A.I. written Harry Potter fan fiction, anyone?
WATCH OF THE WEEK
Snapchat advertising has literally come full circle with Sony’s first 360-degree ad for upcoming movie Don’t Breathe. The trailer does a scary good job at mimicking a key part of the plot, as the home-invasion thriller follows a group of teenagers who break into a blind man’s house and end up being hunted by him in the dark. With much of the creepy 360 views shot in near darkness, the ad harnesses impressive sound effects to create a highly immersive experience that’s similar to what you’d find in theaters, yet accessible on a smartphone.
As much as we love online shopping, what happens when you suddenly need a dress for a special occasion and it doesn’t fit correctly? Thankfully, Rent the Runway continues to stay ahead of the curve with its new Snapchat Customer Service feature. The revolutionary rental service now accepts specific fit questions from customers via Snapchat and answers them with with the help of their employees. Upon receiving an inquiry, RTR pulls the corresponding inventory and recruits an employee similar to the customer’s size and body shape to model and note subtle things that might make an impact on the end user’s wearing experience—where the dress is tight, whether they’ll need a special bra, etc. While they’re still working on ways to speed up response time to Snapchat standards, this innovative and personalized service is sure to make it even easier to find an RTR dress in a snap.
A few months ago, we brought you Sunspring, the short film script written entirely by computer. This week, we bring you CuratedAI, a literary magazine written entirely by machines. While it’s no Proust, CuratedAI delivers content in two forms, Poems and Prose, that is surprisingly well written, especially by internet standards. While CuratedAI does have human editors, they aim to keep their editing pen strokes light and let the AI’s work speak for itself. With stories like “Harry Potter and The Plausible Sounding Excuse” and Poems such as “Mildly Concerned The Woman Next To Me Just Prayed For Me" this quirky online magazine is definitely worth checking out.
IN OUR CARTS
Everyone’s favorite minimalist, direct-to-consumer fashion line now has a brick and mortar location that’s every bit the highly-curated haven that you’d expect. Located in San Francisco, California, the showroom is situated in the Everlane offices and feels pared down but also utilitarian, from hanger racks with notches for evenly spaced merchandise to a collapsible fabric dressing room. Once exclusively an online retailer, Everlane joins a slew of other successful online retailers breaking into physical spaces such as Warby Parker, Nasty Gal and Amazon. As this trend continues to gain ground, we look forward to seeing how deeply these brands can infuse their ethos into these spaces to offer a new take on the in-store experience.
While Facebook is undoubtedly still relevant among Millennials and their older counterparts, the social media giant continues to struggle with younger Gen V audiences. However, that may soon change with the launch of Lifestage, a new app for would-be Facebookers under 21 that’s based heavily on video. The app creates micro social networks based on schools, with the goal being for kids to get to know their classmates, and rather than creating a traditional profile with pictures and text, it asks users to shoot short video clips for each field: their sad faces, happy faces, likes and dislikes. Because the core target demographic is high schoolers, the app also has built in safeguards that allow users to easily report anyone who seems suspicious. With integration for Instagram, another Gen V favorite, we bet this app could soon be a hit.
Twitch, the online gaming platform that allows viewers to live stream and watch their favorite players in real time, is highlighting disabled gamers this week in a partnership with nonprofit organization, Ablegamers. Twitch is putting on a 5-day showcase of this marginalized group playing video games and showing how they modify the games to suit their custom needs, whether that’s modifying the controllers or speaking in sign language. Featuring accounts like “CrippledKenny,” and "Thumblessgaming,” we applaud Twitch for combating stigmas against people with disabilities by showing that, with a little innovation, they can do anything!