Sunday, 17 September 2017

Apple iPhone X


Apple has revealed a high-end smartphone with an "edge-to-edge" screen that has no physical home button. The iPhone X - which is referred to as "ten" - uses a facial recognition system to recognise its owner rather than a fingerprint-based one. Apple said FaceID can work in the dark by using 30,000 infra-red dots to check an identity, and was harder to fool than its old TouchID system. It is Apple's most expensive phone yet. A 64 gigabyte capacity model will cost $999 (£999 in the UK) when it goes on sale on 3 November. A 256GB version will be priced at $1,149 (£1,149 in the UK). One expert commented that Apple's ability to get consumers to spend more on its smartphones than rivals' was "legendary".

Growing Clothes

Clothes that grow with your child have won the UK's annual James Dyson prize for innovation. The prototype garments fit children aged between six months and three years, and were created by engineering graduate Ryan Yasin. His creation is now being considered for a worldwide prize. Parents spend more than £2,000 on clothes for one child before they even reach the age of three. Does this solve a problem? Why might this idea not make the shops?

New £10 Note


The new £10 note featuring novelist Jane Austen has entered circulation - marking a return of a woman in addition to the Queen on Bank of England notes. The launch comes after a four-month period when women, apart from the Queen, have not been represented on the Bank's notes.One billion polymer Jane Austen £10 notes have been printed and will be fed into general circulation over the coming weeks and months. There is also less than a month to spend or bank the old £1 coins which will be withdrawn from circulation on 15th October. 

Monday, 4 September 2017

Hot Crisps

Claimed to to be the UK's first 'hot crisps', Essex's very own 'artisan' snack purveyor Fairfields Farm is bringing out a new product called Heat & Eat. The range of potato crisps comes in 'patented triple-layered packaging', which allows the snack stay crunchy despite 30 seconds in the microwave. The idea is that the crisps taste as if they've come straight out of the fryer – warm, crispy potato, glistening with oil and dusted with seasoning. Fairfields Farm said: "Ever wondered what hot handcooked crisps taste like fresh from the fryer? With Heat & Eat, you can experience the most delicious hot crisps ever, straight from the microwave in just 30 seconds". Heat & Eat has been created to "revitalise the snacking market and give consumers a whole new eating experience". Fairfields Farm believes that manufacturers have been focusing their innovation on flavours, rather than new, bolder concepts. 

Smile to Pay

Diners at a KFC store in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou will have a new way to pay for their meal. Just smile. Customers will be able to use a “Smile to Pay” facial recognition system at the tech-heavy, health-focused concept store, part of a drive by Yum China to lure a younger generation of consumers. Diners can pay by scanning their faces at an ordering kiosk and entering a phone number - which is meant to guard against people cheating the system.The store’s menu offers seasonal produce, made-to-order salads and paninis. The chicken on the menu is “roasted”, while drinks include freshly squeezed juices, gourmet coffees and craft beer. KFC have also launched a limited edition smartphone to celebrate 30 years since it first opened in China.

McStrike

McDonald's workers are staging their first UK strike after walking out at two stores in a dispute over zero-hours contracts and conditions. Some workers at Cambridge and Crayford, south-east London, began the 24-hour action at midnight. A union called it a "brave" move by low-paid staff. The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union said staff wanted a wage of at least £10 an hour and more secure jobs. McDonald's said only 14 of the 33 union members balloted had joined in. McDonald's, which employs about 85,000 people in the UK, announced in April that workers would be offered a choice of flexible or fixed contracts with minimum guaranteed hours, saying that 86% had chosen to stay on flexible contracts. And it pointed to a series of pay rises as evidence that it treated its staff well.

Friday, 16 June 2017

The Better Burger

Burgers used to be fast and cheap - the epitome of fast food. But now a different type of patty exported from the US is rapidly expanding across the globe. US burger chain Five Guys International, is "the complete fundamental change" that has taken place with people prepared to pay more and wait longer for a more upmarket burger.So called millennials, the generation that came of age after the 2008 financial crisis, are their core customers. The trend of diners wanting to know where their food comes from, how it was prepared, and the "story" behind it has also helped drive the better burger's rapid expansion. Nonetheless, it's a profitable market, worth some £3.3bn in the UK last year, according to market research firm Mintel.Making sure its overseas burgers taste the same as those in the US is important, he says. "Unless you have consistency there is no brand... you've got to have some confidence that the burger you have in Dubai and Paris is the same as the one you have in California and Miami," he says.