Need to Know
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Sneakers crafted from cotton and corn, hotels embrace wearable technology, Lumen uses breath to measure metabolism.

The at-home gym that uses digital weights

Tonal, US

US – The Tonal smart weight machine provides digital coaching and personalised programs to enable an advanced fitness regime without leaving the house.

Designed to be fixed to a wall, Tonal features two adjustable arms that simulate an entire weights room of equipment, with an in-built engine to create resistance. Personal trainers appear on its digital screen, while the machine tracks users’ progress as they move through the exercises, tailoring their workout routine based on their fitness data.

Costing £2,350 ($2,995, €2,624), Tonal is unquestionably aimed at wealthy fitness enthusiasts, who increasingly expect at-home exercise equipment to match that of high-end gyms. This autumn, Peloton will release a smart treadmill also designed for at-home fitness.

Reebok sneakers made entirely from plant-based materials

Cotton + Corn by Reebok Cotton + Corn by Reebok
Cotton + Corn by Reebok Cotton + Corn by Reebok

US – Dubbed Cotton + Corn, Reebok’s latest shoe is designed with a cotton upper, a corn-based plastic substitute sole, and an insole crafted from castor bean oil.

To ensure that every aspect of the shoe design is environmentally friendly, the trainer’s fabric has not been dyed and the packaging has been made exclusively from recycled materials. While adidas’s shoe collaboration with Parley for the Oceans featured recycled ocean plastic, brands such as Reebok and Allbirds are taking this one step further with designs that are entirely plastic-free and instead use biological plastic alternatives.

‘It didn’t start out with corn and cotton, it started out with recycling [and] compostability,’ says Bill McInnis, Reebok head of Future. ‘Our issue with recycling is you recycle plastic, it’s still plastic…You’re not getting rid of the problem.’

Meliã Hotels introduces a wearable for local payments

Majorca – The hospitality brand is rolling out electronic bracelets that enable guests to make payments at retailers in and around the town of Magaluf.

The wearable, which also unlocks guests’ rooms, lets them pay for spa treatments, meals and rides at a local theme park, with purchases charged when they check out. Although Meliã’s band works in a similar way to other wearables, such as Disney’s MagicBand, it has expanded its reach by allowing guests to use the wearables to pay for items at nearby stores such as Mango and Starbucks. Meliã now plans to roll out the bracelets to nine more of its hotels by early autumn.

Hospitality brands are gradually realising how wearable technology can augment the travel experience. In 2017, cruise company Carnival introduced its Ocean Medallion, which uses artificial intelligence to suggest activities for passengers.

Read our Travel & Hospitality sector for more trends affecting the industry.

Meliá Hotels, Majorca Meliá Hotels, Majorca

Lumen educates consumers about their metabolism

Lumen, Israel Lumen, Israel
Lumen, Israel Lumen, Israel
Lumen, Israel Lumen, Israel

Israel ­– Lumen, which exceeded its target on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo, is a portable device and accompanying app that uses breath to measure and analyse a person’s metabolism, suggesting personalised meal plans in response.

Targeting a range of consumers, from those looking to improve their fitness to others who want to lose weight or maintain weight loss, the device provides users with insight into whether energy is being burned from carbohydrates or fat..

In acknowledgement of the fact that people may be unaware of the composition of certain foods, the app is also equipped with a food search feature that provides insight into carbohydrate and fat content. In addition, users can submit photos of their meals, which are then analysed by nutritionists, to ensure that they align with the app’s recommendations. ‘Lumen not only educates users, but also validates those measurements,’ says Dror Ceder, Lumen’s chief product and marketing officer, in a statement. ‘They can count on them being scientific, accurate and personal.’

As explored in our AI Advisors microtrend, consumers are increasingly seeking digital tools that provide practical nutritional insight.

Most shoppers influenced by voice assistant algorithms

A new report by Digitas indicates that voice assistants’ algorithms are eroding brand loyalty. Of more than 2,000 respondents, most indicated that they had previously been persuaded to buy the first product offered by their home assistant, even if it was not the brand they had been searching for.

‘Providing consumers with the right content – and equipping them with the right search terms – will increase your chances of being served first by the algorithm,’ says Jenna Sheeran, senior vice-president of search marketing at Digitas Boston.

For more on how brands can effectively implement a strategy around voice-activated commerce, explore our macrotrend.

Thought-starter: How is Made in America changing the luxury market?

The US maintains its position as the world’s biggest luxury market, but disruption from discounters, failing malls, and Made in America claims are changing the sector.

Sales of luxury goods in the US continue to be robust and American consumers, although left divided and uncertain by political turmoil, are also feeling confident, with more than half (43%) of Americans describing their economic situation in 2017 as ‘healthy’.

While the US luxury industry is built on imports, production of luxury goods in America has been boosted by a campaign to promote reshoring. Some brands, such as Hackwith Design House, Buck Mason, Freenote and Genetic Los Angeles, are successfully manufacturing premium clothing in the US.

Made in America is not just about dodging tax levies or reducing carbon footprints, however. It is also about brands taking pride in their heritage and stoking the patriotic spirit. There is a thriving domestic jewellery industry in America, with particular hubs in New York and Los Angeles producing luxury goods that tap into American heritage and perform well both home and abroad.

Read The State of Luxury: USA for more on how the country’s affluent consumers are spending.

The RealReal and Stella McCartney The RealReal and Stella McCartney