These stores may be part of a new trend, but they also recall an earlier era. Even before the web, people were creating virtual walk-through environments. In the early 1990s, pan, zoom, and select interfaces were circulating in the technology community—some using video, and others based on rendered graphics. Dan O’Sullivan at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program put his apartment online via a telephone interface that controlled prerecorded video on CD-ROM. “Dan’s Apartment ” gained a cult late-night cable TV following, and O’Sullivan interned at Apple around the same time that it was developing QuickTime, its multimedia framework. … [Read more...] about These virtual stores are a joyful twist on e-commerce
Selling house fast
Rise of the touchless doorbell This year’s CES brought not one, but two companies promising doorbell cameras with contactless ringers. Both Alarm.com and Arlo say their products will automatically detect when someone approaches and alert the homeowner accordingly. (The former will even sell an optional mat to ensure that the visitor is standing in the right spot.) As The Verge’s Sean Hollister notes, it’s not entirely clear why this couldn’t just be a feature of existing doorbell cams, but it’s still a clever idea in the COVID-19 era and a nice way of using doorbell cameras for more than just neighborhood surveillance. … [Read more...] about CES 2021: The smartest ideas from the scaled-down virtual show
These plans are to be applauded, and we’re already seeing the growth in active travel as a result. Crucially, however, we must ensure that the funds invested are going into the right place—and that’s where smart data comes in. Urban planners need details of the exact locations where cycling lanes should be added, redesigned, extended, or shortened. … [Read more...] about The pandemic created a biking explosion. How can cities make it permanent?
Communications appsLike a lot of organizations, World Central Kitchen has moved much of its interoffice banter from email to Slack. That messaging app, soon to be bought by Salesforce for almost $28 billion, offers task-management tools above what most email clients offer. “It’s the actual search, reminders, forwarding, assigning,” says Erich Broksas, WCK’s chief strategy officer. “I think it makes things a lot better.” … [Read more...] about The tech that keeps World Central Kitchen cooking in times of disaster
Erik Larson’s recent book, The Splendid and the Vile, shows Churchill’s use of many of the same tools that Shackleton exhibited. During the Battle of Britain, the English prime minister also faced impossible odds in a time of crisis, but his leadership acumen helped guide the country through its “Darkest Hour.” The lessons in the book – ones of optimism, honesty, and grit – are relevant for present-day managers; you don’t have to be running a country to apply them. Whatever tools you consider using to sharpen your crisis management skills, rest assured that the ability to coolly and confidently make decisions and encourage others along a given path is a skill that is in short supply and is hugely valued. … [Read more...] about These are the 3 skills you need to succeed in 2021