Cardiff Marketing Blog & News

Pro Tips: Snapchat Shares Insights into Key Platform Marketing Approaches, and Trends Generating Results

Looking to maximize your Snapchat marketing strategy? Here are some tips and insights, direct from Snap's ad team.

LinkedIn Outlines the Strength of its Reach and Ad Targeting Options [Infographic]

The infographic provides a full overview of LinkedIn's ad targeting tools, as well as its various display options.

Twitter Launches Live Test of Topics in Spaces to Improve Discovery

Topics will help Twitter highlight relevant Spaces broadcasts to a broader audience.

Twitter Updates Video Playback to Ensure a Higher Quality Viewing Experience

Your Twitter videos will now look better, thanks to a new update in the platform's playback process.

Twitter’s Testing More Options to Help Users Avoid Negative Interactions in the App

The new options would give users more ways to control their in-app experience, and avoid unwanted interactions.

Instagram Launches New Global Branding Campaign, Highlighting the Benefits of Community Connection in the App

The campaign aims to highlight the community benefits of Instagram, in connecting people around interests and trends.

Volvo Takes Flat, Minimalist New Logo Out On A Spin

Old logo (left) VS new logo (right). Images via ID 30079654 © Pricopsorin | and Volvo

As automakers depart from a fuel-drenched history, they’ve also lightened up their logos along with pacts to go electric. Volvo appears to be the latest to give its branding a make-under, and even with all the minimalist redesigns that have appeared in recent years, this one is truly barebones.

Image via Volvo

The rebrand strips off the metallic polish as well as the middle bar from the famous ‘iron mark’ emblem, leaving the matte Volvo wordmark to float in the center. For old time’s sake, the Swedish car company has kept the circle and diagonal arrow, although the area where the arrow sits has been snipped off to add dimension to the flat design.

Meanwhile, the refreshed typeface appears slimmer and more elegant.

Old logo (left) VS new logo (right). Images via Wikimedia Commons (public domain) and Volvo

A standalone wordmark envisions the Volvo script with more space between the letterforms. Volvo has another version of it specifically for products and small screens for when “clear visibility of the Volvo spread word mark can’t be ensured,” a spokesperson told Australian automotive news site Drive.

Old script (above) VS new logo (below). Images via Wikimedia Commons (public domain) and Volvo

The first cars to sport the new branding will be rolled out in 2023. Volvo says it will be a “gradual” transition; the company commenced the switch on its main website, social media channels, and mobile app, and intends to move “in other areas step by step” before phasing out the old version.

[via Drive, images via various source]

‘Great British Bake Off’ Whisks Up Giant Cakes Out Of Real-World Objects

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via Channel 4

Everything is cake,” as the meme says. Pedestrians across the UK are getting a sweet taste of it with full-blown sweet treats baked into the real world.

As part of a delicious stunt teasing the return of The Great British Bake Off, the dessert of the day is a multi-tiered, 78-foot ‘cake’ decorated over a building on Argyle Street in Glasgow.

Image via Channel 4

Image via Channel 4

Cake needs to be eaten with cutlery, so giant hands can dig in with the 23-foot spoon on the side, which is complete with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry on top.

Image via Channel 4

The activation was produced by Channel 4’s in-house creative agency, 4Creative, and includes outdoor digital screens in Leeds, London, Glasgow, and Manchester reflecting the weather with raining sprinkles and the ilk.

Image via Channel 4

Delectable out-of-home prints and television teasers feature coastal cliffs as Victoria sponge cakes, a tower block as a mille-feuille pastry, and more.

As well as promoting the television baking battle, Channel 4 hopes the food-themed makeovers would help sweeten people’s mundane days, especially after over a year of lockdowns. “People love indulging in the ‘Bake-Off’ escapism every year,” explains Channel 4 marketing director Amber Kirby. “This campaign imagines how cake can make life just that little bit sweeter; transforming the mundane, the everyday, and the sometimes serious, into something that just makes you smile.”

Image via Channel 4


Image via Channel 4

[via Campaign and Ad Age, videos and images via Channel 4]

Twitter Teases ‘Heads Up’ Feature To Alert You When The Trolling Gets Too Much

Image via Primakov /

Twitter developers have been pretty busy lately, with the introduction of a whole slew of new features, some of which include Super Follows and Tip Jar.

