AI for billboards, color-changing cars, the best ads of the year.
–Fitness trends are moving beyond experiences to something approaching religion (or at least a cult): Wired looks at a running group that’s part social movement and part social identity.
–What’s the next big thing in China? BBC predicts lucrative growth in the country’s coffee market.
–Billboards in Tokyo will use deep-learning AI to identify vehicles and instantly personalize ads to target them as they drive by, CNN reports.
–In a futuristic vision from BMW, autonomous cars will change their color and music to match the driver’s mood. Via Dezeen.
–How has Instagram evolved as brands and businesses crowd the platform? Fast Company investigates.
–Sony Pictures has added a virtual reality chief to its executive team, hoping to spur innovation amid tepid ticket sales, according to Variety.
–Could wearables make you a better networker? Rice University is developing a wearable with a virtual photographic memory to help remember the names and information of people you meet. Via ReadWrite.
–VR has found a new market in the elderly, who use it to combat chronic pain, anxiety, and loneliness, NPR writes.
–Pinterest’s new virtual search gives it an edge in the ecommerce market, automatically suggesting products when you view existing pictures or use your phone camera. Via TechCrunch.
–Adweek has a roundup of the 24 best ads of 2015–2016, based on top prizes at Cannes Lions.
–Microsoft’s new hand-tracking technology lets app users “smoothly interact with objects in real time”—no gadgets necessary. Engadget has the details.
–US tech companies have their eye on the emerging economies of Africa. Via The Next Web.
–Powered by soy milk and other dairy alternatives, plant-based food alternatives are now reporting more than $3.5 billion in sales, Forbes reports.
Main image: Courtesy of Jake Stangel/WIRED