with them.
Watch the video below to learn more about how the system works:
Are there other ways digital can offer access to events taking place elsewhere in a more immersive way?
Jewelry and fragrances are often put on at the same time, so it makes sense to combine the two. In the past, we’ve seen Perfumetools enable those allergic to perfume chemicals to wear a scent housed in necklace pendants, and now OBO is similarly embedding fragrance capsules into necklaces and bracelets, allowing wearers to easily reapply their perfume when they need it.
Currently seeking funding through Indiegogo, the OBO jewelry range consists of four designs — a drop-shaped pendant and a pebble pendant, designed to be worn on a necklace chain, and a white and black bracelet which feature a bubble at their center. The pendant looks like a large jewel, but is in fact a receptacle for any type of perfume. When detached from its magnetic housing, the pendant reveals a roll-on base that can be simply rubbed wherever the wearer wants to replenish their perfume. OBO jewelry negates the need to carry extra perfume in a handbag, while remaining discreet and elegant-looking.
Watch the video below to find out more about the project:
Those wanting to back OBO’s campaign can do so before 1 July, with jewelry pieces starting from EUR 60. Are there other smart ways to combine accessories and cosmetics to enable women to leave the clutch bag at home?
Supermarket groceries spend weeks or even months being stored and transported before arriving on the shelf, and they’re often picked well before they’re ripe because of this. Companies such as FreshRealm have aimed to improve on this, promising food from farm to table in around two days by directly connecting individual producers and consumers through the US postal system. Now a platform from Australia called RipeNearMe is enabling local growers to share their excess fruit and vegetables, notifying neighbors of the best time to pick up the produce in its prime.
Those with veg beds, allotments or fruit trees — particularly those in the city — can register their growing projects and whether any spare goods will be free or priced. Growers can post updates to indicate the progress of harvests and neighbors can subscribe to remain in the loop. Fruit and veg in the process of growing is marked with a green tag which turns red when the produce is at its peak. Consumers can then arrange to pick up the ultra-fresh goods or have them delivered by communicating directly with the local residents that farmed them. As well as enjoying better quality food, users support their local community and avoid the carbon emissions associated with long haul food transportation.
Watch the video below to learn more about RipeNearMe:
Are there other ways that residents can be more closely connected with the food being produced in their nearby area?
Keeping track of expenses and putting money aside is challenging, but there are six easy tips employers and brokers should share with workers to help them become financially fit.
Organize financial records
Toss unneeded financial records and create electronic or hard copy folders for easy storage.
Set a monthly budget and stick to it
Keep and review a record of your expenses to develop a good idea of where to cut back. This may help curb your impulses and control your credit charges, once you discover how quickly those small purchases add up.
Establish an emergency fund
Pay yourself first. Deposit a portion of your paycheck into a savings, credit union, or investment account.
Put your money to work
Deposit extra money into a checking or savings account where it can possibly earn a return on investment for you. Additionally, you should consider opening or adding to an IRA or increasing your 401(k) contributions.
Protect your future
A financial safety net and voluntary insurance policies can help protect your family from expenses that can stem from unexpected illnesses or accidents.
Don’t forget to leave room in your budget for fun to make it easier to stick to your financial resolutions. Reward yourself with vacations and restaurant-outings that won’t break the bank.
While some aspects of The Internet of Things are obviously beneficial — think Nest‘s energy saving and remotely controlled heating, for example — the possibilities can actual be a bit more unusual and creative. Exemplifying this is the placeLamp, which tracks the location of owners and emits different colors to let coworkers know where they are, or if they’ve received a new message.
Created by designer Sam Stubblefield, the lamp takes a simple cylindrical form that is illuminated from the bottom with LEDs. When connected to owners’ smartphones, the lamp can track how far away from it they are. placeLamp turns off if they’re out of the office, glows subtly if they’re in the vicinity but not at work, and continues getting stronger the closer they are to their desk. Users can control the lamp’s indications, even setting it to turn blue when they’re out of the country, for example. It can also be used to alert owners of email or text messages, glowing different shades to indicate their urgency.
Watch the video of the prototype lamp in action below:
Although placeLamp doesn’t offer extra functionality that out-of-office notifications and on-screen displays don’t already provide, it communicates in a less distracting manner that could work well in stressful office environments or even hospitals. Are there other pieces of office furniture that could be redesigned to deliver information to workers?
The internet is changing the nature of visual entertainment. We already have YouTube and Netflix offering on-demand content, and even shows such as @SummerBreak integrating social media as a medium for additional storytelling. Platforms such as Twitch are now showing that there’s real demand for live streams on the web, and Sweden’s Liveguide is an app that acts as a comprehensive schedule listing for livestreamed content across the web.
As is the nature of live broadcasts, tuning in at the right time is needed to enjoy the action happening in real time, whether it’s video gameplay, sports or interactive Q&As. Developed by students from digital business school Hyper Island, Liveguide presents live content from platforms like Twitch, Ustream, Youtube Live and Dailymotion as channels. Live and upcoming shows can be filtered through a variety of categories and tags, and once users have found a broadcast they want to watch they can push it to their TV via Airstream, or receive a notification when it starts.
Watch the video below to learn more about the app:
Available for free on the App Store, Liveguide could ensure that users don’t miss coverage of live events by letting them know what’s on, and when.
We’ve already seen subscription services that enable customers to get a taste of a different city, such as Try The World‘s regular boxes of assorted products from different global regions. However, sometimes those moving to a new city simply want a reminder of the unique tastes and oddities from their hometown. Catering to students and others who have moved states, PiecesofThere provides gift boxes for each of the 50 states of the US.
Customers signing up for the boxes simply choose their home state, or the home state of the recipient they want to gift the packages to. The subscription packages are available as one-off gifts, or regular parcels sent every month, college semester, or seasonal and special occasions. Each box is tailored to provide products typically only available in that state, or that have a strong association with it. For example, the New York boxes may include a city map and some Hampton Coffee, while Alaskans could get some wild berry tea and an Ulu knife. The Louisiana boxes feature Old New Orleans Rum and a Mardi Gras mask, while Washingtonians get treated to Portlock Smoked Salmon Filet and Starbucks Frappuccino. The packages are priced according to the goods in each one, although they’re typically around USD 50 to USD 60.
PiecesofThere aims to provide home comforts to those living outside of their state of origin by delivering regular local treats. It’s also currently offering packages from Canada, Britain, Ireland, China and India. Are there other parts of the world where this idea could work?