News 25.05.2023

Need to Know

Sony unveils PS5 Access Controller, D Line introduces 100+ year refurbishment service and why smartwatches aren't a threat to luxury watch manufacturers.

Sony’s PS5 Access Controller caters for gamers with disabilities

PlayStation 5 Access Controller by Sony, US

US – Sony has raised its accessibility game with the Access Controller, a highly customisable controller designed to enhance the gaming experience for players with disabilities.

The Play Station 5 Access Controller is nothing like a conventional gaming remote control – it comes in a kit that is entirely customisable to meet unique user requirements or preferences. To come up with the optimal configuration options, Sony called on accessibility experts and organisations such as AbleGamers, SpecialEffect and Stack Up. The result is a controller addressing common challenges for many players with limited motor control.

‘We want to empower players to create their own configurations,’ explains So Morimoto, a designer at Sony Interactive Entertainment. ‘I am excited that the design will be completed through collaboration with players rather than presenting them with a single form factor.’ The remote control will look different for a player who struggles to hold a controller for long periods than for someone unable to accurately press small buttons.

Sony’s initiative follows a trend we identified as Divergent Design, with new brands making their offer more inclusive and accessible to all.

Strategic opportunity

Whether it is for work or play, tech is ubiquitous in our lives. But many features or products are still unfit for users with motor disabilities or visual impairments. How is your business catering for this large yet underserved consumer pool?

D Line introduces 100-year refurbishment service

D Line, Denmark D Line, Denmark
D Line, Denmark D Line, Denmark

Denmark — Danish design brand D Line is offering a new refurbishment service for its architectural hardware and sanitary ware, extending the lifespan of its products to a minimum of 100 years.

D Line products already come with a 20-year guarantee, but the brand’s new Re-handle service will enable 250 of its items to be refurbished up to four times. Customers can send their original products to the brand’s factory where the refurbishment process takes eight weeks. D Line recommends to its customers to Re-handle their products every 20th year.

The refurbished products are returned with a comprehensive breakdown of their carbon footprint – highlighting their eco-friendliness compared to new manufactured items.

In our recent report on repairable tech, we observed a significant shift in consumer values. For environmental and financial reasons, people seek new ways to fix their goods rather than replace them. They also increasingly see repairability as integral to good design.

Strategic opportunity

Consider using your refurbishment service as an additional communication channel with your existing customers, with dedicated email campaigns, targeted ads and special offers, to build long-lasting brand loyalty and show your company’s commitment to sustainability

Bugatti to open luxury residences in Dubai

UAE – French luxury hyper-sports car manufacturer Bugatti announced in May 2023 it will join forces with UAE real estate developer Binghatti to build the world's first Bugatti Residences in Dubai.

Aiming to create ‘an oasis of timeless Art de Vivre within the bustling city’, the project represents a new business venture for the high-end automotive brand taking its craftsmanship and vision into the lifestyle market.

‘When you open the door of a Bugatti and sit inside, you know instantly that it’s very special; something truly incomparable,’ said Muhammad Binghatti, CEO of Binghatti. 'Only a select few will have the opportunity to experience this, and with Bugatti Residences, we wanted to translate this feeling into a highly exclusive retreat in the heart of the metropolis.'

In Automotive Accommodation, we previously looked at how premium automotive brands are entering the property market, using car-branded condos to diversify their product offerings amid a decline in global car sales.

Bugatti Residences by Binghatti, UAE

Strategic opportunity

Premium car companies known for their cutting-edge craftsmanship should consider applying this know-how to new design categories such as interiors, home appliances, fabrics or furniture – building new revenue streams and stronger brand identity in the process

Stat: Smartwatch sales are no longer a threat to the Swiss watch industry

G-Shock GMS2100, Japan
G-Shock GMS2100, Japan

Global – Research from Morgan Stanley shows that sales of smartwatches, including Apple’s top-selling version, have plateaued and no longer pose a significant threat to the high-end ranges of the Swiss watch industry.

Smartwatches are still selling in greater volumes than the Swiss watch market by a large margin – Apple sells more during one quarter than the Swiss industry does in a year – but the volumes are beginning to fall for the first time since the launch of the Apple Watch. Smartwatch unit sales were down 17% year on year in the fourth quarter of 2022, and Apple units fell by 16%.

The Swiss watch industry enjoyed its best year in 2022 by value, driven by a resurgence in demand for timeless pieces, especially in the US, with exports growing by 11.8%. In Next-generation Watch Market, we previously looked at how the luxury watch sector is transforming to woo a new generation of digital native young collectors who might have a smartwatch but still crave the gravitas of a high-end watchmaking.

Strategic opportunity

The proliferation of the quiet luxury and stealth wealth trend is a great opportunity for luxury brands to introduce entry-level lines to capture a new and young audience seeking aspirational products

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