Smart Cities

The ideas, innovations and experts that will help shape the future of the urban environment through 2030 and beyond

Need to Know
09 : 08 : 19

Tattoos that monitor health, Showfields brings immersive theatre to stores, and beauty consumers move away from multi-step routines.

Kaleidoscope wants to boost productivity with CBD

Kaleidoscope, US Kaleidoscope, US
Kaleidoscope, US Kaleidoscope, US
Kaleidoscope, US Kaleidoscope, US

New York – The direct-to-consumer supplements start-up has created a range of CBD vitamins designed to increase productivity.

Kaleidoscope's set of five vitamins use a spectrum of organically grown plants combined with 30mg of CBD. Its supplements are formulated to target and optimise different aspects of consumers’ daily wellbeing, from Glow, which contains biocell collagen and silica for skin, hair and nails, to Soothe, which includes hyaluronic acid to support joint health. Its pure CBD offering, Boost, contains 'no frills, no extra ingredients', and is designed to support busy working lives.

Founder Ana Rosenstein says her target audience are customers that have been forgotten, ‘Type A career-driven people, the people who want to be more productive versions of themselves’. She adds on the brand’s website: ‘I wanted my CBD to be functional, not recreational. To be taken every single day, combined with the benefits of a host of other ingredients.’

Positioned in this way, Kaleidoscope taps into the growing appeal of CBD among aspirational urban consumers. For more, read our Luxury CBD Market.

Quilt is a real-life conversation platform for women

Quilt Quilt
Quilt
Quilt

US – The newly launched app enables women to host group discussions in their own homes.

Quilt’s mission is to transform online and offline spaces in order to spark connections. With an online portal, members can access thought-provoking conversations and content that inspires them to log off and gather for purposeful debates, interviews, co-working sessions and workshops.

The app gives women access to a trustworthy local community in order to build their professional and personal connections. They can also use it to chat via small, intimate groups. Users who wish to bolster their network can host their own gathering at home, exploring topics such as moving to a new city, contemplating motherhood and changing careers, charging a small fee for attendance.

As a new type of female-first members’ club, Quilt is reviving the art of conversation and providing a platform for women to make more meaningful connections.

Scientists develop tattoos to monitor our health

Munich – Designed to offer intuitive feedback, the tattoo changes colour as elements in the blood spike or decline.

Developed by a team of scientists at the Technical University of Munich, the tattoo uses a fluid comprising different dyes that react with aspects of an individual’s metabolic system. In a test, the scientists injected different dyes into patches of pig skin and chemically adjusted pH levels, glucose and albumin, with the tattoos changing colour as the biomarker levels shifted.

To monitor these variations, an app was created to detect colour changes in the tattoo, providing a visible reading of potential health concerns. The researchers believe that applying the tattoos to patients could be a low-cost way to consistently track health conditions.

The project hints at a future in which a combination of technology, science and ancient techniques can help people to continually monitor their health in order to reach their Optimised Self.

Biostamp Biostamp

Showfields turns shopping into theatre

House of Showfields, New York House of Showfields, New York
House of Showfields, New York House of Showfields, New York

New York – The four-storey space curates a genre-defying shopping experience that is part retail, part immersive theatre.

Dubbed ‘the most interesting store in the world’, Showfields invites consumers to discover, shop and engage with a rotating selection of up-and-coming digital-first brands. Its flagship location in New York’s NoHo neighbourhood hosts a selection of popular wellness, home and design-focused brands alongside dedicated food, drink and event programming.

The retailer’s House of Showfields experience, which runs across the entire second floor of the store, is a first-of-its-kind immersive theatre performance that allows consumers to touch, smell, eat and test various products. Here, actors tell the stories of direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands, such as Boodles Gin, Book of the Month and Skura, with various installations throughout adding to what Showfields calls the environment’s ‘magic realism’.

With its entertainment-driven approach to experience, Showfields demonstrates how Department Store Disruptors are further elevating their dynamic showcases of DTC brands.

Stat: Beauty consumers chase simplified skincare

Female consumers in the UK are moving away from multi-step beauty routines, according to research from Mintel, which finds that three in 10 (28%) of UK women have reduced the number of products in their facial skincare routine over the past year.

Millennials aged 20–29 are the most likely to have simplified their routines, according to the report, with many looking for simpler yet equally effective solutions. ‘A growing number of UK women are turning away from the multi-step K-Beauty routine, hoping to reach the same glowing result without having to put the time in,’ explains Alex Fisher, global skincare analyst at Mintel. ‘This need for simplicity has pushed them towards minimalist skincare products with more intense active ingredients, such as serums and oils.’

In our Beauty Backlashers tribe, we spotlight a subset of beauty consumers embracing minimalist regimes.

Thought-starter: Can co-living counteract societies’ big issues?

No longer confined to affordable housing for young people, new co-living developments are tackling loneliness, sustainability and cultural issues in a bid to alleviate the pressures of modern living.

In countries such as India, young single men can find themselves banned from housing complexes because they are perceived as not being traditional enough to live alongside families. In response, co-living spaces such as OYO Life are working at a local level, creating affordable housing schemes for single people that tap into the forecast £1.8bn ($2.2bn, €1.9bn) value of India’s co-living market.

At Almere Oosterwold in The Netherlands, a rural development encourages residents to think differently about shared living. Developed by architects Zakenmaker and bureau SLA, the 100-metre long building houses nine families under one roof in a bid to minimise their environmental impact.

With many people no longer tied down to a particular place, professionals are seeking residencies that cater for a more flexible and transient lifestyle. Offering all the operational benefits and hospitality of a hotel with the shared programmes and experiences of co-living communities is Paper Factory, a redevelopment from The Collective that will open in Long Island City, New York, in September 2019.

Read the full round-up here.

Nine Dwellings Oosterwold by Zakenmaker and bureau SLA Nine Dwellings Oosterwold by Zakenmaker and bureau SLA

Related to Smart Cities

You have 1 free News articles remaining. Sign up to one of our membership packages from just £100 a month.
View Subscription Offers Sign in

What do we use cookies for?

We use cookies to enable the use of our platform’s paid features and to analyse our traffic. No personal data, including your IP address, is stored and we do not sell data to third parties.

Learn more