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Weekly Inspirations: August 21st, 2015

Here are the things that I think are worth reading and checking out this week:

Life With The Dash Button: Good Design For Amazon, Bad Design For Everyone Else

The new Amazon Dash button is an interesting new move for the company and I ordered one to try it out and see what I thought. I was starting to write a piece about my thoughts when this article in Fast Company cam out that perfectly captured what it was that I was thinking. I think it is the latest chapter in Amazons recent product design legacy where it is another solution that is great for Amazon but does;t really make a huge amount of sense for consumers. It isn’t as bad a the Fire phone but it is something that has a good core idea but needs a better consumer value proposition.
Read the article here.

Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace

This article was published by the New York Times on Monday and the response was huge but in case you missed be sure to check out this account of the that the culture at Amazon is really like based on interviews with multiple former employees. It is a brutal look at their culture and what is expected to be a success there.
Read the article here.

Speedo Launches Fitness Tracker for Swimmers

Over the years, swimmers have pressed their noses up to the proverbial window, watching in envy as athletes from dry-land sports basked in the glow of the workout-enhancing insights that fitness trackers provide. The new Speedo Shine can clip to a user’s suit or be worn as a watch and will feature a proprietary lap counting algorithm so swimmers can easily keep track of their distance swum without having to rely on the tried and sometimes true method of trying to memorize their yardage. The tracker is even able to differentiate between different types of strokes, so a swimmer’s butterfly data will be categorized differently than their freestyle data. It also functions as an all-around activity tracker, capturing data when users are running, walking cycling and sleeping, making it perfect for cross-training athletes. The device must be used in conjunction with a smartphone in order to sync and review data as it doesn’t feature a build-in-display. Look for the $80 tracker online or in your local Apple store September 1st.
Find out more or buy the Shine here.

Target Rolls Out New Pilot Program To Track Customers In Stores

Target is rolling out a system of low-powered Bluetooth beacons to meld your physical in-store experience with a digital layer so it can know where you are in its stores and, more importantly, where you are in relation to the items on its shelves. This week, the Minneapolis-based retailer is activating beacons in 50 stores and updating the Target app to interact with them in a test run for personalized, in-store location services.
Read the article here.

App Allows Users to ‘Visually Taste’ Spirits

Flavor is a new app trying to be the IMDb for spirits and help people visually taste spirits with visual depictions of tasting notes for over 10,000 spirits. It also included ratings, information on the distillery, and production methods. Similar to McCormick’s Flavorprint, Flaviar allows a person to detect and recognize what flavors are in the spirit and if they would like the taste of the drink without having to take a sip. Users of the app are able to save and build a virtual bar, order from the app, and have their desired drinks delivered to their door. The Flaviar app is free on iOS with an Android app coming soon.
Get the app here.

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