Posts tagged with "Fortune Magazine"

Singapore pays citizens to exercise with the Apple Watch

September 17, 2020

In its first-ever branding alliance with a sovereign nation, Apple has announced that it is partnering with the government of Singapore to launch an Apple Watch health initiative that offers cash rewards to participants, Fortune Magazine reports.

Starting in late October, Singapore citizens who own an Apple Watch (or want to buy one) can download an app called LumiHealth—which will challenge them each to participate in exercises such as swimming and yoga; as well as to complete health screenings and immunizations. By doing so, users can earn a maximum of $280 over the program’s two-year run.

The app assigns users tasks based on personal information such as age, gender, and weight. It was designed “with user privacy and security at its core,” according to Apple’s press release on the partnership.

“Even as all of us around the world are dealing with the challenges of COVID-19, we must keep investing in our future. And there is no better investment than in our own personal health,” Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Ministersaid in a statement.

Singapore’s government launched a similar initiative in 2019 when it partnered with Fitbit to provide Singapore residents with free fitness trackers, if they bought a premium subscription to the company’s coaching program. That program is ongoing.

The new program is a boon to Apple since it’s an added incentive for Singaporeans to purchase the brand’s watch. The watch is an increasingly vital part of Apple’s business. In January, Apple reported that revenue from “wearables” like the Apple Watch surpassed Mac revenue for the first time.

Singapore has a universal health care system often held up as a public health model for other countries; it also has one of the most rapidly aging populations in the world. The Apple and Fitbit collaborations are two of many programs designed by Singapore’s Ministry of Health to promote public health.

The government is also using technology for its management of the coronavirus outbreak. On Monday, Singapore began to distribute small “tokens,” which can be worn around the neck with a lanyard, that feature a QR code and a Bluetooth connection so that residents who don’t have smartphones—about 5% of the population—can participate in TraceTogether, the government’s Bluetooth tracking smartphone app for coronavirus cases that launched in March.

Currently, around 40% of Singapore’s population has downloaded the contact tracing app; the government is targeting a 70% participation rate.

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine

Old Navy will pay employees to work at polling places on Election Day

September 3, 2020

Tuesday, September. 1, was  National Poll Worker Recruitment Day in the United States—and, the level of response among Americans nationwide will determine just how many of the 250,000 poll workers positions that remain open for the 2020 election will be filled, Fortune reports.

Poll workers will be desperately needed this year, as many at-risk individuals are opting out of serving because of health concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

To engage field employees across the country in the voting process and ensure that polling sites operate efficiently this year, Old Navy announced it will pay its store employees who wish to work the polls on Election Day in November.

The retailer is working with the Civic Alliance, a nonpartisan coalition of businesses encouraging voter turnout; and Power the Polls, a nonpartisan initiative to recruit poll workers for the 2020 U.S. presidential election to ensure a safe and fair election for all voters. The Civic Alliance is leading all corporate partnerships for Power the Polls in a national effort to enlist a new wave of poll workers.

“Voting is for everyone, regardless of beliefs or affiliations, and we believe we are all better when we engage in the process,” an Old Navy spokesperson recently told Fortune. “We felt this opportunity was a new and unique way to provide the opportunity and encouragement to our employees in stores across the country to become more involved in the democratic process without worrying about sacrificing a shift at work. This election has the potential for a[n] historic turnout, and our teams can help make a difference in our communities.”

The initiative is completely voluntary, and it is the first time the company has conducted an event like this. Old Navy field employees will be able to apply to join Power the Polls through internal communication channels. Upon completing the application, Power the Polls will connect individuals with their local counties to continue the process. Poll workers are ultimately selected by the election commissioner of each county, depending on the needs of the jurisdiction.

Old Navy says it will compensate associates who serve as poll workers with a day of pay, regardless of whether they are scheduled to work on Tuesday, November 3. Employees who serve at voting sites can also be paid by their county election commission, and it won’t conflict with wages paid out by Old Navy. (Local jurisdictions often pay poll workers a stipend via check for participation. In some cases, poll working may be voluntary and unpaid.)

Old Navy says all employees are welcome to apply to serve as poll workers in their communities, but pay coverage is available only for in-store, hourly employees, not employees on the corporate side of the company. The retailer is also offering shift coverage on Election Day for store employees who cannot or do not want to work at polling sites, but still need time to vote. Store managers will be directed to work with their teams to provide up to three hours of paid time off on Election Day to allow employees to cast their ballots in person.