Now, it’s trialing yet another feature, which will warn users to back away from heated online debates that could take a toll on their mental health. Aptly named ‘Heads Up’, a popup screen will appear when a user begins replying to a thread that the algorithm considers “intense.”

The message also tells users that facts matter, differing perspectives have value, and that everyone should “remember the human” on the end of the other screen. If you’re still keen on joining the discussion, simply indicate “Count Me In” to continue.

It’s still unclear how exactly Twitter will know which conversations are too “intense.” When asked about Heads Up, Christine Su, the company’s lead of conversational safety, said that it would be looking at a conversation’s “vibes.”

Additionally, the social media platform will also be rolling out ‘Word Filters’, allowing users to mute selected words, phrases, or topics from appearing on their timelines.

Plus, there’ll be a feature that allows you to quietly remove yourself from conversations you’d rather not be in, without the other party knowing you’ve left.

All these features are still in beta, and just as many others in the past, may not make it to the actual app in the end. Still, those who’ve been part of an unpleasant Twitter debate may appreciate the reminder to stay away from others or remove themselves when things get rough.

[via Input, cover image via Primakov /]

NSFW: OnlyFans Creators Start ‘Collaboration’ Cabin In Response To Content Ban

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Video screenshot via @demonspiit

A “vacation” has recently gone viral on TikTok, though this time, not for its luxury or cost. Instead, a rented cabin getaway, named ‘Origami Camp’ (a supposed play on the word “orgy”) garnered attention for being a “collaboration” space for TikTok and OnlyFans creators.

Origami Camp was the brainchild of @hawkhatesyou and @the_gothbaby, who in the wake of OnlyFans’ shocking announcement had wanted to create a safe space for creators to gather.

As the company backtracked its ban on adult content several days later, the two then decided to turn the event into a place creators could connect and collaborate at instead.

“The purpose of the Origami Camp was to get some creators who know each other together to collar and make TikToks, plus any other content [we] were comfortable making since all of us are sex workers,” Natasha Noel (@babygirlnoell), one of the creators at the event, told Mashable.

The creators uploaded a whole slew of content from their meetup, with those on OnlyFans being obviously NSFW. On TikTok, however, followers got to see behind-the-scenes footage of what these creators were working on, and of course, the unmissable TikTok dances.

According to Mashable, videos under the Origami Camp hashtag have garnered over 20 million views since. None of the participants had expected it to blow up, but this seems to be indicative of the influence famous content creators have online.

“The group was honestly completely blown away and excited that we made such an impact on the internet over the weekend,” said Noel.

Another camper, Luna (@lunababyy69) expressed similar sentiments. She said: “Our community deals with so much backlash from [both] regular people and platforms that will completely censor us. It was nice to finally get some recognition for the years of work we’ve put into our content.”

Many comments on social media reflected the demand for similar events, despite the stigma and attention the recent event was getting. It’s unclear if Origami Camp will become a regular event or a one-off party.

No matter if the content they create suits your tastes, it’s certainly eye-opening to see the lengths creators will go to, and the amount of time they will spend for a chance to go viral.

[via Mashable, cover image via @demonspiit]

Marie Antoinette’s Diamond Bracelets To Go Up For Auction In Pristine Condition

Portrait of Marie Antoinette, painted by Élisabeth Vigée (1783). Image via Oh Paris / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

In 1791, Marie Antoinette packed an extravagant diamond bracelet set along with other precious belongings and sent them away, expecting to reunite with them. Little did she know she’d never see her priced items again, or that she’d be the last queen to rule over France.

Remembered for her taste for the finer things and being quite the spendthrift, Marie Antoinette was a known enemy of fighters in the French Revolution, and her apathy for social classes below royalty only exacerbated this hatred.

In 1776, two years into her reign, Marie Antoinette purchased a pair of three-strand diamond bracelets for 250,000 livres, “a huge sum at the time,” details Christie’s. She paid for them using her own gemstones, along with funds from her husband, Louis XVI.

Image via Christie’s

Now, this storied jewelry set is poised to go up for sale on November 9 for US$2 to US$4 million, though it could demand even higher. Apart from carrying 112 diamonds, the bracelets present an opportunity “to wear jewelry that was once worn by the famous queen,” Christie’s jewelry specialist Marie-Cécile Cisamolo told Agence-France-Presse.

