Weekly 'Pulse' Issue 86 | Shift Your Perspective
Gaming Your Work
In the US, Amazon is deploying the powers of games to boost employee motivation and productivity.
The trial initiative creates virtual simulations of their real-world actions on the packing line… and transforms each movement into a video game action - creating an immediate reward feedback loop for each step they take.
The opt-in program is designed to inject a sense of challenge and novelty into otherwise routine tasks that easily turn mindless for workers doing the same thing day in and day out.
How could we improve the user experience and inject a sense of novelty into otherwise thankless tasks in other arenas of work and life?
Giving Microbes a New Image
A Finnish design studio Aivan has set out to re-frame the way we think about product design by demonstrating the flexibility and utility of alternative, naturally ‘grown’ substrates.
The conceptual project has seen them create a functioning set of headphones from bioplastic materials - all lab-grown from microbes. While not designed for commercial sale, the feat of engineering-meets-biology represents a powerful demonstration of the new manufacturing frontiers yet to be explored… and the untapped potential of overlooked raw materials.
Find out more about the project here.
How could we rethink the product development process and redesign everyday goods from the ground up to create alternative offerings that do better for us (and the world) at the same time?
Taking the Guesswork Out of Spoiled Milk
Meanwhile, researchers have uncovered a new technique that allows packaging to identify the exact moment milk spoils.
Unlike traditional ‘use-by’ labels that provide a best guess of product stability without taking into account environmental conditions like how the milk is stored, the simple technique requires a sensor comprising of just two ingredients to be integrated into the packaging. This sensor then changes colour (via a chemical reaction) to indicate that the milk is past it’s safe point of consumption, providing a truly accurate measure for consumers every time they pick up their carton or bottle of milk.
Read more about the research here.
How could we rethink the way we measure and signal product freshness in other categories to reduce unnecessary food waste and promote safer consumption for consumers at the same time?