Tag Archives: Mobile devices

The Helping Heart Jacket


Regardless of where one lives in the world, there is almost always someone who is less fortunate. While many people will donate to homeless people and panhandlers, many other people will not donate because they may not have cash, or may have concerns about how the money will be spent.

An innovative product is being tested by the homeless in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The “helping heart” jacket has an embedded donation screen. The public can then simply tap a contactless card (debit or credit) and give a fixed one Euro donation. The donated funds are deposited into an account for the person and are redeemable at official homeless shelters. The donations can be used for food, shelter, sleep, showers, and more daily functions.

It is an interesting concept and use of wearable technology. One that ultimately changes lives, one at a time.

Have a heart.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss social responsibility with the class.
  2. What are some common concerns that students have about donating money to homeless people?
  3. Show the video: https://youtu.be/HGG46rKARzQ
  4. How does this solution address the problem?
  5. Are there other social problems that technology can help with?
  6. Challenge teams of students to design solutions to social problems.

Source: Brandchannel.com


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World’s Largest Online Retail Shopping Event – China’s 11/11 Singles Day


Once again the world’s biggest shopping event has occurred. And, no, it’s not Black Friday and Cyber Monday. By far the biggest shopping day of the year was on November 11 (Singles Day) in China. The holiday originally began in 1993 as a celebration for people who are single, chosen because of the connection between singles and the number ‘1’. November 11 now serves as an occasion for single people to party – and shop.

The goals were lofty; last year sales exceeded $14 billion. This year, sales reached more than $1 billion in the first five minutes! By the end of 15 hours sales totaled $13.4 billion, and by the end of the day the tally was more than $17 billion! Even more impressive though is that a whopping 82% of sales were completed from mobile devices.

Singles Day has become an event on its own, including celebrities, fashion shows, TV galas, virtual reality, and augmented reality shopping. Estimates are that there will be more than 1 billion packages shipped using 207 million couriers. It’s not limited to Chinese companies. This year, more than 11,000 brands will participate in the deals.

Why is it so important for global brands to enter this shopping day? Consider that there are roughly 300 million middle-class shoppers in China, rising to an estimated 500 million in the next 10-15 years. While Singles Day may have originally started for lonely Chinese consumers, the shopping day now is seen as critical to driving China’s – and the worlds – economy.

If you are not familiar with Singles Day, there are many Web sources with information about the event and Alibaba, including the following:

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Most students will not have previously heard of China’s Single Day. Discuss the shopping holiday and its importance in China.
  2. This is likely the first time students have heard about Singles Day. There are a number of videos that can help explain the event:
    1. What is 11/11?  https://youtu.be/zzKOvU-FP9E
    2. Singles Day: https://youtu.be/uDDy50RP67A
    3. An American at Alibaba: https://youtu.be/7ZxM_HaEWBI
    4. News reports: https://youtu.be/yq2tQnyoQtI
  1. Discuss how this holiday compares to Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the U.S.
  2. How should U.S.-based companies participate in Singles Day?

Source:  Brandchannel.com, Retail Dive, Reuters, other news sources


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Bicycles Spread the Internet in Rural India


Not everyone can access the Internet. In particular, millions of women in small towns and villages in India are not able to access the Internet. (This may seem strange to students in the U.S. who depend on the Internet for their daily dose of email, news, entertainment, and information.)

Google is working to change this and is providing increased access in remote areas by using thousands of female trainers across India. The trainers get around the region by riding bicycles; each bike has a box full of tablets and smartphones for women to try, and to train on. The goal is simple – provide people with the tools and understanding of how being connected could benefit their lives.

In rural India, only one in 10 women currently use the Internet. Many women are kept from using the Internet due to economic and cultural barriers. In a country of 1.2 billion people, nearly 1 billion still do not have access to basic Web services.

Google partnered with a local philanthropy, Tata Trusts, in the project named “Internet Saathi,” to show women in rural India how to connect to the Web. Instructors are trained on how the Web works, then are given bicycles with equipped with devices running the Android mobile operating system.

The project has already trained 9,000 guides, who have helped reach more than 1.5 million women in 12 states in rural India.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Have students list everything they do on the Internet in an average day.
  2. Now ask students to imagine that they do not have that easy access.
  3. Show the Project Saathi video: https://youtu.be/iYVx15KEEEs
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team describe examples of how poorer and remote people might benefit from accessing the Internet.
  5. In teams, have students develop other ways in which Google or other companies could provide services to remote villages and poorer residents.

Source:  Wall Street Journal, other news sources


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