And the company says November 3 will be designated as a “no meetings day” for employees who work in corporate functions to provide flexibility to vote in person and/or to serve locally, as best fits their schedules.

“As a company, we believe that participating in the democratic process is a vital right, and we are committed to removing roadblocks so employees don’t have to choose between serving or voting and work,” says a spokesperson for Old Navy.

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine

‘Road of the future’ to link Detroit and Ann Arbor with 40 miles of self-driving cars and shuttles

August 17, 2020

Companies have poured tens of billions into self-driving vehicles, but they have yet to change how we get around: We continue to rely on ground transportation operated by humans.

Why? It could be a lack of vision. The self-driving vehicle industry has put all of its efforts into designing the driverless vehicles—and barely one cent into the roads that would carry them successfully.

But now, Fortune Magazine reports, we are about to see a quantum leap in transportation. An ambitious new project in Michigan is set to connect two of the state’s key cities—Detroit and Ann Arbor—with a new corridor dedicated just to autonomous vehicles.

The plan is being led by Cavnue, an infrastructure startup, and with the support of traditional car companies like Ford and GM as well as Alphabet’s driverless car subsidiary, Waymo.

The plan calls for new roads—or special Cavnue lanes for driverless vehicles—to be built alongside existing routes, including Interstate 94, with links to destinations such as the University of Michigan and Detroit Metropolitan airport.

The so-called road of the future, which was announced on Thursday, August 13, by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, amounts to an ambitious bid to reconceive both transportation and public transit. A press release describing the project hailed it as “the world’s most sophisticated roadway.”

A key feature of the plan is the development of a common software standard that will enable autonomous vehicles of all sorts—from cars to transport trucks to passenger shuttles—access the road. This will provide a revenue opportunity for governments, which can charge private companies for access to the road, using the funds to subsidize transit. For transit users, driverless shuttles could be an affordable new way to get around.

It remains to be seen, of course, whether all of this actually will come to fruition, Fortune notes. For now, the project calls for an initial 24-month planning phase, after which the State of Michigan and start-up Cavnue will decide whether to begin construction. Cavnue is a subsidiary of Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners (SIP), a holding company partly backed by Google parent Alphabet.

According to Cavnue, the public sector will not have to finance any part of the first phase of the project, and if construction goes forward, the builders will explore a variety of funding options such as federal grants or fares from local businesses along the corridor.

In an interview with Fortune, Cavnue cofounder Jonathan Winer cited a “lot of nervousness” in the public sector over new technology and infrastructure projects. He said this stems from a shortage of funds—exacerbated by the pandemic—as well local governments’ experience with companies like Uber and Airbnb, which have been prone to flouting quality-of-life concerns.

In order to win the support of Michigan and local governments, Winer says Cavnue began by bringing together all manner of transportation interests—including road operators, public sector officials, and carmakers. At a convention in February, the various groups explored how dedicated routes for driverless cars could provide an alternative to light rail and other transit systems.

Winer adds that the occasion also underscored the challenge of finding practical uses for driverless vehicles—a challenge detailed in a recent Financial Times report that described “disillusionment” with the technology and “robotaxi failure.” The idea of “robotaxis” has been hyped for years as a new form of urban transportation, but companies have failed to develop autonomous cars capable of operating in cities.

“The general consensus is it’s harder than we thought,” he told the business news outlet. “If we’re spending billions on tech, we’ll need near-term commercial applications.”

In practice, Winer says, this means shifting the focus of the fledgling autonomous vehicle industry towards projects like the corridor between Detroit and Ann Arbor, which can allow autonomous vehicles to operate without challenges like urban traffic.

The Detroit project is also getting a boost from the traditional titans of Motor City, including Ford’s executive chairman, Bill Ford, who is the great-grandson of the company’s founder.

“Building out a connected corridor cements Michigan as a leader in creating a more connected, autonomous, and electrified future,” said Ford in a statement.

In addition to advisors from Ford, GM, and Waymo, Cavnue’s advisory board includes members from Argo AI, Arrival, BMW, Honda, Toyota, and TuSimple. The University of Michigan and the City of Detroit are also lending support to the project.

