News 06.10.2023

Need to Know

Discover Intrepid Travel and The Future Laboratory's report on travel futures, Fiona Harkin’s Foresight Friday and the lucrative futures of the weight-loss market.

Intrepid Travel and The Future Laboratory’s new report warns of travel extinction

AI imagery by Intrepid Travel AI imagery by Intrepid Travel

Global – Adventure tour operator Intrepid Travel and The Future Laboratory have published a new report, A Sustainable Future for Travel, warning that travel as we know it could soon become extinct.

In the face of the climate crisis, the travel industry is at a crossroads – climate breakdown and tourism restrictions could curb the pursuit of wanderlust, while the optimistic outcome would be regenerative breakthroughs changing travel for the better.

Insights explore the possible remapping of popular tourism destinations, and calls for action from key players in the travel sector by showcasing the social, cultural and technological changes that can propel the industry forward in a positive direction through to 2040 and beyond.

Read the the full report here. If you would like to connect with our experts and learn more about our Commissioned Thought-Leadership, please reach out to us at [email protected].

Humane’s AI pin makes a cameo at Coperni’s Paris Fashion Week show

Humane, US Humane, US
Humane AI Pin at Coperni spring/summer 2024, Paris Humane AI Pin at Coperni spring/summer 2024, Paris

France – Tech wearables are making their way into fashion shows. Fashion brand Coperni has a reputation for being tech-forward – from featuring Boston Dynamics robot dogs on the catwalk to the infamous dress spray-painted on Bella Hadid. This season, tech was weaved into the brand’s Paris Fashion Week presentation in the shape of AI pins.

Manufactured by Humane, the wearable tech is a screen-less stand-alone device with in-built AI-powered software set to be commercialised later this year. Models, including fashion icon Naomi Campbell, wore the AI pins on coat lapels, suggesting how the device could seamlessly become a part of users’ daily lives.

There was no product demonstration at the fashion show, but the guest appearance of Humane AI pins on the runway generated traction for the tech brand nonetheless. Tech is already ubiquitous in our everyday lives, but as the next wave of innovations develop devices from hand-held smartphones to wearable devices, we expect to see more interactions between the tech and fashion worlds.

Strategic opportunity

Using a fashion show to soft launch wearable tech that could look intimidating to some consumers is a smart marketing move. Beyond publicity, consider how tech and fashion can collide more in the future, yielding mutually beneficial collaborations

Foresight Friday: Fiona Harkin, foresight editor

 Zünc Studio for The Future Laboratory, UK Zünc Studio for The Future Laboratory, UK

Every Friday, The Future Laboratory team offer an end-of-week wrap-up of the topics, issues, ideas and virals we’re all talking about. This week, foresight editor Fiona Harkin discusses sh*tty service, the ultimate AI goal and brands’ responsibility to women.

: I had never really paid much attention to the ‘enshittification’ label until I had a run-in with Sky customer service this week. If you’re not familiar, enshittification refers to the moment when an online platform becomes more monetised and less user-orientated the longer it lasts. I now think it applies to any service, as does The Atlantic.

: Is the future of AI a UI issue? Jony Ive thinks so. The Apple designer is said to be partnering with OpenAI to create an AI device, of which there are no more details. But ask yourself, what’s the future of hardware in an AI era? My mind conjures up a wearable AI that negates the need for mobile devices. Hopefully, it won’t have in-built obsolescence (ahem, Apple).

: I don’t want to write about this. I don’t want to list the women who have died over the past few weeks at the hands of violent men empowered by institutional misogyny. As the effect of incel culture becomes insidious, it’s not something brands should ignore – see this video of influencer Sneako feigning shock at the misogynistic and homophobic lines spouted back to him when meeting some of his very young male fans. Why? Let me say this loud and clear for those at the back: MVAWG (male violence against women and girls) doesn’t start with violence – it’s a choice, fed by micro-aggressions, everyday sexism, discrimination and harassment both in work and out of it. If you as a business are accepting these behaviours in any way, you too are responsible. What are you going to do about it?

Quote of the week

‘We’re still doing [patriarchy], we just hide it better now.’

Barbie Movie (And also the UK Supreme Court. And also, apparently, the creative leadership of most luxury brands)

Stat: Spending on weight-loss drugs is set to soar in the next decade

Universal Standard, US Universal Standard, US

Global – Novel weight-loss drugs such as Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Wegovy have gained popularity for the quick-fix weight-loss they provide, and according to market analysts, they are here to stay.

New data suggests that semaglutides are poised to become a £82.3bn ($100bn, €95bn) market by 2035. BMO Capital Markets analyst Evan David Seigerman laid out this market prediction in September 2023, claiming that in the US market alone, revenue for these weight-loss medications could reach £57.6bn ($70bn, €66.5bn). ‘We see change coming in the US payer and reimbursement environment, and data-driven broad support across medicine, politics, regulation and culture for broad access to obesity therapeutics,’ wrote Seigerman.

Although semaglutide drugs are effective in supporting weight loss and have recently been found to reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes, they are a controversial topic. Public opinion is divided, with many celebrities being accused of taking the medicine to achieve dramatic weight loss to promote excessive thinness. In our body hostility opinion piece, we touched on how the rise of weight-loss drugs and celebrities losing the pounds suggest that the 2020s might be the decade where we started regressing when it comes to body positivity.

Strategic opportunity

Be wary of consumers’ heightened sensitivity around body image. Weight loss is not a trend, it is crucial to continue celebrating diverse body types to ensure that your audience feels seen and validated in media representation

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