Need to Know
08 : 11 : 18

Byton unveils its automated car at Web Summit, an app for hotel furnishings and REI invests in health research for Black Friday.

Recess is a seltzer infused with CBD and adaptogens

Recess, US Recess, US
Recess, US Recess, US
Recess, US Recess, US

US – The soft drink company imagines a near future in which creatives find respite with CBD-infused beverages.

Recess’ sparkling waters are infused with cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive element found in cannabis, as well as adaptogens, which are herbs that help the drinker adapt to stress. The drink comes in fruity flavours that are designed to mask the taste of CBD, including pomegranate hibiscus and blackberry chai.

According to founder Benjamin Witte, Recess was created as an antidote for stress and anxiety that affects the creative community. ‘We are using a CBD beverage to establish a use case for taking a recess,’ he told AdWeek. With pastel-coloured branding, and slogans such as ‘ever drink a LaCroix and wish it did something?’ the drinks are designed to be displayed proudly at the workplace and at home.

For more on the booming market for cannabis-infused beverages, read our microtrend Alternative Intoxication.

Web Summit 2018: BYTON’s luxury AVs to launch in 2019

Byton Byton

China – Intelligent electric vehicle start-up BYTON has earmarked late 2019 for its first autonomous vehicle (AV) to hit the road.

Speaking at Web Summit in Lisbon, the company’s CEO and co-founder Dr Carsten Breitfeld said the vehicles will launch first in China before landing in the US and Europe in 2020. ‘Our first car will have level three autonomy, which means the passengers must still be prepared to take over [the wheel] in some instances,’ Breitfeld explained. ‘This is not because of the technology, but because of legislation and the environment in which the car will be driving. Certain conditions will be… enough to operate an entirely autonomous journey.’

At present, BYTON is working on three concept cars built around the same platform, beginning with the seven-seater M-BYTE SUV, and the five-seater K-BYTE sedan. The company, which debuted its intuitive, biometric Shared Experience Display interior at CES 2018, is also exploring how to create a ‘first class, plane-style experience’ for single passengers using AVs for ride-sharing. ‘What if we could create a product for shared mobility that looks different? It’s about breaking the UX of ride sharing, which we’re working on in LA at the moment, and will show more of in the next year,’ Breitfeld told the audience at Web Summit.

This app lets hotel brands become retailers

London – The DLAppTap app lets hotels sell their wares, creating an additional revenue stream while letting guests outfit their home with hotel-quality products.

The app, which debuted at London’s Independent Hotel Show, can be used as a platform for hospitality brands who wish to sell the pieces that guests can experience during their stay, such as bed linens, toiletries and furniture, without having to develop in-house retail operations.

The DLAppTap team manage the entire retail process, establishing supplier trade accounts, uploading products to the app and managing the customer experience. ‘Hotels are the shopping centres of the future,’ says Jane Moriarty, founder of DesignLife Associates. ‘And this technology is set to revolutionise the retail aspect of hospitality.’

Hotels make ideal In-situ Showrooms, as guests who book a stay can test the full functionality of products before making a purchase.

DLAppTap, London DLAppTap, London

This Black Friday, REI will invest in health research

#OptOutside by REI, Canada

US – In addition to the closing all of its stores on Black Friday, the outdoor retailer will fund a study that aims to show the link between nature and health.

For the fourth year in a row, REI will take a Righteous Retail approach to Black Friday by refusing to operate during the retail event. To back up its #OptOutside campaign, which encourages its employees and customers to spend more time with nature, the retailer is partnering with the University of Washington and investing $1m (£760,000, €870,000) to fund an inititative called Nature for Health.

A new center for academic excellence within the university will study how time spent outdoors affects our health, including whether nature could be prescribed for those suffering from anxiety and depression.

By working to close the knowledge gap, REI is showing how brands can move beyond media campaigns to take real stands on societal issues.

Stat: The Islamic luxury market is thriving

In 2017, Muslim consumers spent $2.1 trillion (£1.6tn, €1.8tn) on lifestyle products and services such as modest fashion, travel and halal goods, according to a report from Thompson Reuters.

With spending due to soar in the next five years, there is huge potential for luxury brands to cater to this market through halal foods, separate prayer rooms and modestwear. The report also found that Indonesia is a crucial market in driving this growth – the country represents 10% of global Muslim spend.

Although many brands have catered to Islamic woman with modest wear collections, they are missing out on opportunities to target these consumers with travel experiences and halal cuisine.

Thought-starter: How will blockchain transform our future wardrobe?

Through the lens of a fictional future scenario, we ask: what happens when we place caveats on where, when and how often we can wear virtual fashion?

Sara, a digital investment broker, spends a quarter of her salary on virtual couture from the day’s leading designers. Her loyal spending gives her access to new collections for the forthcoming London Fashion Week. Today, she was viewing Gareth Pugh’s final collection, which had a 24-hour use span and blocked anyone else from wearing the item simultaneously. The design she chose was transferred directly to her blockchain-secure crypto vault. She’d sit on it until all other nine iterations had been consumed before selling it on, potentially tripling her investment.

Sara's virtual wardrobe could easily become a reality considering the way in which the fashion world is changing in 2018. Avatars are the new fashion models and younger consumers are already collectively spending millions on virtual outfits for their Fornite characters.

To discover the truth behind this speculation and how to prepare for this Far Future, read our latest scenario here.

In Pursuit of Tactility by PMS Studio, Eindhoven In Pursuit of Tactility by PMS Studio, Eindhoven