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: “When I order takeout or delivery, I’ll order almost anything as long as it can be split into multiple meals.” –Male, 27, FL

There’s good news and there’s bad news. Though the CDC reports that traditional cigarette use fell to a record low last year, electronic cigarette use continues to increase quickly for young consumers. E-cigarette use among high schoolers grew from 4.5% in 2013 to 13.4% in 2014. The product’s increasing accessibility could be contributing to the rise of its use, and theafter effects of the new chemicals in e-cigs are still largely unknown. (The Daily Beast

One teacher is finding out what is really going on in her students’ lives, thanks to a project that is now going viral. After Kyle Schwartz asked her students, many from underprivileged households, to write down something they wished she knew about them, she received revealing notes about their home and school life. One child shared that they don’t have pencils at home to do homework, while another confided that they don’t have a friend to play with. Schwartz has been sharing their notes on Twitter using the hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew, and encouraging other teachers to do the same. (The Daily WhatCNN)

Mattel is hoping to use crowdsourcing to find their next big toy. They’re asking members of product co-creation platform Quirky to “invent the future of play” and submit innovative new ideas for the company’s biggest brands, from Hot Wheels to Barbie. The project is a part of Mattel’s turnaround efforts, and the toys, games, and family products that Quirky users help create will be produced for the holiday season. We’ve said before that co-creation is the future of products, and 81% of Millennials say that they would be interested in helping a brand or company design a new product. (KidscreenEntrepreneur

Are Millennials that different from previous generations? Comparing Pew Research Center data from 1976-1979 and 2010-2013 shows that 18-34-year-olds today are less likely to expect work to be a central part of life than Boomers did when they were the same age. Almost double the percentage of Millennials expect that they’ll go to grad school, and are more likely than Boomers were at that age to say they “attend college to make more money.” (New York Times)

Museums and other art experiences are being Millennialized as young consumers’ spending clout grows. But exactly what kinds of art events appeal to them most? Ticketing platform Eventbrite surveyed members of the generation who attended a performing or visual arts event in the past 12 months to find out their preferences. Unsurprisingly, 66% prefer events with food. They’re also looking for unique experiences: 63% prefer events that are different from others they’ve attended. (Eventbrite)

Need to keep up with social media usage? Ypulse tracks social media trends in our monthly surveys, and we found that Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat have seen steady growth since November 2013. Finishing out 2014, 16% of Millennials were on Vine, 50% on Instagram, and 40% on Snapchat. Our Silver and Gold subscribers can find helpful visuals that detail our tracked trends in the Data Room on Ypulse.com. (Ypulse)

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