The bracelets each feature three larger gems in the center, serving as barrettes. Meanwhile, four diamonds on each side create a clasp. This has been the design that reached Marie Antoinette’s hands centuries back, and nothing has changed, so it’s probably worth even more.

The pair also appears to be kept in the same condition as when it was purchased in 1776.

Under threat by the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette shipped the jewels in a wooden chest to be held safely by Count Mercy-Argenteau, former Austrian ambassador to France who had left his post to take office in Brussels, in 1791. She imagined she’d see them again, but this dream was cut short as she and her husband were guillotined in 1793.

After Marie Antoinette’s death, Austrian emperor Francis II had an inventory of her belongings made. The bracelet set was item number six.

The jewelry can be seen worn by the French royals’ surviving daughter, Marie-Thérèse Charlotte de France, in an 1816 portrait, tracing the bracelets “all the way back to Marie Antoinette,” Cisamolo detailed to AFP.

Marie-Thérèse Charlotte de France, the daughter of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, pictured wearing her mother’s bracelets. Image via Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

[via Smithsonian Magazine, images via various sources]

Humans Lost Our Tails Somewhere In The Timeline, And This Mutation Could Be Why

Image via ID 38077017 © Lukas Blazek |

It’s not something that crosses our minds every day; but yes, the primate ancestors we were derived from, according to the theory of evolution, had—and still continue to have—tails.

So that should mean we would’ve had tails at one point, right?

Even Darwin called it. Once, he wrote, “I believe the Os coccyx gives attachment to certain muscles, but I cannot doubt that it is a rudimentary tail.” Imagine that: a human with a tail. Multiple, even.

But clearly, we don’t have them now. And the apes that appeared in the fossil record, which date back 20 million years, didn’t either. The true, concrete reason for this evolutionary change has never been recognized.

Until now, at least. A team of scientists based in New York believes they have narrowed it down to a specific genetic mutation, one that caused mice to stop growing tails when they were investigated in the study published last week.

“This question—where’s my tail?—has been in my head since I was a kid,” Bo Xia, a graduate student in stem cell biology at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine and an author of the paper, tells The New York Times.

Still determined to find an answer, he set out on the grand quest to find out. To start, he looked at how other animals’ tails were formed.

In the early stages of an embryo’s development, a set of master genes directs parts of the spine to begin growing the identifiable protrusions that come in the form of a neck, for example.

At the other end of the spine, a tail bud is developed. This contains a chain of vertebrae, muscles, and nerves. Further growth ensures the tail sprouts. So, it should mean that not having this bud would hinder the growth of a tail.

An alteration in the master genes must’ve changed this, Xia thought, and he studied the DNA of six species of apes without tails to nine species of monkeys with tails. His findings revealed a mutation shared by humans and tail-less apes in the form of a gene called TBXT.

To test this, Xia and his colleagues genetically engineered mice with the TBXT mutation found in humans. This comes in the form of 300 genetic letters in the middle of the gene.

When the mice embryos developed, many of them didn’t develop a tail. Others only managed to grow a short one. It seems to confirm Xia’s theory almost perfectly.

What must’ve happened, the findings suggest, is that the mutation must’ve accidentally occurred to some ape who grew a coccyx (tailbone) rather than a tail.

But what fascinated the team was the fact that not only did a seemingly disadvantageous mutation allow the ape to survive, but it also thrived to the point where it was able to pass it on to future generations. In turn, the offspring were able to thrive so well without a tail that it became the norm for apes; and consequently, humans.

It surprised scientists so much because, as it turns out, a tail isn’t “just” a tail. It’s a pretty great built-in tool, in fact. Apart from helping to balance weight when the primates began to walk upright instead of on all fours, it also let monkeys hang from trees.

Apes were, and are, larger than monkeys. It should’ve been more crucial for them to have a tail because their size made them more likely to fall. And those falls, in turn, were more likely to be fatal or injure them greatly. A tail for balance—isn’t that supposed to be what they needed more than their relatives?

One question appears solved, and that’s the question of how and why us humans don’t have a tail. That can be attributed to the TBXT gene.

But the other question is why our ape ancestors lost them when they would’ve been much better off having one. Unfortunately, Xia and his team’s findings don’t provide any hints.

