Best Of 2012: Technology

As 2012 quickly comes to an end, we're looking back at what stood out across various industries this year. Today, Camilla, one our Youth Advisory Board members, discusses some of the biggest achievements in the tech space.

Best Of 2012: Technolgoy

This year, we’ve been met by some incredible novel pieces of technology, and stellar improvements on already-existent technology. Incidentally, we’ve also been advertised (often successfully) a fair number of less-than-impressive techie goodies, but we won’t talk about that today. For me, at any rate, the best of this year’s technology spans two separate realms of possibility: the maybe-if-I-save-up variety, and the completely unpurchaseable but nonetheless faint-worthy innovations. In these categories, I’ve picked out a couple highlights.

So, without further ado:

Your world: Roku Streaming Stick

RokuDoesn’t ring a bell? That’s because this is the present you want, but didn’t even know how much you wanted it (but, now you know, you’re going to pretend you’ve always wanted one). Basically, it looks like a USB stick you plug into your TV. Unlike a USB stick though, this tiny object provides you with extensive access to online streaming episodes on Netflix and likeminded sites — and it’s (relatively) affordable. “Stream to your heart’s content,” their website proclaims.3D printing

Out of this world: 3D printing.

Obviously, this is not a viable Christmas present, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an ‘I always WISHED this existed’ sort of dream. It’s exactly what it sounds like: you print in three dimension. It's of incredible use to architects, and apparently also in constructing dental crowns. For those of you who don’t build buildings or teeth, the options seem limitless now but after a week of printing origami-like designs, I’m not sure this gift…

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “My end goal is to pay off my student loans –$44K to go.” –Female, 27, NJ

Is it possible that teens prefer print books to e-books? Nielsen has reported that 20% of teens are purchasing e-books, compared to 25% of 30-44-year-olds, and interpreted that to mean that teens are reading fewer e-books and have a “preference for print.” However, TechCrunch points out that teens lack the funds and credit cards needed to make the e-book purchases themselves, which is likely impacting the data. Our Instant Poll results suggest they may be correct. (TechCrunch)

YouTube continues to be mainstreamed by traditional media. MTV has tapped feminist vlogging star Laci Green to create their first-ever YouTube channel airing Braless, a 12-episode web series. Green’s own channel has over a million subscribers and her sex-positive, sometimes educational, videos garner millions of views. Braless features Green tackling pop culture topics, like twerking and The Hunger Games, through a sex-ed or feminist lens. The series debuted last month, and the most watched episode so far has over 260,000 views. (BuzzFeed)

Mark Zuckerberg has vetoed a “dislike” button for his site, “suggesting that the world is negative enough.” However, much like Tumblr did earlier this month, Facebook will be adding call-to-action features such as “Shop Now,” “Book Now,” “Sign Up,” and “Play Game.” Page owners will be able to add these buttons to drive business, and early tests were reportedly a success: Dollar Shave Club’s “Sign Up” button “delivered a 250% higher conversion rate versus other comparable social placements.” (MediaPost)

More and more industries are experimenting with the on demand model and providing consumers with more immediate gratification, and it’s possible that in the future every brand will find ways to cater to the on demand mentality. UrbanStems is playing with on demand to disrupt the flower delivery business. The startup, which launched in D.C. on Valentine’s Day, provides fresh bouquets within an hour for $35, including delivery, and sends a confirmation photo when the “happiness” is delivered. The service is expanding into New York this week. (Fast Company)

Lululemon is outfitting the next generation of “yoga enthusiasts.” Though the brand has struggled this year, their label Ivivva, for girls as young as six, has seen same-store sales “soar” 37%. Ivivva, offers products that are made of the same materials as Lululemon, but they are also actively co-creating the brand with their young consumers, seeking girls’ “input and feedback ‘on every aspect of the brand, from store design to music to product.’” They say listening to this feedback has contributed to the brand’s impressive growth this far. (Business Insider)

We don’t just deliver data. Along with our bi-weekly survey result data files, we provide our Gold subscribers with a topline report that synthesizes hand-picked, illuminating data points and our insights and expertise. Interesting differences between males and females, older and younger Millennials, ethnicities, and more are highlighted, and relevant statistics are streamlined into an easily consumed, concise, visual takeaway. (Ypulse)

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