Have you spotted something cool recently?

A few weeks ago Sara O’Connor and I were lucky enough to go to the Trendwatching London seminar – which is a lot less scary as it sounds, honest.

Basically, Trend Watching have ‘spotters’ all around the world looking for cool products, adverts and brands – they then try to establish what general trends they can read from all of them. I would quite like that job!

For instance, they mentioned a pizza delivery company in Dubai that had created a fridge magnet that connects to your phone via Bluetooth, and when you’re hungry, you just press one button to order your favourite pizza. LIKE THIS:

I absolutely want one of these! Anyone else?

It’s not until you see things like that, that you think a bit about your own preferences and behavior. In general there is obviously a big trend towards doing things online rather than on the phone these days (or even in person). I must admit myself, if something – restaurant, take-away, theatre, cinema – has an online booking option and a phone number, I would every time opt for the online option. Why? Ease, for one thing, absolutely. Control, is another reason – don’t you find yourself wanting to make absolutely sure you can see what you have ordered and not leave it to chance that someone has got your order wrong? (There is nothing more annoying than when you have called someone up to do something, and it doesn’t happen, so really we just want to do things ourselves.  This is a common rant of mine!) Personalisation too – having an email to you, telling you that they have your order, makes you feel reassured and trusting.

If anyone of these strike a cord, then fear not – it is not just you! There is a global trend towards taking control of things like this and cutting out the real person in favour of the online.

But before everyone panics and thinks we are heading towards a SkyNet future of robots controlling us, something that reassured me was mentioned right at the beginning of the seminar – that human needs don’t actually change. We still want to same things we always will – we are just looking for companies to serve our needs better (and faster). The perfect example of this? The most recent John Lewis advert (which I also love):

Ah, good old John Lewis. They just can’t put a foot wrong…

So, what do you think? What online services do you love? (For instance, the genius* that is the Domino’s Pizza Tracker. *Honestly, I don’t only eat pizza). Which products do you want because they are just CLEVER? Or what would you most want from the existing things you use?

The thing I most want: a way of viewing remotely the stuff I have recorded on my SKY box. The Sky Go App is great, but I want to watch the stuff I’ve recorded in bed or when I’m away, on my iPad (while the football is on in the other room!). Can someone make that happen??


5 responses to “Have you spotted something cool recently?

  1. How things have moved on! When I was a boy (OMG I sound like my late dad) a strange and revolutionary foodstuff came to our area of Salford it was called piss-a or was it piatzzaza or pitissa? Nobody knew how to say this odd word. So the women of the ward called it (this delicious new snack) Italian cheese on toast. I kid you not. The die hards, namely the old girls and grumbly old cocks turned their nose up at it and kept on with their slimy mouthfuls of tripe (Ye-ach) It will never catch on, they were certain. Well my dear readers who would have thought (cliche) that their descendents (another cliche) would be ordering Pizza and more than one flavour on the tinternet.

  2. Another thought on new fangled thangs. Comunications have changed things beyond belief. Especially the mobile phone. I can’t imagine being sent on a shopping trip to the supermarket without being able to stand directly in front of a colosal display of biscuits and call back to the wife with the special offfers on ginger nuts.
    Of course now we have the e-book and I as a hopeful author want to see my work published in every format possible. The e-book will be the norm, it just needs time to catch on.
    Stan Mills

    • Haha – I know – the smart phone is probably the most life-changing item. I take it one more level than calling to check an item – I regular photo message or tweet a picture to check it’s the right item to someone. Can barely remember what we all did before that!

      Oh, and I love your Pizza anecdote!

  3. Great post – I love that we can order things online – even take aways for the same reason as you especially with a voice as quiet as mine I’m sure orders over the phone would be recorded incorrectly!

    I want a hi-tech fridge that can automatically order in the essentials from your favourite supermarket when your running low (yes, I know they exist – I so want!) 😀

    • Thanks Jesse! Oh god, those fridges would be so amazing. Better still, I need one that can notify me via my phone that I have no milk so I remember to buy some on the way home!

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