The future of shopping: drones, digital mannequins and leaving without paying

  The American DIY chain Lowe’s is testing LoweBot, a customer service robot that speaks several languages, helps shoppers find items and provides information on products. First trialled as OSHbot two years ago, it is currently being tested in 11 Lowe’s stores. US electricals retailer Best Buy has Chloe, a robot that is a glorified […]

Are you a spaceflight company? You may want to rethink your logo

A quick glance at the logos of some of the most prominent spaceflight companies, including SpaceX and Orbital ATK, show just how similar their branding has become. “There are usually dominant blues, dominant blacks, all going with this rocket swoosh and a pointed star,” says Andrew Sloan, a graphic designer and specialist in brand development. […]

Air pollution masks – fashion’s next statement?

  Yesterday saw the launch of M90, an “urban breathing mask” created by the Swedish company Airinum and sold in more than 50 countries. Face masks are already a common sight in Asian countries, although the cheap washable cotton rectangles rarely perform well in tests. Surgical masks, the type usually worn by doctors, have tended […]

Google is helping H&M construct a custom dress based on your personal data

  Google is teaming up with H&M Group’s digital fashion house Ivyrevel in an attempt to make data fashionable. The two companies are working together on an Android app that’ll track wherever users go, the weather where they live, and whether they’re having casual or formal hangs. With that information, Ivyrevel will design an individualized […]

What’s the future of interaction?

  The proliferation of connected devices, especially the Internet of Things, was spurred by access to cheap parts. Anyone can now affordably slap a chip, accelerometer, gyroscope, and 3D-printed shell together to build something smart. But they still face one major challenge: how to give users control of their brand-new thing. Some manufacturers opt for […]

Swedish supermarkets replace sticky labels with laser marking

  The humble fruit sticker may seem an unlikely cause for environmental concern but removing it from produce could create huge savings in plastic, energy and CO2 emissions. In response to consumer demand for less packaging, Dutch fruit and veg supplier Nature & More and Swedish supermarket ICA have joined forces to run a trial […]

A ‘listening’ hairbrush and emotional cars: the futuristic trends of CES 2017

  There are already countless electronic devices that connect and report data to smartphones – activity trackers being the most obvious example – but what is particularly interesting about this year’s CES is the way companies are looking to exploit this idea for financial gain. It felt as though some product developers at the conference […]

Anti-surveillance clothing aims to hide wearers from facial recognition

  The Hyperface project involves printing patterns on to clothing or textiles, which then appear to have eyes, mouths and other features that a computer can interpret as a face. This is not the first time Harvey has tried to confuse facial recognition software. During a previous project, CV Dazzle, he attempted to create an […]

From customisation to DIY handbags – how customers became designers

  Maks Fus Mickiewicz, senior journalist at trend analyst the Future Laboratory, believes this shift to consumer power is only going to get more pronounced. “Fashion brands are realising that to stay ahead of the game they need to move away from imposing their aesthetic on others,” he says. “That’s not how the world works […]