STATE OF AMERICA
Men Infiltrate Pink-Collar Jobs – Over the last decade, men have begun flocking to fields long dominated by women. Young men are graduating in a desolate job market, one in which traditional opportunities like construction and manufacturing have dried up. As opportunities open up in female-oriented occupations, more men are taking advantage of jobs their fathers might never have considered. This trend began well before the crash and appears to be driven by a variety of factors including financial concerns, quality-of-life issues and a gradual erosion of gender stereotypes. Turning the tables on a time-honored feminist creed into: anything a woman can do, a guy can do, too.
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
Lifelogging – If you wear a heart rate monitor, you do it. If you track your finances on online, you do it too. Lifelogging is the practice of gathering personal data about oneself using technology, essentially breaking the details of one’s daily existence into graphs and statistics. With the explosion of smartphone use and new, portable and affordable technologies people now have the tools to check, track, monitor and manage their personal data like never before. Self-tracking is expected to grow further as technology continues to get more frictionless and invisible. Knowledge is power especially when it revolves around oneself.
Apple Announces It’s Becoming More Digital, Social & Integrated at WWDC- Apple’s WWDC 2012 keynote this week revealed how much more seamless the brand will integrate into a person’s digital life through a Facebook integration, a smarter Siri and a move to convert iPhones into mobile wallets. With the new iOS 6 upgrade, iPhone users will now be able to post pictures and videos directly to their Facebook accounts without using the FB app. The App Store will also become integrated to allow people to ‘like’ apps, TV Shows and movies all while being able to see what their friends have liked. Siri will become smarter and more indispensable by having the ability to post FB updates and tweets, launch apps and become integrated into cars through an Eyes Free feature that will be activated through an Apple button in a car’s steering wheel. Lastly, Apple makes an even bigger play for a person’s wallet with its Passbook feature – a tool that aggregates a user’s boarding passes, movie tickets, coupons and loyalty cards. While not revolutionary, it’s Apple’s first baked-in commitment to converting the iPhone into a digital wallet.
Voxy Makes Language Learning Social, Local & Mobile – If you’ve ever tried to learn a foreign language and questioned the usefulness of some of the lessons, Voxy is for you. Voxy turns everyday experiences into language learning opportunities. It operates as an aggregator of foreign-language content, serving up the kind of news stories and other media that you would consume during your daily routines (except in a different language). The platform then quizzes you on vocabulary and reading comprehension based on each selection. But Voxy is more than just Rosetta Stone meets The New York Times. It also provides location-based lessons about a person’s immediate surroundings. For example, if a person snaps a photo of a cool bicycle on the street, Voxy will identify the object in the language they’re learning and create an audio flash card. Voxy can also tap into a person’s mobile GPS to find nearby locations so that if they tag themselves at a nearby bar, Voxy can provide relevant phrases like how to order a beer. This service essentially gives each of their million and a half users a lesson that is personally relevant to them.
ON THE RADAR
Follow This: @sweden – Sweden has set up the world’s most democratic Twitter account, @sweden. The government-run account, the brainchild of the country’s tourism bureau, is handed over to a different Swedish citizen each week. The goal is to increase tourism by showcasing the diversity of its people’s thoughts and opinions.
Try This App: Dabble is a location- based photo journaling app that lets users pin virtual “postcards” on a map. Users can leave memories right where they experienced them by attaching photos and notes to locations they have physically visited. People can use Dabble to see where their friends, or friends of friends, have been and get an intimate look at what their experiences were like.
Try This: Airtime, the new startup from Napster founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning, is a real-time browser-based video chat similar to 2010’s popular Chatroulette. Unlike Chatroulette, Airtime uses Facebook Connect to ensure people’s real identities and hopefully keep chats PG-rated. Connecting with Facebook allows people to talk with friends they already know or pair up with strangers who share similar interests.