By Corinne Clements

Hey everyone, and welcome to this week’s installment of TraQing News! From the Essential phone to using servers to heat water, here are some of our favorite articles from last week to get you back into the swing of working:

The Father of Android is Back, and He’s Built the Anti-iPhone | David Pierce: There are a lot of cell phone makers out there, y’all. In the US, Apple and Samsung tend to be at the top of the pack when it comes to the luxury phone brands. There is a new contender in town though- the Essential phone, developed by Andy Rubin. You may not be familiar with Rubin’s name, but you are familiar with Andriod, the phone OS that he helped to develop. The Essential phone will be shipping soon, so we’ll see how it fares against more established brands in the coming months.

We Studied Brands Around The World. What Consumers Want Isn’t What You Think | Brian Miller: Being internet famous isn’t just for YouTubers and bloggers- brands must find a way to be “famous” to stay top-of-mind for internet-savvy consumers. So what does it take to keep consumers engaged online? Research points to having a well-rounded presence. Finding an authentic voice and avoiding the one-note advertisements of old will go a long way to delighting potential customers & keep them coming back to a brand’s online presence.

Dutch households will use servers to heat their showers for free | James Vincent: Despite their size, computers can generate a lot of heat. So imagine how much heat that the servers for companies large and small can generate! As a way to keep that heat from going to waste, a company in the Netherlands is experimenting with using servers in consumers’ homes in place of a hot water heater. If it goes well, perhaps one day we’ll all be taking piping hot showers powered by data & silicon!

If articles like these have whetted your appetite for more consumer durables industry news, follow @TraQline on Twitter and The Stevenson Company on LinkedIn! See an article you think we should feature in our weekly roundup? Let us know by tweeting us and tag it with #TraQingNews.

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We’ll see you next week!