May 29, 2015
Over the years, we've seen a lot of different ingredients getting mixed into coffee. More often than not, these additions tend to be creamy and a little heavy, turning the regular cup of joe into a milky confection. But that trend looks to be reversing, with the discovery that adding a little tonic water to your espresso (or cold-brew!) yields a drink that's crisp and light, with a complexity that puts it on par with some of our favorite summer cocktails. The espresso tonic has started popping up on menus at trendy coffee shops around New York, and we've even heard that Stumptown has their own variation in the works. Here at CE HQ, we're officially hooked - and we're more than a little happy that this is a mixed drink we can enjoy any time of the day.
May 22, 2015
We've seen some great ideas for expanding the influence of YouTube advertising content - see, for example, Geico's brilliantly unskippable ads - but now, the video service is launching a new type of ad that will allow users to jump directly into purchasing the products they see. It's called TrueView for Shopping, and Google hopes that it'll transform "micro-moments" - those times when we turn to YouTube to help us learn a new skill, for example - into opportunities to shop for the items we might be learning about.
They've already tested the system with Sephora, and have seen some significant results in consideration and ad recall. With web video booming, but no clear way to turn that growth into revenue, we expect to see some really interesting tie-ins between video and shopping coming down the pike.
April 30, 2015
Today's animal lovers are looking for new ways they can share bonding experiences with their favorite dogs and cats. Luckily, there are a lot of new products and services that can help make those dreams come true.
Share A Meal
Over the past few years, we've seen cooking meals for pets move from the fringe towards the mainstream. Now, ABC Cooking Studio, a popular Japanese cooking school, has partnered with Purina's cat food brand MonPetit to help cat owners take this culinary trend to the next level. At the school, aspiring cat chefs can receive hands-on instruction on how to create four delicious meals suitable for both kitties and their owners to enjoy.
Like the idea of dining alongside a cat, but don't have one of your own? Spend some quality time with a feline companion at New York's first permanent cat café, Meow Parlour. The concept has proven popular enough that the café now recommends making a reservation in advance. And the trend seems to be spreading – Oakland, CA cat lovers can already check out Cat Town Café, while Washington D.C. residents will soon be able to patronize Crumbs and Whiskers.
Run With The Dogs
Every dog owner has wondered what Fido is up to when left alone at home. A new high-tech collar called Wüf (which recently had a successful run on Kickstarter and is now in beta testing) promises to provide the answer. The collar has two-way, bluetooth-enabled audio, so owners can talk to their dog remotely or soothe him when he starts barking. The Wüf app also gathers data to give owners a clearer picture of the dog's lifestyle and habits, from his activity level over the course of the day to the different places he goes, tracked via GPS.
If you want to see everything your dog sees, check out GoPro's Fetch. This harness lets owners attach one of the popular rugged action cams right to a dog's back or chest, so you can really view the world through his eyes!
April 29, 2015
Our friend Brian Wansink, star of several of our Expert Eyes videos, has just released some new findings from his work at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. Did you know that eating an apple before shopping has been shown to make you buy 25% more fruits and vegetables? It's all about getting yourself in a healthy mindset before you start making all those little in-store decisions. For more from the Food and Brand Lab, click here.
April 8, 2015
Here on the East Coast, a brutal winter is just releasing its grip. If you're like us, you're probably itching to get out and spend time in the great outdoors. Not without your gadgets, of course! Fortunately, spring has brought a crop of new apps and devices designed to help maximize your enjoyment of the warm weather.
Your first download should probably be Outdoors.io, a new app that works like AirBnB for sporting goods. Rent your neighbor's unused mountain bike, camping stove or kayak for a few bucks a day, and you'll be saving money as well as space in your own garage.
Next up is finding the perfect place to enjoy the fresh air - and for this, we'd turn to Hike.io, a new app that helps you find the most picturesque hiking spots in your area. After all, what good is trekking out into the wilderness if you don't come back with some great Instagram pics?
Of course, pictures are just part of it - if you want to get video, but don't want to enlist a fellow traveler as your videographer, you may want to look into the AirDog, a new autonomous drone funded on Kickstarter that will be going on sale later this year. The AirDog will follow you wherever you go, traveling at up to 45 miles per hour, for up to 20 minutes. And it's small enough to fold up in your backpack, making it an easy travel companion.
The impulse to escape into the wilderness might be driven by a desire to get away from it all, but it's obvious that at every stage the latest technology is redefining how we're enjoying those wide open spaces.