In The News

In The News: McDonald’s Further Localizes its Menu, UK-based Company Creates Color-changing Sneakers

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This week in the news, the struggling fast-food chain McDonald’s has started offering more local flavors to boost its falling revenues. You’ll also read about Google’s improved system to translate informal speech, and smart shoes that can switch colors with just a tap on your smartphones.

McDonald’s Further Localizes its Menu

Fast-food giant McDonald’s continues its localization efforts by offering a more local flavor. Under this new approach, the chain reportedly will sell bacon and white-cheddar Egg McMuffins in the Chicago area and pulled-pork sandwiches in Indiana, neither of which can be found on the company’s national menu.  McDonald’s has also started offering both pre-packaged food, like muffins, and to-order food like burritos. The rising competition from fast-casual restaurants that offer higher-quality food may have fueled McDonald’s latest strategy. Following months of poor sales, the company has also announced plans which involve radical restructuring and dramatic cost- cutting. The fast-food giant said it plans to reshape the brand as “a modern, progressive burger company” that puts customers’ needs first. (Chicago Business Journal)

Google Translate Demonstrates more Accurate Conversational Translation Results

Google reported this week that its translation service is used on over 100 billion words a day, however until now it has predominantly been more successful with formal text as opposed to conversational.  Earlier this year, the company updated its Android and IOS apps to support real-time voice translations; Google is now working with thousands of people in its user community to improve the translations of day-to-day language. Of course, it’s nearly impossible for a computer system to gauge the tone of the conversation and apply the correct formality but Google seems adamant on creating the perfect translation machine.(TNW News)

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Control Your Shoes’ Color with Your Phone

Shoe lovers around the world can rejoice, as +rehabstudio, a company known for its innovative marketing campaigns, has revealed its concept for the “Shift Sneaker.”  The conceptual wearable technology would have LED woven into the material of the shoe, allowing it to change color on demand. The smart shoes would be able to interact with a smartphone app, where a variety of color ranges would be available to choose from. For the more courageous, a simple click of the shoes would bring about a random color sequence. Additionally, the sneakers could potentially come with the option of purchasing them with design packs, such as the “Selfie Pack.” This package would allow users to take a photo of their outfit, with the sneakers in clear view. The app would then suggest a change of shoe pattern to match your clothes. Nowadays, it seems like anything is possible in wearable technology, and the day we all have personal stylists may be nearer than we think. (The Huffington Post)

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