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This Week In Design & Brand Strategy: 11/30/15 - 12/4/15

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With Christmas right around the corner, everyone is prioritizing their gift lists and making sure that the best of the best items are listed. Among these items, commonly listed is the 'Hoverboard.' However, in an unforgiving article on Fast company this week, the author criticizes this product arguing that this new board ''doesn't even attempt to do the functional things that hoverboards are meant to do: hover.' According to the article, the board is balanced by gyroscope and obviously runs on two wheels. In a critical analysis of the product, the author states, 'The two wheels of a motorcycle symbolize freedom, exploration, and recklessness. The two wheels of this hoverboard mean nothing but that you spent $300 (or more) on something that moves you slower than you can run.' Unfortunately I tend to agree more with the author of the critical piece. With all of the hype of this new product, my first thought when looking at it was, 'why isn't it hovering'? In my mind this new gadget, though new and fun, doesn't quite live up to its name. What do you think?
You overhear it all the time when someone is complaining about cyclists. 'Those bikers man'they own the road these days!' Well that may have been an overstatement a year ago, but now this statement holds substantial validity in Denmark. According to an article posted on Fast Company this week, Denmark is trialing what's known as 'RFID' tags on cyclists that will allow them to turn traffic lights green. 'As they approach a junction, the tag sends a signal to a nearby reader, which in turn switches the light to green. Cyclists never even have to stop, even as car drivers on the other side of the junction are brought to a standstill.' This new move in innovation and design comes as an effort in Denmark to get more cars out of the inner city. Only set in a small area currently, the plan is to make this innovation city-wide. I absolutely love this idea! The only drawback I saw can be summed up in the last few words of the article: 'Should we start feeling sorry for Danish car drivers'? 
Are you a dog lover? Do you not have the bandwidth or capacity to own a dog? Well today is your lucky day! According to an article on Fast Company this week, there is now a dog-sharing app called 'Bark'n'Borrow.' Basically, the app matches dog owners with people who don't have dogs but wish they could. 'Dogs get some extra attention, dog owners can get a free dogwalker or sitter, and dog lovers can play or cuddle with a charming new friend.' The app claims that is vets each potential borrower and firmly believes that the app can work safely if everyone takes the time to get to know the other person. The article also states that, 'For now, dog owners and borrowers pay nothing (the app also connects professional dog walkers who do charge a fee, but the main service is free, at least for now).' The app makes sense right? I know, for me, living in New York City does not allow for me to own a dog. However, I consider myself to be a huge dog person so borrowing a dog for a short walk once a week would definitely appeal to me. I would highly recommend anyone interested in this concept and the unique app design read the piece here.

Nichole Dicharry, is a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Marketing and Finance Divisions, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at 

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