As we prepare to turn the page on another year in the calendar, many may be thinking about New Year’s Resolutions and how they want to make 2021 different than 2020. Even though I am not typically a “New Year’s Resolution” kind of person, this year feels different. As such, I want to highlight the products and services that piqued my interest as particularly relevant for this moment in history.
INNOVATION: Panasonic’s Home Office Cubicle
Why We Love It: For those remote workers who are resolved to build and maintain better boundaries between work and home in the new year, the Panasonic home office setup may be the right place to start.
While I do NOT miss sitting in a “cubicle environment,” I do want to hide extra monitors and other work tools when I am not working. This easy-to-assemble system creates a 1 square meter semi-private office space that fits almost anywhere in the home. Investing in the right home office set up that gives the ability to shut down at the end of the day is a worthwhile endeavor, especially for those who expect to continue working from home for the long haul.
Why We Love It: It’s no secret that COVID has wreaked havoc on the lives and mental wellbeing of many. Thankfully, Yale has made their most popular class, “The Science of Wellbeing,” available to the public for free on Coursera.com. “Students” will learn valuable lessons on the science of psychology and the practice of how to be happy. The videos are segmented into small chunks for the busy, learning executive or learning parent. I personally have only completed the week 1 lesson but am excited to keep going.
For all those lifelong learners out there struggling through COVID or those with resolutions to take a class / learn something valuable, this could be a great New Year activity!
Why We Love It: Home gym equipment was one of the first categories to sell out during quarantine in 2020. With ongoing restrictions for gyms and fitness facilities and an uncertain winter, consumers with fitness resolutions will still be looking for tools they can use at home. The TerraGlide is a great portable option that should stow away neatly in a closet, or possibly under a bed. The PIVOT is a modern take on a Murphy Bed: a bed that folds up against the wall, transforming your “under bed” space into a home gym.
For both gym enthusiasts and novices who are particularly crunched for space, these two fitness innovations could be the ultimate solution to deliver full body workouts at home.
INNOVATION: Google’s AR Animal Menagerie
Why We Love It: Google added Augmented Reality (AR) to their search capabilities in 2019 by introducing a small set of AR animals. They recently expanded the capability, adding 50 more animals to their virtual zoo. To partake in the fun, use search in the google app or via chrome on your smartphone to look up an animal like a Giraffe. When you click “View in 3D,” it’ll open your camera and put the 3D animal in your environment, so you can snap some pics of say, a giraffe in your living room. I love that Google is using AR technology to infuse a little more “magic” into our everyday environments.
While not an obvious tie to New Year’s resolutions, I do see this as a fun tool for those resolved to making life a bit more joyful as we slog through the tail end of a pandemic.
What are some innovative ways you’ve seen brands and companies step in to help their consumers cope and/or achieve in 2021? Let’s keep the conversation going. Join us on LinkedIn or email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hero Image Sourced from Panasonic. Giraffe image from my living room.