FLIRTcasting: Augmented Reality

by in Big Ideas, FLIRTcasting, News, What We're Thinking About 

Even though it has been almost four months since Pokemon Go was released, you can still find people of all ages playing. Everyone knows the concept but what people don’t know is that its main component utilizes a technology that the world is still trying to adapt to—Augmented Reality.

Augmented Reality (AR) is a live view of a physical environment in which the elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data. Pokemon Go wasn’t the first to showcase AR, but they brought it to a mass audience. One of the first functioning AR systems came out in 1992 when Louis Rosenberg developed Virtual Fixtures. These Fixtures allowed the military to work in remote areas. In 2004, see-through AR was brought to cell phones. Other than in mapping and gaming, there are many other uses of AR. Here are some applications of AR that you may not have realized before:

Imagine visiting all historical sites and seeing what they looked like hundreds or even thousands of years ago. Augmented Reality has made this a possibility. With your smart phone or tablet, you can now relive what these areas were like in the past.

Greeting Cards
We thought greeting cards that played music were exciting but now greeting cards can be implemented with digital content that users can view by scanning the card with their smart phones. The content can be pictures, videos, or 3D objects which the viewers can interact with. Mage and iGreet are some places where you can get AR greeting cards.

Donating blood is not always the most pleasant experience. Now, with AR, giving blood has become a quicker and less painful process. Devices like VeinViewer can locate veins inside a person’s arm using harmless near-infrared light allowing for quick and painless entry.

Traveling in foreign countries and figuring out directions can be very challenging and even nerve racking. With Augmented Reality, foreign text on signs and menus can be translated and re-displayed in the user’s language. In 2014, Google incorporated Word Lens into its Google Translate, so now it has the function of instant translation from your phone’s camera.


AR is still developing and the potential uses are endless. Pokemon GO opened the door for other AR apps to flourish, but it’s only the beginning. We are eager to see how Augmented Reality grows and evolves in different aspects of our daily life over the next few years.



Works Cited:
Augmented Reality.” Mashable. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Oct. 2016.

Nelson, Fritz. “The Past, Present, And Future Of VR And AR: The Pioneers Speak.” Tom’s Hardware. 30 Apr. 2014 Web. 04 Oct. 2016

Fall Festivals in Chicago

by in Around Chicago, Big Ideas, FLIRT Goings On, News, What We're Seeing, What We're Thinking About 

Millennium Park’s Autumn Blaze Maples and Homestead Elms are beginning to lose their warm green hues. A collection of spectacular-colored crimson, orange, and sunglow yellow paint the sidewalk with expressions of fall. The harvest is upon us, now we can cherish the last leg of produce available at farmer’s markets and of course devour everything artificially pumpkin flavored. Ah, it’s finally Autumn. The weather may be cooling off, but there are still many events and commemorations to enjoy. Without further ado we present, Fall Festivals in Chicago:


Bank of America Chicago Marathon

On Sunday October 9, 45,000 participants will embark on a 26.2 mile journey across Chicago’s best known neighborhoods. This year marks the 39th anniversary of the race that raises millions for charities like Advocate Health Care, American Red Cross, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Though it is too late to sign up for this wonderful event, you can cheer on racers at Grant Park at 8AM, Sunday morning.

chi-20140415-001Chicago Museum Week

It’s the best time of the year to go to museums! For eleven days this month, Illinois residents can get up to 25% off admissions at Chicago’s best cultural institutions. This year’s museum week runs from October 13 through October 23. Other than the BIG 5 (Field Museum of Natural History, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science and Industry, and the Art Institute,) there are many other institutions that provide a spectacular experience for you and your family.

Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns at the Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a 385-acre living plant museum located just north of Chicago. This Halloween event will showcase 1000 hand-carved pumpkins, some with Chicago icons, classic Halloween characters, garden “monsters,” and artwork representing Día de los Muertos. Check it out, October 20 through 23. (Note: you might also encounter zombies and other dangerous creatures along the pathway)

The Halloween Gathering


Join us for the Chicago Cultural Mile Association’s 2nd annual Halloween Gathering on Saturday, October 22. Family-friendly festivities begin at 2PM in Millennium Park, Grant Park, and George Solti Garden. Enjoy an afternoon full of mask-making workshops, acrobatic performances, a children’s costume parade, and Chicago’s Longest All Souls Train on the Van Buren Bridge between Michigan Avenue and Columbus. End the celebration with The Halloween Gathering Spectacle from 6–8PM. Be amazed by an electric procession jam-packed with ghosts, ghouls, artists, and 13 new Creative Spirit Fellows. Perhaps you might even encounter a couple of FLIRTies working, and if you do, come say boo!  

