Need to Know
06 : 12 : 19

Rewarding children’s playtime with screen time, Sobar minimises the effects of alcohol, and young men still aren’t seeking help for mental health.

New Territory re-imagines aircraft seating

Interspace by New Territory in partnership with RedCabin and the Aircraft Cabin Innovation Summit Interspace by New Territory in partnership with RedCabin and the Aircraft Cabin Innovation Summit

London – London-based industrial design studio New Territory has launched a new company focused on re-inventing the customer experience on aircrafts and other forms of public transport.

Named Universal Movement, its first project – Interspace – offers a fresh take on the traditional airline seat. Designed to accommodate passengers’ real movement, each seat features two padded supportive wings that fold out from the back. These not only provide greater lateral support by allowing passengers to rotate, lean and rest on a cushioned surface, they also provide greater privacy.

‘Universal Movement and Interspace have been born from the fact that not enough time, thought and resources have been invested into the back of the aircraft cabin,’ says Luke Miles, founder and chief creative officer at New Territory. ‘We believe that comfort, good posture and wellbeing are human rights, irrespective of financial status or social class.’

As we explore in our Future of Flight Wellness market, consumers are looking for products and services to improve their wellbeing in transit.

This children’s ball earns them screen time

Play by Spark

New Zealand – Telecoms company Spark is developing the ball to help families achieve a healthy screen time balance.

Play by Spark is a prototype rugby ball that uses Bluetooth to track the number of minutes children take part in active playtime. Custom-built technology inside the ball – including a gyroscope and accelerometer – connect to an app that converts playtime into screen time allowance. The app also alerts parents when this time runs out.

The concept, which is now being trialled with New Zealand families, hopes to encourage digital self-regulation from a young age. ‘Technology is part of everyday life and we want to help children grow up developing positive digital habits. At Spark, we’re working to equip parents with the right tools – like this smart ball and app – so that technology is part of the solution,’ says Sarah Williams, Spark’s brand experience lead.

Companies such as Spark are playing an increasingly supportive role for parents and children to help them approach their digital lives more mindfully.

A snack bar designed to cut alcohol absorption

California – Sobar is a snack-sized protein bar designed to significantly reduce alcohol absorption.

Created by American start-up Zeno Functional Foods, the bar has been proven to nearly halve alcohol absorption. Eating the Sobar before drinking is said to reduce peak blood alcohol concentration by up to 50%. The product works by using a proprietary blend of milk protein and insoluble oat fibre to hold alcohol in the stomach for a longer time so that it can be inactivated.

‘This research project started after I had too much to drink on an empty stomach at a wedding,’ explains Joseph Fisher, creator of Sobar. ‘After that experience I thought that there was a huge need for a specialised, low-calorie snack that could efficiently and effectively reduce alcohol absorption.’

By creating a product that minimises alcohol’s intoxicating effects, Sobar caters for the growing number of Low-proof Drinkers who are seeking a more considered relationship with alcohol.

Sobar Sobar

Stat: Masculinity is still a barrier to mental health

Young men are still facing taboos when it comes to masculinity and their mental health, according to a study by Mintel. The agency found that a third (33%) of men aged 16–34 admit that feelings of embarrassment could prevent them from seeking help with their mental health, compared with 26% of all males.

Another barrier to seeking help is the belief that professional help is too expensive, which was cited by 28% of 16–34-year-old men. ‘Although there is a growing acceptance of conditions such as depression and anxiety, there is a need to change perceptions of severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and personality disorders,’ argues consumer lifestyles analyst Jack Duckett. ‘A more direct approach towards highlighting these conditions would undoubtedly be a boon for mental health acceptance.’

Although mental health issues are increasingly destigmatised, men are still facing barriers to getting the help they need. However, brands are stepping in to make the therapy sector more accessible for all.

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