News 19.11.2020

Need To Know

A sleep app that prompts relaxation through colouring, Walmart partners with Cruise on self-driving delivery and the global surge of online video streaming.

Loóna’s sleepscapes are phygital wind-downs

Loóna App, US
Loóna app, US

US – The Loóna app uses interactive storytelling in the form of sleepscapes to help people wind down and fall asleep.

Combining interactive colouring with ambient music and guided storytelling, the sleepscapes provide a holistic and healthy method of winding down at the end of each day. While many sleep apps focus primarily on aural relaxation, Loóna integrates visual stimulation as a way of reaching a meditative state.

‘The idea with Loóna was to use technology for good – to boost people’s wellbeing by helping them prepare for sleep,’ explains Eugene Nevgen, the apps's co-founder. ‘This isn’t just about functional techniques like breathing and counting exercises, but an inspiring and magical experience using art, stories and music to transition the mind from day to night.’

Although technology is notorious for contributing to unhealthy sleep habits, we’ve previously identified ways that digital tools can help people to relearn positive sleeping patterns.

Tracking food freshness with sensorial labels

Mimica Touch, UK Mimica Touch, UK
Mimica Touch, UK Mimica Touch, UK

London – Start-up Mimica's tactile label acts as a spoilage marker for food and drink in order to reduce food waste.

Mimica Touch is a gel-filled tag that responds to external warmth, and uses that as an indicator of the decay levels of food. When a person touches the label to check an item's freshness, it will feel either smooth or bumpy – smoothness signifies viable food while the latter denotes food that's inedible. The label will respond at a faster rate when food reaches a temperature that is sub-optimal, such as when meat or fish is left out of a fridge.

With plans to release specific labels for juices, dairy and meat, the company’s mission is ‘radically reduce scarcity and unnecessary waste by becoming the new standard for freshness information for industry, consumers and communities all around the world’.

In Food Waste Innovation we explore other solutions tackling food waste, from the use of dyes as biomarkers for freshness to shared fridges that feed communities.

Walmart explores self-driving EV deliveries

Walmart, US Walmart, US

US – The supermarket chain is teaming up with Cruise, a self-driving car company, to pilot customer delivery services using all-electric vehicles.

As part of the pilot, which will be launched in early 2021, customers will be able to place orders from their local store and have them delivered, contact-free, by Cruise's self-driving car. With consumers increasingly adopting online shopping habits during the pandemic, Walmart is exploring new directions in the delivery sector.

The pilot also builds on the growth of convenience retail, as consumers seek ways to save time on essential grocery shops, alongside today's heightened health and safety concerns. In this way, such contact-free delivery services are particularly appealing. The collaboration with Cruise also helps to address environmental concerns – with its vehicles using 100% renewable energy and supporting Walmart’s aim to support zero emissions by 2040.

With home-delivery services gaining momentum as we move into a new era for retail, the potential for AI-driven services is gaining traction.

Stat: Online video streaming surpasses broadcast content

Nolii, London Nolii, London

A surge in global online video viewing presents new marketing opportunities for brands, according to a new report.

Research by Limelight Networks reveals that the amount of time a person spends watching videos online has increased by one hour and seven minutes, reaching a total of 7 hours and 55 minutes per week globally, compared to 6 hours and 48 minutes in 2019.

In addition, in seven out of 10 markets analysed by Limelight Networks, online video is a more popular medium than other broadcast content – led by viewers in India, Indonesia and the US – although broadcast viewing is still preferred by those over the age of 60.

While the study highlights opportunities for brands to access consumers through the medium of video – describing platforms like YouTube as a ‘place of discovery’ for many consumers – the research also cites Covid-19 as the main contributor to the increase in online viewing, and suggests that these figures may fall once the pandemic eases.

Online, young people in particular are creating their own video content and series as a pushback against highly curated, big-budget media. For more, read our Everyteen TV microtrend.

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