We’re living in an age of disruptive business. First, Uber changed the way drive, then AirBnB changed the way we travel. Now, these six start-ups are breaking through in their respective industries with innovative solutions to our everyday needs. From digital pill bottles to self-brewing beer machines, these futuristic inventions are bridging the gap between science fiction and reality.
Described as a “fit bit for cars” Dash is a tech device that monitors user driving and vehicle health needs. It’s designed to help save money, improve safety, and save time. The product combines a mobile app with a hardware device to provide real-time feedback on driving, vehicle diagnostics, navigation, and trip logs. Since its trial in 2015, over 250,000 drivers have been using dash in the U.S.
If you enjoy eating out at the price of packing a lunch, then MealPal is the app for you. This startup service allows members to order lunches from local restaurants, skip the in-store line, and pay under $5 for each meal. Cross your fingers that this service is provided in your city because you can save up to $600 a year on lunches with a subscription.
Praised by Richard Branson as the “most disruptive startup in the beer space” MiniBrew is the world’s first all-in-one beer brewing machine. Consisting of a digital appliance, a fresh ingredient pack, and a mobile app, MiniBrew allows consumers to design and create a variety of beers from virtually. Whether you’re looking to replicate a flavor you tried once in a bar or discover a new beer that matches your mood, this product is the perfect way to express your inner-hipster.
#4 Bump Mark
Designed to reduce food waste and keep consumers informed, Bump Mark adheres to food packaging and alerts consumers when food is going bad. Once the small sticker product is attached to any container, it reacts to the conditions inside. Consumers will know their food has gone bad if the Bumb Mark begins developing a bumpy texture.
Babylon Health is eliminating all of the time-wasters and hassles of the healthcare industry. With their mobile app, users can book face-to-face consultations, ask medical questions, conduct health tests, check clinical records, and even monitor health indicators such as pulse and blood pressure. While other healthcare apps simply match users with doctors over the phone, the Babylon Health app utilizes artificial intelligence to make predictions, prevent illness, and provide solutions before symptoms progress.
Here with the latest in smart technology, AdhereTech has designed a pill bottle that alerts patients to take their medication. AdhereTech recognized the extremely common problem that patients often forget to take their medicine, so they created this simple solution. Although the product itself is small, it’s saving the industry billions of dollars in follow-up care and intervention.
Reality TV shows just seem to never go away. You can now make a reality TV series about anything you want and it’s almost a guarantee that someone will watch it. This got us thinking…there’s actually a pretty interesting parallel between Reality TV and one of our favorite subjects: Apps. (Stay with us on this one). If you think about it, Reality TV and Apps actually have a lot in common. Neither have many restrictions or limits. They are both conversation starters and don’t show any sign of slowing down. FLIRT is of course all about App news, since it’s an award winning offering of ours, and some of our staff members definitely would say Reality TV is their guilty pleasure (although they may wish to remain anonymous 🙂 )
Interestingly enough, Apple has combined both of these seemingly different worlds as they recently announced their new TV show, “Planet of the Apps,” where celebrities judge developers on their apps. It’s basically the app version of “Shark Tank” where entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to the “sharks” and the sharks decide whether or not they would like to invest in the idea. People watch the show for different reasons, whether it be strictly for entertainment or whether they are thinking of their own entrepreneurial endeavors, but whatever the case may be it seems that people can’t get enough and Apple wants a slice of the pie.
Planet of the Apps will differ from Shark tank in the sense that instead of the typical elevator pitch developers and entrepreneurs will have to make an escalator pitch where they have to pitch their idea on an actual escalator. They will be pitching their ideas to celebrity judges such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Will.i.am, and Jessica Alba for potential funding by the celebrity as well as prime real estate within the Apple Store. The show not only judges apps; it COMES with an app where viewers can be interactive during the show and swipe left or right depending on whether the app sounds promising or not. The show will even be released in the Apple Store. This is one we’ll definitely be tuning in for. So what do you think? Over reality TV? App’d out? Already DVR’d it? Let us know in the comments!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been listening to Christmas music nonstop on my morning commute, in the office, and well everywhere in between. One song in particular has struck my fancy; aren’t you curious as to what it is? Alright, no need to whine, Santa is watching after all – It’s Andy William’s “Happy Holiday” of course, an anthem to all things merry! My version differs, for it goes a little something like this:
We have a big, fun FLIRTcasting up on the blog
With lots of activities for you and for me
So leave a comment or like for good ole’ FLIRT
Written on social media
Pretty catchy, right? Keep on reading to see how many winter activities you’ve accomplished this holiday season!
