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: “I really want to visit Tokyo, Japan to see the culture behind the growth of video games, and to eat the food.”—Male, 29, MA

Millennials are ruling music streaming when compared to Gen X and Boomers. A new survey by U.K. streaming service Electric Jukebox shows that 16% of 14-34-year-olds have active subscriptions, compared to 6% of 35-55-year-olds, and 3% of 55 and older. Although they have far more time and spending power, streaming services may currently be too complex for older consumers. In fact, 40% of young Gen X, 42% of old Gen X, and 49% of Boomers choose CDs and radio as the easier option over streaming, while almost half of 18-24-year-olds chose streaming over radio and CDs. (Music Ally

A mom of two has gone viral for her happy Chewbacca video, which has become Facebook Live’s most-watched clip ever. Last week, Candace Payne utilized the platform’s new live feature to show off her latest purchase from Kohl’s: a Star WarsChewbacca mask. Her enthusiasm and infectious laugh generated about 101 million views and got the retailer’s attention. Kohl’s teamed up with social agency Huge to deliver piles of Star Wars toys and $2,500 in Kohl’s gift cards to the micro-famous mom as thanks for her loyalty. (Adweek

In an effort to attract Millennial investors, Starbucks has issued a $500 million U.S. corporate bond for sustainable projects. The sustainability bond is the first for the coffee brand, and will go towards supporting programs for farmers in coffee-growing regions. Last year, Starbucks promised to plant up to one million trees for every coffee bag purchased, which drew in a new group of socially conscious investors. Their latest strategy will continue to strengthen their bond with 18-24-year-olds consumers, who account for 40% of the company’s sales. According to Accenture, Millennials will accumulate some $30 trillion from the generations before them, making them a target market for investors. (Fortune

What’s the secret to beauty box subscriptions’ success? Millennials. Services like Birchbox and GLOSSYBOX have resonated with curious young consumers who are looking for new beauty products and “love the idea of self-indulgence.” Subscription brands have attracted Millennials through social media social influencers. Vloggers’ “unboxing videos” pull in a substantial audience, with one such video receiving 100,000 views in a few days. Male-focused subscription boxes like Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club have also found success with Millennial men for their value and convenience. (Mic

The Great Recession may have caused financial instability, but it didn’t stop “foodie” culture. While dining-out expenditures dipped slightly between 2007 to 2008, they quickly rebounded in 2012, even though income levels had not. Although Millennials especially felt the effects of the recession, they have been linked to the “sustainability of the ‘foodie’ ideology.” To get through the financial crises, Millennials opted to consume experiences instead of expensive material goods like houses or cars. As a result, food has become part of the new status symbols and acts as a form of “social currency.” (Eater

Quote of the Day: “The most important part of prom is the honor of being asked by an upperclassmen.”—Male, 15, NY

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