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Imaginative Leap

China [MAGAZINE]

Leap is self-proclaimed as the “bilingual art magazine of contemporary China”. This glossy publication explores the lifestyle behind art in Asia for English and Chinese readers (each article is written in both languages). The effect of a closer relationship with the West and a standoff against censorship, Leap portrays China’s new lifestyle and upbeat culture, showing once again that the dragon can’t be tamed.

Talk to the Hand

Germany [BOOK]

*The pocketsize “Don’t Get Me Wrong! The Global Gestures Guide”, by German journalists Julia Grosse and Judith Reker, is handy for interpreting gestures from around the world. For example, the well-known sign for “that rocks” also means “your wife is cheating on you” in Italy.

Hang up your goggles

Japan [TECHNOLOGY]

In February, Nintendo, whose Wii living-room console has broken industry sales records, will launch its 3DS portable console in Japan – the start of a global rollout. The screen displays 3D images without the need for special glasses – an industry first. It can be used for games, TV and films. Built-in cameras take photos that seem to leap off the screen and a pedometer tracks how far 3DS owners walk.

Ear at Last

Global [HEADPHONES]

Now celebrating its 85th year, Bang & Olufsen continues to produce pitch-perfect products. In a range of five colours, these headphones made from high-grade aluminium are robust and flexible. Perfect for the gym, they also come with an inflight adapter for aircraft sockets as well as an elegant leather case.
bang-olufsen.com

Q&A - Dr Peter Hogenkamp

Head of digital media, NZZ
Switzerland

Swiss daily Neue Züricher Zeitung (NZZ) launched “The Lab” in January to look for the next big thing in print or digital – a project similar to the future labs of NYT, and Scandinavia’s Bonnier.

Why a Lab for NZZ?
We believe that while it is very important to keep journalistic values high, it wouldn’t hurt to bring in some people with a more technology-driven way of thinking – not to reinvent journalism but to enhance it with technology. We want to closely follow ideas and trends like process journalism and data journalism. And of course we want to think about smart bundles for paid content. We want this new Lab team to be somewhat separated from the daily operations to be able to better focus on these tasks.

How many staff do you have?
The head of the lab team. Plus two other team members have been appointed, one specialist for social media, one for user-centred design.

What are your goals?
The team will develop launchable products as well as more strategic ideas to find new online revenue streams. We should also increase the reach of our online audience and enhance readers’ engagement.

Is this the beginning of the end of NZZ on paper?
No. NZZ will be published on paper, as long as enough people pay for it. The Lab will help prepare for a potential future without paper but we don’t want to speed up that process.

Other labs have a mixed track record. What can you learn from their mistakes?
If you don’t fail partly, you have obviously followed a conservative, predictable path. The Lab is not mainly about developing products, but about gaining knowledge, and I’m absolutely convinced that that is going to happen.

Ahead of the herd!

Canada

Cattle. Not normally a hi-tech focus but Canadian startup iFind Systems was selected by IBM as a finalist in its recent business plan contest – for its tracking systems. It has developed GPS ear-tags that not only show the location of herds but also the cows’ temperature and speed.

×The Pacific Shift

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