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine

Study: Chances of catching COVID are reduced by 79% on flights with empty middle seats

July 20, 2020

While such carriers as American Airlines are booking full flights now, a new academic study has found that, if  you plan to fly during the pandemic, you’re better off choosing an airline with a policy of keeping the middle seat empty. Such a policy lowers the risk of contracting COVID from 1 in 4,400 to 1 in 7,300, Fortune reports.

That estimate comes from Arnold Barnett, a statistics professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His findings—which suggest a “no middle seats” flight reduces risk by 79%—also note that the risk of dying from catching COVID on a flight are less than 1 in 500,000.

Barnett’s conclusion on the risk of middle seats comes as U.S. airlines pursue different approaches. For instance, Delta, JetBlue and Southwest have chosen to keep middle seats empty; while, in addition to American, United and Spirit are filling them.

The new research should be taken with a grain of salt, however, as Barnett himself acknowledges. In his paper, he emphasizes that his findings are “rough conjecture” in light of the difficulties in calculating such a risk.

Barnett’s calculations are based on numerous assumptions, including that all passengers are wearing masks—a step he says reduces risks of catching COVID by 82%. He also assumes that someone is more likely to catch COVID from those in the same aisle rather than from those in rows behind or in front of them

The findings also disregard the risk of catching COVID from trips to the restroom, or from boarding or getting off the plane. But the latter situation may pose a significant risk according to The Wall Street Journal, which notes the close proximity of passengers waiting to board or scrambling to store luggage.

The Journal, which cited the Barnett study, suggested that flying is not especially dangerous overall, in part because planes frequently replace the air in the cabin.

For his part, Barnett concludes by noting that middle seat policy will also be informed by economic considerations facing the airlines.

“The calculations here, however rudimentary, do suggest a measurable reduction in COVID-19 risk when middle seats on aircraft are deliberately kept open,” he writes. “The question is whether relinquishing 1/3 of seating capacity is too high a price to pay for the added precaution.”

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine

It’s a puzzlement: Try these eight challenges from Harvard’s most popular class

June 3, 2020

After too many long days of home confinement, you may feel unable to tackle yet another jigsaw or crossword puzzle. Fear not. Harvard University’s most popular course, Computer Science 50 (CS50), offers the challenge you are seeking, Fortune Magazine reports.

CS50 has become a phenomenon within and beyond the university—taught simultaneously at Yale (a first); and offered for free on the EdX education platform, where it’s the number-one course.

The EdX version recently held its fifth annual Puzzle Day (which actually is four days long), Fortune reports—inviting teams from around the world to solve eight puzzles, none of which involve programming. Perhaps because so many people are stuck at home, the number of participants jumped 49% from last year to 13,427.

The eight problems that entrants are invited to solve are challenging. Really challenging. But they aren’t computer problems.

A goal of the event is to emphasize that “computer science isn’t about programming but about problem-solving more generally,”  the course’s professor, David Malan, told the news outlet. And they aren’t impossible; teams comprising 46% of participants submitted answers, and nearly all those teams answered at least some of the problems correctly.

Yes, there is an answer key, but we’re not giving it to you. You’ll fight longer and be more likely to solve a problem if finding the answer isn’t convenient. And if you eventually must surrender, you can at least take pride in finding the answer key online—although it isn’t all that hard.

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine

The big payoff: Bakkt aspires to convert rewards points into cash we can spend anywhere

February 6, 2020

Wouldn’t it be great if you could open a digital wallet and view the sum total of all your rewards programs for hotels, airlines, retailers, pharmacies, and bankcards—all in one place, converted into cash?

What’s more, using the same wallet, you could trade cash for video game points that previously you might only have been able to use to buy, say, a sword—or you could trade points for your Bitcoin.

Formed in August 2018 by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE)—an operator of global exchanges, clearing houses, and data and listings services—Bakkt intends to do just that, according to a report by Fortune Magazine.

And the company announced this week that it will realize its vision by purchasing a specialist that handles rewards redemptions for America’s biggest sponsors, Bridge2 Solutions of Atlanta.

The deal—announced before the market opened on February 5, Fortune notes—rings the total capitalization for Bakkt, which counts Microsoft and BCB among its investors, to over $1 billion, minting a new digital unicorn.

Bakkt created the first federally regulated cryptocurrency futures exchange in New York last September—a platform that enables institutions to trade Bitcoin on the ICE U.S. Futures market.

