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12 : 10 : 17

12.10.2017 Mobility : Advertising : Food & Drink

In today’s daily digest: Sonos focuses on music’s emotional power, why genetic modification can be a good thing, the future of manufacturing and other stories.

1. Financial Times launches gamified Uber driver experience

The Uber Game by the Financial Times The Uber Game by the Financial Times
The Uber Game by the Financial Times The Uber Game by the Financial Times
The Uber Game by the Financial Times The Uber Game by the Financial Times

Global – The business publication has launched an online game that enables players to experience life as an Uber driver. Linked to an article entitled Uber: The Uncomfortable View from the Driving Seat, The Uber Game is designed to highlight the challenges faced by Uber drivers in an engaging, interactive experience.

‘We’ve written many stories [on the subject], but we wanted to see if we could help people to achieve a more emotional understanding of what it’s like to rely on the gig economy to make a living,’ explains Robin Kwong, head of digital delivery at the Financial Times. In a similar vein, our Virtual Empathy microtrend explores how media outlets are using virtual reality (VR) to engender feelings of empathy among the general public.

2. Sonos campaign focuses on emotion over technology

Sonos One: From Heartbreak to Healing by Sonos

US – A new Sonos campaign puts into practice research commissioned by the brand and Apple Music in 2016, which explored the emotional impact of music on people’s relationships and mood. Unlike other smart speaker ads, which typically focus on the technology behind the device, the series of tv spots highlight the device’s emotional qualities.

‘[Our competitors’ devices] are built for utility, but that’s not our vision for the connected home,’ explains Dmitri Siegel, vice-president of global brand at Sonos. ‘The core idea is that the right song, at the right moment, can really reset the mood and transform your experience.’

Consumers are increasingly in tune with their feelings, and brands are developing new products and services that tap into this mindset. Read our macrotrend The E-motional Economy to find out more.

3. Genetically modified wheat a breakthrough for coeliacs

Global – A new strain of gliadin-free wheat has been developed using the gene-editing technique CRISPR. Gliadin is a component of gluten that causes an inflammatory reaction in people with coeliac disease.

Although not yet ready for market, scientists at the Institute for Sustainable Agriculture in Córdoba, Spain, have conducted successful tests on groups of people with coeliac disease in Spain and Mexico.

While genetic modification (GM) is often criticised in the mainstream media, experts including research designer Mariah Wright believe that the technique has beneficial applications that should be celebrated. With carbon dioxide in the atmosphere leeching protein from crops, GM could offer a practical solution to this global problem.

Toast Ale, London Toast Ale, London

4. Adidas announces small-batch sneaker series

Adidas AM4 sneaker

Global – Adidas will launch the first product in its AM4 sneaker series on 19 October, which will be manufactured at the brand’s Speedfactory in Ansbach, Germany. The robotic factory enables the brand to develop and launch small runs of a certain style rather than waiting for ‘50,000 or 100,000 pairs to be ready, and then launch’, explains James Carnes, vice-president of global brand strategy at adidas.

The first product, AM4LDN, is designed to meet the specific needs of runners in London, while an edition aimed at runners in Paris will be released the following week. Advances in technology are transforming manufacturing, facilitating the development of dynamic production methods that react quickly to consumer demand. For more see our Fast Fabrication microtrend.

5. Obesity will be a major burden on the world by 2025

New research from the World Obesity Federation (WOF) shows that one-third of the global population will be overweight or obese by 2025 if no action is taken. Obesity-related disease, which includes cancer, heart attacks and diabetes, will cost the US £3.2 trillion ($4.2 trillion, €3.5 trillion) and the UK £180bn ($237bn, €200bn) over the next eight years if nothing is done to prevent it. As LS:N Global explored in our Upstream Eating microtrend, consumers are turning to technology to help prevent future health problems, and making more informed food choices.

6. Thought-starter: Do we need to design for digital resistance?

In the age of behavioural addiction, when the current race for attention is causing an epidemic of distraction, strategic researcher Victoria Buchanan explains why technology designers should create more thoughtful products that demand less of our attention.

Instagram shows new likes one at a time to keep us checking for more. Our media turns events into breaking news to keep us watching. Tinder keeps us swiping right in the belief that the love of our life could be just around the corner. The typing dots in Facebook Messenger, the ping of a Tinder match – these have unique identities that heighten the anticipation of the next notification hit.

We have lost control of our relationship with technology because technology has become better at controlling us.

Given that technology is here to stay, how do we design products for the future that break this cycle of dependence and nurture a healthier approach to our digital lives?

Read the full opinion piece here.

Hacktiviste for Amusement magazine. Photography by Gregoire Veille Hacktiviste for Amusement magazine. Photography by Gregoire Veille