And for us, we would’ve maybe had the opportunity to still hang from trees after a long day at work.

[via The New York Times, image via ID 38077017 © Lukas Blazek |]

Lionel Messi a doubt to face Man City after PSG star suffers knee injury and is ruled out of Metz clash

PSG have confirmed Lionel Messi has suffered a bone contusion on his left knee and will require a scan. It will leave the Argentine – who left …

Lionel Messi a doubt to face Man City after PSG star suffers knee injury and is ruled out of Metz clash

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See

NASA Unveils Sneak Images Of Its Most Powerful Rocket Ever Built

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems

NASA recently released never-before-seen pictures of its Space Launch System (SLS) Rocket, the most powerful spacecraft the agency has ever built.

The rocket is currently being assembled at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, and will be used to launch the Artemis 1 mission—which will send an Orion spacecraft to the moon’s orbit. The date for takeoff isn’t set just yet, but it could happen any time in 2021 or 2022.

Upon looking at the pictures, you’ll realize the SLS rocket is huge. Its center is 212 feet high, and weighs 188,000 pounds. Just before the actual mission, the Orion spacecraft will be added to the top of the rocket, making the behemoth even larger.

The new sneak peeks were captured as NASA ran an Umbilical Release and Retract Test (URRT), which helps test if all of the SLS’ connections are working in sync. The rocket has myriad umbilicals connected to it at any given time, supplying it with fuel, power, and even coolant.

According to CNET, while Artemis 1 will be an uncrewed mission, it will help prepare NASA for its highly-anticipated Lunar Lander Mission, in which American astronauts will return to the Moon.

Take a look at the amazing pictures and footage below.

NEW FOOTAGE 🚨 Watch as the different platforms around the SLS rocket retract as part of the Umbilical Release and Retract Test (URRT) at @NASAKennedy. @NASAGroundSys conducted the test to prepare for future #Artemis I stacking and launch activities >>

— NASA_SLS (@NASA_SLS) September 22, 2021

These new photos of the @NASA_SLS show an unobstructed view of the rocket with the retraction of 10 work platforms for the Umbilical Release and Retract Test (URRT) inside of High Bay 3 in the Vehicle Assembly Building at @NASAKennedy.

— NASA's Exploration Ground Systems (@NASAGroundSys) September 20, 2021

More images of @NASA_SLS taken around the Umbilical Release and Retract Test (URRT) inside High Bay 3 in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Teams will continue tests inside the building before transporting @NASA_Orion and stacking it atop the SLS, completing assembly for Artemis I.

— NASA's Exploration Ground Systems (@NASAGroundSys) September 23, 2021

[via CNET, cover image via NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems]

Android Officially Rolls Out Ability To Control Your Phone Using Your Face

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Video screenshot via Android

This week, Google publicly rolled out new accessibility features for Android, which will now allow users to control their smartphones by using facial gestures.

One of the updates, ‘Camera Switches’, is a feature that detects users’ facial movements through the device’s camera. Users can then set six gestures—look right, look left, look up, smile, raise eyebrows, or open their mouths—to correspond to tasks on the smartphone.

For example, users can set “look right” to open notifications, or “look up” to return to the home screen.

According to CNET, Camera Switches is the new version of Switch Access, a feature Google released in 2015 that allowed users with limited dexterity to access their devices using adaptive switches. With the update, users can now operate their devices without using their hands or voices.

As an addition to Camera Switches, Android has released a new app: ‘Project Activate’. With this app, users making use of the facial gestures can customize actions to be linked to a certain function. Making a phone call to a particular person could be as easy as raising an eyebrow.

It’ll also allow users to answer yes or no to questions, take a moment to type their response into a speech-generating app, or to send a text to their caregiver.

Video screenshot via Android

Currently, Project Activate is available on the Google Play Store in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

To access Camera Switches, users can head to their smartphone settings, tap on ‘Accessibility’, then ‘Switch Access’ under the ‘Interaction Controls’ section. Simply grant permission to the feature and it’ll start working.

It’s heartening to see that, as technology progresses, not only are tech companies upgrading smartphone cameras or processing chips, but they’re also creating better accessibility tools for those who need them most.

