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March 12, 2020

A B SEE

Dr. Seuss’s most iconic characters are going from books to augmented reality in a new app for kids. Yup, One Fish Two Fish is now appearing in 3D before a child near you. The Dr. Seuss’s alphabet app winningly ushers children into the creative world of augmented reality and can be used on any smart screen, from a phone to an iPad. What’s really interesting here is the use of augmented reality for a childhood education tool, instead of gaming or promotion, as has been in the past. Seussville can now be summoned in a car, in a boat, near and far, or with a goat…

So Fresh and So Clean

Hand-washing – it’s a thing!! And now, a musical movement as well. Thanks to some enterprising folks, song generator apps aping the Vietnamese hand washing PSA gone viral are popping up everywhere. Now, instead of humming Happy Birthday, you can clean up to “Dirty” by Christina Aguilera. Pick your soundtrack and get sudsing!

Genius. Period.

Experience is so often the best teacher. Well, the Huge Agency took that construct to heart in their latest (and brilliant!) piece of work for the advocacy group, Period. To get people talking about expanding, modernizing and simplifying access to tampons, Period and Huge created a coin-operated toilet paper dispenser that could be installed in a men’s restroom. “If you walked into a bathroom and there was no toilet paper, you’d be really frustrated,” said Nadya Okamoto, the 22 year old founder of Period, which advocates for better access to menstruation products. “Menstruation is just as natural and can come just as unexpectedly. We are fighting for freely accessible period products in schools, shelters and prisons—because menstrual hygiene is a right and not a privilege.” The activation kicked off this week in honor of International Woman’s Day. Hell, yeah!

Bath Bombs

He may be most famous for his paper robot wrestlers (known as kami-robo), but Tomohiro Yasui can’t seem to stop turning the utilitarian into magical figments of his fervid and fertile imagination. His latest series of bionic basics start from the simple toys that typically frequent a child’s bathtub. These brightly superpowered figures showcase Yasui’s 35 years of designing robots and plastic toys and come equipped with physiques that any Muscle Beach maven would drool over. Let’s hope Adult Swim has already come a calling! This has content written all over it!

Home Alone

As the fast-paced global community we all know so well grinds to a peculiar and unusual halt, many of us are finding ourselves home. A lot. A lot a lot. With no commute times, meetings or shopping expeditions, folks are unsurprisingly turning to the internet for amusement, education, and the sense that they are not alone. Livestreaming other’s lives has moved from vaguely voyeuristic, to compulsory as the new shut-in society seeks the stimulation of other humans. In China, sales of cookware and exercise equipment have skyrocketed, as trainers and chefs livestream their crafts. Living out in the world vicariously has also become a hot commodity in Asia. Video hosts are eating at fancy restaurants around the world or providing self-curated tours of museums and shopping malls. It’s a strange twist on the unboxing theme of old – we are happy to watch people experience the things we crave but cannot have. IRL – it’s now a show.

Eat. Love. Mail.

How do you get millennials to use greeting cards? Judging by the recent demise of the beloved paper product chain, Papyrus, that’s simply a lost cause. Enter Elizabeth Gilbert. The esteemed author has become something of a social media star with her pithy online sayings and much-shared posts about self-esteem, self-love, and the art of failing. One small card company has tapped into her wit and wisdom and launched a line of Elizabeth Gilbert cards – full of the words that here-to-fore you could only find printed on a coffee mug. The USPS might want to invest in a few new trucks – this new line may just single-handedly bring back the stamp!

Paper Mate

The Silicon Valley crew has been known to spend thousands on a variety of ‘digital detox’ camps and deconditioning facilities. Apps and classes are available to help the tech junkies among us gently separate from addictive devices. Well the London Design studio, Special Projects, has a simpler idea. Paper. Imagine a series of paper envelopes that seal away smartphones and minimize screen time for the day, while still allowing access to basic functionality. Users can download and print two different envelopes – one featuring a dial pad to make and receive calls and the other a simplified camera with no viewfinder, just buttons to capture photos and videos. Calming, serene and minimalistic, perhaps this sensory soother can buy us more time offline. Or at least the approval of Marie Kondo. 😃

Lit Fashion

It’s been said that it’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. For anyone who has gazed upon a high-end runway show knowing that none of the covetable garments would end up in their closets, maybe that’s a good plan. Artist Janie Korn used this past season’s fashions as inspiration for a set of candles showcasing the pieces that burned brightest. We’ll take them all!
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