Grab your scarf, mittens, puffer jacket, and hand-warmers for caroling at the Cloud Gate – This Friday (12/16) from 6-7PM! You don’t have to be gracious singer; you just simply have to enjoy spreading some holiday cheer alongside Chicago’s local choral groups. Perhaps even Mr. Santa Claus will make a guest appearance, delighting the inner child in all of us. Afterwards, feel free to take a twirl on the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park equipped with frosty views of the bean and Chicago’s staggering 69-foot Norway Spruce Christmas Tree.
Deck the zoo with more than 1 million twinkling LED lights in Brookfield’s 35th annual Holiday Magic. See the enchantment zoo-wide all month long and enjoy multiple activities including a 41-foot talking tree, model train display, Christmas carolers, ice carvers, and photos with Santa and the Mrs. If all of that holiday cheer has yet to woo you, you also get to sing to the reindeer, big cats, and bears, oh my! “See the lights, Feel the Magic, Continue the Tradition” at Brookfield Zoo.
Finish Christmas Shopping
Bake Christmas Cookies
Enjoy Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest!
Add Chicago’s biggest indoor winter playground to your weekend to-do list! Why not bring the whole family and enjoy 170,000 square feet of rides, giant slides, 15-foot snow tubing hills, and the Chicago Blackhawk’s ice skating rink. It’s a great way to stay warm and toasty hidden away from the Chicago cold; yet, still enjoy Father Winter’s glorious activities!
Let’s be real, who hasn’t had visions of sugar plums dance in their heads? Whether you have or haven’t, go buy your tickets to Joffrey’s new Nutcracker, performing all month long at the Auditorium Theatre. This reimagined ballet with choreography by Christopher Wheeldon celebrates Chicago’s mysterious 1893 World’s Fair through the playful eyes of a child, an electrifying spin on the classic fairy tale about a little girl who goes to the Land of Sweets.
Mm…do you smell the inviting aromas of sausages, Strudel, and Glühwein, a traditional German holiday market hot spiced wine? Why, that’s enough to please the pallet and warm the soul, especially in the North Chicago Pole. Check out Chicago’s largest open-air market inspired by a Nuremberg, Germany market that was founded way back in 1545. This special holiday exposition brings cherished German and European traditions whilst welcoming an international flair and new cultures each and every year. After indulging in the large assortment of savory food, drinks, and treats, complete your shopping experience by meeting and greeting the other vendors. Perhaps you might even come home with a few cuckoo clocks, beer steins, and hand-painted ornaments!
New Year’s Eve Festivities
2017 is just two weeks away! With that being said, have you made plans to ring in the New Year? Chi-Town Rising embarks on its second annual celebration along the Chicago Riverfront between Michigan Avenue and Columbus Drive. This year’s party will feature activities on the Chicago Cultural Mile, live entertainment, and of course a dazzling fireworks display alongside the beautiful Chicago River courtesy of Navy Pier! The countdown will commence with the Rising Star ascending 36 stories up above the Hyatt Regency Chicago’s West Tower, but don’t worry if you can’t make it to the party, NBC 5 will be broadcasting the event live.
Why not finish this off with a song and dance? Check back next year for another edition of FLIRTcasting!
May the calendar keep bringing
Happy Holidays to you and luck in Q1 2017!
We are stepping into December, which means we are not far from 2017! Have you had a chance to think of your new year resolutions? Well, learning something new is always a beneficial goal to set for a new year and for event professionals (or aspiring event professionals), web and design are always good topics to learn about. These areas are essential parts of events. I mean, can you imagine an event without a website or branding? You may not have direct interest in becoming a developer or designer, but having more knowledge on these subjects will make working with designers much more smooth. Plus, it’s always fun to learn!
Here are some online resources that provide fun and efficient ways to learn about web or graphic design:
Khan Academy is a non-profit organization created by Salman Khan. It has a wide variety of subjects to learn such as math, science, economics, history, music and of course, web design! For learning about web design, Intro to HTML/CSS is the go to course. It has more than just videos, it also offers activities, and even games! The best part, it rewards you with badges upon completion.
In comparison to Khan Academy, Code Academy differs in that it is specifically for learning how to code. It offers coding classes in 12 different programming languages including HTML, CSS, Java, Python and more. For learning HTML & CSS, it provides step-by-step instructions and an online editor, so you can learn and practice at the same time.
Lynda.com offers video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative, and business. Compared to the two sites above, Lynda.com is more project-based, meaning you can watch videos on certain topics that you are interested in, while the above two sites offer more of a step-by-step process.
If you can’t find what you are looking for from the sites above, of course there are many other websites that provide lessons. For instance, YouTube can be a go to when looking for a quick/free video tutorial. The growing use of technology and the internet has made learning easier and much more accessible. So really, there are no excuses big enough to stand in the way of your new year’s learning goal!