[via CNET, cover image via Android]

McDonald’s Trades Its Golden Arches For OutrageOus LOgO Designed PrO BOnO

Spoof logo designed by Emily Zugay, screenshot via McDonald’s Facebook profile

Internet users went into a McFlurry as McDonald’s replaced the profile pictures across its official social media channels with a radically different logo. A huge departure from the memorable monogram, the revamp features an oversized ‘O’ you’d be able to spot a mile from any restaurant.

To complete this supposed rebrand, the fast-food chain even altered some of its display names to read “mcdOalds.”

Depending on whether you’re in on the joke about this change, you might be lovin’ it. McDonald’s is, in actual fact, one of the latest brands to adopt a satirical redesign from artist Emily Zugay, who has been dishing out design critiques on TikTok and giving logos objectively jarring “improvements.”

Brands love them so much, they’ve requested to have their logos roasted and overhauled by Zugay, who says she has a degree in design. Companies that have trusted the designer and gone ahead with a (temporary) logo transition include The Washington Post, Tinder, NASCAR, and Tampax. The Detroit Lions went further and even printed team shirts displaying her revamp of its logo.

Spoof logo designed by Emily Zugay, screenshot via McDonald’s Instagram profile

After being commissioned by McDonald’s, the designer returned with what could be its greatest makeover since its founding.


hi welcome to mcdOalds #mcd #mcdonalds #mcdoalds @Emily’

♬ original sound – mcdOalds

“I don’t think you meant for your logo to look suggestive, but right now this looks like two knees to me,” Zugay responded. “I don’t want to think about knees when I’m eating my McChicken.”

Zugay seemed to be making a reference to a long-standing Freudian theory that the Golden Arches appear the way they do to subliminally remind diners of a mother’s nourishing breasts.

McDonald’s has few qualms about experimenting with its logo, having turned its branding into directional signs and M-shaped haircuts in the past. However, it’s rare for the company to deviate from the Golden Arches.

The “new” wordmark is set in a casual, ‘Jokerman’-like typeface, with the ‘O’ in the middle dramatically magnified. Zugay explained that McDonald’s could lean into this makeover to venture into the untapped category of onion rings. She had no issues with the red and yellow color scheme, though, and decided to keep it.

hi welcome to mcdOalds

— mcdOalds (@McDonalds) September 23, 2021

“hi welcome to mcdOalds,” the brand tweeted, introducing its new logo. It’s now splashed across platforms, amusing—and confusing—many.

i wOnt tell if u wOnt

— mcdOalds (@McDonalds) September 23, 2021

It’s official! McDonalds has rebranded! from


Spoof logo designed by Emily Zugay, screenshot via McDonald’s Twitter profile

[via r/graphic_design, images via various sources]

Clubhouse News – latest updates to the Clubhouse app!

Hi all, Welcome to another Clubhouse News post. Please find the latest updates to the clubhouse app. The audio only social media platform, is …

Clubhouse News – latest updates to the Clubhouse app!

Clubhouse News – latest updates to the Clubhouse app!

Hi all, Welcome to another Clubhouse News post. Please find the latest updates to the clubhouse app. The audio only social media platform, is …

Clubhouse News – latest updates to the Clubhouse app!

Clubhouse News – latest updates to the Clubhouse app!

Hi all, Welcome to another Clubhouse News post. Please find the latest updates to the clubhouse app. The audio only social media platform, is …

Clubhouse News – latest updates to the Clubhouse app!

Clubhouse News – latest updates to the Clubhouse app!

Hi all, Welcome to another Clubhouse News post. Please find the latest updates to the clubhouse app. The audio only social media platform, is …

Clubhouse News – latest updates to the Clubhouse app!

Gadgets Can Get An ‘Infinite’ Lifespan Without Any Batteries In New Power System

Image via Northwestern University

Rapid developments in the industry bring cutting-edge capabilities to devices today, but a zero-percent battery remains the simple factor in rendering once-powerful technologies to a dead cluster of material.

Computer engineers from the Northwestern University and the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) came up with a battery-free Game Boy last year to test out the potential future of battery-free electronic devices.

A combination of solar energy and kinetic energy from the user’s gameplay allowed for the device to run pretty much unlimited for the indefinite future.

Now, further developments mean that the same team has devised a new platform utilizing the same technology. This is said to allow makers, hobbyists and novice programmers to build their own devices that run on the same source of power.

