Today’s brief covers Google’s push into the future (a la Minority Report), the Pope on Twitter, Nike’s new shoe design, why user experience is so important, crowd-sourcing a party playlist, Flickr’s re-design, how happy people spend their money, and more. Read on!
1. Google plans to launch glasses with a heads-up display by the end of this year. According to a report by the NYTimes, the glasses will have a similar affect to augmented reality, streaming real-time information about what’s going on around you. This is uber cool. [Mashable]
2. Are you over-Facebooked? Many people are facing “Facebook-fatigue” and turning towards interest-based social networks, rather than the catch-all that Facebook is. For example, consumers use Instagram to share snapshots of their lives, Pinterest to curate their online interests, LinkedIn for professional networking, Foodspotting to drool over yummy dishes, etc. You might think that this might be the beginning of the downfall of Facebook, but I think its just coming full circle. All of these interest-based networks connect to Facebook (many through Timeline) so you can share everything you’re doing everywhere else on Facebook. [TechCrunch]
3. The New Yorker may not be my favorite magazine, but I do love this week’s cover (thanks to @AroraSaurabh). This cover was the winner of the annual Eustace Tilley cover design contest. The concept behind the cover is “Loading” which is incredibly apt for our lives today. We’re loading our coffee in the morning, loading onto the bus or train to get to work, waiting for our apps to load, waiting for our computers to load, waiting for dinner, etc. [CNET]
4. This isn’t the first time I’ve touted the importance of user experience in design of any product or service. Fast Company has released a great article on the different elements of user experience, and at the core, the most important point is engagement. Every brand craves it, but not everyone knows how to do it well. Some brands, like Virgin, Red Bull, and Burberry have all taken different paths to engage and create a loyal, powerful community. The medium in which companies and brands communicate with consumers is the experience, and it must be great, or it will not succeed. [Fast Company]
5. Flickr is finally getting a re-design. This is great, because the site sorely needs it. I wonder if they’ll be along the lines of the user experience methodology outlined above. [TechCrunch]
6. Need to crowd-source a party playlist? Anthm seeks to solve the problem of putting together a playlist, during a party. You create a party on the app, and your guests can add to the playlist, request songs, etc. The only “catch” is that the service is connected to Rdio. Not that Rdio doesn’t have an impressive library itself (12 million songs) but I’m a Spotify-ite, so hopefully Anthm adds Spotify support soon? [TechCrunch]
7. The Pope’s on Twitter. Seriously. In a last-ditch effort to get the younger generation observing Lent again, papal messages will now be tweeted every day during Lent. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a religious organization take to Twitter in this way. I wonder who’s doing their social media marketing. Do you follow the Pope on Twitter? [Mashable]
8. Nike released its latest re-design of its sneakers, and they look.. like socks. The new Flyknit shoe “engineers a sock into a high-performance shoe.” Clearly, because shoes are not made out of knit, this caused a completely different technology and software to create such a shoe. The Flyknit is also 19% lighter than shoes worn by the winners of the 2011 World Championship men’s marathon. Click through for the video. [FastCoDesign]
9. Here are some amazing photos of Bombay in the ’70s and ’80s. Nothing like the effect of black and white. [BBC]
10. How to happy people spend their money? Fast Company thinks it knows. What do you think? [Fast Company]
That’s all from me today. Submissions and comments below please!