News 16.02.2023

Need to Know

Homa wants to democratise gaming development, a new sustainable kitchen bin is all you need and meet the ultra-wealthy minority driving luxury spending.

Ragged Edge rebrands gaming lab Homa into a pink wonderland

Homa visual identity by Ragged Edge, France and UK
Homa visual identity by Ragged Edge, France and UK
Homa visual identity by Ragged Edge, France and UK

France – Homa, previously known as Homa Games, sent branding agency Ragged Edge on a mission to democratise the gaming development industry while being aesthetically bold and appealing to independent game developers.

Founded in France by Daniel Nathan and Olivier Le Bas in 2018, Homa has published over 80 games across 34 countries, reaching over 1bn downloads overall. Its next goal is to attract the worlds best engineers and ‘transform millions of gamers from fans of Homa’s games to fans of Homa itself’.

The rebranding frames the company as a precision-tooled gaming lab and its staff as elite technicians in leather jumpsuits working on glass desks and surrounded by tech in a pink-lit room. ‘For the identity, we imagined Homa as a cheat code that allows developers to game the system. A data-fuelled wonderland, where a precision-built logo and graphic system frame a series of surreal landscapes that allow the Homa characters to roam,’ says Max Ottignon, co-founder of Ragged Edge.

Powering a new generation of gaming developers is in tune with the technological counter culture that is decentralising capitalism – as we identified in Alternet Economies.

Strategic opportunity

Thanks to more accessible access to tools, data and resources such as Homa, consider how the new generation of games built by community coders will redefine the market for virtual goods

Mill: the kitchen bin dehydrating food waste for the greater good

Mill, US Mill, US
Mill, US Mill, US

US – Kitchen appliances will soon include a food waste dehydrator bin, according to start-up Mill. Born at the start of the pandemic when co-founders Matt Rogers and Harry Tannenbaum found themselves 'stuck at home staring at and smelling our own trash', Mill aims to turn uneaten food into a soil-like chicken feed ingredient for local farmers.

The bin will dry, shrink and eliminate all smells from the daily food waste overnight. Unlike compost, which would require open space, Mill is just a bin requiring no attention. The project aims to prevent banana peels or leftover pasta from ending up in a landfill and releasing methane (one of the most potent greenhouse gases). According to IPCC, global food loss and waste account for 8–10% of global emissions – more than India’s and Russia’s yearly greenhouse gas emissions.

Only available in the US for now, Mill offers a monthly membership fee of £27 ($33, €31) that includes the bin, a seamless mail-back service delivering the dehydrated waste to local farms and personalised impact tracking.

In Food Waste Innovation, we looked at new initiatives taking a proactive approach to food waste management. Mill is already re-imagining tomorrow’s homes with a new seamless kitchen appliance dedicated to sustainability.

Strategic opportunity

Amid a global drive towards sustainability, circularity and embracing imperfection, brands should look into reframing food waste as an opportunity for new markets to set up a virtuous circle food chain

AI start-up Runway introduces Oscar-nominated video generator

US – AI models are taking visuals generators to the next level with a new video software called Gen-1 created by Runway, the company behind the 2022 hit text-to-image generator Stable Diffusion.

With a video-to-video approach, Gen-1 can act as a VFX editor to add a new style to an existing clip based on a text or image prompt. Promotional footage from the company shows how AI can turn clips of people on the street into Claymation puppets, add black spots to a random internet dog video or create an immediate face filter.

The Oscar-nominated movie Everything Everywhere All at Once used the company’s tech to help create certain scenes, meaning leading visual effects professionals are already using AI. ‘We’re really close to having full feature films being generated,’ says Runway CEO and co-founder Cristóbal Valenzuela. ‘We’re close to a place where most of the content you’ll see online will be generated.’

Gen-1 makes video creation accessible to anyone without any design and editing skills. We previously flagged this democratisation of the nature of creative work via new consumer-facing generative AI platforms in our Generative AI Creativity Market.

Gen-1: The Next Step Forward for Generative AI by Runway, US

Strategic opportunity

Still images were just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to generative AI. Consider how video content could empower creativity in your business, from expediting content creation to harnessing all-new AI aesthetics

Stat: An ultra-wealthy minority are driving luxury spending

Chinese Male Luxury Consumer 2023 report by The Future Laboratory and Hot Pot China Chinese Male Luxury Consumer 2023 report by The Future Laboratory and Hot Pot China

China – As entry-level luxury consumers see their purchasing power shrink in light of the global economic slowdown, new research from Bain & Co shows the growing importance of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) in luxury sales.

According to the new Bain & Co report, luxury has become more polarised in 2022. Chinese Very Important Clients (VICs) are growing in number and have become major contributors to luxury sales over the past year. Less likely to be hit by recession, VICs represent the fastest-growing segment of consumers in China. Mainly because of nationwide lockdowns, Chinese VICs contributed to 50% of online luxury sales.

The data also reveals that in 2022 the Chinese luxury market declined by 10% year on year, shrinking for the first time in five years and breaking China’s ‘bull run’ due to Covid-19 regulations and business disruptions. Despite the slowdown, Bain & Co forecasts a gradual recovery for China’s retail and the prevalence of Guilded Luxury among HNWIs.

Strategic opportunity

To weather a period of slower market growth, luxury businesses will have to find the right balance between serving VICs and cultivating loyalty among entry-level luxury consumers who, despite curbed consumption, represent an important customer base in non-recessionary times

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