In August of 2023, the California Public Utilities Commission passed a vote that allows driverless car companies Waymo and Cruise to expand their operations in San Francisco. Until now, Cruise and Waymo were only permitted to offer limited service within the city. This vote enables both companies to charge a fare for rides at any time of day or night, on any street within the municipality.
Waymo and Cruise are similar in concept to companies such as Uber or Lyft, just without the human driver. While some first responders are concerned that driverless vehicles have not yet perfected the method of getting out of the way of emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks, other travelers are hopeful that driverless vehicles will help to limit traffic fatalities, which are on the rise in San Francisco.
In order to promote the August premier of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, Pizza Hut rekindled their decades old partnership with the TMNJ franchise to deliver a select number of pizzas in the New York City subway system. Children from the 80’s and 90’s are rejoicing in this nod towards their childhood, as they fondly remember the cartoon turtles, who are famous for enjoying pizza in the tunnels below the city.
According to Lindsay Morgan, Pizza Hut’s chief marketing officer, “Pizza Hut and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have a longstanding history that goes back to the ’90s. Bringing the two together again for a new generation was a no-brainer… We wanted to pay homage to the Turtles’ origins and their love of pizza, while also infusing modern touchpoints and a fun, creative take on pizza deliveries”.
By texting a turtle emoji to a specified phone number, Pizza Hut customers could have their orders delivered to selected spots in subway stations. A YouTube Video explains the promo and documents the excitement of getting pizza delivered directly to your subway stop. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhemwill be in theaters on August 2.
In today’s exciting world of advanced technology, we are constantly being introduced to new concepts and developments. As innovative thought is far-reaching into all fields, it is no surprise that the food industry is also coming out with progressive ideas and designs.
McDonald’s, one of the world’s most profitable franchises, has set off on a new endeavor. The fast-food chain has opened its first flagship automated restaurant aimed at eating on the go. The goal is to minimize the amount of human presence, and to use robots or machinery where possible.
At the new Texas location near Fort Worth, customers can either pre-order on the app or make their selections at a kiosk inside. While there are some staff members in the kitchen to prepare the meals, there is no need to employ workers to man the register or hand out the orders. A robot distributes the orders at the pick-up counter or drive-thru window. The physical restaurant is significantly smaller than most McDonald’s chains, as it is designed primarily for takeout orders.
According to franchisee Keith Vanecek, “The technology in this restaurant not only allows us to serve our customers in new, innovative ways, it gives our restaurant team the ability to concentrate more on order speed and accuracy, which makes the experience more enjoyable for everyone.”
While some have applauded the potential improvements to the ordering process, others have expressed concern about the number of layoffs that the shift to automated systems will inevitably cause. Only time will tell if this new system is efficient, and how it impacts the amount of manpower needed.
Lablaco is an Italian company that helps fashion brands digitize their products. The idea behind the movement is that, like many industries, it’s only a matter of time before the fashion world goes completely digital. The “phygital” fashion market will see consumers purchasing both physical items and their digital “twins” which avatars will wear in the metaverse.
In an effort to establish a more sustainable and profitable approach to fashion, Lorenzo Albrighi and Eliana Kuo co-founded Lablaco in 2016 and serve as co-CEOs. They are believers in circular fashion, where clothing is designed and produced with methods focused on reducing waste. The pair hopes to use blockchain technology to promote this effort.
In the model developed by Lablaco, when a physical item is purchased, its digital equivalent remains paired to it. If the physical item is resold, its digital twin moves to the owner’s digital wallet, so that authenticity is apparent and the designer can follow where its creation goes.
While the fashion industry presently generates 92 million tons of waste each year, digitizing fashion will significantly reduce these numbers. If a designer currently needs to create an item in 10 different colors to test it out, the same item can be released into the metaverse in 10 different hues. Sales specs could be studied to determine which version to produce physically.
In the metaverse, opportunities are endless. While this is a new spin for fashion, it is clear that many industries in the world are headed in this direction. And, as usual, fashion will continue to keep up with the times.
The fact that much of the Western world spends too much time glaring at screens, surfing the net, and scrolling on social media apps is a topic that is often discussed. One of the few times that people used to be forced to unplug was while on board a flight. In recent years, however, connecting to an airline’s WiFi has become much more common, a service that used to be accessed primarily by busy businesspeople.
How does this advanced technology actually work?
There are two main types of inflight internet connectivity, one which uses antennas and the other that relies on satellites.
The first category is widely known as air-to-ground (ATG). Using this method, an antenna on the aircraft catches signals from cellphone towers on land. A major drawback is that the quality of the connection depends on the location of the aircraft at a given moment – for example, when flying over an ocean or a desert, service will drop as there is greater distance between the plane’s antennas and the cellphone towers. For this reason, many airlines are making the switch to satellite-based connections. Using satellites, the signal remains stronger no matter the location or movement of the aircraft.
While satellites resolve some of the major disadvantages of ATG, that system requires constant upkeep and advancements of the network. It is much simpler, faster, and cheaper to install new cellular towers than to launch a new satellite into space.
While the mere fact that such services exist is remarkable, there are a lot of improvements that need to happen in terms of expanding network service and speed. As with all technologies, it is likely just a matter of time till we see more impressive developments.