But Jeff Sprecher, ICE’s founder and CEO, has always pursued the ultimate goal of transforming the complex payment system requiring merchants to send between 2% and 3% of all purchases to banks, credit card companies, and other intermediaries.

 “The legacy payments infrastructure is ripe for disintermediation,” Sprecher told Fortune in an itnerview. “The Internet should make it possible to create a direct payment system that doesn’t use a third-party set of rails. It hit us that making rewards cash-like would be a step in that direction.”

The Bakkt plan addresses a pressing need for the sponsors of big corporate rewards plans, dominated by hotels, airlines, and banks: These companies often have billions of dollars in liabilities sitting on their balance sheets in the form of unused points, Fortune says.

In fact, the major sponsors in the United States, alone, are sitting on a cache valued at $160 billion. In today’s strong economy, travelers are using their airline rewards points at a relatively low rate. But if the economy turns down, consumers could start cashing in heavily, causing a sudden rush of losses for the carriers. Today, points turn over on average at the extremely slow pace of around 30% a year.

According to the Bakkt team, the CFOs they have spoken to are looking for a platform that enables them to better smooth the rates of redemption by offering to purchase points in a marketplace. Companies will offer customers varying dollars per point based mostly on how likely someone is to cash in. If a frequent business traveler uses around 90% of his or her rewards, the airline might pay 2.5 cents a point; if it’s someone who flies from New Jersey to Florida once a year, but yet has lots of points, the airline might pay 1.5 cents.

The market should work, Bakkt CEO Mike Blandina told Fortune, because the sponsors will have the flexibility of setting the price. “Companies are always interested in buying back points at the right price,” says Blandina.

Now, Bridge2 is testing a pilot program called Loyalty Pay. It would enable sponsors to issue a digital credit card, carrying the merchant’s brand, that would convert rewards to cash.

“If you’re at LaGuardia Airport, you could use the card on your iPhone to buy dinner at a restaurant before catching a flight, in cash, or buy perfume in the duty-free shop,” Bridge2 President Larry Wine told Fortune.

According to Bridge2, Loyalty Pay is finding broad acceptance among sponsors and should launch in the next few months, demonstrating willingness on the sponsor side to turn points into currency. But advancing to the product that gathers all rewards in a single wallet, and translates everything to cash, will take longer, though Bakkt isn’t offering a timetable.

Bakkt’s challenge is to show merchants how they can use their savings from going direct—instead of paying the interchange fee of around 2.5% that goes to banks, credit card companies, and the like—to lower prices or provide their own rewards to customers. The numbers are in Bakkt’s favor. What’s unclear is whether retailers are willing to scrap a system that’s been reliable, though expensive, for decades.

Whatever the outcome, the ultimate goal has loads of appeal to those who have sacrificed unused points or can’t buy what they want with the rewards they’ve accumulated.

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine

Make-up that is ‘self’-centered is L’Oreal’s next big bet

January 9, 2020

France’s fashion sense is timeless, simple, and elegant—but it is not entirely unobtainable. In fact, L’Oréal—the Paris-based beauty group— is betting big on its next product to help women everywhere transform themselves in a style that is uniquely and solely their own.

It’s a tiny device that’s only 6.5 inches tall and weighs just over one pound, but will enable makeup mavens to create personalized cosmetics at home, Fortune Magazine reports.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month, the French cosmetics and personal products giant will debut a new hardware device called Perso, which whips up compressed beauty formulas from physical cartridges to create on-the-spot skincare, lipstick, and foundations.

Think of it like a mini makeup Keurig, Fortune suggests—but, instead of getting a specialized espresso drink, you’ll be creating a unique pink lipstick or skin cream.

It’s a long-term relationship with the consumer,” Guive Balooch, head of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator, told the magazine in an interview on the show floor.

For skincare, Perso’s app will take into account the local air quality, temperature, humidity, and other factors that fluctuate and affect the skin. It then creates a recipe that even adjusts depending on if you are applying the skincare formula in the morning or the evening.

Perso’s hardware features a proprietary motor system located at the top of the device, which moves and compresses the formula from the cartridges at the base of the machine in an upward motion to the dispensing tray above for a clean application.

The lipstick option is more focused on playful trends. Perso has a base of three different colors: light pink, red, and purple, and to create a shade, users can take a picture of themselves and the app will then recommend a shade based on hair color, clothing and skin tone. Users can also create shades based on what’s trending on social media at the time.

