Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

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I went along to the Automata Eve robot launch. More about this in detail in another blog post once I get around to write it. Eve is a robotic arm aimed for light industrial usage.


Moleskine Now Offers Retreats for People Who Work Remotely – Condé Nast Traveler – I get why they may be focusing on freelancers as the creative industries sees agencies using an increasing amount of freelancers.

Japanese porn company Soft on Demand wants to use virgin power to create electricity for romantic Tokyo event – Japanese marketers never fail to surprise me with these odd campaigns. The power comes from stationary exercise bikes. I couldn’t do any better than Sora News 24 at explaining how this campaign all comes together, so go and read it all there. Soft on Demand is the Japan’s largest adult entertainment media company and are putting a lot of money into marketing VR content

Why Canon is helping users rent their kit to each other | Marketing | Campaign Asia – interesting idea but I could foresee a lot of problems with an AirBnB for camera bodies and lens, or maybe I am just a low trust individual

I hadn’t realised that population ageing and decline was an even bigger issue in Bulgaria than it is in western European countries like Germany or the Nordics. In terms of population decline it even outstrips Korea and Japan. Very interesting documentary on the day-to-day impact by showing the lives of villagers that have been hit hard through this decline.

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

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Holographic-like video conferencing: a killer app for AR? | eeNews Europe – really???

Apple’s new iPads cling to old Apple Pencil | The Verge – this looks like a potential mess

WSJ City – Feds scrutinise development and FAA approval process – interesting how they have gone in this direction focusing on the FAA approval process. Dinging the FAA approval process could damage future US aircraft sales. It would be a boon for Chinese aspirations in the global aircraft market outside the US and EU

Weber Shandwick’s UK Consumer Lead Quits – it’s interesting that she’s going without a plan

Nike and Boeing Are Paying Sci-Fi Writers to Predict Their Futures | OneZero – pretty standard. BT were doing this back in the 1970s

Ken Kocienda: product and software design

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Interesting talk with Ken Kocienda, covering his experience on product management and software design at Apple. Kocienda was a software engineer at Apple during Steve Jobs second time as CEO. Kocienda has since written a book – Creative Selection about his experiences.

Interesting bits include:

  • Apple’s approach to open source in 2001
  • The role of demos in Apple’s development process
  • The concept of a “Directly Responsible Individual”
  • The role of whimsy and playfulness in designing software

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우에 대비해서

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Faster Robots Demoralize Co-Workers | Careers | Communications of the ACMA Cornell-led team has found that when robots are beating humans in contests for cash prizes, people consider themselves less competent and expend slightly less effort—and they tend to dislike the robots – to be fair I’d expect to see something similar if the same person kept winning employee of the week

Flickr Cofounder Questions Tech’s Impact on Humans – WIRED – it’s easier to ask the big questions when you’ve made it and can reflect in the tech industry

Marbridge Consulting – China’s February 2019 Domestic Handset Shipments Down 20% YoY14.51 mln mobile handsets were shipped in China in February 2019, down 19.9% YoY and 57.4% MoM, according to new figures released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT), a department of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The significant month-on-month drop can be explained in part by the week-long Chinese Lunar New Year holiday towards the beginning of February. Of total shipments in February, 13.98 mln were 4G handsets, down 20.2% YoY, 37,000 were 3G handsets, and 0.49 mln were 2G handsets

A Witch-Hunt on Instagram | Quilette – western PC culture seems to have more and more cases of it eating their own

Aging Millennials Soothe Themselves With Childlike Fashions – WWD – to try and hang on to youth

SXSW 2019: Virtual Cinema – JWT Intelligence – culture is still trying to adapt AR and VR. Whilst it has the energy of an early SIGGRAPH demo reel, I still think the storytelling aspect of things is struggling to find its legs

Patrick Pruniaux: “There Truly is an E-commerce Potential for Horology” | Luxury Society – Kering haven’t been particularly good at using Ulysse Nardin as a brand in China, but they are rectifying it now. Kering are looking to tap into ‘new’ watch consumers who can’t spend Rolex money on a watch, this position now looks more tenable since Apple has stopped going for the luxury sector with the Apple Watch

How to Create an Authentic Luxury Experience for Millennials | Jing Dailyif a luxury brand wants to entice today’s consumers, whether it’s in China or beyond, it needs to underscore its authenticity and relevancy. Powerful words, to be sure, but what does it mean to be authentic and relevant? For the moment, let’s start with the opposite. During many of my brand strategy sessions, I often hear the expression “they feel staged” when people describe brands that they would never buy. Needless to say, when brand feels staged, it is neither authentic nor relevant. The synonyms unnatural, deceived, cheated, and faked come to mind. In other words, a staged brand is bullshitt*ng their consumers.

Louis Vuitton Has a Michael Jackson Problem | Intelligence | BoFLouis Vuitton parent LVMH hired Abloh, and has poured millions of dollars into promoting his collections in order to build its biggest brand into a menswear powerhouse. But whether or not Abloh’s Jackson-inspired collection ends up being a dud (because products like the penny loafers T-shirt or the military-style jackets are more visibly Jackson-derived and are thus preemptively pulled from sale, or simply because they don’t resonate with shoppers) isn’t likely to be the primary financial concern for Louis Vuitton, as men’s ready-to-wear accounts for only a fraction of total revenue. What’s really at stake is the brand’s reputation — relatively untarnished for the time being, unlike luxury peers like Prada and Gucci which have fallen afoul of social media — at a time when consumers are quick to criticise perceived missteps

How What Goes Around Comes Around Is Attracting Millennials To Buy Vintage – US chain channels aesthetic of Japanese vintage shops

You May Have Forgotten Foursquare, but It Didn’t Forget You | WIRED – interesting how Foursquare went from being useful (I use it as spatial bookmarking, so that I can return to new places that I like) to where 2.0 middleware with a bit of ad tech creepiness thrown in for good measure (paywall)

Pinterest Files for an IPO: What Investors Need to Know | The Motley Fool – interesting for intent driven visual search if they can monetise it effectively on a global scale

Great video of a Black Hat conference presentation on biometric identifiers.

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五) | 금요일에 다섯 가지

Reading Time: 1 minute

Chinese netizens on Zara model controversy. I love Asian Boss’ qualitative interviews

Anand Giridharadas on the modern gilded age and how we should be skeptical of plutocrat philanthropy.

New Balance China tends to march to the beat of its own drum. But even I was surprised by these sweatshirts with new romantic type detailing.

New Balance does New Romantic

Samsung’s facial recognition is surprisingly easy to defeat. This is particularly bad as Samsung’s finger print ID isn’t as good as Apple’s or legacy finger print scanners found on the back of Android handsets. Users have no reasonably secure option beyond PINs. I knew of siblings (not twins): a sister unlocking her younger brother’s phone at a glance. The moral of this story is that physical security of your phone is required to prevent unauthorised access.

Goldman Sachs have a great (if terrifying) video on the use of biometrics in public places like airports and stadiums.