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The Loop Vol. 1 No. 33
Boston Red Sox, Toyota, KFC and more!



KFC's new concept restaurant in Hangzhou

KFC's new concept restaurant in Hangzhou, China is all about serving up the freshest food - and the freshest tech. It offers healthier fare like made-to-order salads and roasted chicken and, through partnership with Alibaba-affiliated payment service Alipay, accepts face scans as payment. Alipay's technology, called Smile to Pay, uses facial recognition to instantly verify a customer's identity and payment info without the need of a smartphone, cash or credit card. And skeptics take note, the tech was put through extensive testing to ensure it will stand up to the various methods fraudsters may use to hijack someone's identity and dupe the system. Facial recognition is one of the buzziest technologies we've just been waiting for a brand to utilize - and KFC delivered here, big time. This is also added proof that China is lightyears ahead when it comes to digital payments, and of what we can (hopefully) expect to make it's way over into Europe and the US soon. Kudos, KFC, on this giant leap for man- (and chicken-) kind. SEE IT HERE >



Pennywise the Clown from Stephen King's classic IT

Red balloons started popping up in several Australian cities this week, rising from their street drains. As any horror movie fan knows, they were in reference to those used by infamous Pennywise the Clown from Stephen King's classic IT - the reboot of which launches Sept. 7. The agency responsible for this guerilla stunt was tasked with striking fear into Aussie hearts, which they pulled off with this simple cue to the return of the killer clown. What makes this stunt so genius is that the agency was forbidden from using the actual (horrifying) likeness of the creature, proving this a lesson in how to effectively turn a limitation into success story. Though we now have an unfortunate and irrational fear of storm drains, we certainly still appreciate the ingenuity. SEE IT HERE >




U.K. retailer John Lewis

Who'd of thought that children's clothing could cause such controversy? This week U.K. retailer John Lewis threw gender stereotypes out the window by removing “girls” and “boys” labels from their children's clothing and store signage. You'd think this would be an issue of non-contention, but the Twitter trolls had other plans in mind. While many praised the retailer for leading the way and setting a good example for others to follow suit, protestors – including Piers Morgan - criticized the bold move and declared that Britain has officially gone “bonkers”. Thankfully, those in favor successfully quieted the haters, with top-quality memes including those featuring Victorian boys wearing dresses. So what makes this a fail? It turns out John Lewis actually introduced these changes to their labeling and signage back in 2016, also introducing a unisex baby wear line in January, with no controversy whatsoever. Haters, y'all need to catch up. And now we ask the real question; do these dinosaur jumpers come in adult sizes? SEE IT HERE >




These Boston sports teams didn't learn anything from the infamous Deflategate scandal… Now the Red Sox are in hot water, after it was discovered they used an Apple Watch to cheat in a series against the New York Yankees last month. The Yankees filed a formal complaint, leading investigators to find that a Sox athletic trainer did in fact use the wearable to steal the opposing catcher's signs to their pitcher. For those unfamiliar with baseball terminology, signs are secretive hand gestures catchers use to signal pitchers on which type of pitch to throw - curveball, fastball etc. - ensuring the opposing team's batter doesn't know what to expect. So when they're “stolen”, the batter will always be one step ahead, with the pitching team none the wiser. Apparently sign stealing is a legal practice in MLB (Major League Baseball), as long as it's done old school - with your eyes - and not through use of outside technology. And iPad use by coaches and trainers is also pretty standard during games, unless of course for illegal practices such as sign stealing. So now the Red Sox, who fully admitted to the transgression during the probe, may now face substantial fines and even loss of draft picks. We may be biased here in NYC but, hey, Sox for them! SEE IT HERE >




Toyota 2018 camry

Toyota is taking full advantage of Twitter's emoji targeting feature to launch the 2018 Camry, whether we like it or not. Their campaign, called "Sensations", uses a series of ads (83 different ones, to be exact) to connect with users' interests and emotions and convey the excitement of driving the new car. Twitter launched emoji targeting last year, allowing brands to customize and target ads to users based on their mood, aka emoji they've used in previous tweets. Basically, robots analyze your Twitter usage and use your mood to guess which car features you would be most interested in, to serve up the most relevant ad. Coupled with the downright bizarre and terrifying emoji-headed characters featured in the vids, this campaign has left a strange taste in our mouths. #TweetResponsibly SEE IT HERE >



Tortilla flies

Engineering just reached new heights, literally. Enter the latest evolution of our favorite flying contraption - the drone. It's made out of tortilla. As in you can fly it, and then eat it (theoretically). And for this we thank Peter Sripol, a maker from Ohio who turned his dream into reality by creating the world's first edible aircraft. Well, about 90% edible if you include the wires and such. In the following video, you see Sripol and his friend try many different models and materials - including white bread and matzo - before hitting the jackpot with a classic flour tortilla. Watch the delicious device take its first flight, to your carb-loving delight, around the 10:12 mark. SEE IT HERE >



Via raises $250M led by Daimler to bring its carpooling technology to Europe

This bar will only serve you ice if you share WWF's global warming message

Jason Wu will make its debut as lifestyle brand at NYFW

AMC + Mountain Dew unveil new Walking Dead AR partnership

TROLL OF THE WEEK: Martin Shkreli holding Wu-Tang album for ransom on eBay

Excedrin uses virtual reality to show what having migraines are like

An Olympic fencer stars in this fierce cosmetics spot, but you don't see her face

Taco Bell opens retro video arcade to promote the Xbox One X

The ultimate guide to live video (on every social platform)

Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams Kicks Off Twitter Series for Converse