News 15.08.2022

Need to Know

HÄN is bringing queer storytelling to London, a paper pregnancy test reduces plastic consumption and at-home medical analysis gets even easier.

HÄN is an archive merging queer histories and futures

HÄN. Photography by Anya Gorkova, UK
Artwork by Romeo Roxman Gatt. Featured in HÄN, UK
HÄN. Photography by Anya Gorkova, UK

London – Described as an archive dedicated to dyke, lesbian, Trans, non-binary and gender-non-conforming communities, HÄN is binding London’s queer scene with its rich history.

The project encompasses a digital archive, publishing, art and community events, seeing the role of an ‘archive’ as something the queer community can actively contribute to through their existence. ‘Archives are a living, breathing strategy,’ says creative director and curator Ella Boucht, who conceived the project from hours spent researching LGBTQ+ history and coming across gaps in accessible resources.

Operating as a tool to combat erasure of histories and celebrate queer joy, there is a major focus on the creativity of queer communities, and it’s for this reason HÄN is marking its launch with a limited-edition publication that compiles stories, images, poems and art all exploring the concept of ‘queerness as shapeshifting’, and serving as a bridge that connects the queer past with queer futures.

By framing the understanding of queer history as a form of community care, HÄN is just one of new generation of voices championing a more accessible and celebratory Queer Care Market.

Strategic opportunity

There is a vital need for better access to queer history. Consider how archives like HÄN could form part of future education systems, as new generations call for a great rewriting of history books

Hoopsy is making pregnancy tests more sustainable

Hoopsy, Australia Hoopsy, Australia
Hoopsy, Australia Hoopsy, Australia

Australia, UK – Single-use plastics remain a major issue for the medical industry, which has struggled to discover planet-friendly materials to make test kits and equipment. In response, Australian company Hoopsy is creating a paper pregnancy test that challenges the sector’s over-reliance on environmentally damaging substances.

The Eco Pregnancy Test is composed completely of paper and comes in cardboard packaging that can be recycled at home. Only the pouch that the product is delivered in is made of soft plastic, but it too can be recycled at the grocery store. With its new product, the company wants to replace the 12.5m plastic home pregnancy tests that are completed each year in the UK before being discarded in the rubbish with a more planet-friendly alternative.

While the pandemic opened the door for advances in at-home medical testing, most kits rely heavily on plastics that are harmful for the environment. Now, consumers are looking for more sustainable solutions that are made of materials besides plastic.

Strategic opportunity

In the coming years, every product, no matter how trivial, will need to be sustainable. What everyday items has your brand yet to make eco-friendly?

MIT develops stickers to see inside the body

Massachusetts – Engineers at the university have revealed a design for a stamp-sized device that sticks to skin to provide continuous ultrasound scanning of the heart, lungs and other internal organs for 48 hours.

As a safe and non-invasive way to track the body’s inner workings, ultrasounds typically require bulky and specialised equipment available only in medical facilities. But MIT engineers have designed a device that makes body-scanning ‘as accessible as buying Band-Aids at the pharmacy’.

The design currently needs to be connected to instruments that translate the reflected sound waves of organs into images, meaning it still requires a hospital space. If the devices can be made to operate wirelessly, however, the stickers could soon be available for patients to use at home. According to the study’s senior author Xuanhe Zhao, ‘We envision a few patches adhered to different locations on the body, and the patches would communicate with your cellphone, where AI algorithms would analyse the images on demand.’

This could open a new era of wearable imaging that has the ability to make advanced medical care more accessible from the home, building on the market for At-home Analysis we predicted back in 2017.

MIT Ultrasound Sticker, US

Strategic opportunity

Technology brands should prepare for a future in which consumers see their personal devices including phones as de facto medical equipment, designing for the new functions these gadgets will have

Stat: Private jet usage soars to new altitudes

Delta Airlines private jet service, US Delta Airlines private jet service, US

Private jets are no longer the preserve of the ultra-rich. According to data from Best Private Jets, 27% of middle-class Americans have flown private at least once.

The findings of the small study, which surveyed 1,250 American adults, shatters the perception that flying private is a luxury that only the ultra-affluent indulge in. Indeed, 32% of Americans with an annual income of £41,389 ($50,000, €49,175) have taken a private flight at least once.

Some 31% of those who flew private did so for the first time during the pandemic, revealing how a fear of safety and lack of flexibility may have led consumers to search beyond commercial offerings. What’s more, three out of four Americans who took a private flight for the first time in 2020 say they're ‘very likely’ to do so again in the future, showing how behaviours that began during the pandemic have a longevity beyond the health crisis.

And with the price of commercial airline tickets rising to record levels, global airports struggling to cope with the recovery in international travel, consumers from different walks of life might be tempted to try private travel. We explore what's behind the resurgence of private aviation in the upcoming Luxury & Hospitality Futures event.

Strategic opportunity

Use fractional pricing strategies to make flying private more affordable and accessible to travellers seeking refuge from the crowds of commercial airlines

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