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Pretty cool: Turn your hand into a mobile phone

21 Oct

Researchers from Microsoft and Carnegie Mellon University in the US have developed technology that can turn any surface (your body, table, wall) into a touchscreen; a device called OmniTouch.

OmniTouch is obviously only at concept stage; you wear the device on your shoulder, similar to Kinect technology. However, I can see lots of potential for this.

(original story thanks to Simply Zesty)

Nice idea from ‘Wheelz’ – ‘campus car sharing’

4 Oct

I stumbled across this on Mashable

Wheelz is a new car sharing service in the US which connects students who own a car to students who need a car.

Launched last week, it’s focused on colleges and universities and lets students rent a car from other student-car-owners for an hourly or daily fee.

Renters sign up with their college email address and their Facebook account to reserve cars either through the Wheelz Facebook page, online, or through their iPhone app. You have to have a Facebook account to hire, which means you know exactly who you are renting your car out to.

Car owners set the price for rental (based on how new their car is etc) and they get 60% of the rental fee.

I’m not sure car owners would make a fortune but for cash strapped students it’s an easy way to make money and it satisfies a need for car-less students.

It’s a really simple idea and the branding is really good. The fact that it’s launching into existing communities means that it’s more likely to succeed and the startup has achieved $2 million in funding. I wonder if colleges in Ireland will see a similar service in the future.

Making the best of a bad situation

30 Sep

CoffeeCompany, Holland’s largest chain of coffee shops decided to put WiFi into their shops near universities. However, they quickly discovered that most of the students only came in to use the free WiFi and didn’t order any coffee. So the coffee chain reacted by regularly updating the name of their WiFi connections to ‘BuyAnotherCupYouCheapskate’ and ‘Mmm…YummyMuffinOnly2Euro’

Smart thinking

infographic via @winicabs

CoffeeCompany

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