2013.23 | luggage tags | glass recipes | bike lanes


Luggage Tags – Eliminating waste of any kind is everyone’s objective.  If waste and waiting are removed from any process, and convenience can be provided to clients, the ultimate trifecta is achieved.

What if instead of going to a kiosk and printing a luggage tag every time you took a flight, you used the same e-ink luggage tag that took your flight information from your mobile via bluetooth?

Labels would no longer be necessary, and there is no need to visit a kiosk to get a luggage tag.  If your flight was changed during your journey, the new flight information can be automatically passed from your mobile to the tag.  All of this without changing the infrastructure in place at the airports.

This vision is precisely what British Airways employees will be testing as part of a project in partnership with Designworks. While there could be issues with logistics of all sorts – dead batteries, bluetooth connection issues, cost of tags – this new format just feels like the right direction – given the move to digital books, tablets and other technologies.  Add the benefits and it seems an easy choice.  I’ll eagerly sign up once they get the kinks out.  (I’m putting my frequent flier numbers on my luggage tag as backup!)

Screen Shot 2013-07-04 at 10.57.30 PM

Glass Recipes – Instead of putting together yet another concept video, coupons.com actually went out and built a google glass app.  While they have a limited market today with only a few thousand users at most, including the Googlers and the 10,000 devotees who got first dibs, a recipe app with Google Glass seems like a natural fit.

While kitch.me is another recipe site like epicurious, kitch.me also offers coupons for the ingredients of the recipes.  The Glass version enables users to search through recipes by voice, select recipes to make and actually get audio instructions while they cook.

Glass is one of those platforms that could swing into obscurity or become a staple.  The ability to leverage new channels quickly via partnerships or directly can provide real competitive advantage.  Quickly adopting and shedding channels will become increasingly important as the channels available to retailers continue to explode as technology makes its way ever deeper into our lives.


Bike Lanes – While all of the excitement of late is around electric cars, bicycles are also gaining momentum. The addition of

Bixi bikes in cities has made it easier for North American city dwellers to use bicycles more as the Europeans do.  It appears that beyond the pollution avoidance and personal health benefits that are expected with bikes, there are other unforeseen positives.  A recent study in New York indicates that street retailers get more traffic from cyclists than from cars.    Smart retailers in this environment may consider how they can better serve this cycling demographic to take advantage – bags that fit bicycle panniers, bicycle parking, apps to suit cyclists and more.  Just as electric cars will change the business of filling stations, perhaps cyclists will change the face of urban retail.

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