Powered LED tags as remotely-viewed barcodes: "Let's say you're standing in a library with 20 shelves in front of you and thousands of books. You could take a picture and you'd immediately know where the book you're looking for is." (BBC story; project website)
More nifty inventions: could this be the end of the power cord?
SoundSense: "A group at Dartmouth College has created software that uses the microphone on a cell phone to track and interpret a user's activity." (Tech Review).
This Is My Process: "Somewhere along the way an idea for the design pops into my head from out of the blue. I can't really explain that part; it's like magic. Sometimes it even happens before you have a chance to tell me that much about your problem!"
Golden Age of Ads Flickr pool with old ads.
205 Facebook apps created by brands.
Product Displacement -- a collection of fictional and unbranded product placements.
A story about the redesign of Wells Fargo ATMs.
NYTimes on Polyvore, the fashion collage site (very useful for passive research, too): "Online retail started around digital cameras. Now, sites are using the same engines to sell shirts, but that’s not the way they should be sold".
Lots of good reading at Marketing NPV's knowledgebase (free reg).
Media Unbound is the company behind many product recommendation and personalization algorithms.