A magic shower surprise! (safe for work, promise)

NEED TO KNOW
  • This week's 5 most fantastic innovations and ideas!
  • Orchid graphics spread across shower when wet
  • Wearable technology turns clothes into interactive displays
Using stickers made from hydrochromic ink, the walls and floors of the showers reveal orchids that are invisible until the stickers come into contact with water

Editor's Note: Karyn Lu is Turner Broadcasting's manager of New Media Insights & Inspiration. Each week she scouts out amazing innovations, cutting edge technology and, well, just really awesome stuff and shares them right here. Before it goes mainstream, it's going to be one of her favorite 5 Things From The Future!

1. Tic Tac Whoa

IllumiShare is one of those ideas that is so simple, it’s utterly brilliant. Watch the video, and you’ll realize how it will really change the way we work and play together in the near future, no matter how far away our colleagues or loved ones may be. Using a simple combination of a projector and a camera, two people can sketch together, play games or cards and share any kind of physical or digital objects. Much more fun than Skype.

2. A surprise in the shower (safe for work)

Multi-sensory immersive experiences are a big trend right now. In Singapore, a shower gel company created a pretty magical experience inside shower rooms within spas, clubs and gyms. Using special stickers made from hydrochromic ink, the bare walls and floors of the showers reveal beautiful orchids that are invisible until the stickers come into contact with water. When the shower dries, the ink turns white again, allowing the next woman to experience the same surprise. Truly a lovely product experience you won’t soon forget.

3. The hottest name in fashion is... Microsoft?!

In the future world of fashion, would you expect Microsoft to be a key player? Check out just a few of the fashion and tech collaborations between Microsoft and Bloomingdale’s highlighted recently at New York Fashion Week. There’s “The Printing Dress,” which allows you to type out any message and actually display it on the skirt to wear out in public. There’s Swivel, a virtual dressing room that lets you try on clothes well, virtually.

There is also ongoing exploration into wearable technology that can make any surface (say, a brooch or pin) into an interactive display. This proliferation of technology in our clothing is a trend called “wearable computing.” Are you ready for the high-tech future of fashion?

4. Read a book, win a DeLorean?

It could happen. In one of the more ingenious book promotions I’ve seen in recent memory, author Ernest Cline has created a scenario in which his book plot is mirrored by a real-life adventure, with a fabulously real prize. In Cline’s novel, “Ready Player One,” a billionaire leaves his entire fortune to the player who can find an Easter Egg within his virtual game world. In real life, the reader who finds the Easter Egg within Cline’s novel and follows it to complete a series of video game challenges will win a 1981 DeLorean. Very cool!

5. The world really is your playground

Here’s another manifestation of the lovely worldwide play trend to top off the week. I wrote about this trend just a few weeks ago (Remember these? A slide at a train station in Utrecht; Random Swings of Joy; the rise of adult-sized playgrounds). London has been a big player in this space, with “99 Tiny Games” popping up all over and its famous Hide & Seek festival, which is all about playing in public.

Then, this past week, the best bus shelter in the world popped up in London –- outfitted with swings instead of benches. That’s the lovely thing about this trend: a simple, unexpected moment of levity can be all it takes to transform something as mundane as waiting for the bus.

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