Welcome to Some Things – a smattering of inspirational and interesting things we’ve found on the World Wide Web this week, courtesy of Oliver Baxter.
1. Crowd-sourced design solutions for fake news
If you’ve already read our doom-filled blog on the future of spoof news then you’re probably wondering what on earth we can do to stop its meteoric rise to the top of search listings and news feeds. But while Google and Facebook flounder, some genius simply set up a Google Doc and used wiki-collaboration to compile a wealth of potential solutions to the problem from a design perspective. Isn’t The Internet great?
2. A death knell for supermarket queues
Let’s face it, queueing is the worst bit of real-life high street shopping – especially at this time of year. Well, this week Amazon Go used advanced machine learning computer vision and AI to reimagine the whole in-store experience: removing queues, checkouts and even the actual moment of payment. Walk in, choose what you want, then leave. Almost like shoplifting, but not.
3. Bloody robots, coming over here, taking our jobs
After learning about Amazon’s plans to build pretty much staffless shops, you might be feeling a tad uneasy about the future for retail workers. Don’t despair, we just need to learn to stop lazily trying to replace humans with machines, and use machines to augment our own abilities instead. Read a prescient opinion piece on this very topic from Tim O’Reilly on Medium.
4. Feral robotic dogs
As you count down the minutes to midnight on the 31st December, spare a thought for the hackers, industrial designers and electronic artists working up to the wire on their submissions for “Disobedient Electronics”. The zine-oriented publishing project is currently looking for creative concepts that “disobey conventions, especially work that is used to highlight injustices, discrimination or abuses of power.” We look forward to reading the final publication next year.
5. Personal security re-invented by students
Students at Brixton’s School of Communication Arts 2.0 are approaching the end of a successful crowdfunding campaign for their personal safety app and key fob, ICE (In Case of Emergency). By intelligently combining the power of GPS with mobile and social networks, one click of your ICE fob simultaneously alerts the emergency services, texts your emergency contacts and sends an in-app notification to any nearby ICE users that you’re in trouble. We wish them good luck.