Health & Wellness

The latest technology, insights and innovations from the world of health and wellness

Need to Know
14 : 08 : 19

Contact lenses with a built-in zoom, a single appliance for brewing coffee and beer, and why streaming platforms must discourage binge-watching.

Delta urges cramped New Yorkers to leave the city

Delta Small Stories: New York

New York – The airline’s latest travel campaign highlights the awkward living conditions of urban dwellers.

The Small Stories series of web films offer a glimpse into the lives of New Yorkers who take pride in their micro-living situations. Taking a sideways glance, Delta is using the campaign to highlight the discomfort of domestic life in New York, instead promoting the experience of flying out of the city as more comfortable.

The campaign was created by Wieden & Kennedy to highlight Delta’s new flight services from New York. The films feature Mariko and Ary, who share a 300-square-feet apartment in Chinatown; Jennifer, who has substituted furniture for a space to dance; and Christian, who lives on a boat.

Although cramped living quarters are a well-known part of New York life, Delta is demonstrating how travel can offer an escape from stressful urban living. Read our Opinion piece to discover such lifestyles are driving creatives to quit the city.

Nike launches a shoe subscription for kids

Nike Adventure Club Nike Adventure Club
Nike Adventure Club Nike Adventure Club

US – The sportswear company has launched Nike Adventure Club, a new subscription shoe service for children.

Offering three different subscription levels, it enables parents to pay a monthly fee in exchange for new footwear for their children's fast-growing feet. Available monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly, parents and children can choose styles in advance, returning the previous pair of shoes to Nike through the post or in-store.

‘We’re always trying to answer: ‘What do kids want?’,’ says Dominique Shortell, director of product experience and retention for Nike Adventure Club. ‘But an equally important question is: ‘What kind of experience are we providing for their parents?’ We want to make shopping for footwear as convenient as possible for them.’

Returned shoes will be analysed for wear and tear or donated to charity. Others will be sent to the Nike Grind facility to be recycled into products such as gym flooring or cushioned playground surfaces. Through such subscription services, the concept of fast fashion ownership is rapidly changing. For more, read our Fast Fashion Rental microtrend.

Robotic lenses that zoom in when you blink

San Diego – Scientists at the University of California hope the lenses could one day be used as smart eyewear that acts in a similar way to binoculars.

The researchers created the biomimetic soft lens with electrodes that spread across the contact lenses, acting much like muscles. The electrodes are made up of layers of electroactive polymer, designed to expand when they receive an electrical signal from the eye. When the wearer blinks twice, the lenses can zoom in by up to 32%.

In a step forward in soft robotics, the team behind the innovation say it could be used to help people with disabilities control other robots and machines. ‘The system developed in the current study has the potential to be used in visual prostheses, adjustable glasses and remotely operated robotics in the future,’ the researchers write in the study, published in Advanced Functional Materials.

The lenses point to a future in which transhumanism will be highly accessible, and not necessarily dystopian. For more, read our interview with sociologist Steve Fuller.

This Panda is Dancing by Sander van Dijk and Max Stossel, 2016 This Panda is Dancing by Sander van Dijk and Max Stossel, 2016

This appliance brews beer, coffee and kombucha

Pico MultiBrew Pico MultiBrew

Seattle – PicoBrew’s latest appliance is designed for brewing a range of drinks – from coffee to kombucha – at home.

The MultiBrew distils the precision of brewing technology into a compact countertop appliance. While primarily a coffee machine designed for daily use, it also allows users to download and customise brew programs for beverages such as tea, coffee, beer, kombucha and horchata, which can be set to run automatically through wi-fi.

PicoBrew CEO Dr Bill Mitchell says: ‘Great coffee can be a religious experience with the right beans and the right extraction… [no one] met our or consumers’ demand for brewing a quality cup, so we did what was natural for us: we invented our own system.’

As consumers become seasoned coffee, beer and tea connoisseurs, more brands are exploring how technology can elevate the drinking experience. For the latest artisanal coffee insights, read our Craft Coffee Market.

Stat: Binge-watching elevates the risk of heart disease

The ease of streaming entertainment on-demand is contributing to higher levels of heart disease in the US, according to a new report by the Journal of the American Heart Association.

The study shows that the passive, sedentary behaviour of binge-watching could pose serious cardiovascular risks, with those who watch over four hours of tv a day having a 50% greater risk of premature death from heart disease than those who watch less than two hours.

‘TV-watching occurs at the end of the day when individuals may consume their biggest meal, and people may be completely sedentary with hours of uninterrupted sitting until they go to bed,’ says Jeanette Garcia, lead author of the study. The study highlights that the risk is particularly high for African-American women, who are found to be the least physically active group in the US.

As an era of Morality Recoded ensues, streaming services must consider how their output affects viewers’ health. Already, Netflix has responded to criticism for airing shows featuring smoking and teen suicide by editing scenes from its most popular series.

Thought-starter: Will social media dictate packaging trends?

Catwalks have historically set colour trends, says packaging expert Mark Starrs, but in today’s digital-first world a new order of inspiration is coming into play.

According to 500 branding and packaging designers surveyed for the latest Progressive Palettes Report, social media – rather than the catwalk – has been a driving influence behind recent colour trends.

From these trends, brand packaging has become an important part of the theatre that both brands and influencers create, with companies putting more time into multi-use packaging that offers a heightened, sensory experience.

‘While a third of briefs to brand and packaging designers now specify that they want something Instagrammable, they also want packaging that delivers more on experience; packaging with multiple uses, that’s less throwaway or offers more tactility through different textures that cry out to be touched,' explains Starrs.

For more on how visually driven digital platforms are changing branding and packaging, head to our Opinion vertical.

James Cropper James Cropper
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