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29 : 05 : 20

Unusual sodas for complex palates, an AR app that blends physical and digital, and smart home devices continue to cause privacy worries.

United Sodas of America re-imagines soft drinks

United Sodas of America, US United Sodas of America, US
United Sodas of America, US United Sodas of America, US
United Sodas of America, US United Sodas of America, US

US – United Sodas is a new direct-to-consumer drinks brand looking to elevate the soda market with inventive flavours.

The Brooklyn-based brand made its debut with 12 signature flavours, including traditional favourites such as Ginger Ale and Cherry Pop, alongside more sophisticated options like Toasted Coconut and Sour Blueberry. Further elevating the products, the branding mixes bright hues, bold fonts and a matte finish.

The range has been created as a high-quality and healthy alternative to many existing sodas, with each drink containing 30 calories, no artificial ingredients and only organic sweeteners. ‘We’re looking to create a beverage to convert people from not wanting soda to having a soda that they love to drink again,' says Marisa Zupan, founder of United Sodas of America, who was motivated to launch a new brand after a clear pushback against sugary drinks.

Grown-up Sodas are on the rise as consumers' palates become more complex, demanding a balance of health and flavour.

This app enables copy and paste from IRL to digital

AR Copy Paste AR Copy Paste
AR Copy Paste AR Copy Paste

Global – AR Copy Paste lets users capture elements from their physical space and transfer them into their computer in a few seconds.

The app was created by a designer and programmer, Cyril Diagne – a Google artist-in-residence. Using augmented reality (AR) and machine learning technology to detect objects and isolate images, AR Copy Paste accurately detects people, objects or text and transfers the result as a virtual rendering to their computer.

The process automatically removes the background of the chosen items and allows users to easily drop the image into a program such as Photoshop or InDesign, simply by moving their smartphone over a computer screen. Intended to enhance the creative output of visual design such as presentations, e-commerce imagery and social media content, the app could support both brands and individuals.

As a result, the app shows how consumer touchpoints are becoming increasingly digitised and reactive – something we explore in our Programmable Realities macrotrend.

Diesel boosts everyday apparel with anti-microbial shield

US – Diesel’s Upfreshing capsule collection boasts an antibacterial and antimicrobial product and droplet barrier.

The collection features 20 essential items, including denim jeans, t-shirts and sweatshirts. Offering freshness and anti-microbial protection, the garments have been treated with a finishing application of the innovative Protector Shieldtechnology.

The shield is intended to safeguard against bacteria and germs than can create odours, cause allergic reactions, and worsen stains. Requiring no additional manufacturing steps as the treatment is applied directly onto clothing, the process is also relatively easy to implement.

Sustainability is another benefit, according to the brand. 'Thanks to this innovation, your clothes could be washed less, which means using less water and energy for laundering and reducing the environmental impact of the use phase, one of the most impactful steps in the lifecycle of a garment,' says Diesel.

The potential for protective, purifying materials indicates a shift towards functional fashion that doesn’t compromise on existing aesthetics. For more, read our Material Far Futures report.

Upfreshing capsule collection by Diesel, US Upfreshing capsule collection by Diesel, US

Stat: Smart home devices still spark privacy concerns

Accessories for the Paranoid by Pia-Marie Stute and Katja Trinkwalder Accessories for the Paranoid by Pia-Marie Stute and Katja Trinkwalder

A US survey by PCMag has found that some 68% of people believe smart home devices listen when they aren’t aware, and share data with the companies behind the product.

With smart speaker devices featuring built-in voice assistants posing the biggest concern, consumers are increasingly concerned about their data being shared with companies such as Amazon and Google. While reports released by Amazon show that devices such as Alexa are used to improve future services, only a small percentage are analysed by employees. As such, technology companies would do well to better educate consumers on the ways they can regain control over their privacy demands.

As we explore in Privacy Hardware, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of data breaches, and are seeking new ways to shield their digital identities.

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