News 25.09.2023

Need to Know

Sensory’s AI-powered erotica, Subway introduces mini-sandwiches amid inflation and why Gen Z want to be influencers.

Sensory lingerie uses AI to generate personalised erotica

Enigma by Summer Chen, UK
Enigma by Summer Chen, UK
Enigma by Summer Chen, UK

UK – Designer Summer Chen has combined sensor-embedded lingerie with generative AI to create personalised, automated erotica. Haptic lingerie captures data on where a user is touching herself and how long for before transforming it into text prompts for ChatGPT, which then crafts bespoke erotica for the wearer.

The project, Enigma, is part of Chen’s studies at the Royal College of Art and aims to empower women to embrace their sensuality by transforming physical acts of intimacy into private stories that can be read or listened to.

‘At its core, Enigma is a design exploration of human sensual experiences and their relation to narrative creation. My intention is to inspire curiosity and conversations about the ways in which generative AI can be utilised in pursuit of a more humane experience,’ wrote Chen in a statement.

As the Generative AI Creativity Market continues to redefine creative work, innovators such as Chen are pushing the boundaries of AI in increasingly avant-garde ways and disrupting the Sensory Sex Toys industry in the process.

Strategic opportunity

Find inspiration in Summer Chen’s innovation and consider how to feed existing insights about your clients to artificial intelligence to generate hyper-personalised experiences

Faber Futures unveils a concept store dedicated to biodesign

This is Living campaign by Normal Phenomena of Life (NPOL) featuring the NPOL Original Exploring Jacket. Photography by Toby Coulson, UK This is Living campaign by Normal Phenomena of Life (NPOL) featuring the NPOL Original Exploring Jacket. Photography by Toby Coulson, UK
This is Living campaign by Normal Phenomena of Life (NPOL) featuring the NPOL Original Exploring Jacket. Photography by Toby Coulson, UK This is Living campaign by Normal Phenomena of Life (NPOL) featuring the NPOL Original Exploring Jacket. Photography by Toby Coulson, UK

UK – NPOL, short for Normal Phenomena of Life, is a newly launched radical concept store and online platform with ambitions to promote and champion biophilic living.

A collaborative venture between Faber Futures, Ginkgo Bioworks and graphic design agency Studio Airport, NPOL claims to be the world’s first biodesign-native lifestyle brand. The normalphenomena.life platform has a twofold mission – to create beautifully crafted products using ground-breaking biotechnologies, and to become a destination to discover existing innovations across various product categories. The brand’s own NPOL Originals line is a curation of interdisciplinary collaborations between designers, biologists, engineers, material scientists and other practitioners, ranging from microbial-dyed garments to artist edition prints.

Essentially, NPOL will help to apply lab-based innovation to everyday products and reflects growing consumer demand for eco-friendly and tech-driven offerings. Such ventures will be needed to make the biotech market less opaque for consumers as some segments, such as bio-fashion, are rapidly growing.

Strategic opportunity

Cutting-edge technology can seem intimidating and hard to grasp for many consumers. Like NPOL, how can you market innovations to make them accessible and convenient?

Subway introduces mini-sandwich in Pakistan amid inflation woes

Pakistan – Subway, the global fast food chain, has introduced a unique offering in Pakistan amid the country’s severe inflation crisis. In an unprecedented move, the eatery launched a three-inch sandwich, providing a more affordable option for customers in a nation grappling with Asia’s fastest inflation rates.

While Subway’s traditional menu features six-inch and 12-inch sandwiches, this mini-version aims to cater to Pakistani consumers feeling the pinch due to soaring living costs. Pakistan’s headline annual inflation rate recently hit 27.38%, prompting many restaurants to raise prices or reduce portions.

As explored in our cost of living crisis series, organisations and brands flex their business operations to cater to customers facing rising inflation. Subway had no choice but to be an Elastic Brand to attract and retain its Pakistani consumers. The firm’s strategy could be expanded to new markets.

Subway, US

Strategic opportunity

Businesses must be prepared to transform their offers overnight amid crises such as inflation, a pandemic, and even war. Consider how you can offer them better value-added services amid economic uncertainty

Stat: Gen Z’s main career aspiration is to be an influencer

Photography by Ron Lach Photography by Ron Lach

US – According to a report published by decision intelligence company Morning Consult in September 2023, 57% of Gen Z, and 41% of all surveyed adults, said they would become an influencer, given the opportunity.

Of the 2,000 US adults surveyed, more than half (53%) of Gen Z said they view influencing as a respectable career choice and a similar percentage said they would leave their jobs if they could sustain their lifestyle through influencing.

Both Gen Z and Millennials also have more faith in influencers than ever, with the study revealing that since 2019, trust in social media influencers has risen from 51% to 61%. As explored in our Accredited Influencers microtrend report, this trusting relationship has enabled influencing to become a legitimate career path with real societal power.

But influencer trust is not equal across the board. In an effort to use social media more positively, we are witnessing a rise of the expert influencer, with young people seeking out professionals and positive role models in digital spaces.

Strategic opportunity

As more Gen Z consumers envisage a career in social media content-creation, brands should consider how to tap into this generation of mini-influencers to commission user-generated content and authentic reviews

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