Otherworld is a VR playground for the senses
London – This chromatic arcade and bar transforms virtual reality gaming into a social experience.
Opening this week, Otherworld brings fourteen VR pods to a disused railway arch in London's Haggerston. Visitors are invited to order drinks and Hawaiian poké street food before selecting a game to play, each categorised by the virtual world’s spring, summer, autumn or winter. The state-of-the-art VIVE headset experiences vary from climbing Mount Everest to undertaking tedious jobs, shooting zombies and living a day-in-the-life of a fisherman.
Created by secretive technology company The Dream Corporation, Otherworld uses heat, air, vibrations and scent effects to truly immerse visitors in its VR games. To make the destination a more social pursuit, those with friends can play against one another in different pods, while repeat customers can scan a QR code to return to their last point in the game.
As experience becomes a throwaway buzzword, consumers will seek out more challenging and immersive spaces that stimulate their senses. For more, read our report on Experience 2020.
Better Not Younger addresses the needs of mature hair
Miami – This new haircare brand targets both the signs and root causes of ageing hair.
Better Not Younger products are formulated to support scalp and hair health while addressing the changing physiology of the body. Incorporating shampoo, serums and supplements, the holistic range aims to counter the main factors that contribute to noticeable changes in maturing hair: scalp neglect, damaged structure and texture, and missing nutrients.
‘As we age the physiology of our hair evolves and its needs change, but it doesn’t mean we have to settle or compromise,’ says Sonsoles Gonzalez, the brand's founder. ‘It was when I started struggling to find products that could work with my own changing hair that the idea for Better Not Younger really came to fruition. I wanted a brand that addressed these changes but also spoke to me in a relatable, contemporary and non-apologetic package.’
Music streaming has a hidden environmental cost
Glasgow and Oslo – Carbon emissions caused by digital music consumption have reached an unprecedented high, a new study says.
The Cost of Music, a research collaboration between the University of Glasgow and the University of Oslo, finds that the environmental impact of listening to music has never been higher. Though plastic production in the recording industry has dropped, the energy and resources used to power music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music are driving up carbon emissions.
‘From a carbon emissions perspective, the transition towards streaming recorded music from internet-connected devices has resulted in significantly higher carbon emissions than at any previous point in the history of music,’ explains Dr Kyle Devine, an associate professor in music from the University of Oslo. The researchers hope the findings will encourage more sustainable music consumption behaviours and services.
Awareness of the environmental impact of storing and processing data is also creating new opportunities, with brands and governments transforming data centres into climate-positive hubs. For more, read our Sustainable Data Centres microtrend.
The world’s best bar reopens as Lyaness
London – Dandelyan, which closed just days after it was named world’s best bar, has been reborn with a new name and a focus on post-category spirits.
From the mind of cocktail innovator Ryan Chetiyawardana, Lyaness takes over Dandelyan’s place in London’s Sea Containers hotel. Rather than following the format of a traditional cocktail menu, Lyaness focuses on just seven proprietary ingredients – including Infinite Banana, King Monkey Nut and Aromatised Milk Wine – to add a more playful element to the drinking experience.
The menu also includes Onyx, built on a double-fermented clear koji spirit, created in collaboration with alcohol category disrupters Empirical Spirits. Chetiyawardana also wants to shake up cocktail service, which currently relies on customers waiting for their drink. Instead, he has developed a system inspired by professional kitchens, which sees ingredients prepared ahead of time so they can be assembled at speed.
Through its partnership with Empirical Spirits, Lyaness is demonstrating the commercial opportunity for Post-category Spirits, setting an example for the global high-end hospitality industry.
Stat: Loyalty rates for EVs reach a record high
The market for electric vehicles (EVs), although still a small percentage of the total automotive market in the US, is gaining traction, according to IHS Markit. Recent analysis shows there were 208,000 new registrations for EVs in the US in 2018, more than double the number of registrations in 2017.
In addition to this, loyalty rates are high for electric car manufacturers as Americans invest in multiple vehicles. The study found that nearly 55% of all new EV owners who returned to market during the fourth quarter of 2018 acquired another EV, up from 42% in the previous quarter. ‘This increase over such a short timeframe demonstrates that a portion of the US market is highly accepting of this new technology and has a growing comfort level with it,’ says Tom Libby, loyalty principal at IHS Markit.
Thought-starter: Can good design make us more productive?
When it comes to the future workplace, architects shouldn’t be thinking about stationary design but dynamic surrounds that drive divergent thinking, says Itai Palti, director at The Centre for Conscious Design.
As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) shift the future of productivity in favour of human creativity, how will workplaces support something so seemingly elusive? The new field of science-informed design is gathering insights from psychology and neuroscience in order to enhance the performance of the built environment.
Therefore, when we think about places that inspire creativity, we shouldn’t be thinking about stationary design, but rather dynamic. It’s about the temporal experience of moving from different kinds of spaces, being drawn to external stimuli, but also having the time to let our minds wander.
The cognitive journey that we require is built of a number of different types of spatial experiences. It’s possible to think of it as a curated experience in the same way that film weaves a narrative to elicit an emotional state.
Read the full Opinion here.