Weekly 'Pulse' Issue 18

We can’t step too far into this year without reflecting on the big changes in 2016. To honour the year that was, we’ve curated a list of our highlights and opportunities for 2017... 

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Virtual Reality Goes Mainstream 

We glided through 2016, watching nearly every major player dip a toe (or two) into the VR stream. More affordable kits saw a shift beyond gaming as companies started to experiment with the format as a way to educate & train, manage pain, explore the world and help customers make the right purchases. 

Our highlights from the past year...

  • Swedish pharmaceutical giant Apotek Hjärtat, who created a virtual reality 'happy place' to help manage pain symptoms.
  • Google Earth, who gave us all a new perspective on the world by using VR as a way to explore far away places.
  • The Dutch National Opera, who designed an entire ballet using a 360 degree camera paired with a VR headset to put the audience right in the very centre of the action. 

How will improving accessibility and affordability of VR kits change how we shop, teach, design and even treat illness in 2017? 


Smarter Living

Urban planners, architects, governments and citizens are all influencing big city makeovers, they're on the hunt for sustainable long term solutions for overcrowding, increasing pollution levels and tourism. Think green alternatives, tapping into the sharing economy and completely re-imaging community housing.

Our highlights from the past year...

  • Glow in the dark bike paths that are not only improving safety but encouraging commuters to make the switch to an environmentally friendly mode of transport. 
  • Designs for new cars with built in features that enable a switch from owner mode to sharing mode (the Airbnb of cars), which aim to minimise the vast amount of cars clogging up our streets. 
  • Housing projects such a Samaraconverted shipping containers for student housing and green city projects like Marina Bay One in Singapore filled with futuristic cloud forests and sky terraces. 

How can we tap into the needs of the community and build smarter, safer, sustainable cities?


A New Era of Food & Drink

It really goes without saying (but we're saying it anyway) - 2016 was the year of health. More specifically, healthy junk food, vegetables made to look (exactly) like meat, quirky healthy hybrids and new low sugar discoveries. 

Our highlights from the past year...

  • Nestle's hollow sugar innovation that cuts down sugar by 40% (but doesn't compromise the taste).
  • The plant science that gave birth to a burger (Impossible Foods) that looks and smells - even bleeds like real meat, but is entirely made from plants.
  • Alcohol that affects the brain the same way as the real stuff, but leaves drinkers without a hangover.
  • Ultra-customised pre-prepared meals that are constructed based off at-home blood tests that screen for markers like vitamin levels & blood sugar.

How can we continue to promote healthy eating through science, that doesn't compromise on taste?