News 16.01.2019

Need to Know

EleClean transforms water into a disinfectant, a smart shopping trolley that eliminates checkout queues and Generation Z’s new rules for Instagram.

Notte is a bedside companion that tracks your emotions

Notte, Tokyo

Tokyo – Consumers are encouraged to share their day with this digital diary, which takes the form of a softly glowing lamp.

Launched by Japanese technology start-up Neurowear, Notte re-imagines the personal diary for the modern age. Users are encouraged to speak out loud to the lamp, reflecting on their day and sharing their emotional state before going to sleep. By integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and voice tone recognition, Notte recognises how the user is feeling, changing colour in response. It also offers restless sleepers a breathing routine to help them relax.

Helping users to self-analyse their moods, Notte amalgamates this daily data via a supporting app. According to Neurowear, the emotional technology was borne out of the question: ‘How can we help evolve the paper diary to fit the needs of modern people?’

The E-motional Economy has created a thriving market for robot confidantes. This shift is especially prominent in Japan, where products like Fribo aim to tackle high rates of social isolation.

The North Face imagines the future of technical fabrics

Camper by The North Face and BMW Designworks Camper by The North Face and BMW Designworks
Camper by The North Face and BMW Designworks Camper by The North Face and BMW Designworks

Las Vegas – The outdoor product company has worked with BMW to show how its new breathable waterproof material could be used beyond apparel.

The North Face’s Futurelight material promises a new standard for both the sustainability and performance of technical fabrics. It is made with nanospinning technology – tightly packed nanofibres – to allow for unprecedented breathability while maintaining waterproofness. The innovative material also enables designers to adjust weight, stretch, breathability, durability and texture to meet the demands of different activities or environments.

Demonstrating potential applications for Futurelight, The North Face and BMW subsidiary Designworks presented a lightweight, element-proof camper concept at CES 2019, designed to protect users from extreme weather. ‘Thinking about extreme performance in new and unexpected ways from our experience of working across multiple industries helped us to provide consumers with a unique and never before seen insight into the very heart of the material and its key attributes,’ explains Laura Robin, studio director of Designworks.

For more on the innovative materials set to influence future product design, download our Material Far Futures report.

CES 2019: From water to a sustainable disinfectant

Las Vegas – Taiwanese start-up EleClean has found an innovative way to transform water into a chemical-free disinfectant.

Its device is the first to use an electrochemical filter to reorganise water molecules in order to produce highly reactive oxygen disinfectant that destroys bacteria and viruses. After water is added to the spray bottle, the liquid turns into a disinfectant solution in just 15 minutes.

According to EleClean’s general director Chien-Hung Chen, he was inspired to create the company after working with charities in disaster-stricken areas and remote villages, where cleaning products can be both a health concern and hard to come by. While many cleaning products contain chemicals or alcohol, EleClean’s water base means it is more accessible, and safe to use when cleaning the home or even the body.

Cleaning products, which are often harmful to the environment, are undergoing a transformation. In October 2018, Society launched a line of premium, all-natural cleaning products that are available through a membership scheme.

EleClean, Taiwan

Caper cuts queues with a smart shopping trolley

Caper Smart Cart, US

New York – Start-up Caper’s self-checkout shopping trolley uses a built-in barcode scanner and payment portal to enhance the shopping experience and reduce checkout queues.

In response to the rise of autonomous retail, Caper is positioning its AI-powered shopping trolley as a scalable, less expensive solution to installing cameras and sensors in grocery stores. Its integrated screen enables shoppers to scan items as they go, locate products around a store and explore special offers. They can also pay directly on the trolley. With a number of carts already live in two grocery stores in New York, Caper plans to roll out to 150 more locations in 2019.

Created to help stores make the transition easily into autonomous retail, the company will collect and share the user data it gleans with its retail partners, helping them to better repurpose in-store staff and improve customer service. It also plans to develop smart shopping baskets for smaller stores. To find out how grocery shopping is being re-invented in the age of convenience, read our Automated Commerce microtrend.

Stat: India’s co-living sector will be worth $2.2bn by 2022

By 2022, the co-living sector in India will be 20 times bigger than it is today, according to research and advisory firm RedSeer Consulting. The report found that the shared-living market, which includes private bedrooms with shared common areas, grew 100% over the past year, and is expected to rise to £1.7bn ($2.2bn, €1.9bn) in the next four years.

Two types of consumers are subscribing to these co-living situations, according to RedSeer associate director Ujjwal Chaudhry. ‘One is the typical migrant, white-collar professional who comes to another city for a job. The second set [are] coming from the education market, where students go to different cities to pursue degrees,’ he explains.

As more consumers around the world are sharing their living space with friends or strangers, this will affect how homes and family units are built in the future. For more, read our dedicated Home and Family Far Futures vertical.

Thought-starter: How are Generation Z transforming Instagram?

From finstas to meme therapy, Generation Z are turning away from selfies and using Instagram to learn, debate, support and forge new friendships.

Amid Generation Z’s Anxiety Rebellion, they are using Instagram to playfully and creatively communicate on a deeper level – often with total strangers – and away from the judgement of people and brands that don’t understand them.

For example, a new meme format is gaining traction on the platform. Teenagers, often with thousands of followers, are posting the same image every day, be it an identical picture of a brick or Taylor Swift. @samepictureofatoaster has 77,700 followers and each morning asks its community of followers questions such as: ‘Where do you see yourself in 10 years?’, prompting thoughtful discussion in the comments.

Another trending theme on Instagram is for young teens to have multiple accounts, mostly known as rinstas and finstas. Rinsta stands for real Instagram and finsta for fake Instagram or fun Instagram, where a second page, usually set to private, is created with content they feel shouldn’t be shared on their default profile.

Read the full listicle here.

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