Chicago International Film Festival

The Chicago International Film Festival is an annual event organized by Cinema/Chicago. This year, the Chicago International Film Festival will be held at AMC River East 21 from October 13 to October 27. This event showcases films from around the world that were previously unavailable in Chicago. Viewers will also have the chance to meet directors, producers, writers, and cast members.

Northhalsted Halloween Paradenorthalsted-halloween-parade

Monday, October 31 marks the 20th birthday of Boystown’s Halloween Parade. Participation is free, but registration is required to partake in the procession and costume contest. Brace yourself for an extravaganza of weird, wild, and spooky costumes, kids, and pets, oh my! The event begins at 6PM and spans across Halsted, from Belmont to Addison. Remember to get a little creative with your costume because you’ll be competing against the best of the best!

If all else fails, you can always visit a pumpkin patch to find the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (oops, er…we mean loyal readers). Take a day trip outside of the city to Goebbert’s, Sonny Acres, or Bengtson’s Pumpkin Farm, just to name a few! Who could say no to a day filled with apple cider donuts and hayrides? Certainly not the FLIRTies!

Happy Autumn!charlie-brown-1024

FLIRTcasting: Zen Edition

by in Best of the Web, Big Ideas, FLIRTcasting, Get Mobile 

I’m sure you’ve noticed the emergence of students with backpacks on street corners, traffic-inducing school buses, and Halloween decorations at Walgreens, you know what that means? Yes, it’s back to school season! It’s the highly anticipated time of year where we all become swamped with work and wonder, how will we manage everything? Lucky for you, we’ve designed a compilation of smart phone apps developed and in development that will help you balance life’s daily turmoil. So sit back, relax, and let’s get a little Zen talking about this “soothing” technology.

For Your Mind: It’s important to read up on thezolt3 news each and every morning, but who really has time to flip through every article? Zolt is an app that supplies you with 60-word summaries of major news stories. Best part? The more you use it the more personalized it becomes. It’s a tailored news feed created just for you. Keep it simple, and be in the know.

For Your Stability: Are you a planner? If you’re a part of the event industry then of course you are! We can all agree that sometimes it’s a little hard to balance everything we have going on, let alone know what everyone else is up to. Check out Tweek, it’s an app that allows you to share and assign tasks with your colleagues, family, or significant other. Since everyone is on their smartphones all the time anyways, try taking a digital approach to getting work done.

For Your Body: Setting aside time to go to the gym can be difficult and anxiety-provoking. That’s why there’s Kenzai, an online health platform that pairs professional workouts with a weekly nutritional plan. You can take the app-equipped program anywhere and have 90-day access to professional trainers, nutritionists, and a supportive community. The work week may be busy, but no one can judge you from your living room, it’s a plan you can actually stick with!

For Your Heart: Humans are explorative creatures (the end.) But really, we travel to find ourselves, to lose ourselves, and to see a different way of life. Basetrip is a website and developing app that puts your journey angst to rest by gathering travel details on countries from all over the globe. Simply select where you’d like to go and be amazed by all the weather reports, electricity sockets, currency, tipping recommendations, dial tones, and many more helpful materials. What’s the official language of Mozambique, you may ask? Portuguese, of course!

And Just Because You Deserve A Giggle: Whether you’re a professional photographer or not, we all enjoy taking pictures with our friends, families and yes, pets. PictoGif is an app that enhances your pictures like no other. Snap that picture of Muffin, your cat, and watch her transform into a hilarious gif. You can share it with friends, and who knows, perhaps she will be the next viral sensation.


(Or in FLIRT’s case, Froyo!)

We hope you feel a little more at ease, and remember balance is essential to a healthy and happy life. Check back next time for another edition of FLIRTcasting!


Millennials in the Workplace

by in Big Ideas, Corporate Communications, News, What We're Thinking About 

According to the United States Census Bureau, Millennials account for a staggering 83.1 million or a quarter of the nation’s population, surpassing the size of our baby boomer parents by a whopping 7.7 million. Millennials are currently between the ages of 18 and 34, born between 1982 and 2000, and are quickly taking the workforce by storm, but don’t let all of that intimidate you.wordcloud-1

Being a millennial myself, I can be the first to tell you that we were born at a time of technological innovation making us a little different from generations past.  We have a digital “sixth” sense, naturally because we grew up with the immediate expansion of the Internet. We’re social beings who are not only accustomed to every aspect of our lives being shared, tweeted, and instagrammed, but we are also deeply interested and motivated by other people. Though optimistic, we have high expectations about what the future holds and truly relish in the idea of the “team” effort. Don’t be too quick to judge us without understanding that Millennials in the workplace are mostly these 5 things:

1. Eager

We are ready to learn, to grow, to absorb everything and anything we can get our hands on. We are deeply anxious to get involved, be entrusted with responsibility, and awarded the opportunity to interact with the “real” world.

