Out of thin air: Billboard produces drinking water

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Out of thin air: Billboard produces drinking 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 ideas. Before it goes mainstream, it's going to be one of her favorite 5 Things From The Future!

1. Tweets from the afterlife

What happens to your digital persona after you die? Does your social presence live on –- and would you want it to? As sci-fi as it sounds, _LivesOn is a real-life experiment in the concept of a digital afterlife. Their tagline says it all: “When your heart stops beating, you’ll keep tweeting. Welcome to your social afterlife.” Using artificial intelligence, the program “learns” your syntax from your existing Twitter feed, so that it can continue to tweet as you might, even after you’re gone.

Testing will begin in March, and you can sign up on their website to be notified if you’re intrigued. Controversial, existential, and moral are just a few words that come to mind when contemplating this idea. What do you think?

2. Billboard with a bigger purpose

Can a billboard really make a difference? It can, when it does more than just blast a message at you. Some smart folks out of Lima, Peru's University of Engineering and Technology have come up with an incredibly smart, high-tech billboard that actually generates clean drinking water out of thin air.

This special billboard is outfitted with a filtration system and five generators that transform air humidity into potable drinking water through a reverse osmosis system. Since it went up, the billboard has produced thousands of liters of fresh water for residents with otherwise limited access to it. What a wonderfully inventive and impactful idea! I really applaud the folks at UTEC for their creativity in using technology for social good.

3. Textiles and tech styles

The fashion world has always flirted with technology in a big way. In 2013, we’ll be seeing a lot of innovation in the realm of wearable technology. If you’re wearing a FitBit or looking forward to the Apple iWatch, you’re already totally on trend. So what’s next? Renowned design studio Frog held an internal competition recently to conceptualize the next evolution of wearable technology, and some of the results are pretty amazing.

My favorites include: “CompassGo”, a palm-sized device that, in the spirit of fighting our tendency to “pre-Google” our destinations, seeks to bring back the feelings of spontaneity and exploration to our travels; and “Hello World DIY,” (a project aimed at getting tweenage girls interested in technology, by providing them with the tools to sew it directly into their clothing). For a complete overview, take a look at these eight brilliant concepts for the future of wearable tech.

4. Waiting for the bus? Take a dog sled instead

How might you go about making a bus stop more interesting? Qualcomm’s latest campaign has managed to do just that -– and all you have to do is type in a URL from a poster. In a hurry? A Lamborghini might pull up to take you to your destination! Bored? Not for long, when your new ride is a dogsled! Seen it all? Well, you probably weren’t expecting a bus full of clowns to pop out at you.

In terms of surprise and delight, this is the best campaign I’ve seen in a while. It really is the best bus stop ever; watch the video to see for yourself.

5. 'A Netflix for fashion'

A new trend that we’ve spotted within the fashion world seems to be curated fashion boxes. If you don’t have time to go shopping for new clothes, or simply feel overwhelmed when you do make it to the mall, check out a service like Trunk Club (men) and Le Tote (women). It’s like having your own personal stylist.

For a monthly subscription fee, you’ll get a curated set of new clothes and accessories in your size and style, shipped directly to your door. Think of it as sort of a Netflix model for fashion. Try on, keep or return as you see fit. And now, kids can jump on this trend as well. Actress Christina Applegate has helped to launch a new girls fashion brand, FabKids, that works the exact same way. I, for one, can’t wait to try out Le Tote. What new hobbies can we pursue, now that we’re all about to save so much time from clothes shopping?

 

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