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05 : 10 : 18 : Weekly Debrief

Need to Know

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5 October 2018

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Neobio Family Park by X+Living, Hangzhou


This week: The Woolmark Company praises natural materials, Renault releases driverless delivery pods, a club that provides a multi-sensory experience, Denmark gets a Climatorium, Samsung gives a voice to the future family. 

Live and Breathe, The Woolmark Company

1. The Woolmark Company's new campaign promotes wool in a synthetic future

Sydney – The Woolmark Company has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the performance benefits of Australian Merino wool.

Entitled Live and Breathe, the campaign hopes to remind consumers that Merino wool’s natural qualities – including breathability and odour control – make it an ideal material for athleisure wear. Australia produces 90% of the world’s apparel wool, making it a powerful force in changing the way consumers buy wool products.

An accompanying ad was created for the global wool authority by TBWA\Sydney, and takes aim at our modern obsession with synthetics. Set in a speculative future, the protagonist navigates a world that has forgotten the benefits of natural textiles, where people wear artificial clothing created from the coats of synthetic sheep. Finally, the woman discovers a natural environment populated by real sheep, away from the dystopian cityscape.

To discover more natural materials that could overthrow our fixation with synthetics, read our round-up from H&M Foundation’s Global Change Award.


EZ-PRO model by Renault

2. Renault releases a fleet of autonomous delivery cars

Germany – The Ez-Pro is a modular driverless vehicle that delivers parcels, but can also function as a retail space.

The vehicle is a development of Renault’s Ez-Go ride-sharing concept, which was announced in March this year. The Ez-Pro gives the automotive brand the opportunity to expand into retail by turning the pods into pop-up shops and food stalls.

When functioning as a delivery vehicle, both businesses and consumers can select a delivery time and location, where the Ez-Pro will be waiting to meet them. They can then access self-service lockers from the pods using a smartphone app. According to Renault, last-mile delivery – from a transport hub to its final destination – comprises 30% of traffic in cities. The Ez-Pro would ease this traffic by releasing fewer vehicles during rush hour and connecting to traffic light data.

In our macrotrend Subconscious Commerce we explore the rise of Mobility Commerce, and how driverless retail concepts such as the Ez-Pro and Toyota’s e-Palette could disrupt the notion of destination retail.



3. VAJ.Power is digitising the nightclub

Glasgow – Audio-visual collective VAJ.Power is now putting on club nights and workshops that sit at the intersection between digital art and music.

Launched by animators and promoters Holly McGowan and Sofya Staune, VAJ.Power provides nightclubs with 3D visual art, or VJing, defined by the duo as ‘like DJing but with visuals’. Now, the collective is expanding with its own educational events that challenge the traditional hedonistic nightclub experience.

The >Fuse events are focused on learning and include night-time 3D animation and VJing workshops. Attendees can then show their new skills during the collective’s club nights. Described as ‘conscious clubbing’, >Fuse operates a safe space policy. ‘This should not be a temporary feature, but rebuilt in the venue as a way of restructuring our ideas of gender,’ the duo told It’s Nice That.

Innovators in the nightlife industry are using digital technology to provide multi-sensory experiences. For more, read our Nightlife Market.

4. Denmark is opening a centre to address climate change

Lemvig – Due to open in 2020, the Climatorium is a purpose-built space designed to raise awareness and create solutions to tackle climate change.

The building, designed by Copenhagen-based architects 3XN, will function as a forum for knowledge, education and innovation around climate change. Its location in the coastal city of Lemvig was chosen because the city is facing an increased risk of flooding from rising sea levels.

The Climatorium aims to become a world power in creating climate solutions, providing meeting and common space for researchers tackling this global issue. It also aims to attract tourists, who can visit a rotating programme of exhibitions, events and concert, as well as a permanent café, turning the building from an educational centre into a destination in its own right.

Countries – especially those in the Arctic region – are investing in physical spaces that address climate change. Earlier this year we spoke to architecture practice Snøhetta about the need for eco-conscious design in extreme environments.

Climatorium, Denmark
#VoiceForever, Samsung India

5. Samsung gives a voice to the future family

India – A new advertising campaign shows how Samsung’s voice assistant could help families cope with the impact of degenerative illnesses.

The ad emulates the real-life story of a mother, Sonal, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND), and who agreed to let Samsung preserve her voice so she could continue to communicate with her daughter as the disease began to affect her ability to move and speak. The brand customised its AI-enabled Bixby technology with the voice of Sonal, and embedded this in a Samsung smartphone for the family to use.

In the campaign film, the young daughter interacts with her mother through the AI voice assistant, despite her mother’s notable absence. ‘At Samsung, we are focused on transforming people’s lives with innovative technologies. The endeavour is to solve real-life problems of consumers through meaningful innovations,’ says Ranijivit Singh, chief marketing officer for Samsung India.

While the hands-free functionality of voice assistants has positioned these devices as tools for disabled consumers, Samsung is imagining how its technology could be used to support families and continue legacies in the far future.


To future-proof your world, visit The Future Laboratory's forecasting platform LS:N Global for daily news, opinions, trends, sector specific insights, and strategic toolkits.


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