STATE OF AMERICA
Meet The New Immigrants: Asians Surpass Hispanics – For the first time, the influx of Asians moving to the U.S. has surpassed that of Hispanics as the largest group of new immigrants. The wave of incoming Asians pushed the total number of Asian-Americans to a record 18.2 million, or 5.8% of the total U.S. population. The Pew Research Center study on the Asian-American population reveals that they have the highest income, are the best-educated and are the fastest-growing racial group in America. “Like immigrants throughout American history, the new arrivals from Asia are strivers,” said Paul Taylor, Executive Vice President of the Pew Research Center and co-author of the report. “What’s distinctive about them is their educational credentials. These aren’t the tired, poor, huddled masses of Emma Lazarus’s famous inscription on the Statue of Liberty. They are the highly skilled workforce of the 21st century.”
BRAVE NEW CONSUMER
Mourning Becomes Electronic – Technology is changing the way people grieve. In this new era, the bereaved light virtual candles on memorial websites, upload video tributes to YouTube and affix adhesive-backed QR code chips to the tombstones of their beloved so visitors can pull up photos and videos with a scan of a smartphone. This is Mourning 2.0. Technology has pervaded all aspects of people’s lives and the honoring of the dearly departed is no exception. The Internet has had the ability to facilitate traditional mourning rituals such as honoring a loved one as well as providing mourners with support through online groups and “grief recovery” webinars. While the digital tools may be new, they still have purpose in soothing age-old emotions.
PepsiCo Puts Design Front And Center – In installing Mauro Porcini, formally of 3M, in PepsiCo’s newly created role of Chief Design Officer, the brand is committing to their belief that design and design thinking is a significant area for innovation and growth. The hiring of Porcini is part of a strategy to expand its 12 biggest brands – like Pepsi, Gatorade and Lay’s – provide a more cohesive global vision for the brands and instill a design culture. He’ll have a key role in creating everything from a design language for the company’s portfolio to redesigning of vending machines and delivery trucks. Taking a page from Apple’s book, Porcini firmly believes design should pervade every aspect of consumers’ lives. Nothing is too small or mundane to have a design ethos.
MD247 Puts Doctors At Patients Fingertips 24/7 – MD247 is a smartphone telemedicine system that connects patients with physicians 24/7. Instead of dashing to the ER when a crisis arises, members call MD247and describe their symptoms to a nurse. Within minutes, a board-certified physician calls back with a diagnosis, and if needed, phones in a prescription. Eight hundred doctors nationwide belong to the MD247 network and are licensed to practice in all 50 states. Basic service ($20/month) covers the entire household and includes discounts on prescription drugs and smartphone apps that track vital signs like blood pressure.
ON THE RADAR
Know This: This week Twitter rolled out new features designed to extend the reach of the Twitter experience. Expanded tweets allow content partners to embed story previews, images, videos and audio without the user having to navigate away from their Twitter feed. The Wall Street Journal, Breaking News, and TIME already use expanded tweets, but new partnerships, such as one with SoundCloud, will now allow users to embed music and make audio playable directly from the original tweet.
Watch This: Coca Cola has a new ad campaign that takes a creative approach to the company’s feel good “Open Happiness” slogan. Focusing on the idea that security cameras can capture more than criminals, the commercial shows footage of anti-crimes ranging from “honest pickpocketing” to “friendly gangs.”
Watch This: This week Microsoft unveiled the Surface tablet, which will compete directly with Apple’s iPad. The Surface will be powered by Windows 8, is thinner than the iPad 3 and has a larger screen. It also comes with a full-sized keyboard that doubles as the device’s case. The release date is still unconfirmed, but you can whet your appetite for new gadgets by watching their promo video here.