Need to Know
29 : 04 : 20

Self-driving cars animate kids’ playgrounds, a dedicated VR room for future homes, and local markets win footfall during Covid-19.

Nendo’s self-driving cars for kids’ Edu-play-tion

Coen Car by Nendo for DeNA, Toyko

Tokyo – Coen Car is a concept from Nendo introducing children to autonomous vehicles, while also functioning as pieces of mobile and interactive playground equipment.

Designed for Tokyo-based technology company DeNA, the concept features six different mobile vehicle designs that take inspiration from the movements commonly found in playgrounds, such as climbing, spinning and sliding. The Coen Cars are intended to autonomously travel around parks or kindergarten areas, acting as both objects for play and transportation.

The concept cars have an accompanying app that allows parents to keep track of when and where the vehicles are moving and what time they will arrive at nearby parks. According to Nendo: ‘With cutting-edge technology, the project aims to create a new relationship between people and cars that is more than a just means for transportation.’

With many parents seeking to balance the use of technology with hands-on play, innovations like the Coen Car are merging digital and analogue activity in outdoor spaces. For more, explore our latest microtrend Edu-play-tion.

The Venn room brings Programmable Realities home

The Venn Project by SpacePopular, London The Venn Project by SpacePopular, London
The Venn Project by SpacePopular, London The Venn Project by SpacePopular, London

London – Multidisciplinary studio SpacePopular is exploring how the rise of virtual reality (VR) as a widespread communication platform will change our home interiors.

With face-to-face video calling gaining momentum in recent months, the founders of SpacePopular believe that VR will replace current major forms of communication. Explained using a concept film, the studio proposes a dedicated space designed for VR communication known as The Venn Room, where multiple activities cross over.

Taking cues from the structure of a Venn diagram, the room will allow physical spaces to blur, enabling people to virtually sit together if they physically move furniture to the right position. In light of Covid-19, the appearance of such rooms in future home design could be accelerated. 'This current situation, in all its awfulness, might serve as a moment to reconsider and experiment with the place that technology takes in our lives, opening our eyes to... the opportunities it offers,' SpacePopular explain.

As we look to a future of altered living as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, our homes and living spaces will also shift to become programmable. For more, look out for our upcoming Scenario, exploring the future home as a result of lockdown living.

This app hyper-personalises women’s job searches

US – InHerSight's job app allows women to hyper-personalise job searches against more cultural and lifestyle led factors.

Offering a curated service that goes beyond traditional career platforms, InHerSight lets users search based on factors such as company culture, policies around work-life balance, child care and mentorship.

Recognising that every woman's career path is different, the app’s home feed also offers a more comprehensive approach than many job boards. Users can access articles with titles such as 'Find balance' or 'Get hired', alongside podcasts and music based on the personal interests and goals of users.

Ursula Mead, co-founder and CEO of InHerSight, explains: ‘We believe strongly at InHerSight that every woman’s career path is different, and we want to give them the power and insight they need to pursue jobs at companies they love.’

With proportionately more women than men facing unemployment or job uncertainty as a result of Covid-19, they are looking for brands to support their Female Futures.

InHerSights app, US InHerSights app, US

Stat: Londoners turning to food markets during lockdown

A study by YouGov reveals that many Britons have changed their grocery shopping habits since the beginning of the nation's Covid-19 lockdown.

While 23% of Britons say they have visiting corner shops more frequently since lockdown began and 16% have been buying more groceries online, people living in London have demonstrated different habits from the rest of the country. In total, 16% of Londoners said they have been shopping more at food markets.

Meanwhile, a quarter of people living in London have also been having more takeaways than usual. This compares with only 8% of the rest of the population – the largest difference across food and grocery categories.

With lockdown restrictions creating more barriers around access to food, London in particular is leaning into the benefits of local and community-based supplies. For more on this local mindset, explore Kindred Diners.

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