24 : 12 : 21 : Weekly Debrief

type - need to know
Need To Know

This week: Nissan looks to space tech for inspiration, decomposable fashion on the high street, from Playstation to Plate, a multimedia meditation headset and fast food chains unite for charity.

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24 December 2021

Author: The Future Laboratory

Image: Work Anywhere by HP, Germany


Nissan and JAXA, Japan

1. Nissan looks to space tech for mobility innovation

Japan – In a bid to develop vehicles suitable for a variety of terrains, the car manufacturer is partnering with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) on a research and prototyping project. Its Lunar Rover concept applies Nissan’s e-4ORCE all-wheel control technology – which JAXA is developing to improve vehicle performance in harsh conditions.

Through this joint research, Nissan and JAXA aim to advance vehicle technology by testing designs on the dusty and treacherous terrain on the Moon, which in turn will inform design decisions for its cars to withstand various conditions on Earth. Ikkoh Funaki, director of the Space Exploration Innovation Hub Center, says: ‘By conducting research with Nissan, which has expertise in electrified technologies, we hope to apply our findings to the development of higher-performance lunar rovers.’

Looking ahead, vehicle manufacturers will increasingly need to develop future-fit Mobility solutions that can withstand the planet’s uncertain climate conditions.

Algae dress by Scarlett Yang, UK

2. Decomposable fashion could hit the high street

US – Non-profit organisation The Biomimcry Institute is exploring how decomposition technologies could create bio-positive fabrics for use by high street fashion brands.

Seeking to establish a number of commercially ready materials that can be used in fashion production, its studies will convert wasted textiles into bio-compatible raw materials. Taking place over two years, the initiative will explore more than 130 decomposition technologies for textiles, including bacterial, enzymatic and anaerobic digestive processes.

Highlighting the solutions it hopes to offer, Beth Rattner, executive director for The Biomimicry Institute, asks: 'How do we get fashion to operate as an eco-system [like] the adaptive cycle that nature follows, which is primary production, consumption and decomposition?'

Existing materials in this space include wool and mycelium, also known as mushroom leather. By developing such bio-positive solutions and decomposition processes, The Biomimicry Institute hopes to offer an alternative to the fashion industry's reliance on recycling or reselling.

PlayStation To Plate, Australia

3. PlayStation takes dishes from play to plate

Australia – Tapping into demands for phygital gaming experiences, the gaming brand is working with Australian restaurants and delivery platform Deliveroo to bring virtual dishes to life. Focusing on games such as Uncharted and Ratchet & Clank, the PlayStation to Plate campaign features restaurants Mary’s, The Italian Bowl and Bistro Morga recreating in-game foods as edible menu items.

The campaign by creative experience agency Amplify recognises the opportunity to promote food and drink in association with popular media and entertainment platforms. ‘By surfacing the attention to detail that goes into even the incidental food found in gaming universes, we hope to give new audiences a flavour of the rich, immersive worlds and stories, found only on PlayStation,’ says Tim Baggott, creative director at Amplify.

In an age when much of our social interaction and cultural experience exists in online spaces, PlayStation is tapping into Media Kitchens, bringing fictional or digital foods into real-life existence.

4. LightVision is a multimedia meditation headset

UK and US – While a growing number of people are exploring digital platforms as a way to support their mental wellbeing, US start-up Resonate is banking on hardware, launching a meditation headset that offers instant respite from daily stressors.

Created for Resonate by UK strategic design agency Layer, the LightVision headset features an LED light matrix that converts videos of the natural world into biomorphic patterns, complemented by a soundscape. Visible even through closed eyes, the ever-changing sequence of lights and shapes instigates a meditative state, no matter what the user’s previous experience with meditation.

With its textile-wrapped casing and metallic details, the LightVision headset points to a future of wellbeing devices that eschew medicalised design in favour of fashion design cues. The portable nature of the headset also aligns with the emergence of self-guided psychonautic therapy, while highlighting the potential of multimedia synthetic spas.

Resonate LightVision. Designed by Layer, US
Burger King, Poland

5. Fast food giants come together for charitable causes

Poland – Fast food giants McDonald's and Burger King are setting aside competition and joining forces for a worthy cause. In the unusual instance of inter-brand collaboration, Burger King is enticing its customers to buy food from McDonald’s to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities, which supports the families of sick children.

For one weekend in Poland, McDonald’s will donate one Polish zloty from every portion of fries sold to help unite children with their parents in hospitals around the world. To encourage people to support this cause, Burger King is offering its customers a free Whopper Junior if they purchase fries from its competitor. To redeem the burger, consumers can bring their McDonald's receipt to the nearest Burger King chain and receive a free burger.

By setting aside the fast food brands' long-standing rivalry to benefit a philanthropic cause, this is a clear example of Symbiosis Strategies in action, demonstrating how inter-brand collaboration can help boost the profiles of both companies.



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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