Six Start Ups that are Changing the Game in 2017

by in Big Ideas, FLIRTcasting, Get Mobile, What We're Seeing, What We're Thinking About 

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.

#1 Dash

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.

 

#2 MealPal 

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.

 

#3 MiniBrew

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.

 

#5 Babylon Health 

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.

 

#6 AdhereTech 

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.

 

Images courtesy of Dash.by, AdhereTech.com, BabylonHealth.com, MealPal.com, DesignbySol.co, and MiniBrew.io

Cannes Lions: The Future of Advertising

As we know, advertising and marketing are continuously evolving. We live in an era in which AI and market research allow companies to learn about customers in a way we never imagined. And every day, brands are changing the way they interact with their customers. To discuss this momentous amount of knowledge and innovation, the […]

The Language of the Internet Has Come of Age

by in Best of the Web, Big Ideas, What We're Seeing, What We're Thinking About 

Learning to code HTML is like learning a new language. It’s riddled with new vocabulary, sentence structures, rules, and exceptions. Even the most proficient programmers need a point of reference every once and a while. That’s why we’re loving this HTML cheat sheet courtesy of digital.com. It lists all HTML tags and includes their definition, attributes and examples of usage.

This resource not only bridges the gap between inexperienced and expert coders, it also confirms the lasting flexibility and ingenuity of HTML as the digital world continues to grow.

From Tom Keller at Digital.com:

The Language of the Internet Has Come of Age

When Tim Berners-Lee famously helped to change the way we live our lives a few decades ago his stellar contribution also included Hypertext Markup Language, or HTML as we all know it as.

HTML has evolved rather than be superseded and consigned to extinction and HTML5 is the latest version that serves as proof of its staying power as a blueprint for how everything comes together on the internet.

cheat sheet that covers the full range of HTML elements and how to use the coding to its full extent is testament to how HTML has managed to come of age and is just as relevant today as it was back in 1991 when it was invented.

Images Courtesy of Digital.com

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence or ‘AI’ is the future of computing. AI is a broad term for making computers act intelligently via robotics, computer science, machine learning, language processing and much more. AI is not some recent phenomenon, yet it is becoming more and more prevalent in our daily lives. Artificial intelligence really has no boundaries or limits and will be the future of computing and analytics. So basically before you know it cars will be flying, your neighbors will be robots, and machines will take over the world. Just kidding, but its more possible now than ever! Listed below are just a few ways that artificial intelligence will change the way we live.

#1 Predicting Weather 

Predicting Weather: Predicting the weather can be extremely difficult and is often inaccurate. Artificial intelligence software is being created that will be able to evaluate all the available data quickly and then forecast the approaching weather. This software will do much more than let a person know whether or not they should bring an umbrella when leaving the house, but can help farmers and even prevent forest fires. The software will also be able to help with the climate change crisis and help aircraft’s avoid storms and dangerous areas. Though the software is not yet complete, within the next couple years expect to see more and more accurate predictions or the weather.

#2 Autonomous Cars

Companies like Google are already in the works on creating a fully autonomous (driver-less) car. The cars operate by having a laser radar system that is connected to a generated 3D map of the environment. The car will take in the information from the map and use its laser system to allow it to completely drive independent of any humans. Artificial intelligence is highly accurate and would remove the factor of human flaws and distractions. Though a lot of kinks still need to be figures out, more and more autonomous cars will be on the streets in the near future.

#3 Security/Military

AI is already being used to assist with national security situations as well as protect individual’s homes from burglary. Modern home alarm systems use AI to distinguish between the occupants of the home and unknown individuals. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security uses AI to help keep or country safe from terrorist threats. They use the AI software as a monitoring system that can scan phones and other communication devices to determine potential threats.

#4 Financial Services

Artificial intelligence is already very prevalent within the financial world. Already more than half of all the world’s stock trades are carried out by AI software. The software uses algorithms to spot trends and patterns with the market and helps predict price changes. The software is very accurate and has improved the returns for investors. Companies such as H&R Block have been implementing AI into their process to improve the customer experience and become more accurate with their decision making.

#5 Medical

Within the medical world Artificial intelligence is already being used, but it is getting more and more advantaged every day. It is used to help detect diseases and even heart attacks before they occur. Artificial muscles are being created that mimic the movements and functions of real muscles. Surgeons have been using robots to assist them during surgery in order to be more accurate and precise. They have even created a software that tracks individual’s health records and warns the patients and doctors of potential risk factors. As AI technology evolves many more lives will be saved and or improved.

#6 Modern Marketing

Some would say that modern marketing would be impossible without the implementation of artificial intelligence. Companies like Google and Facebook rely on AI to better target their advertisements as well as to combat fraud and hacks. These companies are able to gather data and specifically send individuals ads or content that is currently relevant to them. Because of AI these companies are able to connect personally to their consumers in real time. Without the implementation of AI in modern world you or your company will quickly fall behind and become irrelevant.

