The trials of #vanlife, the social media arms race, Ikea's supply-chain activism.
–What’s in a VR cocktail? Condé Nast Traveler looks at a London hotel with a drink that takes you on a journey.
–When product innovation goes wrong, the results are telling. Quartz takes us to Sweden’s Museum of Failure.
–As millennials hit the road with Instagram in tow, is #vanlife an authentic way to connect with nature and other people, or an uncanny valley between real life and lifestyle branding? The New Yorker suggests it might be some of both.
–As all the major platforms incorporate Snapchat-like features, is augmented reality the next frontier in the social media arms race? Cnet has the latest dispatch.
–Amid a refugee crisis that shows no end in sight, Ikea ups its social responsibility strategy, announcing a new production center in Jordan to employ displaced and local people. Via Dezeen.
–Mastercard throws its weight behind chatbots, in the latest sign of natural language becoming a key medium for e-commerce, writes the Washington Post.
–Ada is the latest health app that uses artificial intelligence to help with diagnosis, writes TechCrunch.
–Native American food is going fast casual. Responsibly sourced, fresh, and clean, Native food “just fits into the mold of what new restaurants are,” says trade mag QSR.
–Silicon Valley may have met its match in a European regulator who’s not afraid of a fight. Wired UK has the details.
–Detroit heads west, as it seems everyone agrees self-driving cars are coming soon to an intersection near you. Via the New York Times.
–In the future, solo breakfast diners will wear goggles that “add a second coffee mug so it looks like you’re not having breakfast alone,” Mark Zuckerberg tells an audience at the Facebook developer conference. Via NPR.
–“Is a movie still a movie if it premieres on Netflix?” A writer for Indie Wire considers an industry whose identity can no longer depend on established distribution channels.
–Smart bandages may soon “sense the state of the wound” and suggest tailored treatments, writes the BBC.
–Recent flare-ups make it even clearer that brands need a strategy in place for social media damage control, writes the New York Times.
–Digiday features JWT Intelligence in a new piece on Instagram and the rise of healthy living.
–Echoing “paleo” branding, a new lighting collection makes a virtue out of non-electric lights. The Holocene collection suggests “light had many more dimensions when it was just a fire,” a designer tells Dezeen.
–Retailer CVS continues to align its brand with health and wellness, with a strategy to “remake itself as a beacon of healthy living rather than a place devoted primarily to treating illnesses and selling candy bars,” per USA Today.