Need to Know
02 : 10 : 20

Fashionable smart glasses featuring Huawei tech, an STI app for open discourse about sexual health, and Golden Week boosts Chinese domestic air travel.

Gentle Monster and Huawei’s intuitive eyewear

Gentle Monster X HUAWEI Eyewear, China

South Korea and China – South Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster is launching a collaborative collection of smart glasses with technology brand Huawei.

The 12-piece collection takes a stylish approach to smart technology, delivering a means of communication and entertainment that is comfortable and convenient. With three styles of optical glasses and two types of sunglasses, the wirelessly chargeable frames connect to a smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth for music playback and voice calls.

The glasses feature subtly integrated technology in the arms and wearers simply double-tap the frames close to their temples to answer or hang up a phone call, to play or pause music or interact with an in-built voice assistant. Huawei’s AI voice noise reduction technology is also integrated to effectively reduce noise pollution from the surrounding environment as well as interference on calls.

Technology continues to tap into fashion as a way of bringing innovations to our everyday outfits. Combining functionality with a style-conscious approach is likely to ensure greater adoption of Automated Apparel.

Sustainable drinks packaging powered by mushrooms

Mushroom-based gift set by Seedlip, UK Mushroom-based gift set by Seedlip, UK
Mushroom-based gift set by Seedlip, UK Mushroom-based gift set by Seedlip, UK

UK – Non-alcoholic spirits brand Seedlip is pushing its sustainability credentials further with packaging that can grow plants.

Created for its Spice 94 spirit gift sets, the packaging is lightweight and home compostable, and made from biomass and mycelium – the root structure of mushrooms. Alongside a highball glass made from 100% recyclable glass, the gift set also includes tags made with seeded paper. Customers can plant these tags, which are infused with thyme seeds, inside the packaging as a form of novel at-home planter.

Seedlip's packaging, which can break down in compost bins in about 40 days, is designed to be better for the environment than traditional materials. Ben Branson, founder of Seedlip, explains: ‘We are committed to celebrating and protecting the natural world and our mushroom-based gift set progresses our support for sustainable packaging as well as championing nature’s ability to solve society’s challenges.’

Elsewhere in the drinks sector, Diageo’s paper whisky bottle provides an innovative glass alternative, while product designers are working to challenge unsustainable packaging practices through Material Far Futures.

This STI app promotes testing and status-sharing

iPlaySafe app, UK iPlaySafe app, UK

London – A new sexual health and wellness app, iPlaySafe, is designed to encourage users to test and share their STI status.

Recognising that STIs remain a global concern, despite being a preventable health issue, iPlaySafe aims to support its community of users by securely and regularly checking their sexual health.

On downloading the app, users will be able to order a one-off STI testing kit or sign up to a testing subscription service. The kits are securely delivered to users and digital test results can be accessed through the app. An option then becomes available for iPlaySafe users to share their verified healthy status if they wish.

Georgia Di Mattos, co-founder of iPlaySafe, says: ‘We should be celebrating sexual health as a vital part of our general health. To see a social change, we need to build the blocks for a change of behaviour first.’

By humanising the process of STI testing, the iPlaySafe app hopes to reposition outdated narratives and destigmatise sexual health. For more, explore our Sex Re-education microtrend.

Stat: Golden Week lifts China’s domestic travel

Chinese travellers are making the most of domestic trips for this year’s Golden Week, with the total number of internal flights set to reach more than 15m between 1 and 8 October.

This marks a 10% increase on last year, according to travel booking website Qunar. While many holidaymakers would normally use Golden Week for international travel, ongoing concerns about the pandemic are encouraging people to make the most of domestic travel – and take advantage of the discounts being offered for flights.

‘Ticket price is at a low level due to discounts amid over-supply,’ explains Lin Zhijie, an expert at the official Aviation Think Tank. ‘In previous years, it was full price, or at most, less than 20% discount.’

While Chinese travellers remain concerned about their safety amid Covid-19, many are taking up opportunities for staycations and rehabilitation travel.

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