 

 

As you can see artificial intelligence is already very prominent around the world, but is becoming essential to many major jobs and operations around the world. AI can be used in all kinds of ways independent of these 6 examples. Comment below with any questions or insights regarding artificial intelligence!

Images Courtesy of Popularmechanics.com, theverge.com, marketsmedia.com, & adweek.com

FLIRT’s 9 Challenges

There is no better way to celebrate a birthday than with a little bit of friendly competition. Over the past two weeks we, the interns, have created and filmed “FLIRT’s 9 Challenges.” FLIRTie’s had to compete head-to-head in highly competitive office challenges. There were clear winners and losers and unfortunately not everyone was able to walk away with their head held high. This video not only contains moments of fame and glory, but instances of heartbreak and betrayal. Listed below is an in depth description of the challenges as well as the outcomes:

#1 Trash Can Hoops

Trash Can Basketball is not only a good way to kill time in the office, it’s a great way to go head-to-head with the person in the cubicle next to you. Pete Burns and Jamie Proctor faced off in what seemed to be a very balanced match up. The outcome was very different than expected. Jamie not only won, she blew Pete out of the water. Maybe next time Pete.

#2 Whats Different?

This challenge requires ultimate focus and an extreme attention to detail. The challengers, Lynda Franco and Fran Marciano, had to enter the open space for 30 seconds and observe every little detail about the room. Once they left we quickly altered the room in 3 different ways and had them re-enter. They each had 30 seconds to discover the three changes. You would think Lynda, being the office manager, would walk away with an easy victory, but unfortunately for her things didn’t go as planned. Lynda ultimately lost, going 1 for 3. Fran never looked back and went 3 for 3, with time left on the clock.

#3 Office Organize Challenge 

The Office Organization Challenge was one for the books. The two lucky contestants, Brianna Kozlarek and Andy Flanagan, had 30 seconds to place all the miscellaneous items within the bowl into their appropriate location in the kitchen. What should have been a friendly competition between two coworkers quickly turned into a battle full of lies and deception. At first glance it looked like Brianna took home the victory with only 2 items left in the bowl, opposed to Andy’s 3. We later found that she had put the mustard in the incorrect spot. A tie? I think not… We did some further digging and discovered that Andy had also attempted to trick us and put the rubber glove in the wrong place as well, thus forfeiting the win.

#4 Pencil Flip

The Pencil Flip seems simple, yet when put in action it is one of the harder challenges. All you need to do is bounce the pencil, using the eraser, into the bowl. Easy enough. Pete Burns and Francie Flanagan had the task of bouncing as many pencils in their specific bowl as possible within 30 seconds. It was close at the start, but Pete quickly found his technique and ran away with the W. A much needed win for Pete after his embarrassing loss to Jamie in Trash Can Hoops.

#5 Package Retrieval

The interns, Abbey Mazur and George Loftin, went head to head in the Package Retrieval Challenge. This was one of the more physical challenges and ended up being a nail biter. Simultaneously Abbey and George had to race to the loading dock to retrieve a package and race it back to the office. First person back wins, simple. Abbey strategically decided to take the elevator while George went for the stairs. They were practically tied running to the finish line, but Abbey took the situation into her own hands and pushed George to the floor to secure the win. Dirty play may have been the deciding factor, but a W is always a W.

#6 Balloon Balance

Balancing 3 balloons at once without holding them at any point is extremely difficult. Kari McGlinnen and Norma Smith faced off and the results were not what we expected. Both challengers struggled immensely with the task, so much so that it was hard to even determine a winner. The challenge was exceptionally entertaining even despite the outcome being a tie.

#7 Phone Transfer

The Phone Transfer Challenge was FLIRT’s attempt of recreating David versus Goliath. The challengers received a call from a random employee and was prompted to transfer the call to another employee as fast as possible. Whoever’s faster wins. George Loftin was put up against the Phone Transfer Goddess, Lynda Franco. It was a very accurate interpretation of David versus Goliath, but in this version Goliath crushed David in a matter of seconds. Lynda with the W.

#8 Coffee Tasting

If there is one thing to know about FLIRTies is that we drink a lot of coffee. Some might saw coffee is our forte. Our contestants, Brianna Kozlarek and Francie Flanagan, had 3 cups of different Starbucks Keurig coffee and they had to determine which coffee matched with the different K Cups. Going into the challenge Brianna was thought to be the underdog, but went 3-3 securing a win. Francie unfortunately lost going only 1-3.

#9 How to make a FLIRTini

Creating a FLIRTini is very delicate art. We placed all the alcohol and mixers we had in the office on the table and Norma Smith and Kari McGlinnen each had 30 seconds to pick out the 7 ingredients that make up a FLIRTini. Kari McGlinnen came very close only mixing up two of the ingredients. Norma on the other hand took a very different approach and picked only the alcoholic options. Kari might have won, but Norma is probably going to having so much more fun after these FLIRTinis.

Images Courtesy of Shiene Lopez, Wikipedia, Pinterest, Trash Can Bball, & 1234RF