–A smart ring from Hong Kong turns any finger into a voice-enabled smartphone, allowing users to answer calls without looking at a screen. Via the South China Morning Post.
–Alibaba will soon have a real-world retail presence: The e-commerce giant is building its first mall in China, shares The Street.
–Eataly is launching a 20-acre theme park in Bologna, with farms, restaurants, and lots of pasta. Via Eater.
–In China, KFC is implementing facial recognition technology that lets customers pay by smiling, writes The Verge.
–The founder of Agent Provocateur’s is launching a new gender-neutral lingerie line for “bed to street” fashion. Via Harpers Bazaar Australia.
–Bloomberg Businessweek goes inside SoftBank-backed Plenty, the next iteration of high-tech urban farms.
–Fortune profiles the personalized, Bluetooth-enabled “debit card for millennials.”
–Amazon is searching for its second HQ location in North America. Via the Wall Street Journal.
–Facebook has released the first gender-neutral AI assistant, ‘M’, showing “both commercial savvy and social sensitivity.” Via Campaign US.
–A startup in London is responding to rent increases by helping young creatives find temporary housing in vacant buildings, shares Fast Company.
–Two-thirds of Americans get at least some news from social media, according to Pew Research Center.
–A Cornell professor and Google have created a crocheted robot that helps autistic children learn social cues. Via Fast Company.
–Fast Company explores a new pop-up restaurant in Brooklyn that trains refugee chefs and serves their food.
–People in China are more comfortable paying by mobile than with cash, but is the convenience worth the data collection? Watch this video from South China Morning Post to learn more.