Intelligent Textiles

After choosing what to wear in the morning, the vast majority of us give almost no thought to our clothing because our clothing gives no thought to us. It’s a utility that sits idle 95% of the time until it’s time to lend us some covering. But like anything in this crazy, tech-filled world, our clothing is not immune to a digitized upgrade.

Sensors sewn into fabrics not only offer us style and modesty, but will grant us insight into the human relationship with our environment.

Digital Graffiti

Isn’t it a shame that every picture you take gets banished to the Photos App – a personal, chaotic abyss. The only chance of remembering these photos is to bravely dive head first into your digital photo album and peruse hundreds, if not thousands of photos.

But what if there were a more convenient way to resurface these memories? This is the idea behind digital graffiti – moments stamped in a time, a location, or in the company of certain people – set to resurface when these contextual clues emerge once again.

The DTC Nonprofit

If Jerry Lewis were still alive today, he’d probably be raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association on a Twitch livestream. Seriously, Twitch, YouTube, and other social platforms are proving that they could be great places for public charity events.

Twitch gamers raised $75m for charity between 2012 and 2017. That’s right, those kids “still playing video games in their mother’s basement” raise huge amounts of money by live streaming.

Tackling Food Waste with Technology

Let’s pretend once a week you go to the store and buy everything in groups of seven. 7 bananas, 7 instant oatmeals, 7 servings of orange juice, 7 servings of veggies, 7 chicken breasts, etc. You go through the first six days perfectly and on the seventh day you say, “Aw screw it, I’m gonna eat out.” And then you proceed to throw away the seventh serving of everything you bought.

Absurd, right?! Now imagine that on a global scale. Every food producer in the world, throwing away one out of seven servings. You don’t even need to imagine this scenario because it’s actually a reality.

Apps for AirPods

Headphones are on the verge of becoming something so much more than we can imagine. No longer just an accessory, they’re becoming a device that’s at the center of our attention. AirPods are more than earbuds. They’re a computing platform capable of reducing life’s friction and bringing us new experiences.

If you don’t understand the craze of AirPods, then walk down the street or look around your office and see how long it takes to count a dozen people with AirPods glued in their ears.

A Currency Exchange for Video Games

You arrive in a new country and what’s the first thing you do? Exchange your currency, of course. Dollars to Pesos. Euros to Yen. Even when making international purchases from home – a designer Italian handbag or a Samsung TV – a currency exchange has taken place.

Global markets and free flow of capital allow us to take the value we’ve earned in one nation and translate that value to another nation. It’s a beautiful choreography. So why does a currency exchange not exist for video games?

The “iPhone of Sleep”

Tech is changing everything. Can we expect to see a major change to the way we sleep in our lifetimes? Will we encounter a 2007 iPhone moment that changes everything about our sleep behaviors?

About a quarter of Americans experience acute insomnia every year, a statistic that’s similar elsewhere around the world. In the US alone, that’s 82 million people who struggle with sleep. This is why there are so many tech companies trying to cash in.

The New Apple Maps

Surprisingly, Google Maps doesn’t rank in the top 10 most-used apps. Yet, Baird Equity Research still estimates that Google Maps could deliver $5 billion of the company’s incremental revenues by 2020 if they really got serious about monetizing. My guess is that if Baird speculated on the value of Apple Maps, that revenue number wouldn’t even reach a billion.

But 2019 marks the year that Apple has finally decided to upgrade their map app. Are they gunning for Google’s position?

Trust in Telehealth

Who hasn’t Googled their health symptoms before only to find out that their lower back pain is scoliosis, their cough is meningitis, and their fever is swine flu? Our first reaction to health concerns is Google. But what if our first reaction was to FaceTime or video chat our doctor?

Telehealth (virtual doctor’s visits) seems like a no-brainer for society. At the touch of an app, you can video call a dermatologist and ask if that freckle on your right shoulder looks suspicious, instead of not scheduling an appointment for years. Yet, the traction on these technologies has been quite mediocre.

