Friday Reading #104

It might not really have felt like it for the past week or two, but technically it is still the British summertime. And regardless of whether or not it’s sunny, or even dry, that means summer party time. This year we’re bringing a mystical vibe to city farm in Hackney, as enchanted woodland creatures for the inventively named Secret Garden Party Stuff.


Brilliant t-shirt aside, there is a legitimately interesting point to be made here. Amazon have recently won the exclusive rights to show ATP tennis in the UK, taking over from Sky Sports after they were unable to beat the reported £10m per year offered by the e-comms giant. It’s the first major live sports deal done by Amazon outside of the US. As well as a reminder of the serious competition now posed to traditional broadcasters by streaming services, it also raises interesting questions around the priorities of sports bodies. Naturally income is important, but viewership is inevitably going to decrease in it’s new Amazonian home – and what does that mean for the profile of the sport?


AI winning chess games and creating new Rembrandt paintings
is old news – According to Amazon AI devices could capable of interpreting animals’
and body movements could be available in less than 10 years. Work
done at the University of Arizona using AI software to analyse prairie dog calls
found evidence of a sophisticated communication system containing aspects of
language & analysis of dogs & cats is next on the list. Maybe it’s a
bit optimistic to assume we will be able to decipher our dogs woofs but we can


Looking to start a new restaurant? You’ll probably need a
decent location, a chef that won’t poison anyone and a French maître-d who has
the right blend of indifference and balance. Wrong – you need unicorn
milkshakes, Banana print wallpaper and enough avocado to satisfy all the
hipsters in Dalston. Above all, you need an instragrammable restaurant – more
and more across the US and Europe are now making their venues perfect for
share-happy millennials
, as the industry bends to the whims of social media.


What did the T-Rex say to the Velociraptor looking for
trainer recommendations?

Tri-asics or Triassics?

Talking of Asics, this week Bruce Mau design completed a global brand redesign and
we think it looks pretty good. As sports become more engrained into people’s everyday lives and wider culture, brands have to continually reassess their
positioning and identity to make sure they remain aligned with their audiences
ever-changing viewpoints. This has primarily been driven by Nike, moving into content, wearable technology and continually changing their messaging strands. To
prevent going extinct Asics have developed this over two years in partnership, retaining the historic
spiral logo but seeking to “position Asics as a lifestyle athletic brand while
still staying true to its core performance heritage”.

Mobile banking has taken huge strides in recent years, from establishment banks developing their basic apps, to completely mobile first apps like our friends at Starling which help you track and understand your spending in real time. Perhaps the next iteration of this technology could be a new card developed by US behavioural design firm Ideas42. They have developed a bank card which has a small screen on it, enabling you to check current balance and spending targets without the need to open up your mobile app. Even better, as it’s a nonprofit organisation, the design is open source – helping to make managing your finances more accessible for all.

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