Perso is essentially all about tech-enabled personalization, a trend making waves in a variety of consumer product categories, including apparel, food and beverage, and footwear.

“Everyone understand the value of personalization and no one owns that more than beauty because it is in their foundation,” Genevieve Aronson, VP of Communications at Nielsen told Fortune Magazine.

Embracing personalization is a way for beauty makers like L’Oréal to boost the industry’s sales. In-store beauty sales total approximately $37 billion in the U.S. market, but annual growth is reported at just 1% over the past two years, according to Nielsen. And yet personalized products are 1.7 times more likely to drive sales, says Aronson. So placing a greater emphasis on personalization can potentially help jolt beauty sales.

“The only way to achieve beauty for all is through technology,” says Balooch. “You can go to a [makeup] counter and find 40 to 50 shades of foundation. But the reality is, there are far more people with different shades than those options.”

In fact, testing for Perso hit a bit of a snag during the development process when Balooch and his team realized that the application wasn’t quite nailing skincare recommendations for individuals with darker skin tones. “It was a lot harder than we had anticipated,” Balooch says, adding that for foundation, 50% of women say they can’t find the exact shade they’d like at the store.

So L’Oréal spent an additional six months testing the product with 400 women, varying from very light to very dark skin. “We realized we had to measure peoples’ skintones, put the product on skin, and then achieve the match,” says Balooch.

Still, some key details need to be ironed out for Perso. Balooch says L’Oréal hasn’t yet solidified distribution for the Perso system and no-pricing structure has been set for the device or the cartridges that would need to be re-ordered over time. The goal is to launch the technology in 2021.

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine

Throwing shade and some chill: Someone put air conditioning in a baseball cap

January 7, 2020

At the Consumer Electronics Show—the humongous trade show hosted annually by the Consumer Technology Association in Las Vegas— there’s something new to wrap your head around this year (or should we say, to wrap around your head?)

In years past, the show has seen everything from walking cars to smart diapers. And this year is no exception to the glorious strangeness, Fortune Magazine reports.

Pretty much everyone wears a baseball cap for protection from the sun and heat at one point or another—even when they are not at the ballpark. Now, entrepreneur Steve Feher is taking things to the next level—showcasing a cap that has air conditioning built in.

This is not his first “cool” device, either. Feher—who founded Feher Research in 1993 in Honolulu—has previously produced a personally air-cooled mattress pad, seat, pillowcase, and steering wheel,

The cap that he brought to CES this year foregoes refrigerants and instead uses thermoelectric technology to produce cooler air that, in turn, lowers the temperature of the scalp—as much as 22 degrees below the ambient temperature, he told Chris Morris of Fortune during an interview on the show floor.

The cap is a prototype, and Feher is looking for licensees at the show. It’s not exactly a fashion-forward item, as the cap needs to hook up to a battery system (which, Feher notes, weighs less than a “high quality pair of running shoes”).

The hat prototype itself weighs 305 grams, a bit more than a mini-can of soda. (The production model is expected to weigh a bit less.) Throw in the battery pack and you’re looking at more than 800 grams (just shy of 2 pounds.)

The cap is not in production yet, but with global warming affecting weather worldwide, it may be worth both the “wait” and the “weight.”

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine

A new kind of ‘Goop’: Marie Kondo’s new website sells highly curated items that ‘spark joy’

November 21, 2019

Just as actress Gwyneth Paltrow’s website, Goop, sells curated—and expensive—items in a “shop of clean beauty, fashion, and home”  (think: Luxe Brass Fire Extinguisher for $250), now decluttering expert Marie Kondo is producing a lifestyle platform that offers pricey products that will “spark joy” (think: cement live edge bowl for $145).

In her best-selling book and popular Netflix series, both entitled, Tidying Up With Marie Kondothe Japanese organizing consultant advises clients to clean up their homes (and, by extension, their lives) by decluttering and getting rid of excess junk so that they can be happier and healthier overall.

But isn’t buying new stuff at an online store just a way to clutter up again? It seems counter-intuitive.

“The shop came about because I always like to share how I tidy every day, and in the process of doing that, I always ask myself, ‘Well, why do we tidy in the first place?’ The answer is to live a life that sparks joy,” Kondo told Fortune Magazine in a recent interview.

