Google just announced the NFC-based mobile payment scheme we all knew was coming: Google Wallet. Leveraging the wireless NFC chip in (some, with more to come) smartphones, Google Wallet allows you to tap your phone on a point-of-sale system to pay with your credit card account, as well as a host of coupons and loyalty cards and other retail-friendly stuff Google showed off today.
Next time you're hungry, but unsure what to make for dinner, don't despair — Kraft Foods has some ideas for you. Are you a mom? KraftBot calculates that you need Mac 'n' Cheese. Is it game day? KraftBot wants you to make queso dip, so here's a barcode for a brick of "cheese product." Are you a hung over college dude? Take the Cheez Whiz and Ritz crackers.
Or maybe you're morbidly obese. Go ahead, pick between a box of South Beach Diet fiber bars or a gallon jug of Hidden Valley Ranch — the choice is yours, shopper. Just as long as it's Kraft, and only Kraft.
Never a part of the world to let common sense stand in the way of a good vending machine, China has now invented a machine that, for the equivalent of a couple of dollars, pops out a live crab. The Shanghai hairy crabs, prized for their roe and sweet meat, are stored in the crab-o-mat at a near-freezing temperature, which keeps them alive but in a motionless state of hibernation. If your crab is dead when it comes out of the machine, you get three more crabs for free, guaranteed!
The ease and variety of online shopping enabled by the first dot-com explosion cast technology as the killer of in-store retail. But in Japan, with its aging population and unique consumer culture, technology facilitates grocery shopping, in the form of retail assistance robots like Robovie-II. Part of a larger network of sensors and wireless devices, Robovie provides assistance to elderly shoppers making their rounds.
In an excerpt from our new Tech Buyer's Guide, learn everything you need to know to buy a bargain flat-screen this year
By Brent ButterworthPosted 11.25.2009 at 3:05 pm 6 Comments
Popular Science Tech Buyer's Guide TVs
Each day this week leading up to Black Friday, we'll excerpt a chunk of our new Tech Buyer's Guide here on the site to arm you with the skills and the picks to get the most from your weekend shopping madness. Here are our picks for bargain flat-screen TVs and our buying advice for TVs in general. Check out the guide for our picks for high-end TVs, as well as 15 other product categories.
By Mark JannotPosted 11.23.2009 at 1:48 pm 6 Comments
The advantage to working at a place like PopSci is that, between our editors and contributors, I'm surrounded by tech experts I can turn to whenever I'm in the market for a gadget and ask simply, "So which one should I buy?" This year, we decided to package all of that expertise into the Tech Buyer's Guide which we're giving away for free starting today.
The major obstacle facing online clothing shoppers is the inability to try on a garment before purchasing. Webcam Social Shopper, a new virtual dressing room concept, is hoping to change that. Blending Project Natal-like motion-capture with scenes from Clueless, the webcam-based dressing room allows you to, sort of, try on clothes you see online.
For all he's done and all he's taught you, you'd think dear old Dad would be honored more than one day out of the year. And if you want to get technical, had he not teamed up with mom on that one long-ago DIY project, you wouldn't be reading this right now. So this Father's Day, pay homage to his tinkering spirit with something he'll use in future acts of glorious creation.
Throughout this guide, you'll find a wide selection of tools from free iPhone apps to a budget-busting hammer drill; an oh-so-convenient cordless glue gun and soldering tool; plus a variety of things to help him amp up his environmentalism, his swing, his gut, and his chances of getting a speeding ticket.
What makes us happy? There's no simple answer (sorry), though this 70-year-long longitudinal study on well-being offers some fascinating insight. Humility helps, so do our reactions to life's woes, and "the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people."
Also in today's links: customer-unfriendly shopping innovations, it pays to be tall, and more.