Cost of Living Crisis

How organisations and brands are flexing their business operations to cater for customers facing a global cost of living crisis.

Need to Know
21 : 07 : 23

BMW’s smartglasses for bikers, Gabriela Białkowska’s Foresight Friday and why the luxury hospitality sector is booming.

BMW introduces ConnectedRide Smartglasses for motorcyclists

BMW Motorrad ConnectedRide Smartglasses, Germany

Germany – Car-maker BMW is set to launch its new ConnectedRide Smartglasses, designed to enhance safety and provide real-time data projection for motorcyclists. The goggles feature head-up display technology and allow riders to access information such as gear, speed and navigation data directly in their field of vision without the need for display panels.

Scheduled for release in the US by the end of 2023, the glasses are said to offer motorcyclists a safer and more efficient journey, enabling them to anticipate road conditions. They are designed to fit various helmets and boast a lithium-ion battery providing up to 10 hours of use at temperatures ranging from –14 to +122°F. Bluetooth connectivity also allows seamless integration with smartphones and a corresponding app enables pre-ride settings.

BMW Motorrad will offer two sets of certified UVA/UVB lenses with an anthracite frame, and for those with prescription glasses, opticians can use an RX adapter to adjust lenses to the required visual acuity.

BMW’s venture into wearable technology demonstrates the firm’s commitment to advancing vehicular technology while also showcasing how the automotive sector is drawing from virtual platforms and extended reality, a trend we revealed in Auto Entertainment.

Strategic opportunity

Extended reality tech such as BMW’s ConnectedRide Smartglasses has the potential to unlock creative branding opportunities – in this instance, for on-the-go retailing. It is just one example of a new era of spatial tech opportunities for businesses as consumers become accustomed to blending and processing real-world and digital information at the same time

Foresight Friday: Gabriela Białkowska, creative foresight analyst

Every Friday, The Future Laboratory team offer an end-of-week wrap-up of the topics, issues, ideas and virals we’re all talking about. This week, creative foresight analyst Gabriela Białkowska discusses heat, truffle ice cream and space tourism.

: With global temperatures rising rapidly, the race for novel cooling strategies is heating up. In the thick of it, Tokyo-based Gloture brings us WearCool, a wearable air conditioner in the form of a belt. As heatwaves become the new norm, such contraptions could shift from a novelty to an everyday essential. Is climate reactivity just another iteration of Safety Fits?

: Talking about heat, Japan’s Cellato has introduced byakuya, a luxurious scoop priced at £4,840 (¥873,400, $6,220, €5,580), crowned as the world’s most expensive ice cream by Guinness World Records. This gelato is re-engineering indulgence by boasting rare white truffle from Alba, Italy, edible gold, Parmigiano Reggiano and sake kasu, a sake by-product.

: Are our eyes set beyond our horizon? Virgin Galactic is launching its first private tourism flight to space on 10 August, to be live-streamed for all to see. With the topic of space travel’s commercial reality explored in depth in our latest Innovation Debrief report, one wonders: is celestial tourism our next frontier, both for leisure and refuge?

Photography by Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory

Quote of the week:

‘I don’t have anything big planned. Just a giant blowout party with all the Barbies, and planned choreography, and a bespoke song. You should stop by.’

– Barbie in the Barbie Movie

Stat: Luxury hospitality sector to boom in 2023, say investors

The Standard hotel, Thailand The Standard hotel, Thailand

Global – In its Global Fashion & Luxury Private Equity and Investors Survey 2023, released in June 2023, consulting firm Deloitte confirms a rise in investor interest in luxury experiences. Nearly half of the investors surveyed (49%) said they believe that hotels and restaurants will be the fastest-growing sectors in 2023. Compared to luxury apparel and accessories, watches and jewellery, cosmetics and fragrances, cars and private jets, the hotel industry saw the most growth in 2022 year on year, according to the survey. Investors suggest the best-expected performance for the next three years will come from hotels, with most stating that they believe the industry will grow by more than 10% per year.

When asked about the sectors hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic and their projected recovery and growth for this year, 28% of participants said they believed that hotels would experience the quickest recovery, closely followed by restaurants, which were chosen by 21% of respondents. Surprisingly, cruises secured the third position, with 7% of those surveyed anticipating significant growth in 2023. This highlights an intriguing trend in which experiential luxury has surpassed the performance of luxury goods in the past year and is expected to maintain its flourishing trajectory in the future.

In our viewpoint report with author and analyst Erwan Rambourg, we previously highlighted how the future of luxury lies in escapism, with luxury groups diversifying into the travel and health categories.

Strategic opportunity

Luxury fashion designers should consider how the next step for them is to translate their craftsmanship and design direction into experiences (think a branded hotel, restaurant, bar or spa) to make sure the connection with their client is never confined to a high-end store or e-shop – the brand experience should be a journey worthy of repetition

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