2. Digitally Nativesocialmedia

The digital world is our home. We can navigate the Internet, respond to emails, post on social media, while texting with ease, and all before noon! We’re social beings who think expansively in terms of how
each idea transcends and affects every party involved.

3. Dedicated

We commit to our work. We want to be challenged and given a sense of purpose. We invest ourselves in the workplace not only because we want to expand our skills to reach our potential, but also because we want our work to be appreciated. We flourish when praised for completing demanding and difficult tasks. Please critique us, we crave feedback because we’re constantly reaching for improvement.

4. Adaptive

We’re not afraid of change, in fact, we invite it! We’re excited that ever-evolving technology and our flexibility to learn and master new mediums are helping the industry progress. We live in a world where information is readily available; therefore, when we don’t know something we look to the Internet, and then self-teach, asking plenty of questions along the way.

5. Crave Impact

We want to make the world a better place and see our efforts through. We care about sustainability, the environment, and most importantly, people. When Millennials Instagram, they’re looking to get connected with others and share  support for causes like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Suicide Prevention, and of course animal cuteness. We are problem-solvers, have civic-minds, and our ultimate goal is to create a happy, healthy lifestyle.


Works Cited:

Fromm, Jeff. “Millennials in The Workplace: They Don’t Need Trophies But They Want Reinforcement.” Forbes. N.p., 6 Nov. 2015. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.

Fry, Richard. “Millennials Overtake Baby Boomers as America’s Largest Generation.” Pew Research Center. N.p., 25 Apr. 2016. Web. 29 Aug. 2016.

Gilbert, Jay. “The Millennials: A New Generation of Employees, a New Set of Engagement Policies.” Ivey Business Journal September/October (2011): n. pag. Ivey Business School. Web. 29 Aug. 2016.

Reynolds Lewis, Katherine. “Everything You Need to Know about Your Millennial Co-workers.” Fortune. N.p., 23 June 2015. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.

The Millennial Generation Research Review. Rep. U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 2012. Web. 29 Aug. 2016.

United States Census Bureau. Millennials Outnumber Baby Boomers and Are Far More Diverse. United States Census Bureau. N.p., 25 June 2015. Web. 29 Aug. 2016.

FLIRTCasting: The Mobile Entertainment Edition

by in Best of the Web, Big Ideas, FLIRTcasting, Get Mobile, Random Inspiration, What We're Thinking About 

Mobility is a movement that is not going anywhere any time soon and with our current focus on entertainment (because of the Olympics, obviously) we realized that the easiest way to seek entertainment is in fact, on our smartphones. So, we put together a list of the newest entertainment apps developed and in development that we are currently excited about. Recommended use: outside of the office.

Travel By Drone – A collection of drone-generated masterpieces grant intrigued viewers the opportunity to search and explore the world by video. Get an aerial perspective of popular views and destinations from Boulder Beach, Australia to Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. Truly embark on the world’s most mystifying views all from your smartphone.

North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii.

Anchor FM – Do you find yourself talking about hydrangeas, Pilates, car restoration, or Yoda for hours on end? If you said yes to any of the above, chances are your friends are getting pretty annoyed hearing about your obsession – BUT – it’s possible the podcast community is interested! Anchor is an iOS app for recording, sharing, and listening to short audio clips or mini podcasts. Not only can users start conversations, but also contribute to them.  So go ahead, your global audience about Yoda’s endeavors, you can educate.


Buttered Popcorn and Surround Sound – You know better than anyone else what you like, but what if there was an app to measure your movie interests? Before anyone gets any ideas, I have to stop you – There is an app and it’s called Taste! Taste is a movie recommendation engine that suggests films based on how your personalized calculations relate to the ratings of other movie-goers curiously “similar” to you. Expect the app to be released later this year, until then please continue to aimlessly guess which movie to see.

Time to Upgrade from Microsoft Paint– Tayasui’s Memopad is the quickest, freshest digital notepad equipped with 9 tools for doodling, drawing, painting, sketching, and more! Doodlers can create masterpieces and then easily share on any social network. Interested? The app is compatible with any iOS-equipped device, so get ready to become the next digital van Gogh!

That Can Only Mean One thing – Yes, it’s time for a [fun] one! Apparently Drake has his own search engine…and yes, it is exactly what you’d expect it to be. “Let me Drake that for you” allows users to search anything and reveal how it relates to Drake. If anyone has heard of anything more absurd, please let us know!

We hope you found your daily dose of entertainment, check back next time for another edition of FLIRTcasting!