News 06.03.2019

Need to Know

Huawei introduces its foldable phone, Seismic is technical apparel for Baby Boomers and growing up with greenery optimises mental health.

Old Spice launches a dry shampoo for men

A Breath of Fresh Hair, Old Spice

US – Male grooming brand Old Spice is diversifying into a traditionally female-dominated product category with the introduction of its first dry shampoo for men.

Available in two of the brand’s most popular scents, Pure Sport and Fiji, the launch is accompanied by a tongue-in-cheek campaign, entitled A Breath of Fresh Air. Offering a playful, eighties-style take on male grooming, the spot encourages men to refresh their hair in between washes tapping into a wider movement within the industry around reducing consumers’ water consumption.

With its low price point and an aesthetic that stays true to the traditional Old Spice branding, the product caters to the growing Men’s Beauty Market in a way that is still very accessible to the everyday man.

Nestlings is a game to help you save money

Nestlings by Thought Machine, UK Nestlings by Thought Machine, UK
Nestlings by Thought Machine, UK Nestlings by Thought Machine, UK

UK – The app has been created by FinTech company Thought Machine as a way to gamify saving and reduce anxiety around money.

Nestlings, which will be released later in 2019, will connect with the user’s bank account and pull small amounts of money in reaction to game play. To save money, users select from a series of animated characters, which each perform different money-saving tasks, such as putting away 50p in celebration of reaching Friday or 75p when the user spends money after midnight.

Rather than helping consumers save large amounts of money quickly, Nestlings is focused on smaller regular payments that will slowly build a savings pot. Rewarding consumers in a similar way to a video game or virtual pet, the app features savings milestones that improve the wellbeing of the animated creatures.

Although Nestlings markets itself as suitable for all ages of users, the concept of gamifying finance is typically considered a way to engage the younger generation. For more, read our Money Market: Generation Z.

Huawei signals smartphones’ flexible future

Barcelona – Launched at Mobile World Congress 2019, the Huawei Mate X offers a new phone format with a high-strength flexible OLED panel that can be folded and unfolded with ease.

Billed as a 2-in-1 smartphone and tablet, the device caters to those looking for both a work and an entertainment system, while still remaining completely portable. The foldable design also allows for a variety of new features, changing the way that consumers interact with their phones. For example, Mirror Shooting mode, which works when the phone is closed, allows anyone taking a photo to simultaneously show the subject what they will look like on the front screen.

As explored in Experience 2020, new technological advances are allowing for a new generation of immersive interfaces that completely alter the way consumers that will access and consume digital content in the future.

Huawei Mate X smartphone

This technical body suit offers an extra set of muscles

Seismic, US

San Francisco – Seismic’s Powered Clothing fuses discreet robotics with textiles, functioning as an extension of the human body.

Previously known as SuperFlex, the body suit can be worn discreetly beneath clothing and uses electric components at key points around the body. While it's not designed to do work on behalf of the wearer's muscles, it contributes about 15 to 30% of the power required to complete a manoeuvre, such as standing up or sitting down.

The design is informed by the body’s own biometrics, using embedded sensors to track the body’s movements and help the wearer when necessary. According to co-founder Richard Mahoney, the suit can be worn by anyone, but it is initially targeting Baby Boomers. ‘As people age, they begin to lose strength, and that boomer generation has a high premium on maintaining an active lifestyle,’ he tells Wired.

Baby Boomers are described by The Future Laboratory as Flat Age consumers because they do not allow the obstacles of ageing to stop their active lifestyle, instead seeking physical and mental optimisation.

Stat: Green spaces proven to promote better mental health

A new study published in the peer reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) has found that children who grew up with the lowest levels of green space were up to 55% more likely to develop a mental health disorder. The research, conducted between 1985 and 2013 and surveying more than 900,000 people across Denmark, demonstrates the importance of including green spaces in urban developments.

With health and wellness now entrenched as a mainstream mindset, forward-thinking brands are already tapping into biophilic design as a way to promote wellbeing among both consumers and employees. See our Wellness Architecture Market for more.

Thought-starter: Will rooftop farms feed the masses?

Agricultural practices undergoing a seismic shift, as farmers and start-ups contend with feeding an ever-growing urban population.

All indications point to a future of urban living around the globe, with the UN predicting that by 2050, 68% of the world’s population will be based in cities. With this boom in urbanism, over the past 10 years we have witnessed a Rurban Revolution, with city-dwellers aiming to become self-sufficient when it comes to their food supply by creating arable land in warehouses and on rooftops, where there was once none.

Indeed, vertical farming has long been heralded as a solution that will help feed growing urban populations and create shorter supply chains from farm to consumers. But the challenge of urban farms, particularly vertical farms, is that they tend to be very energy-intensive.

Successful rooftop farms such as Lufa Farms in Montreal, which has a combined growing space of 138,000 square feet, show how urban farms can work to supply local restaurants and feed citizens as well. The farm has a direct-to-consumer model that delivers 10,000 food boxes to customers every week in the Greater Montreal area – an amount that feeds about 2% of the region’s population.

Read the microtrend New Urban Farms here.

Iron Ox, US
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