App Overload: The Friday Don’t Miss List

Your weekly round-up of the topics we’ve covered this week along with all the things that might not have made it in our posts the first time around, but that you should not miss…

1. Back to the Future
The Internet of Things (IoT) has infiltrated domestic homes, turning egg cartons into sensory items and allowing objects to communicate with each other. While smart objects at home aim to make life easier, don’t miss IoT integration in the workplace, where it’s not just about things, but about empowering people. Technology will increase productivity by providing assistance for routine tasks and allowing meetings to happen whenever, wherever, and however, an idea that aligns with Millennials’ idea of a flexible work-life balance. 66% of Millennials are also open to wearable devices in the workplace. Good thing, because by 2025, 1 trillion devices are estimated to be connected worldwide.
 
2. Superheroines Catching Fire
Strong female comic book characters and superheroines are at the forefront of Millennial media, and we let you know how fans are speaking up to put Wonder Woman, Black Widow, and Hit Girl in starring roles. Though production power ultimately falls to movie execs, fans pay tribute with their wallets, so don’t miss media chatter that The Hunger Games’ second installment Catching Fire may beat the first film at the box office by a longshot. The film celebrates Katniss, the lead, for her tenacity, and has also inspired a surge in interest for archery, her signature skill.
 
3. Drinks Drop the Beat
We let you know that luxury is being turned on its side in favor adventure and authenticity when it comes to the tastes of drinking age Millennials, so don’t miss AR Mixer, an app being developed to infuse augmented reality with alcohol to make every drink a hit. Users can…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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