mobile applications

3 Ways to Change the Way We Die, Travel, and Marry

Curated by CLAI

FITBIT FOR CRUISES: Carnival has developed Fitbit-style bracelets that link to personal information, and applied them to cruises. The result: Millions of passengers on Carnival ships will soon be using a similar but more advanced system that allows travelers to do everything from plan vacations to open stateroom doors to order poolside cocktails.

  • Cruisers will be able to pay for food, drinks and merchandise simply by having their credit card-connected Ocean Medallion in their pocket.
  • Carnival’s disks, each laser-etched with the guest’s name, will also power a new, shipwide gambling platform.

WEDDING TECHFor many couples, wedding planning is a frustrating monthslong project that requires sifting through masses of details and costs on venues, services and products. The field is crowded with small, local businesses that are predominantly low tech and survive on word-of-mouth recommendations. However, the overall industry is large, with $58 billion in revenue, with an average $26,500 per wedding.

  • Lover.ly has been able to build a database of 65,000 vendors. A virtual wedding planners assembles a list of vendors based on a couple’s criteria, and the couples receive it within 48 hours of purchasing a service. Couples are charged from $10 to $399, and vendors $10 per client lead. Lover.ly is also beta testing its chatbot.
  • Another app, LadyMarry developed its own artificial intelligence bot to streamline communications between the company, vendors and couples. LadyMarry had been used to plan 90,000 weddings. It is free for couples; the company charges vendors 15-45%, depending on the location and service.
  • Carats & Cake partnered with the payment platform Stripe to offer online invoicing and bill paying. It has 20,000 member businesses; about 300,000 couples used the site in 2016.

PALLIATIVE CARE: In a life changing event like a permanent disability, life is not extra difficult now, but only uniquely difficult, as all lives are. Suffering is simply a “variation on a theme we all deal with — to be human is really hard.” Don’t we all treat suffering as a disruption to existence, instead of an inevitable part of it? what would happen if you could “reincorporate your version of reality, of normalcy, to accommodate suffering.”

  • We call ancient sculptures with missing limbs art: monumental, beautiful and important, but we’d never seen them whole. Medicine didn’t think about bodies this way. Embedded in words like “disability” and “rehabilitation” was a less generous view: “There was an aberrant moment in your life and, with some help, you could get back to what you were, or approximate it.” So, instead of regarding injuries as something to get over, try to get into them, to see life as its own novel challenge, like traveling through a country whose language you don’t speak.
  • All palliative-care departments and home-hospice agencies believe patients’ wishes should be honored, but Zen Hospice’s small size allows it to “actualize” these ideals more fully. Sharpen the essential set of questions: What is a good death? How do you judge? In the end, what matters?

Advertisements

Game Over: Flappy Bird and Really Cool Bike Gadgets

Curated by CLAI

ADDICTIVE GAME FAILURE: Difficult games are popular in defiance of any expectation that people have an appetite for easy entertainment, and against the march of the medium’s own history. The popularity of video games is proof that people enjoy having problems. Apparently life isn’t tough enough for those of us who seek amusement in failure’s premiere form of entertainment.

Like many games, dating back to Tetris or Pac-Man, there was no way to win Flappy Bird. Success was measured by delaying failure, in staying alive as long as possible. Flappy Bird was so tough that a standard session would last little longer than a bull ride.

Hovding Airbag for Cyclist

Hovding Airbag for Cyclist (Hovding)

COOL BIKE GADGETS: The most common mistake new cyclists make is not riding predictably. People who are afraid of getting hit from behind by a car will often do things like ride on the sidewalk or ride against traffic, which actually increases the danger that they will get hit by a motorist who doesn’t see them. Fear is a cyclist’s worst enemy.

  • Loud Bicycle sounds like a two-toned car horn and, at 112 decibels, is about as loud.  “It’s embarrassing to get honked at. But it’s more embarrassing to get honked at by a bicycle.”
  • Xfire Bike Lane light is equipped with two high-visibility red lasers that project two three-foot lines onto the road, creating an ad hoc bike lane.
  • Hovding, an inflatable bike helmet, works much like an automobile air bag. The device, worn around the neck like a quite fashionable scarf, detects the impact of a crash and inflates a sort of instant helmet around the cyclist’s head and neck.
  • BikeSpike, affixed to the frame, allows you to track its location on a smartphone, so you can find a stolen bike or just keep track of family and friends on the road