Combine this with MIT’s recent toolkit to allow creators to design and make their own wearables, and who knows what’ll happen.

“Makers all over the internet are asking how to extend their devices’ battery life,” says Josiah Hester, who co-leads the team. “They are asking the wrong question. We want them to forget about the battery and instead think about more sustainable ways to generate energy.”

The system is called BFree, and uses the energy-harvesting hardware BFree Shield alongside a version of Python said to be power-failure-resistant. Only a basic understanding of the programming language is required in order to transform a simple device into one that won’t need to rely on batteries anymore.

“With this technology, novice programmers can now turn their DIY battery-powered motion sensor, for example, into a solar-powered sensor with an infinite lifetime,” explains Northwestern University in the press release.

But what happens to solar energy when the sun isn’t around on a rainy November evening? The team has already thought this through: running the devices intermittently.

This will mean that a gadget will still run “perpetually” due to the way it pauses its calculations when power is interrupted. But when the power returns, the device will automatically resume from where it stopped. This can all be done without some long list of calculations and commands.

Besides saving energy and ensuring that the device won’t get caught out too much, the technology is more intuitive for the user. Conventional programs lose all their memory of what happened immediately before power failure, and this won’t.

Apart from having pretty cool bragging rights for a device that will literally never die so long as you’re using it, the technology will also be much better for the earth since there won’t be any batteries to discard.

The reason the system was designed in the first place was to tackle the problem of growing e-waste, which amounts to around 50 million tons worldwide in a single year.

“Many people predict that we’re going to have a trillion devices in this Internet of Things [IoT],” Hester explains. “That means a trillion dead batteries or 100 million people replacing a dead battery every few minutes. That presents a terrible ecological cost to the environment.”

With the release of this energy-harvesting method to the public, the team hopes to democratize the process for the creators of DIY electronic devices.

“What we’re doing… is truly giving power to the people. We want everyone to be able to effortlessly program devices in a more sustainable way.”

[via Interesting Engineering, image via Northwestern University]

AI Can’t File For Patents Yet As ‘A Machine Cannot’ Have Rights, Courts Rule

Image via ID 158693898 © Bang Oland |

Back in 2018, inventor Dr Stephen Thaler filed for two patent applications in the UK, but didn’t list himself as the creator. Instead, he said his artificial intelligence (AI) DABUS should be awarded with the patent.

Dr Thaler’s appeal for his AI to be credited hasn’t been successful, with the UK Court ruling that AI can’t be legally listed as an inventor on a patent.

According to a report by the BBC, Lady Justice Elisabeth Laing of the Appeal Court presided over the case, determining that “only a person can have rights. A machine cannot.”

The inventor has since taken his legal claims to other countries. In Australia, he was successful at convincing a judge that creations by AIs should qualify for a patent. He was less fortunate in the US, with the District Judge ruling that “only natural persons may be named as an inventor in a patent application.”

Judge Leonie M Brinkema did say the rules could change in the future, should AI be advanced enough to successfully meet the definitions of an inventor. Now, however, “that time has not yet arrived, and, if it does, it will be up to Congress to decide how, if at all, it wants to expand the scope of patent law.”

If AIs are eventually allowed to file for patents, would it diminish the prestige of human inventors throughout history? While this still remains very much a gray area, it won’t be surprising to see more AI creators coming up with such challenges in the near future.

[via Engadget, cover image via ID 158693898 © Bang Oland |]

Flashy Wearable Electric Vehicle Concept Is A Futuristic ‘Jacket’ You Can Drive

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via SAIC Design

R, a new brand under Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation
(SAIC) Design, aims to deliver a cutting-edge electric vehicle (EV) experience catered toward customers who are fashion-driven.

So, its latest concept, the ‘R RYZR’, integrates a jacket and a vehicle. The RYZR Smart-JKT acts as its key, connecting the user to their car by simply sitting in its seat.

Most of us still use car keys. Unlocking the car using your phone is already pretty high-tech as it is, let alone a jacket.

Image via SAIC Design

The idea stems from an overhaul in the way transportation has been framed especially over the last 12 months. Urban mobility, while relying on public transport networks, has posed a health hazard when it comes to the pandemic.

More personal transport systems are now a priority in many consumers’ lives, the brand explains, especially in crowded areas of the world.

