Need to Know
20 : 11 : 18

A new lease of life for hotel linens, eSports enters Walmart and Cooper Hewitt investigates the future of urban movement.

Acupuncture rebranded for Millennials

WTHN, New York WTHN, New York
WTHN, New York WTHN, New York
WTHN, New York WTHN, New York

New York – Wellness startup WTHN offers acupuncture as a convenient and affordable service in a salon setting.

As alternative medicines become increasingly mainstream, WTHN is demystifying this ancient Chinese practice for a Millennial audience. The salon’s treatment menu uses accessible language to help consumers understand acupuncture’s potential benefits for anxiety, pain relief and skincare. Face Time, for example, promises to reduce wrinkles, calm inflammation and boost collagen.

‘We have a national vision and a very clear target about creating acupuncture for the next generation of wellness consumers,’ says co-founder Michelle Larivee. ‘This is really the next natural frontier of wellness and recovery.’

WTHN’s frictionless online booking, check-in system and membership model also encourage customers to come in for regular treatments, much like they would for a spa or facial. A monthly membership, which entails one treatment a month, costs $75 (£58, €65) while one-off treatments are $85 (£66, €64). For more on the evolution of the spa, read our Modern Med Spas microtrend.

Ace Hotel turns its hotel linens into travel essentials

Recently Retired by Everybody.World x Ace Hotel Recently Retired by Everybody.World x Ace Hotel
Recently Retired by Everybody.World x Ace Hotel Recently Retired by Everybody.World x Ace Hotel

Los Angeles – Sustainable lifestyle and apparel brand Everybody.World is giving Ace Hotel’s discarded sheets another lifetime of use.

Launched by Atelier Ace, the team behind the urban hospitality brand, the Recently Retired collection of travel essentials includes weekend duffle bags, slippers, sleep masks and zip pouches. To create the products, the hotel provided Everybody.World with cotton linens that are usually discarded after a period of use, with the brand repurposing the fabric through dyeing and quilting processes to create new, 100% biodegradable products.

The collection, which is priced for the premium market, is the latest project in an ongoing partnership between the two brands, who share similar eco-conscious values. Previous releases include a line of upcycled towels.

Hotel brands are acknowledging and adapting the historically unsustainable practices of their industry, from the number of discarded bed linens to the amount of waste plastic produced by miniature shampoos.

Esports Arena opens venues inside Walmart stores

North America – The dedicated eSports facility has announced it is collaborating with Walmart to bring gaming competitions and events to both shoppers and the wider community.

Esports Arena plans to open and operate five gaming arenas within Walmart supermarkets, with three sites already operating; one in the Californian city of Roseville, one in Washington State's Spokane Valley, and a third in Colorado Springs. Echoing game play at Esports Arena's major spaces in Orange County and Oakland, the in-store arenas will run weekday league nights, as well as tournaments on the weekends. There will also be open play hours for customers to train together, try out new gaming products or practice for an upcoming match.

Through the collaboration with Walmart, Esports Arena associates will also be on hand to help customers purchase gaming products in store and online. Tapping into recent research, which shows that in-store entertainment is a big draw for Millennial and Generation Z consumers, the partnership reflects both the growing interest in eSports at a mainstream level, and the need for retail brands to rethink their store spaces beyond simply selling products.

eSports eSports

Cooper Hewitt speculates on the future of urban mobility

The Road Ahead at Cooper Hewitt, New York The Road Ahead at Cooper Hewitt, New York

New York – The museum’s latest exhibition, The Road Ahead: Reimagining Mobility, will feature a selection of installations and design responses that explore the future of urban movement.

Opening on 14th December 2018 at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the exhibition will include 40 projects that each address the question: ‘How do people want to live?’. Responses include Arup’s The Sounds of the Future City project, an immersive sound experience that speculates how cities will sound when new technologies, such as automated vehicles, infiltrate the public space.

Alongside this, visitors will learn about Starship’s self-driving delivery robot, Zipline’s autonomous delivery drone, FXCollaborative’s Public Square model for greener, more walkable public spaces, and Local Motors’ autonomous shuttle for people with physical and cognitive disabilities.

Until then, subscribers can learn about the most exciting innovations impacting the mobility sector by exploring our Far Futures vertical.

Stat: Market for high-end brain supplements set to quadruple

According to Wellness Summit’s 2018 Global Wellness Trends Report, demand for brain health supplements is increasing year on year. Driving this growth is consumer desire to enhance attention, mood, creativity and motivation. Leading the category, however, are memory-enhancing supplements, with the anticipation that they will continue to drive sector demand in the years ahead.

Demand is also being met by greater access, with online retailers fuelling sales for high-end brain supplements and nootropic ingredients such as Acetyl-L-carnitine, ginkgo, ginseng, bacopa monnieri, DHA and tryptopha. Re-visit our macrotrend The Optimised Self to explore how consumers are biohacking their way to better brains, bodies and wellbeing.

Thought-starter: Will solar-powered rooftops grow our food?

Designer Marjan van Aubel imagines how future city dwellers will harvest both electricity and food from an artificially intelligent rooftop system called Power Plant.

Power Plant is a greenhouse that uses transparent solar glass to power its indoor climate, harvesting electricity while growing the food of our future. ‘It is mad to think that the food we are eating comes from the other side of the world and travels for miles, with subsequent transport costs and environmental impact,’ says van Aubel.

‘With Power Plant, you have full control of the climate and can create any climate you want in one location, which means you no longer have to transport food over long distances. This makes much more sense because you wouldn’t need to import certain produce because you can replicate the conditions and the climate to grow them in the Power Plant.’

‘As consumers, we are so used to having out-of-season strawberries, or raspberries in winter,’ van Aubel continues. ‘But I believe that in five to 10 years, we won't have to worry about the energy consumption of these types of foods.’

Read the full Q&A with Marjan here.

Power Plant by Marjan van Aubel, Eindhoven Power Plant by Marjan van Aubel, Eindhoven