The Optimised Self Overview
Humanity is on a quest. It is not a quest for perfection, but for optimisation – to be the optimal versions of ourselves, the most effective and the most efficient that we can be. For The Optimised Self, there is no end of the journey, no perfect self – but there is continual improvement. The quest for optimisation is also a quest to become more human. It is about hoping to have it all, and then some.
We only have 24 hours in each day, so why not take a smart drug to help make our days more efficient, or seek out technology that enables us to harness the full potential of our brain?
Click through the sections on this page to see how The Optimised Self trend has been manifest since 2015.
Ayo offers a natural solution to achieve better sleep, combat jet lag and feel energised when needed. According to Novalogy, the device can help to reduce the effects of jet lag by up to 60%. An accompanying app enables the user to create a personal profile based on their sleep and lifestyle information, and whether they want to improve their wake/sleep cycle, beat jet lag, or boost their energy at certain times of the day.
Key Development: Consumers are adopting experimental technologies that enable them to optimise their wellbeing.
HearAngel, the latest app from LimitEar, a company that specialises in producing hearing dose-management technologies for professional headphone users in the military and music industry, is helping people to manage their DSA. The app tracks what users are listening to, for how long and how loud, notifies them when they are in danger of overexposure, and can even intervene by automatically lowering sound levels to ensure that the recommended daily limit is reached gradually over 24 hours.
Key Development: According to the World Health Organization, a staggering 43m people worldwide aged between 12 and 35 suffer from hearing loss. HearAngel helps users to preserve their hearing for longer.
The range of leggings has been redesigned not only in length, cut, colour and shape, but also in terms of how they feel.
The collection ranges from Relaxed (nothing in your way) and Naked (lightweight, second skin) to Held-in (support for your key muscle groups), Hugged (a comfortable embrace) and Tight (locked and loaded).
Key Development: Brands are speaking to consumers in terms of emotions and sensations to help them feel like their best selves.
Drawing on fields beyond the traditional limits of sporting arenas, Vollebak R&D combines insights from physiology, neuroscience, conceptual art and material technology. The Baker Miller Pink hoody is designed to engage the parasympathetic nervous system to relax the wearer, while the Condition Black Jacket is designed to enhance the wearer’s chances of survival.
Key Development: In the age of The Optimised Self, brands are developing products that aim to enhance the mind as well as the body.
Short classes are timed to fit into the limited period spent at the gate before boarding. The classes are designed to prepare the body physically and mentally for in-flight conditions. Counter-stretches optimise joints and muscles for the discomfort of being stuck in a poorly designed aeroplane seat for hours, while breathing techniques help to soothe the mind.
Key Development: Consumers are looking for opportunities to get the most out of every aspect of their lives, fitting health and wellbeing choices into their hectic lifestyles.
Originally designed to help people make better food choices, the app tracks users’ meals and drinks to give Lifesum key insights into its customers’ diets and identify nutritional deficiencies.
An in-house nutritionist analysed dietary information from more than 30,000 London-based users to create Lifesum Green, a new juice with all of the key ingredients that city dwellers lack. In addition to the data, Lifesum studied people’s behavioural patterns to address the physical impact of issues such as stress and tiredness on their health.
Key Development: Consumers are demanding products that improve their physical and mental wellbeing.
The rebranding was a response to how consumers increasingly view wellness as a signifier of luxury. The Westin Well-Being Movement combines fitness, health and beauty, and includes six wellbeing pillars – Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well and Play Well.
Key Development: The Optimised Self movement has made wellbeing an integral part of contemporary culture and established hospitality brands are increasingly weaving the language of wellness into their communications.
The San Francisco-based company, which already produces a range of daily nootropics, each designed to boost specific cognitive functions including memory, resilience to stress and mental clarity, has launched Go Cubes, a chewable coffee made from cold-brew coffee.
Key Development: Overworked and under-stimulated, people are looking for ways to hack their bodies to be the best versions of themselves they can be.
As consumers become increasingly aware of mindfulness, Equinox wanted to create a class that combines mental agility with physical exertion. HeadStrong is broken down into four portions – Focus, Adapt, Willpower and Reboot.
Adapt is designed to encourage neuroplasticity, where the brain makes new connections, by breaking away from the exercise model of routine to create sporadic movements called out at random intervals by the instructor.
Key Development: People are coming to understand that to have more control over their bodies, they need to have control over their minds as well.
The Fitwel Rating, designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), General Services Administration(GSA) and the Centre for Active Design (CfAD), offers an intuitive and practical way for employers to improve workplace health and create genuine change through a series of practical guidelines.
Key Developments: Workplaces are a key battleground in improving public health and are being remade to inspire and improve wellbeing.
Pro Genius is based on exclusive techniques used by sports performance psychologists to train professional players.
The update comprises five games and tools that enable users to develop their decision-making, strategy, confidence and visualisation skills.
Key Development: In the age of The Optimised Self, self-improvement is about mental as well as physical performance.
Coffiest adds a dark roast flavour to Soylent 2.0, which is designed to appeal to those who want to skip a traditional breakfast in favour of a convenient hit of nutrition, energising caffeine and balancing nootropics.
Key development: As The Optimised Self mindset reaches the mass market, brands are moving away from purely utilitarian products.
A runner sets the pace along the 200m running track in Manila before being joined by a virtual version of themselves beamed onto an LED screen, which races them from the second lap onwards.
Key development:Nike has tapped into The Optimised Self mindset’s focus on self-improvement by creating a real-time visual doppelganger.