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News From Around the World

Japanese apples analyze bite marks for free dental care

Add / Remove We’ve seen how teeth-embedded sensors can help dentists gather data on their patient’s eating and cleaning habits, and now Japan-based farming collective Matsumoto Apple Association have developed a less drastic way of receiving dental advice — all patients have to do is eat an apple. The Dentapple has a QR code sticker that links to an associated … Read More »

Customers receive email notifications of their incoming mail

Add / Remove With many companies now offering tracking services for physical deliveries, US Postal Services has begun trialling an initiative that enables users to preview the mail they’ll be receiving that day. Residents of certain New York and Northern Virginia postal addresses can sign up for the Informed Delivery service for free. US Postal already scans all mail for … Read More »

Danish city uses sensor system to understand Christmas shoppers

Add / Remove The success of a Christmas market or winterfete doesn’t always translate to money spent, it may simply increase foot traffic or visitor dwell time. Now, the Danish city of Aalborg is measuring exactly those quantities during its busy Christmas shopping period, using Bliptrack, the sensor system that detects devices that are using wifi. We have already seen … Read More »

Consumer insight via selfie video app

Add / Remove We’ve seen how businesses are using user-generated images across social media to better understand the performance of their products, and now Vidlet have created a selfie video app to help market researchers analyze customer feedback. Vidlet’s cloud-based app works like an interactive telemarketing survey — it displays sequential questions that customers answer with video capture in a … Read More »

Washable smartphone is water and soap-proof

Add / Remove As we enter into the colder months in the Northern hemisphere, colds and flus are prone to spreading around offices, making us remember that smartphones — which spend their time close to mouths and hands — are not particularly hygienic. We recently covered a Korean cafe that provided toasters for customers to sanitize their devices while they … Read More »

Keyboard plugin for automated business replies

Add / Remove As AI software sophisticates, we’re seeing platforms using it to assist businesses communication, such as an empathetic algorithm that help users choose a suitable email tone. KeyReply knows the stress of agonizing over a client email, so their software enables businesses to create a suite of contextual messages for rapid, coordinated responses via a keyboard plugin. The … Read More »

Better wifi through local FM radio stations

Add / Remove Slow and fluctuating wifi signal may seem like a mystery, but there is actually a very logical explanation: when two conflicting networks are available in the same space, they interfere with each other. This causes particular problems in densely populated urban buildings where the neighbor upstairs is watching Netflix while someone downstairs attempts to browse the net. … Read More »

In Germany, deposit and withdraw cash at thousands of local stores

Add / Remove As financial services come up with ways to provide online customers with offline convenience, we’re seeing startups enable customers to pay for online transactions at their local 7-Eleven. Now German startup Number26 is transforming 6,000 stores into bank branches, where customers can withdraw and deposit money. We covered Number26 last year, when they began taking the hassle … Read More »

Designer clothing rental store doubles as a laundromat

Add / Remove The number of companies offering rentable clothing has increased significantly over the past few years. We’ve seen everything from jeans to designer sunglasses and baby clothes made available through subscription packages. Now, a Brazilian store called the House of Bubbles does the same for fashionistas, offering designer pieces for rent and providing a place for customers to … Read More »

Tetris-style blocks for customizable homes

Add / Remove Using a similarly modular design to these mobile urban apartments, Tetris Home enables users to build configurable housing in unusual locations. Designed by Dutch architect Janjaap Ruijssenaars of Universe Architecture, the concrete oblongs used to build the homes, as the name suggests, are based on the configurable blocks from video game Tetris. The homes comprise three units … Read More »