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Your daily fix of new business ideas Springwise and its network of 17,000 spotters scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds. More at www.springwise.com
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Your daily fix of new business ideas Springwise and its network of 17,000 spotters scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds. More at www.springwise.com
App turns text messages into face-to-face interactions with strangers
Most of the products and services we write about on Springwise have a practical use or make a difficult task easier. However, every so often we come across an idea that actually serves to disrupt the most efficient ways of accomplishing a task in order to create a new experience. And that exactly describes a new app called Somebody, which sends text messages not to the intended recipient, but to a nearby stranger who is tasked with finding them and delivering the message verbally. READ MORE…
Roving office printer heads to your desk when your documents are ready
Although printers have slowly become smaller and added wireless capabilities over the past few years, they’re still seen as a hangover of the early digital age. Innovations such as Pocket Printer have aimed to rethink the device, but they still remain a mostly annoying part of office life, and using them can often interrupt an otherwise smooth workflow. In order to help avoid back and forth trips to the office printer, Fuji Xerox has developed an experimental device that uses Roomba-like technology to navigate spaces and deliver printouts to the worker that needs them. READ MORE…
Instagram snaps turned into physical mail for inmates
The problem with long-term incarceration is that prisoners become isolated from the technology that everyone now uses to communicate with each other. While the outside society is using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, inmates are restricted to letters and telephone calls. Created by a former prisoner, Pigeonly aims to make it easier for digital natives to communicate with friends and family behind bars by automatically turning smartphone snaps into printed photographs and sending them through the post. READ MORE…
Gadget alerts others if you’re willing to share your umbrella in the rain
There’s a notion that humans — especially those in big cities — don’t do enough to be nice to each other on a day-to-day basis. In fact, it’s an unwritten rule that most urbanites should avoid eye contact and generally ignore one another unless absolutely necessary. Schemes such as Pittsburgh’s Here You Go, which we wrote about back in 2010, have aimed to tackle this problem by giving out free umbrellas on rainy days in return for another random act of kindness. Now the Umbrella Here project has developed smart umbrellas that light up when owners are up for sharing their cover with strangers. READ MORE…
MoodHacker helps employees track depression, as well as overcome it
Feeling out of control of mood swings is a bad thing for both personal health and overall happiness, but it can also lead to a drop in productivity, in which case it can also affect businesses. According to Mental Health America, mental illness and substance abuse directly cost employers an estimated USD 80 to 100 billion each year. While devices such as the Melon EEG headband are already helping to track mood fluctuations to help individuals work better, MoodHacker is an app designed for companies to improve the wellbeing of their workforce, by giving employees tips to de-stress at the right moments. READ MORE…
Supermarket store is entirely powered by food waste
Supermarkets are one of the worst offenders for food waste — not only do their pricing structures encourage consumers to buy more than they need, but they also throw away perfectly edible goods if they don’t look aesthetically appealing or have gone past their sell by date. While the Department of Sanitation New York has recently introduced a scheme that uses the city’s leftover food to power homes, UK supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has now created the first outlet in the country to be powered solely through food waste. READ MORE…
At upmarket SF restaurant, non-refundable meal tickets help tackle no-shows
The way diners pay for a meal has remained largely unchanged in the last few decades — customers reserve a table for free, pay for what they order and leave a tip at the end. Startups such as Cover have previously aimed to shake up this model, with automatic payments that enable guests to simply eat and leave without waiting for the bill. Now San Francisco restaurant Coi is introducing a ticketing system for its reservations, enabling diners to pay a flat fee and managers to avoid the headache of cancellations. READ MORE…
Airbnb-style service for Asia lets homeowners find lodgers with a cultural match
Finding someone to share your living space is never a simple task, as there is a whole gamut of potential problems that can be sparked from personality clashes. While Russia’s Dreamroomer has already aimed to help landlords find tenants that match their interests, PandaBed is a peer-to-peer lodging service that enables homeowners to connect with guests that share their cultural or religious ideas. READ MORE…
Community knit sessions combine the creativity of the young with the skills of the elderly
In large cities, different pockets of the community rarely interact with each other, and most people don’t even speak to their neighbors. We’ve previously seen schemes such as Talk To Me London attempt to get urbanites to get chatting, but now a Netherlands-based project called Granny’s Finest is pairing young designers with elderly knitters to create new products, and foster community spirit in the process. READ MORE…
Urban Death Project wants to make funerals green by turning bodies into compost
Eco burials aren’t a new concept — it’s the more elaborate funerals involving expensive caskets that are the relatively new phenomenon in history — but more people are choosing to consciously avoid wasting resources in the age of climate change. Funeral directors such as the Hippensteel Funeral Service and Crematory in Indiana have been offering natural burials since 2012, with RFID tags to help loved ones locate the unmarked graves. Now the Urban Death Project has designed a new ceremony that respects the dead and celebrates the cycle of life by giving bodies back to the soil. READ MORE…
Subscription service learns men’s favorite fragrances to find their perfect scent
Colognes can be an expensive purchase, yet it’s one typically made based on how they smell after being sprayed onto a bit of paper. While startups such as Concoction have aimed to make the buying experience more hands on by letting customers to mix their own toiletry products, a new service called Scent Trunk is enabling subscribers to sample different fragrances each month based on their previous likes and dislikes. READ MORE…
Smart wristband monitor could keep kids out of trouble
Parenting is a tough job, and the more help moms and dads can get, the better. We recently wrote about the Ignore No More app, which enables parents to lock their teens’ phones if they don’t respond to calls. Now Sync Smartband lets parents receive alerts if their child moves outside of a preset digital boundary. READ MORE…
Subscription service offers on-demand phone charging in bars and restaurants
Running out of smartphone battery can be a daily problem for those who are constantly chatting, texting and ‘gramming. While ideas such as the QBracelet have aimed to merge fashion with a way to charge devices, a new service called Doblet wants to place portable battery packs in popular bars and restaurants, with users paying an annual fee to use them. READ MORE…
Single use festival tent is compostable
One of the major problems with festivals is that after the party’s over, hundreds of tons of garbage is leftover and needs clearing up. While we’ve previously seen the disposable Glad Tent double as a trash bag to encourage revelers to clean up after themselves, Netherlands-based Psssh! has now developed One Nights Tent, which is designed as a single use festival tent that can be composted after it’s used. READ MORE…
This self-locking bike is impossible to steal
Possibly the biggest problem with cycling uptake among city dwellers is the prospect of spending a fortune on a bike, only to have it stolen while it’s locked up outdoors. The Oregon Manifest Bike Design Project recently came up with two designs —Merge and Denny — that incorporated locks into the bikes themselves. But now the YERKA Project has designed a two-wheeler whose frame functions as a lock, requiring thieves to saw the frame — rendering the entire bike useless — if they want to steal it. READ MORE…