Travel & Hospitality

Market shifts, microtrends and expert opinions that signal significant change for global travel and hospitality companies and consumers

Need to Know
04 : 04 : 22

Omega and Swatch unite to launch an accessible luxury watch, drone advertising lights up the sky, and AI technology piques the interests of online daters.

The metaverse gets real at Crosby Studios’ café

Web-3 Cafe by Harry Nuriev of Crosby Studios and Gaia Repossi, France Web-3 Cafe by Harry Nuriev of Crosby Studios and Gaia Repossi, France
Meta Café by Harry Nuriev, Crosby Studios and Repossi, France Meta Café by Harry Nuriev, Crosby Studios and Repossi, France
Meta Café by Harry Nuriev, Crosby Studios and Repossi, France Meta Café by Harry Nuriev, Crosby Studios and Repossi, France

Paris – The Meta Café is a gallery and dining spot opened by creative practice Crosby Studios, which points to the ways that virtual realms will inspire physical spaces, products and experiences.

The month-long pop-up takes its inspiration from Crosby Studios founder Harry Nuriev’s forthcoming home decor video game, which will be launched in April on The Sandbox. Showcasing stools, tables and wall wraps, each objects in the physical space is inspired by the lo-fi, pixelated aesthetic of gaming. Translating online, players of Crosby Studios’ upcoming game will be able to build their own virtual interiors using digital versions of the same furniture and objects.

By uniting online and offline worlds in this way, Crosby Studios hints at the Hyperphysical future of stores and hospitality. ‘If there is nothing to do but buy or browse products, then you can do that online… Consumers want to make sure before they open a door into the next shop that they are going to feel safe and comfortable, just like they are in their own living room or favourite coffee shop,’ Nuriev tells Frame.

Strategic opportunities

Expectations of retail experiences are evolving to reflect people’s lifestyles and habits. How might you unite people’s use of technology for leisure or escapism with their need for social interactions?

A high-low timepiece with hype factor

Bioceramic MoonSwatch collection by Swatch and Omega, Switzerland Bioceramic MoonSwatch collection by Swatch and Omega, Switzerland
Bioceramic MoonSwatch collection by Swatch and Omega, Switzerland Bioceramic MoonSwatch collection by Swatch and Omega, Switzerland

Switzerland – The MoonSwatch is a collection of eight accessible timepieces – the result of a collaboration between premium watchmaker Omega and entry-level brand Swatch.

Launching at a time when younger people's interest in watches is growing, this high-low collaboration derives inspiration from the planets of the solar system. The blue and green Mission on Earth watch, for example, mirrors the planet’s colouration as seen from space. Further, each watch is made with a proprietary bioceramic material – a sustainable composite material made of ceramic and castor oil.

While echoing the design of the classic Omega Speedmaster timepiece, the MoonSwatch costs a fraction of the price. Depending on the model, the original Speedmaster can cost between £5,420 ($7,106, €6,434) and £69,500 ($91,125, €82,498), while the MoonSwatch has been designed as an accessible luxury, with a price tag of £207 ($271, €246).

With the MoonSwatch already a sell-out success around the world, it reveals a growing appetite and interest in accessible high-low collaborations, and a new direction for the Next-generation Watch Market as watches become a hype sector.

Strategic opportunity

Capsule collections can be a lucrative tool to introduce a luxury brand to younger customers. Companies must also consider how in-depth storytelling and unique materials can make a collection more covetable

Paramount elevates advertising with drone display

Austin, Texas – Film and entertainment company Paramount has given a glimpse of the future of advertising with a night-time drone display that appeared over this year’s SXSW conference.

Following in the footsteps of drone displays seen at global cultural events, such as New Year’s Eve and Olympic celebrations, Paramount is reported to have deployed more than 400 illuminated drones over the city of Austin.

Transforming mid-air into the company’s logo and a ‘clickable’ QR code, the stunt was an advertisement for Halo, its upcoming sci-fi series based on the well-known Xbox game franchise of the same name.

The showcase is reported to have measured some 300 feet tall and 600 feet wide and demonstrates how an event, product launch or experience can be brought to life in a creative and eye-catching way for members of the public. Yet it also reflects growing conversation about the commodification of the night sky by drones and satellites, and the implications of space advertising, something we explore in our interview with StartRocket.

Paramount Halo The Series drone show at SXSW, US Paramount Halo The Series drone show at SXSW, US

Strategic opportunity

Beyond advertising, brands and agencies can explore the use of drone displays to impart important public information – this must be done, however, with care and consideration for urban environments and public security

Stat: Interest grows in using AI for dating

Quarantine Together, US Quarantine Together, US

People are flirting with the idea of dating powered by artificial intelligence (AI). According to a small study conducted by customer service platform Tidio, 47% of individuals say they would be willing to try an AI-powered dating app in the hope of finding a long-term partner.

When asked how they'd like AI to be deployed, 54% of respondents said they’d like it to help them find matches based on personalised criteria. Some 49% of women respondents stated they’d like AI to analyse written bios to match them with someone with common interests. By contrast, 47% of males indicated that they’d prefer the AI to recommend women they find attractive based on a survey they fill out before joining. Both men and women, however, were hesitant about sharing DNA information with AI-powered apps, with only 13% saying they’d be prepared to do so.

In the era of Uncoupled Living, where marriage and relationships are no longer the dominating structures of society, AI-powered dating might emerge as a new way to help people interact and connect.

Strategic opportunity

Given that research indicates that online daters are open to new technologies, dating sites should consider adding features such as allowing interested parties to meet in virtual spaces such as the metaverse

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