US – As the Consumer Electronics Show 2023 kicks off in Las Vegas (5–8 January), there has been significant pre-event buzz around – not a new gadget or gaming device – but an open-source connectivity standard called Matter.
Interoperability between smart devices is a constant goal for tech brands and never more so than with smart home devices. From video doorbells to appliances, these devices are produced by multiple companies – and they often do not integrate seamlessly with each other securely.
Supported by the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA), formerly the Zigbee Alliance, Matter is a language and infrastructure platform through which multiple smart devices can communicate, and it is being developed by the likes of Amazon, Google, Samsung, Texas Instruments and Apple. For consumers, it means all devices can be set up and routed from one place. The first specification release of the Matter protocol will run on Wi-Fi and Thread network layers and will use Bluetooth Low Energy for wi-fi commissioning.
Once certification from CSA is finalised, Matter will enable companies to be faster to market – and the consumer market for smart devices will expand due to ease of use and greater interoperability. Explore more of our analysis about evolving domestic spaces in our Home and Family series.
US – Stripped down from countless and often unnecessary features, buttons and accessories, LG’s new line of minimalistic appliances embraces a back-to-basics approach to home electronics.
Boasting a clean and simple design, the home appliances range, to be unveiled by LG Electronics at CES 2023, aims to deliver essential value to customers with better energy efficiency and simple controls for a streamlined and effortless user experience.
To extend the lifecycle and personalise products, LG has created an innovative software upgrade system. The downloadable Laundry Saver Mode, for instance, can keep clothes tumbling for a set time after the washing cycle to prevent wrinkles and odours. ‘We want customers to experience the feeling of getting a new washer or refrigerator throughout the entire lifecycle,’ adds Lyu Jae-cheol, president of home appliances at LG.
In parallel, LG is also launching an ultra-premium appliance line, with cutting-edge technology and more sophisticated design, taking the same principles of convenience and efficiency adapted for the affluent consumer.
In our Home and Family series, we further explore the ideas, innovations and disruptors that are reshaping the future of home environments and structures.
US – In the run-up to CES 2023, fittings brand Kohler Studios has revealed a bathroom upgrade that promises to elevate showers through aromatherapy for an affordable, spa-like experience at home.
Consisting of a shower head attachment and shower pods, Kohler’s Sprig Shower Infusion System offers a multi-sensory upgrade to any bathroom. The pods come in different scents, such as eucalyptus, chamomile and lavender, and come with added skin-enhancing active ingredients, like hyaluronic acid or sodium. Sprig Shower Pods are designed to infuse and enrich the water stream for the duration of a single shower, giving users the possibility to mix up the scent and ingredient combinations depending on their mood and skin concerns.
Priced at £115 ($119, €131), Kohler’s at-home shower infusion solution will cater for wellness-driven consumers by providing a convenient and accessible sensory spa-like experience at an affordable cost. In addition, the launch of this wellness gadget stresses the growing importance of water quality, and the crucial role of the clean water market for the beauty and wellness rituals of tomorrow.
US – To be presented at CES 2023, the new Evie smart ring is targeting women’s health concerns, providing medical-grade insights from cycle-tracking to mood management.
Developed by health tech company Movano Health, Evie monitors metrics you would expect from a wearable – physical activity, sleep, heart and respiration rates, SpO2 (oxygen saturation), and body temperature variability – but also gathers women-specific data, such as period- and ovulation-tracking, menstrual symptom-tracking and, more unconventionally, mood-tracking.
This added feature is thought to help users better manage stress and sleep issues.
Movano says that the wearable can enable women to better understand the cause behind what they’re feeling and experiencing, backing it with medical-grade data they could bring to a clinician. The company is seeking clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration for the smart ring.
This Medi-luxe accessory taps into the growing consumer interest in easy and constant access to biometric data, while making it specifically tailored to women’s needs and aesthetic preferences.
Denmark – Copenhagen Fashion Week (CFW) has shared a status update on its 2020–2022 Sustainability Action Plan, revealing major progress despite not achieving its target of slashing carbon emissions by 50% since 2019.
The ambitious three-year action plan is the first sustainability strategy undertaken by CFW, which positioned the event as a leader in driving change in the fashion industry. In its concluding report, CFW announced it has met 13 out of 14 goals for 2022. Several carbon emission-cutting initiatives were enacted, from encouraging guests to choose trains rather than flights to only serving vegetarian and vegan meals.
‘As an agenda-setting fashion week whose sustainability efforts are recognised by the wider industry, CFW has deliberately chosen not to reduce the number of international guests, even though it would significantly lower our carbon emissions and allow us to reach our initial climate goal,’ explains the annual report. But the event is rolling out new initiatives. Starting with the next fashion week, which takes place in January 2023, all brands must meet 18 sustainability standards to be part of the official schedule.
Despite not reaching every target, Copenhagen Fashion Week’s transparency and ambition marks a hopeful step forward in reconciling the fashion agenda with sustainability commitments.
Sign up to one of our trends intelligence platform, LS:N Global and get unlimited access to a hive of insights - from microtrends and macro trends to market reports, daily news, research across eight industry sectors and much more.