The concept vehicle, therefore, aims to deliver a high-tech solution. Described as a fusion between a bike and a car, taking the best of each world: the agility of the motorcycle while retaining the stability of the car.

And this results in some pretty unique architecture, too. There’s a “spine” that runs down the center of its body, likening it to humans. Two seats are suspended on either side of this spine, offering up an “unparalleled” view of the road.

Image via SAIC Design

All the wheels on the vehicle remain open, which is meant to allow for full visibility and spatial awareness while giving the driver the ability to “carve and lean through the streets.”

Image via SAIC Design

In this lies the key to a “thrilling yet safe urban experience,” the design studio writes.

Apart from this, there’s also the central steering control. Mounted in the center, this will allow both passengers to share the driving experience. Thanks to drive-by-wire tech, this controller is designed to operate independently regardless of its location, according to SAIC.

Image via SAIC Design

Advanced Design Director Carl Gotham tells autoevolution that the EV was born of the need for “ultimate ease of use.” He calls the concept a “visceral vision of the future of urban travel.”

“It combines the aesthetic of cutting-edge technical apparel and augmented reality with futurism,” he states. “It’s an exploration of unconventional modes of transports for the future.”

This, he continues, will bring with it “new architectures, new experiences and new emotions.”

[via autoevolution, images via SAIC Design]

Valentino Teams Up With Bootleg Clothing Designer To Launch ‘Vaccinated’ Hoodies

Image via Valentino

Typically, when high-end fashion brands come across bootleg versions of their merchandise, it ends in a lawsuit.

This time, however, Valentino did the unexpected when it chanced upon a knockoff version of its famed ‘V’ logo.

Earlier in the year, streetwear brand Cloney had made a bootleg version of Valentino’s design, but with the word “vaccinated” in place of the usual brand name.

Pierpaolo Piccioli, the luxury house’s creative designer, had come across the hoodie on Instagram, and instead of going after the fake, he purchased all of the site’s remaining five hoodies.

After which, Cloney’s copycat became even more famous, with Piccioli posting a picture of himself donning the hoodie on Instagram, and gifting another to Lady Gaga. Now, Valentino is officially teaming up with Cloney to sell the design as an official garment.

According to Input, 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the hoodie—which costs US$750—will go towards UNICEF and the World Health Organization’s Covax program. This initiative helps supply COVID-19 vaccines to countries that don’t have much access to them.

In an interview with the New York Times, Piccioli explained why he ended up collaborating with the streetwear brand. He said: “I didn’t want to steal the idea—even though I wish I had it first.”

The designer explained that he was successful in convincing Cloney’s founder, Duke Christian George III, to “donate” the idea to Valentino.

The luxury brand is now manufacturing the garment in its factories, with the materials altered to match its hefty price tag. People won’t forget about Cloney either, with the brand’s tag included on the hoodie’s left sleeve.

“I can talk about ruffles and bows, but sometimes you have to use your voice to say what you really believe, and I believe it is our social responsibility to get vaccinated. It’s not a symbol of freedom to not be vaccinated. It’s a symbol of lack of respect for others,” said Piccioli.

Want to get your hands on the hoodie? Head over here to check it out.

Image via Valentino

[via Input, images via Valentino]

Tesla Breaks Ground On New Megafactory Factory In California To Make ‘Megapacks’

Image via Sonny Dhaliwal

Tesla’s battery packs for the energy sector of the company have, until now, been produced solely at its Nevada site, the Gigafactory. However, it has been announced that it’s expanding this to a new facility: the Megafactory.

This is situated in Lathrop, California. As the name may hint, it’ll be used to produce Megapacks, which will be the company’s biggest batteries for stationary energy storage, per Electrek.

It’s the third product the company has developed to store energy in one place, following on from the Powerwall and Powerpack. Built for large-scale deployment, the company touts its abilities as “giga-scale.”

One unit of the Megapack contains a 3 MWh battery system with battery modules, bi-directional inverters, and thermal management systems. It’s also said to be 10 times faster to install than other models on the market.

Image via Tesla

Lathrop’s mayor, Sonny Dhaliwal, made the announcement on Facebook on Wednesday.

“This development means more prosperity for our city, more employment opportunities for our residents, and a brighter future for our planet,” he writes.

[via Electrek, images via Sonny Dhaliwal and Tesla]