Whether you’re ethical, a campaigner, or just plain self-righteous, there are plenty of reasons that shape what and how we buy. However, maintaining these principles is often at odds with a lack of corporate transparency, or a need for convenience. In the past, making ethical consumer choices was shaped by research, campaigning, and in some cases, speculation. Given the complexity of supply chains, complex corporation structures, and the inevitable subjectivity of online conversations, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for ethnical consumerists to make quick, informed decisions about the products they buy, especially if you’re having second thoughts in the checkout line.
Created by 26-year old developer Ivan Pardo, Buycott is a free iOS app that puts a world of ethical information about the products we buy at our fingertips. Using the app is simple: Scan a barcode, and the app will look up the product, determine what brand it belongs to, and figure out what company owns that brand (and who owns that company, etc.). The results are presented in a corporate family tree, showing the complex network of corporate ownership, allowing you to avoid indirectly giving money to companies deemed objectionable. Users can also set up an account to create their own campaigns, and choose which companies they support (or which ones they want to blacklist).
Do you know how to easily get stickers off of something? Or how to use a drill bit on a stripped screw? Or how to create compelling, six-second videos?
65% of Americans eat out once a week, taking millions of photos of their meals. What if, instead of sharing pictures of their food, diners could share meals with the 65% of South African children living below the poverty line? It was this mission that led The Lunchbox Fund to launch its Feedie app with the support of Tribal New York.
Feedie is a photosharing app that is optimised for sharing food pictures, thanks to filters such as “toasty”, “leafy” or “seared”. When a photo is shared on social networks like Twitter or Facebook, it is branded for The Lunchbox Fund and, more importantly, the restaurant it was taken in. For each share of a meal from its tables, the restaurant donates one meal to The Lunchbox Fund so that South African children can have the energy to work towards an education and pulling themselves, and their families, above the poverty line.
Have you ever wanted to go into space? Well now’s your chance. Mars One plans on sending the first humans to Mars and documenting the journey through a reality show. To get a spot on this Truman-Show-in-space, participants will need to meet the following criteria: Be over the age of 18, have a great personality/sense of humour, and be willing to never come back to earth.
Mars One aims to land its first four astronauts in 2023 and the televised reality show would follow the 10 year journey from the application process to the first attempt by humans to create a colony on mars.
At one point or another in your life, you’ll have scratched a beer label off a beer bottle while drinking it. Beer bottles seem to make the average person want to interact (clearly because there is beer inside). Heineken and Tribal DDB Amsterdam have taken the notion of interacting with your beer bottle to a different realm with Heineken Ignite: the first beer bottle which can interact with other beer bottles of its kind, the drinker and even the surroundings. It’s the first beer bottle which recognizes the act of “Cheers” and lights up to celebrate accordingly. You sip, it sparks. You dance, and because the bottle is programmable to the DJ beats, it lights up.
The bottle itself uses micro sensors and wireless networking technology to sense motion, cheersing, sipping, sitting. The bottle also responds to the output of specific audio and data cues (hence the ability to respond to music). As far as the actual light makeup, there are 8 LEDs, an 8-bit microprocessor, an accelerometer to detect motion and a wireless network transceiver to communicate with the outside world. The 3D printed container is built in a way that allows it to be re-used on multiple beer bottles.
Did you know that The Santa Clause 2 is 7% more Jewish than Ben-Hur? Neither did we. In fact, we’re sure nobody did until J-DAR came along. Our very own menschen at DDB Toronto came up with the idea as a part of a fully integrated campaign for the Toronto Jewish Film Festival (TJFF), playfully reminding people that Jews have a long-standing history in moving making (and that they’re pretty good at it, too). The TJFF was largely perceived to be a religious film festival, featuring movies heavy on Jewish content and light on action, drama, suspense and laughs – a belief that couldn’t be further from the truth. J-DAR breaks this perception by proving to people that while they may not know it, they’re already fans of movies that feature Jewish contribution.
J-Dar uses a complex algorithm that analyzes all the content and key roles associated with a film, and cross-references a database of pretty much every Jew in Hollywood (give or take a Jew). For every match, weighted percentile points are assigned based on the importance of a role. Points are then added up to generate the J-DAR score. You can also test your own J-DAR, and pick the movies you think are more Jewish.
On paper, Jeppe Carlsen’s 140 sounds like the antithesis of a good PC game: there’s no character development (unless you count changing shapes as such), and no storyline. Considering the lo-fi graphics and simple gameplay, one would hardly think of this as a GDC award winner. It was also designed in Carlsen’s spare time. Nevertheless, the game is already winning accolades, and it’s not even publicly available yet.
When it comes to gameplay, music is often overlooked – while it most often adds to the experience, it rarely is the experience. Nintendo’s master sound designer Koji Kondo believes that game music must consist of three components: rhythm, balance, and interactivity. Unlike any other media, games react in real time – music in games is traditionally used as a means of feedback. In 140, the role of music is reversed, where gameplay and visuals are governed by music. Navigating worlds through an electronic soundtrack that alters the landscape, players need to sync their movements with the rhythm to avoid obstacles. The soundtrack evolves with each level: additional music-controlled elements are progressively introduced, leading to “intense, rhythm–based boss fights”.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a form of muscular dystrophy. In laymen’s terms, DMD weakens your muscles, so much so that you lose the ability to walk or even hold a pen, and the disorder can even eventually lead to death. Australia is the only first world country with no governmental policy on rare diseases, something clearly troubling for Australians affected by disorders like DMD. Money for research, trials and supporting families is all raised by charities, or paid for by the families themselves.
Save Our Sons and the Duchenne Foundation, both based out of Australia, have raised nearly $1.75m to date, but have since started an online petition for the Australian Government to match these funds. The campaign supporting this petition is called The Most Powerful Arm Ever Invented wherein their campaign video features a boy with DMD speaking to his disorder and about the petition. Too weak to write on his own, a robotic arm writes his every spoken word.
TV, newspapers, human resources, taxis and hotel rooms. So many industries have been and continue to be disrupted by the internet and social media. The latest is the very act of making a payment. American Express has already integrated its offers with Foursquare (check-in to redeem), with Facebook (sync, like, save) and with Twitter (sync, tweet, save) but now other start-ups believe they have the secret sauce to revolutionise the payment industry.
The recently launched Cover app is self-styled as the “Uber of restaurants” – your credit card is kept on file and charged after every meal, tip included. No awkward moments of waiting for the cheque, no more using your phone to work out how much to tip. Just book, eat and leave.
Wired Magazine called Cody Wilson one of “the 15 Most Dangerous People In the World,” so it stands to reason that the site he runs, Defcad.org, might be the most dangerous website in the world.
At it’s core, it is an easily searchable archive of designs for objects that can be created on a 3D printer. Where it differs from competitor Thingiverse is the that Defcad is willing to host more controversial designs. Specifically, the files needed to print gun parts.