News 07.01.2020

Need to Know

Atelier Tao+C creates a hotel for book-lovers, L’Oréal launches beauty tech at CES, and jewellers struggle to connect with young Chinese shoppers.

Atelier Tao+C creates a capsule hotel for bookworms

Capsule Hotel and Bookstore by Atelier Tao+C, Qinglongwu, China
Capsule Hotel and Bookstore by Atelier Tao+C, Qinglongwu, China
Capsule Hotel and Bookstore by Atelier Tao+C, Qinglongwu, China

China – The architecture studio has created a hotel and library in Zhejiang Province designed especially for travellers who want to read and relax.

Working with an existing structural shell positioned in the mountainous village of Qinglongwu, Atelier Tao+C has added bedrooms and bamboo bookshelves to the space. Its triple-height atrium doubles as a library and a bookshop, with various nooks and crannies – inspired by the surrounding mountains – providing hideaway reading spots that cater for guests’ individual reading habits. ‘The stairs, with only nine steps for each section, form a zig-zagging route with quick turns,’ reads information from Atelier Tao+C. It is quite similar to the paths in the mountains where moments of people’s meandering, ascending, stopping, reading, snooping and resting in the capsules are revealed from time to time.'

As people increasingly prioritise reading opportunities over big screens while travelling, spaces such as this capsule hotel are targeting those seeking calm, library-like settings away from home. For more, read our Literary Hospitality microtrend.

CES 2020: Perso is an AI-driven bespoke beauty device

L’Oréal Perso, US L’Oréal Perso, US
L’Oréal Perso, US L’Oréal Perso, US

US – Cosmetics giant L'Oréal has introduced Perso, an artificially intelligent (AI) at-home device that delivers instant, personal cosmetics formulas.

Launched at this year's CES conference, the device represents the ultimate in beauty personalisation. At 6.5 inches high and weighing just over 450g, Perso pairs with an app that analyses the user’s skin as well as geolocation data to help it determine environmental factors, submit specific preferences or skin concerns. Based on this information, Perso will then dispense customised products such as skincare, lipsticks and foundation.

‘Building on our deep scientific heritage and leadership in innovation, L’Oréal is once again using advanced technology to create smart beauty products and services that answer the needs of our consumers and offer them near-limitless personalisation and precision,’ explains Nicolas Hieronimus, deputy CEO of L’Oréal.

As we explore in our 2018 macrotrend Algorithmic Beauty, new devices and technologies are gaining popularity in the beauty sector, with artificial intelligence not only shaping new ideals but products that are tailored to individual needs.

Hulu lets brands sponsor ‘ad-free’ binge watching

Global – The streaming service is launching a new advertising experience aimed at viewers watching multiple episodes of shows in one sitting.

Launched to combat ad fatigue, Hulu is using machine learning to gain insight into viewers’ watching habits, offering them contextually relevant or personalised ads, or ad-free viewing from the third episode onwards. Considering the most effective ways of targeting binge watchers, Hulu developed the ad format to better fit with audience behaviours, ensuring its ads are curated and targeted – and less intrusive.

Hulu already runs ads when viewers pause an episode, but the new format will allow brands to sponsor an episode as 'ad-free'. Among brands partnering with Hulu to try the format are Kellogg’s, Maker’s Mark and Georgia-Pacific.

With brands competing for the attention of consumers, they’re having to innovate with their advertising to retain relevance in an era of non-stop digital distraction. For more, read our Focus Filter macrotrend.

Hulu

Stat: Jewellers struggle to sell gold to Chinese youth

Young Chinese consumers are increasingly dismissive of gold jewellery, with many considering it ugly and tacky, according to a report from Zhihu in collaboration with iResearch.

While the giving of gold jewellery has been a traditional milestone in China, changes in consumer tastes have led to a drop in gold jewellery demand. According to the World Gold Council, just 12% of China's Generation Z (aged 18 to 22) plan to buy gold jewellery in the coming year, with the Council noting that the emotional connection China’s youth have with gold jewellery 'seems to be particularly weak'. Instead, they’re reportedly seeking silver or fashion jewellery brands such as APM Monaco, Tiffany & Co and Pandora.

In an attempt to reconnect Generation Z with gold, some brands have created limited-edition products, while century-old jeweller Lao Feng Xiang has been releasing co-branded products with Disney. But in a market where young, affluent consumers are upending what's considered luxury, a different mindset is emerging – something we explore in our Uneasy Affluence macrotrend.

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