Kondo explained that she received a lot of queries and feedback from fans about the products she uses  on an everyday basis, and this is meant to be reflected in the catalog of items.

“When something sparks joy, you should feel a little thrill, as if the cells in your body are slowly rising,” is just one of the Kondo quotes serving as taglines for the collection.

The collection will launch with approximately 150 items, ranging in price from $10 to $300, applying to various situations that one might encounter around the home and organized by activity—dinner parties, bathing routines, aromatherapy, and purification rituals. Kondo helps illustrate the concept of a purification ritual with a tuning fork ($50)—among her favorite products included in the collection—which she uses to purify the air in her home

Among Kondo’s other favorite items are incense and a donabe (a $150 Japanese clay pot described by Bon Appetit  magazine as a “one-pot wonder”), which she uses on a daily basis. As Kondo explains, it’s one of the oldest types of cooking vessels in Japan; and in the wintertime, it’s Japanese tradition to have a “donabe party,” at which hosts have their friends and family over, make a big pot with vegetables and tofu, and share it over conversation.

Each item was chosen for its ability to enhance the owner’s daily rituals and inspire a joyful lifestyle. They come from brands deemed to specialize in simple, elegant design across categories, including kitchenware, decor, bath essentials, and aromatherapy. And of course, there are be tidying products, including trays, shelves, and baskets.

“They are ‘tidy chic’ because even your dustpan should spark joy,” notes a spokesperson for the brand.

Arguably, it may seem counterintuitive that the next step for KonMari is encouraging followers to go out and buy more stuff, especially given the fervor to start spring cleaning in midwinter earlier this year.

“That’s something we carefully considered, of course,” Kondo replies. “For me, the emphasis is not on trying to throw out as much as possible but to choose what sparks joy for you. The ultimate goal with my method is for people to really hone their sensitivity to what sparks joy for them so they can make a considered, cautious purchase.”

In regards to how this should work, Kondo advises that you first finish tidying. Once you’ve done that, you might then consider looking at the shop. “It’s not my intention at all to encourage you to buy something that is redundant to you,” Kondo explains.

The collection will went live online on Monday, November 18, via KonMari.com, with new products expected to be added monthly.

Kondo offers a closing piece of advice: “I know it’s an odd thing for a founder to say—they’re lovely products—but don’t overbuy! Tidy first, and then consider the products.”

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine

BarkBox takes a bite out of a new niche category

November 6, 2019

Some dog owners joke about spending more money on their beloved pets than they do on themselves. But given the explosion of new direct-to-consumer fresh pet food brands, plant-based and CBD-infused treats, and sartorial accessories that cost as much as high-fashion brands, that’s not just banter: On average, dog owners are spending $1,285 per year on each pet. .

And now, there’s a new product category—doggy dental gear—to spend those big bucks on; because, unless you do it for them, your fur babies are not brushing their own canines (or any of their other teeth).

Benign neglect is not the way to go, an October 30 report by Fortune Magazine points out. More than 80% of dogs develop oral disease in their lifetime, which can result in infections, bad breath, and even expensive surgeries.

What to do?

Not to worry: Bark, the brand behind the runaway success of BarkBox—a monthly subscription-based, curated mailing of all-natural dog treats and toys—will fill the dental gap, even before you can say “market niche” or “competition.”

“Most dog parents don’t regularly clean their dogs’ teeth, because it’s such a frustrating process for dogs and their people,” Bark cofounder Henrik Werdelin told Fortune recently. “Dental treats can only do so much, so we developed this one-two punch product to make dental health something dogs look forward to.”

Among the first products for this brand will be Bark Bright Dental Chews, which are touted by the brand as the first combination of a proprietary enzymatic toothpaste with a cleansing chew.

To use the product, dog owners apply the chicken-flavored toothpaste along the ridges of a similarly chicken-flavored dental chew. Dogs then gnaw and nibble on the chew on their own, activating the toothpaste’s enzymes while also cutting away at plaque and buildup.

This month, Bark will be soft launching a limited beta supply of Bright Dental to BarkBox subscribers exclusively with the intent of getting feedback from customers about wellness and behavioral changes.

A wider release is planned for the spring, as Bark also signed with a major national retailer to sell Bright Dental in stores, although the company declined to announce the retailer’s name.

Research contact: @FortuneMagazine