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GiftNow takes the guesswork out of last-minute gifts — how it works at Target, Uniqlo, and other stores




The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

giftnowGiftNow guarantees everyone on your list will love their gift.GiftNow

  • GiftNow is a new service that takes the guesswork out of gifting — and honestly, I can’t believe it didn’t exist before.
  • The service lets shoppers buy gifts that don’t ship until their recipients have been notified and have chosen options like size and color.
  • Stores like Target, Uniqlo, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Kate Spade, Coach, and Michael Kors are currently working with GiftNow.
  • To better understand the concept, I just tested it out. It’s an easy-to-use, efficient way to gift — here’s how it works.

Gifting is hard.

Let’s face it; no matter how many gift guides you scour through, how many hours you pour into trying to find a website where their size is in stock, or how much you spend, you can never really know what someone wants — unless you ask them of course, but we’re trying to be discreet here. 

Choosing that unexpected, yet perfect gift that wows the recipient is a great feeling, but the other end of the spectrum isn’t so pretty. A lackluster gift — or one that’s really great but just not really their taste — will likely end up in the overflow hall closet, brought to a White Elephant party, or even worse, back to the store where it was purchased.

If you’ve ever been in this predicament, or are currently in this predicament because you couldn’t land on that totally perfect gift, that’s okay; we found a surefire way to solve your holiday gifting woes.

GiftNow is a new service that takes the guesswork out of gifting — and honestly, I can’t believe it didn’t exist before.

Essentially, GiftNow lets you instantly send someone a mold of the gift you want to get them, and then the recipient can take it from there, personalizing with their correct size and preferred color. It’s a simple process that ensures your gift recipient will get something they love.

To better understand the concept, we just tested it out. It’s an easy-to-use, efficient way to gift — here’s how it works.

GiftNow is available at a range of retailers ranging from big-box stores like Target, to high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.

To test, I went over to Uniqlo where the service is also available. 

uniqloFind the GiftNow option on the product page at plenty of your favorite retailers.Uniqlo

When you have chosen a product you’re interested in, you’ll see GiftNow listed with the rest of the purchase options. You don’t even have to select a size or color; simply choose to GiftNow. Once you click, you’ll be directed to the GiftNow window, which explains how the service works and lets you choose how you want to give the gift.

You can choose to email, text, Facebook message, or hand deliver the gift. If you’re curious about which you should choose, the window offers very helpful instructions on exactly how each method differs.

Then choose from a few designs — I went for the festive and personal “Just For You.” Write a custom greeting to go with the gift and finish off with the standard salutations of “To” and “From” — then your gift is ready to be given. The link is ready instantly, so you can choose when to send it to your giftee. If you’re emailing it directly to them, you can have it sent immediately or schedule it for a specific date and time. 

giftnowuniqloPersonalize messages, designs, and more before it’s sent to your recipient.Uniqlo

The gift comes to your recipient looking as much like an actual present as an online gift can — a gift box that opens to reveal a picture of the item you chose.

Once your recipient opens the gift, the rest of the process is in their hands.

From there, they choose their preferred size and color of the product and where they want it shipped. If they don’t like the product at all — sorry — they can exchange it for something else on the site. Since you’re actually picking out a gift, this still feels thoughtful and personal, but it also has just the right amount of personalization to guarantee that the person gets something they actually want. Plus, it’s ready in a snap, which is great news for us last-minute gifters. 

So, this holiday season avoid the awkwardness of choosing the wrong size or picking out a shirt in their least favorite color. With GiftNow you can play it safe, but still manage to give a gift that has that surprise factor. That’s a holiday miracle.  

Shop gifts at Target, Uniqlo, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Kate Spade, Coach, Michael Kors, and more using GiftNow.

Looking for more gift ideas? Check out all of Insider Picks’ holiday gift guides for 2018 here.


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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton




OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training




Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test




While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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