Your Egg Carton is Trying to Tell You Something: The Future of Things

This week, we told you about the tech malaise that Millennials are experiencing. Though they want the latest and greatest new devices, even those on their wishlists aren’t managing to impress them the way that technology used to. So what will be the tech that manages to break the spell and wake up their interest the way that their first smartphone was able to? For years tech insiders have been talking about the Internet of Things: a world where everyday objects can communicate with us, and each other, through the internet, creating a connected space where our belongings will be smarter, more efficient, and make our lives easier. Imagine your alarm clock telling your coffee pot to turn on, or your car texting you when it needs an oil change. Now, after years of being a concept that most had never heard of, and couldn’t imagine coming true if they did, the Internet of Things is becoming a reality. Previously static and inert household items are becoming fixed with sensors and turned into intelligent things that can let their owners know when they are empty, low, need attention, or adjust automatically according to commands and their ambient environment. Business Insider predicts that 9 billion devices will be connected by 2018. If the Internet of Things (or IoT) pans out, it could not only be the next movement to shake up Millennial’s malaise and capture their attention (and wallets) it could also change the way that the next generation—Plurals—views the world around them.

So how close are we to an IoT world? Here are three current projects that are making smart devices a part of our lives right now, and are at the forefront of growing the IoT from a niche concept to a mainstream reality: 

1. Quirky & GE’s Smart Devices 
Some major brands are starting to prepare for the Internet…

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Google Maps is my GPS and I would be lost without it.” –Female, 22, DE

Young consumers have come of age in the era of social media, are not afraid to say what they think of brands online, and expect a response. Brands should be listening to the feedback, and Topshop proved that they are this week when they announced they would stop displaying mannequins being criticized for looking too skinny. The whole story started with a Facebook post from one shopper, which went viral and pressured the retailer to take action. (Digiday)

Vine has gotten brands’ attention primarily for being a hit with teen users, but in the few years the app has been around, it has evolved from the “Instagram of video“ into a piece of the entertainment industry. The app has made small changes that optimize it for the creators who are broadcasting out to huge audiences, and the users who prefer to watch, not post. (But did the platform make the top ten list of Millennial and teens’ favorite apps?) (Fast Company)

It seems that every week another brand comes out with a campaign to capitalize on the selfie trend, but KFC’s new selfie bucket may be the most entertaining yet. The brand has launched a campaign in Canada featuring the “Memories Bucket,” which takes selfies for diners, then prints them out—and yes, it also holds chicken. Sadly, the bucket was only created for the commercial, but KFC says they are “currently looking to work with some franchise owners to facilitate surprise and delight deliveries of the Memories Buckets to some of our more passionate fans." (Adweek)

Boomer and Xer bosses probably all want to know what motivates Millennial workers—but they might be surprised by some of the answers. A recent study found that working on challenging projects actually ranks higher than top salary for Millennials: 37% said that challenging work is their prime motivation, compared to 18% who said money, and 17% who said “coworkers that I enjoy.” (Forbes)

3-D printing has been called the future of many industries, but could it also be the future of fashion? A 3-D clothing line created by a 27-year-old student is making headlines, and showing that 3D printed style is possible. The collection took over 2,000 hours to print, but the creator, Danit Peleg, believes that the technology could “help democratize fashion and give designers more independence in the creation process.” (Mashable)

Quote of the Day: “I love the Amazon app because I can look up products that I want to buy and store them very easily. I also can scan barcodes while I'm in the store to check for the best price and if I want it, I can click one button to purchase it online instead of paying more for it in a store.” – Female, 29, FL

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