Daily nuggets of inspiration from the good folk
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Forget the Fisher Price smiley-faced phone. Now children can make real calls from a real mobile all of their own. (Cheers, Andy P.)
Dubbed the BratBerry by sceptics, 1stfone is the brainchild of Ownphone and is aimed at children between four and nine.
With up to 12 pre-programmed numbers and only basic functions, Ownphone says the mini mobile is a cheap and safe way for children to keep in touch.
It comes in kid-friendly colours and patterns (eliminating any muggability), including ‘green dinosaur’, ‘orange splat’ and ‘pink leopard’. Upgrade, anyone?
To promote its new Office 365 software, Microsoft placed an ad with free wifi in a special edition of Forbes magazine. (Nice spot, Alex.)
The ad was made up of four pages, with a super-skinny router and battery packed in between. After activating the wifi, readers could get online for free (thanks to T-Mobile) for 15 days, wherever they took the magazine.
They could also charge phones and tablets on-the-go, by lifting a flap in the paper and connecting to a mini USB cable. Now that’s worth a read.
Mayonnaise isn’t just for sandwiches. At a supermarket in São Paulo, Hellmann’s used NFC technology to suggest new recipes to shoppers as they perused the aisles. (Thanks, Tim.)
When people placed a jar of Hellmann’s in their trolley, a specially-fitted computer tracked their movement around the shop.
It then recommended recipes they could pick up nearby – a summer salad with mayo in the fruit and veg aisle, and a fish bake near the fishmongers. If people liked the recipe, they could follow directions to each ingredient, or share it on social networks.
Around 45,000 shoppers took part in the Recipe Cart campaign, which – according to Hellmann’s – led to a 70 percent increase in sales.
First there was easyJet. Then easyHotel. And now there’s easyGym.
Yes, Stelios has expanded into the fitness market with a chain of no-frill gyms. You can already work up an orange sweat in six spots across the UK. And from next month, there’ll be a new branch on Oxford Street, too. (Good find, Andy P.)
As our London team know, gym membership in the area can be anything up to £130 a month (ouch). So for £19.99 a month – or less if you get in quickly – easyGym might just do what it promises and ‘revolutionise’ the capital’s fitness market.
But don’t relax too much. Just like your on-flight G&T, classes and personal training aren’t included. And you even have to pay extra if you want to watch TV.
Some robots would be no good at mixing a martini. C3PO, for example, would no doubt bruise the gin with those inflexible elbows of his, despite his plummy butler act. But these ‘guys’ put the most balletic of bartenders to shame. Fresh from MIT’s Senseable City Lab and rocking the bar in Milan is Makr Shakr: three robotic arms that can mix any drink you desire.
Head to the Galleria del Corso, download the app and design your own cocktail – or choose from a literally endless list, before pinging it off to the barbots. And then watch in stupefied, puny human wonder at the poise and precision of the robotic arms at work, synched to mimic every action of a real barman and the style of ballet dancer, Roberto Bolle, whose grace was filmed and captured in the programming. Sponsored by Coca-Cola and Barcardi, it’s really raising the bar for drinks brand experiences.