Smart Clothing, Meal-Time Kits, and Programmable Wands

by Anna Gilligan & Kaitlyn Hieb

Every so often we come across an article with some version of the following headline: “Advertising Is Dying.” Naturally, we beg to differ, but this Medium article presents a strong argument as to why people think our industry (as we know it) might have an expiration date. Basically, as algorithms improve and data is perfected, “companies that serve the masses will be replaced by companies that serve niches,” and every person will be deterministically paired with the products and services they want and need, thus reducing the need for branding.

While that sounds like an ideal state, an assumption based economy cuts out a critical element of human desire: control. As long as people desire free will and power of choice, we believe our jobs are in the clear! The degree to which we must continue to evolve is still up for debate…

Tech & Trends

Artificial Intelligence 
Disruptive Revolution: First the industrial revolution, then the internet, and now…AI? To what degree will artificial intelligence revolutionize our industries and society? This article from Forbes outlines how machine learning and automation could disrupt our lives. 

Harry Potter Coding KitIn order to get more kids excited about code and the world of tech, Warner Bros partnered with Kano, a company that makes kid-friendly coding products, to offer the Harry Potter Coding Kit. The kit includes a programmable wand and programmable sensors to execute spells. Something tells us kids won’t be the only ones excited about this. 

GenerationsWe all talk about the differences between generations: Gen Z is “addicted to their phones” and Millennials are “lazy.” But what about the similarities? Turns out, all generations want to feel valuedand overall, “generational differences are real, but we tend to make too much of them.”


Restaurants & QSR

Sweetening the Deal: Caviar, Square’s food delivery service, not only offers their couriers instant payments on their deliveries, but now also offers occupational insurance for up to $1 million.

Chick-fil-A Meal Kits: As we all know, it’s hard to meal plan, especially when things get busy, which is why Chick-fil-A is testing “Mealtime Kits” at some of their Atlanta locations. The kits include recipes and ingredients so customers can make Chick-fil-A dishes at home!


Points Per Wear: Tommy Hilfiger launched their own line of “smart” clothing, sparking debate around its necessity. But what does that have to do with loyalty? Well, rather than track steps or offer access to music controls, this smart clothing focuses on rewarding points per wear. Thanks for the article, Karli Enriquez!


Alexa Is Now More Useful: Thanks to Amazon’s new partnership with Yext, Alexa can now provide information for nearby retail locations, from telling you when the local drugstore closes, to helping you find the most popular Italian restaurant in the area.

Health & Wellness  

Verge Genomics: Similar to steps taken by Pfizer and Novartis, San Francisco-based startup Verge Genomics wants to use machine learning and genomics to speed up steps in the clinical trial process in order to get new drugs to market faster.


Lyfting Up Bikes & Scooters: The past few weeks have been chock full of news of yet another scooter or bike company joining the scene. Lyft not only wants to integrate these alternative options into their app, but they are also offering incentives to get more people to abandon their personal cars in favor of Lyft’s mobility services.

Related Thinking

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Starbucks Sleighs with New Instagram AR Lens


Starbucks Sleighs with New Instagram AR Lens

After 22 years of releasing newly-designed holiday cups each year, the brand decided to add a new element in 2019 by creating an AR feature on Instagram Stories for the cups (think Snapchat filters). If a user has one of Starbucks’ holiday cups, the AR effect will detect the cup and create a neat animated effect around it unique to each design.