The Everything Algorithm

Open Instagram, Apple News, or (even in some cases) TV news stations and an algorithm is choosing what you read, watch, and hear. Open Priceline or Google Flights and an algorithm chooses the price you’ll pay. My dad is online car shopping on CarGurus. Even that site runs a program that decides what cars he gets to browse first.

Where does this go if we take it to the extreme? Clearly a personalized feed for everything we consume. One of the first examples of this is adaptive music, which is basically a choice-less music feed.

Food Network Kitchen

Almost 26 years ago, the Food Network introduced the world to all-day culinary entertainment. From the loud beginnings of Emeril Lagasse to the pleasant presence of the Pioneer Woman, the Food Network has been at the center of creating a nationwide addiction to watching food.

Now they plan on elevating the visual taste pallet, once again, with a streaming service meets education platform.

AI Animators

Ed Catmull – the eventual founder of Pixar – was also one of the first to use computers for 3D animation. His first creation A Computer Animated Hand played an instrumental role in showing us a computer’s ability in creating great animation. And today we’re wondering how we can use AI programs to make painstaking, laborious animation a thing of the past.

What follows are many AI projects working on automating animation. They’re not flashy. They’re not complete. But one of these might be the next breakthrough, as Ed Catmull once brought us.

I Competed in a Spartan Race with Absolutely No Training

Ten years ago, I never would’ve guessed that I’d find myself running a 5K race through mud, over wood walls, and across mountains. But like more than 7 million other crazy people every year, I caved and was convinced to run in an obstacle course race… the latest cultural phenomenon.

Alongside Dorrough (the artist behind Ice Cream Paint Job) and the team behind Shower Toga (the ultimate post-race clean up product), I competed in a Spartan Race – the obstacle course race designed to test your abilities up against the very training routine of King Leonidas and his 300 Spartan soldiers… Well, not really. But for us lazy 21st century couch potatoes it’s a fun excuse for getting back into shape.

Even though I knew about the event five months in advance, I didn’t actually do any training. Below is my video journal recap of me Running A Spartan Race With NO Training:

Uber Wallet vs. Apple Wallet

Control The Flow Of Money. It’s one of the latest collective missions of Big Tech. From Apple’s digital wallet to Facebook’s cryptocurrency to the automation of personal finances and even Amazon taxing nearly everything that happens on the Internet. This is the vertical that tech companies with resources are vying for. And now, out of left field, Uber is going deep into financial services.

The company announced the formation of a new division called Uber Money to house its efforts, which include a digital wallet and upgraded debit and credit cards. The emphasis, at first, will be expanding Uber’s efforts to give its 4 million-plus drivers and couriers around the world access to a mobile bank account so they can get paid after each ride.

Community-as-a-Service

What does Church, the bar, the coffee shop, the barbershop, the library, and the gym all have in common? They’re all what’s called a third space. Your office, your home, and then the third space – where you attend to your hobbies and interests. They’re arguably the most important locale to your being because it’s where we all go for emotional maintenance and social belonging. It’s how we stay sane. It’s where we find community.

Over the past two decades, we’ve seen a massive migration from these communities to digital third spaces – replacing the physical connections with digital bonds. Although it’s too early to know if it’s a good or bad transition. Regardless, it’s given rise to many businesses in the Community-as-a-Service category.

Google Analytics for Buildings

Intelligent CCTV cameras are the eyes of the surveillance state. It’s why we all get a little freaked out when a new set of cameras pops up in our city. But I see a secondary, non-privacy-invading purpose for these cameras that could be a very lucrative opportunity.

What if brands from Coca-Cola to Nike were able to identify how their products existed in relation to a given venue (concerts, stadiums, airports, etc)? What if there were a Google Analytics for Buildings?

Employee Surveillance

Human capital is the most precarious capital there is. With the right team, anything is possible. With the wrong team, nothing is impossible. Any manager will attest to the difficulty in finding one person that is accountable, self-motivating, and efficient. Now imagine leading more than 10,000 people at a corporation. It’s no wonder that large companies are turning to Employee Surveillance technology in order to monitor employee efficiency.

Many will argue that people behave better knowing they’re being watched. But is this a humane way of building trust and creating a winning team?