Over the past decade, Cyber Monday has become almost as big a tradition among American consumers as turkey for Thanksgiving. Every year, sales figures for the day have broken records… jumping from $608 million in 2006 to a whopping $1.5 billion last year… and 2013's numbers are expected to do the same.
Interestingly, though, just as we prepare to mark online retail’s biggest day, there are signs that brick-and-mortar retail may not be as doomed as some predict:
Within the world of coffee enthusiasts, there's often a battle between Keurig users and purists: purists claim that a Keurig's pre-packaged units and brewing process limit the quality of the coffee being made, while Keurig enthusiasts point to the speed and ease with which their machine can brew a hot cup.
In the last couple years, a great deal of thought has been put into the pizza-ordering process. Hungry customers can follow Domino's Pizza Tracker, which logs every step of their pizza's creation, from the initial order, to baking, to the moment it leaves the store. A Domino's in Salt Lake City even installed 5 webcams in its kitchen for maximum transparency. And online ordering, through a company's site or services like Seamless, has become the norm. So where can we go from here?
A new study by the nonprofit Common Sense Media has found that the total amount of time children age 8 and under spent in front of a screen actually decreased, from 2 hours and 16 minutes per day to 1 hour and 55 minutes per day, between 2011 and 2013. It's interesting to note, though, that the biggest change during that period was in the type of screens kids were looking at – conventional media, such as television, plummeted while smartphone and tablet use tripled.
The impact of the internet can feel inescapable, and when you're inundated with technology news every day it can be easy to forget that all of those startups and apps are irrelevant to a large chunk of the global population.
Looking for a quick creativity booster on a Friday afternoon? You can't do much better than flipping through the finalists for this year's Dyson awards. Smithsonian Magazine has put together a great roundup of some of their favorites-- from a robotic arm that can help workers left heavier objects, to a fridge-powered device that lets you set the perfect temperature and humidity for your fresh fruits and vegetables, to a wind-powered cellphone charger.
Sometimes it's easy to forget that there can be room for innovation at even the most basic level. One of our favorite finds from this year's Maker Faire in NYC was Ply Products, a company that has created a brilliantly basic invention - a new hardware fastener.
We love wearable technology, the more unusual the better – and one of our favorite concepts right now is a fare card for the Boston T transit line that's been adapted into a chic ring. Created by two MIT students, the Sesame Ring carries an RFID chip that's compatible with the Boston MBTA's rechargeable fare card system. Just fist-bump the card scanner as you walk past, and you're good to go.