Need to Know
03 : 07 : 19

On-the-go salad snacks, Super Glow takes a wellness approach to self-tanning and why Chinese seniors are debunking lonely stereotypes.

Accessories for the Paranoid tackles data privacy issues

Accessories for the Paranoid by Pia-Marie Stute and Katja Trinkwalder Accessories for the Paranoid by Pia-Marie Stute and Katja Trinkwalder
Accessories for the Paranoid by Pia-Marie Stute and Katja Trinkwalder Accessories for the Paranoid by Pia-Marie Stute and Katja Trinkwalder
Accessories for the Paranoid by Pia-Marie Stute and Katja Trinkwalder Accessories for the Paranoid by Pia-Marie Stute and Katja Trinkwalder

Germany – The speculative Accessories for the Paranoid project is a series of add-on accessories for people who are sceptical about data security.

Designed by Katja Trinkwalder and Pia-Marie Stute, Accessories for the Paranoid explores an alternative approach to surveillance through four ‘parasitic’ objects that are designed to produce fake data. The objects include a webcam that displays fabricated scenes, a device to feed Alexa with fake information, and an algorithm to randomly spread likes, shares and searches on Facebook, YouTube and Google.

While this may seem contradictory, the purpose of the project is to blur our digital profiles and create a fictitious version of our data identities in order to out-smart technology. ‘If attempts to restrict the flow of our personal data would consequentially restrict our access to said services and products as well… do we have no other option but to obey and share?’ ask the designers.

The project expands on some of the themes we explored in Morality Recoded, which questions how creators can navigate moral dilemmas in the technology sector.

Roughs turns salads into snacks

Roughs by Satisfied Snacks, UK Roughs by Satisfied Snacks, UK
Roughs by Satisfied Snacks, UK Roughs by Satisfied Snacks, UK

UK – Satisfied Snacks has launched a new savoury snack that takes whole salad ingredients and turns them into a light, crispy wafer.

A completely new way of combining ingredients, Roughs is an on-the-go snacking concept that boasts high fibre content and at least one serving of fresh vegetables. The snacks, which are hand-made in the UK, are dried rather than fried or baked, and contain no potato, corn, wheat, rice, oil or added sugar. The range comprises: Beetroot and Goat’s Cheese, Tomato and Feta, Red Pepper and Walnut, Carrot and Kimchi, and Pea and Courgette.

Packaged in infinitely recyclable metal cans, the convenient format caters for time-poor, health-conscious consumers. ‘Driven by the lack of healthy and tasty options I had to choose from, I invented my own snack that combined taste, health and convenience without any compromises,’ explains founder Heather Daniell. For more on how the meaning of convenience is changing in relation to food, read our Convenience Culture Market.

A tanning serum with skincare benefits

UK – Super Glow combines gradual tanning with hyaluronic acid and seven superfoods.

Launched by self-tanning brand Tan-Luxe, the product contains a complex of hyaluronic acid and extremely low molecular weight sodium hyaluronate. When combined, the two ingredients activate multi-level hydration, increased skin function and less trans-epidermal water loss to keep skin healthy.

Tan-Luxe is just one brand that is experimenting with self-tanning products that provide holistic benefits as well as aesthetic. While hyaluronic acid quenches and plumps the skin, superfood ingredients provide nourishment. In addition, the lightweight serum also wards off the effects of pollution.

Hyaluronic acid has been used in moisturising products for years but now the ingredient is finding its way into the booming Self-Tanning Market.

Super Glow Serum by Tan-Luxe Super Glow Serum by Tan-Luxe

Ikea’s Uppkoppla collection targets gamers

Uppkoppla by Ikea, Unyq and Area Academy Uppkoppla by Ikea, Unyq and Area Academy
Uppkoppla by Ikea, Unyq and Area Academy Uppkoppla by Ikea, Unyq and Area Academy

UK – Ikea has unveiled prototypes for a series of products designed to change the gaming experience at home.

The furniture and home goods retailer teamed up with Unyq, a design company offering customised 3D-printed medical wearables, and Area Academy, an education platform for eSports, to improve the lives of gamers. The first prototypes from the collaboration include a wristband, keycaps and a mouse ‘bungee’ to improve gaming precision. The prototypes were presented at Democratic Design Days in Älmhult, Sweden, in June alongside an app to capture users’ biometrics.

With more than two billion people playing video games globally, according to Newzoo, Ikea has identified a market with particular needs that are under-served. ‘It’s actually striking how unexplored this part of the gaming industry is,’ says Tommy Ingemarsson, founder and CEO of Area Academy. ‘Focus has always been on the hardware, and everything else has been ignored.’ As the eSports market continues to grow, gamers will require a greater range of home products.

Stat: Chinese seniors find it easy to make new friends

In China, stereotypes about lonely pensioners are largely misguided, according to a study by Mintel. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of urban Chinese seniors aged between 55 and 72 think it’s easy to make new friends later in life, with only 13% saying they often feel lonely. Meanwhile, a huge 57% of Chinese university students say they suffer from a high or medium degree of stress due to loneliness.

This research contradicts many popular theories that older consumers are more prone to loneliness, showing that they are actually more optimistic, independent and satisfied with life than younger generations. ‘All these [factors] indicate opportunities for companies and brands to create senior-focused offline social events to attract these silver consumers,’ says Scarlett Zhao, associate research analyst at Mintel China.

With older consumers creating new friendships and forms of kinship well into their retirement years, brands must avoid approaching this demographic with negative messaging.

Thought-starter: Are India’s youth redefining Asian femininity?

Social media has empowered Indian women to take control of their identity, says Atika Malik, chief operating officer at Cheil India. Now it’s time for brands to step up.

‘In India, television shows are responsible for many stereotypes,’ says Malik. ‘The woman always morphs into a snake. She’s a witch, she’s conniving, she’s plotting, she’s a nasty mother-in-law. It’s quite black and white: you can either be a nice little girl or an evil woman who tries to play politics and family dynamics.’

According to Malik, brands are moving too slowly to address this. ‘But hopefully, a younger group of producers, content-creators and influencers will change things,’ she says, adding that technology is also empowering women in India to drive change.

‘At Cheil we’ve just finished India Ready Action, a piece of work for Samsung that calls on Generation Z to upload video content that challenges stereotypes about India, creating a new map of the country. We were amazed by the crowdsourced content that Generation Z have shot and uploaded. Many of them showed the outdated ways the world still perceives India and Indian women. The younger audience is much less tolerant of that.’

Look out for the full Q&A.

NorBlack NorWhite and Fila, India NorBlack NorWhite and Fila, India
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