22 October 2021
Author: The Future Laboratory
Sweden – The technology brand is working with solar cell company Exeger to offer innovative headphones that can be charged using the sun. Aligning with Urbanista’s city-based product naming system, its solar-powered version is titled Los Angeles. To achieve its power-saving functionality, Urbanista integrates Exeger’s proprietary material technology, called Powerfoyle, into the headphones’ armband.
A supporting app also allows users to see in real-time how much energy is being used by wearers proximity to light. By integrating this solar cell technology in a seamless way, the brand claims people can achieve ‘infinite playtime’, just by wearing the products outside. ‘Bringing together innovation, sustainability and all the features you could wish for in a headphone, Urbanista Los Angeles is designed for someone who lives an on-the-go lifestyle,’ comments Anders Andreen, CEO of Urbanista.
As well as offering a convenient solution for consumers, this innovation sets an examples to brands in being less reliant on conventional power sources that are harming the planet. Indeed, as Andres Colmenares, co-founder of IAM says, tech brands must address the environmental emergency.
UK – Continuing its foray into functional fragrances, the The Nue Co.'s latest perfume, Mind Energy, also functions as a mental wellbeing supplement by provoking the senses to combat stress and fatigue. To do this, each ingredient in the perfume has been selected for its healing properties, with a formula designed to enhance mental sharpness and acuity.
According to The Nue Co., Mind Energy is a bright and zesty fragrance best suited to offset sluggishness and environmental stressors. The formula draws from neuroscience to increase mental energy and boost focus, with the brand recommended it as a remedy for brain fog after a long day at work or as a pick-me-up following a long-haul flight.
This product demonstrates the increasing alignment of the fragrance sector with the wellness industry, showing how Psychoactive Scents have become powerful anti-stress supplements. ‘The way we view, use and benefit from supplements is ever-evolving. Whether it’s through our fragrance supplements, topical supplements or ingestibles, what matters most is that we’re solving a problem,' explains Jules Miller, founder and CEO of The Nue Co.
Panama – In a bid to recover its travel industry, the Central American country is investing in a sustainable tourism plan that it hopes will rebuild its visitor economy by 2025. To do this, newly launched local marketing agency PROMTUR, together with the government-backed Panamanian Alliance for Community Tourism, is placing Panamian communities at the heart of the country’s growth.
Part of the initiative involves sensitively positioning ten indigenous or Afro-Panamanian communities as tourism destinations, as a way to preserve their heritage and put the spotlight on local residents. ‘We know there’s an opportunity to attract this demand, to bring in dollars to the country, but at the same time preserving our nature and our culture with involvement of local communities and helping to improve the lives and wellbeing of communities,’ comments Ivan Eskildsen, tourism minister for Panama.
By prioritising its residents through this strategy, Panama sets an example to international tourism boards on how to balance external consumer interest with internal development.
UK – The Stop Cyberflashing campaign by health charity Brook and illustrator Genie Espinosa challenges the British government’s lack of response to the rise of unsolicited nudes sent online. With a tagline that reads, ‘It’s illegal to flash someone IRL, so why not online?’, the campaign is aiming to criminalise the act of ‘cyberflashing’.
It was created in response to research by YouGov that finds that four in ten young women have been sent a photograph of a penis that they did not request, with 46% saying they were under 18 when it first happened. Senders currently face little to no repercussions.
Brook tapped illustrator and comic book author Genie Espinosa to design the campaign, leveraging the naivety of childhood to illustrate darker messages. Motivated by government inaction, the campaign uses bright colours and youthful aesthetics to speak directly to those impacted by ‘cyberflashing’, galvanising younger generations to act by scanning a QR code that conveniently allows them to message their MP. This form of Graphic Activism is becoming a key way for young people to raise awareness around political issues and demand change through design.
Paris & UK – The daytime hotel booking site is reframing staid perceptions of its services through a vibrant redesign that posits pleasure and hedonism over functional work bookings. Delivered by creative agency DesignStudio, the branding centres on a vibrant yellow and orange colour palette, while graphic illustrations mimic the layout of comic books – positioning the idea of daytime hotel booking as leisure pursuit.
While travel booking is largely formulaic and functional in its presentation, Dayuse is injecting design and fun back into the booking process, using its focus on daytime hotel use to do so. ‘In a world of hotel-aggregator sites and black and white booking forms, Dayuse as a business, and now brand, is a burst of something different,’ says DesignStudio.
Already, we’ve been tracking the rise of Downtime on Demand, considering ongoing opportunities for the hospitality sector to position its services and rooms for anytime public use. Now, as the travel and tourism industry rebuilds in the inter-Covid period, businesses can capitalise on consumer’s growing demands for safe and convenient escapism.
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