QQ - will you be at Grow in NYC next week? Join us! Reply to this email — Future Commerce is going to host an informal breakfast meetup on Tuesday morning!
P.S. We sent three brave souls on a journey around New York City in a VISIONS-inspired treasure hunt. Check it out in this Twitter thread.
The Latest Nostalgic trend: Demakes Computer game, Myst, has now seen a “demake” of itself 30 years after its release on the Mac, as a game for Atari 2600. This follows nostalgic demake reissues over the years — including, yes, a Gameboy game of Grimace’s 52nd birthday.
“Put a Pin in It.” Humane has announced its first gadget to be released this year, and it will be called the Humane Ai (sic) Pin. The pin is speculated to perform a number of tasks and contains features such as a portable projection that allows you to summon the AI “at will” with gestures — like the raise of a hand. Given the Apple Vision Pro’s recent announcement, hand and gesture-centric UIs seem to be the way the future is leaning.
More Sights & Sounds. In an attempt to lure in sellers to its online platform, TikTok is promising zero seller fees, free listings, and more.
Hemp Houses. Architects looking to build eco-conscious structures have been turning to hemp. The plant is fast-growing and has carbon-capturing properties. Builders have been using it to create “hempcrete” which excels at insulating structures because of its high thermal mass. (Editor’s note: you can (literally) put your weed in there).
Freshly-Sliced. Subway just invested $80 million to revamp its supply chain and add meat slicers into 20,000 locations, gifting them to franchisees. The move is part of a new category on the restaurant’s menu, Deli Heroes™, which contain freshly-sliced deli meats. Of particular note to Future Commerce readers — the rollout of Deli Heroes™ used brand archetypes: The Hero, and The Outlaw. Just what we need — 15 year-old outlaw Subway workers operating a meat-slicer.
What’s a Little Radioactivity Between Friends? The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has given Japan the greenlight to release water into the sea from the Fukushima nuclear plant that is slightly radioactive. Nearby nations are in fierce opposition of the decision.
Our Take: There are (literal) downstream effects to this decision, which may set a precedent for future disasters — but the direct impacts on commerce that we can expect from Japan's planned release of treated radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea are uncertain.
While the IAEA have endorsed the plan, it is opposed by groups in South Korea, China, and some Pacific Island nations due to safety concerns and political reasons. Local fishing organizations are also worried about potential damage to their reputation, even if their catch is not contaminated. The long-term effects on commerce will depend on how these concerns are addressed and how the international community responds to Japan's actions
Follow Your (Quantum) Nose. Quantum physics is showing up in places researchers did not initially expect, including in plants, animals, and even the human body. Electrons, photons, and energy vibrations may very well explain how the nose can differentiate between smells.