A simple way to get customer feedback

This terminal has four plastic buttons adorned with faces ranging from a smiling dark green to an angry bright red. HappyOrNot is distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Push My Button, its sole reseller in the two countries. You may have noticed the terminals at overseas airports, in your doctor’s surgery or when shopping. Very interestingly this idea comes from Finland which is ranked #1 on the World Happiness Report published by the UN this month! towww.happy-or-not.com/en/

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Wine labels that come alive with AR!

When you have downloaded the “Living Wine Labels” app you can view The Walking Dead wine label through your smartphone to watch it come to life with augmented reality. The Blood Red Blend label has an image of Sheriff Rick Grimes staring down the undead. When the app is launched and pointed at the label, you see Sheriff Rick fight off the ‘walkers’. The Cabernet Sauvignon label features a horde of zombies, and they break out of the label onto your phone screen. When you point the app at both labels through the app, when the bottles are side by side, the characters fight each other. Designed for clever dinner party entertainment! www.skybound.com/the-walking-dead/news-events/news-eventsnew-walking-dead-wines-will-feature-ar-labels/

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High heels becoming unfashionable

Women are trading in their high-heeled stiletto shoes for sneakers and ballet flats. Workplaces are becoming more casual, and it’s increasingly acceptable to wear sneakers to dinner. More people are working from home, and those who do go into the office are often walking to work. Fitness trackers like the Fitbit have also made people more aware of how much they are — or should be — moving. For people counting their steps, it makes sense to wear comfortable footwear and clothing. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2018/03/07/high-heels-are-the-worst-and-women-are-finally-ditching-them/?

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A plastic-free supermarket aisle

Supermarket chain Ekoplaza has piloted a “world first” plastic-free supermarket aisle in Amsterdam, prompting calls from campaigners for retailers to roll them out in more places. Goods within the aisle will carry the Plastic Free Mark, a label introduced by A Plastic Planet to help shoppers easily identify products that are completely free of plastic packaging. Plastic-free aisles are seen as an innovative way of testing the compostable biomaterials that offer a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic packaging. www.inkl.com/glance/news/netherlands-opens-world-s-first-plastic-free-supermarket-aisle-as-uk-urged-to-follow-example?

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Free public transport to reduce road traffic

Germany has surprised neighbours with a radical proposal to reduce road traffic by making public transport free. The proposal will be tested by the end of this year in five cities across western Germany, including former capital Bonn and industrial cities Essen and Mannheim. Countries that fail to keep to EU limits could face legal action at the European Court of Justice, the EU’s highest tribunal, which can levy fines on member states. www.inkl.com/newsletters/morning-edition/news/germany-eyes-free-public-transport-to-banish-air-pollution?

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ASX first to use blockchain for share trading

The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) will be the first to use a blockchain-based system to record who owns shares of listed companies, and to keep track of transactions and settlements when people buy and sell shares. The ASX’s blockchain will greatly simplify this process. Instead of having to reconcile trades against a centralised database, the verification of ownership and settling of accounts can be done directly between participants (as is done with Bitcoin trades). This is much simpler, faster and more secure. A startup, Digital Asset Holdings, will supply the technology. www.asx.com.au/documents/asx-news/ASX-Selects-DLT-to-Replace-CHESS-Media-Release-7December2017.pdf?

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Mobile drug testing to reduce car accidents

Safe driving requires good judgement and sharp concentration. You also need to react quickly to changing situations on the road. Drug driving puts everyone on the road at risk. NSW research shows that the presence of illegal drugs is now involved in more fatal crashes than drink driving. Mobile Drug Testing (MDT) has been introduced to operate alongside Random Breath Testing (RBT) for alcohol by police in NSW. MDT detects drivers who have recently used three common illegal drugs: ecstasy, cannabis and speed (including ice). A test for cocaine is being planned soon because of concerns about its increasing use. The roadside tests involve a saliva test. If the initial saliva test indicates positive, then the driver must undertake a second saliva swab at a mobile drug bus or police station. http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/alcoholdrugs/drugdriving/index.html

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Energy independence at your home or office

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Rather than selling your solar power to the grid cheap and buying it back at a higher price, Redflow ZCell batteries let you store your own solar energy for when you need it. It gives you greater energy independence and keeps your lights on when grid power blacks out. Australia is the ideal place for energy storage in the home or business, with high energy costs, widespread solar panel deployment and rapidly disappearing government solar feed-in tariffs, and this tech was developed in Australia. www.redflow.com

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A drug embedded with a digital tracker

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The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first drug in the country that is embedded with a digital ingestion tracking system. Abilify MyCite features an ingestible sensor that records the fact the medication has been consumed. The pill has been approved for the treatment of schizophrenia, acute treatment of manic and mixed episodes associated with bipolar I disorder, and for depression in adults. https://www.springwise.com/fda-approves-first-drug-embedded-digital-tracker/

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An off-road wheelchair

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The HexHog is an off-road wheelchair offering unprecedented access to extreme terrain including hills, mud, snow and shallow water. This battery powered machine offers the freedom to go places you wouldn’t have dreamed possible. It allows wheelchair users or those with limited dexterity to enjoy the countryside and back country wilderness. www.hexhog.com

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Rebuilding lives through jobs

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The Mile High WorkShop in Denver, Colorado is an employment and job training program for those facing barriers to work through the manufacturing and production of handmade goods. It provides contract manufacturing services in cut & sew, woodworking, laser etching/cutting, handmade assembly, and packaging/fulfillment services, in order to employ men and women rebuilding their lives from homelessness, addictions, and incarceration. https://www.milehighworkshop.org/

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