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Edition #28 | Your bi-weekly inspiration fix • 1 - 14 February 2024
TREND
CES 2024: Rise of invisible tech
CES 2024 showcased a host of neurotech, voice-controlled bidets and transparent displays. One common theme? The lack of screen.

Many people are keen to rethink their relationship with technology. Yondr, which makes lockable pouches for smartphones, reported a 150% increase in school use last year and Android’s Minimalist Phone app saw over 2 million downloads.

How will you help consumers opt out? 
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INNOVATION
At select post offices in Paris, customers can pick up a package and instantly try on the clothes or shoes they purchased online. Seven locations now feature bright yellow, standalone fitting cubes. If customers… read more
INNOVATION
As Brazilian beauty behemoth O Boticário points out, when a natural environment suffers degradation, its fragrance is one of the first things to disappear. Now, O Boticário’s scent Extinto aims to replicate… read more
INNOVATION
In Peru, leading South American department store Falabella has kicked off a summer campaign urging women to resist and confront unsolicited remarks about their bodies: Mi cuerpo no necesita tu opinión — My body… read more
INSIGHT
Colombia: where an illegal tree feller’s loss is a bee’s gain
Each year, around 500 m3 of illegally-felled timber is confiscated by the Santander environmental authority in Colombia. To manage the accumulating stockpile, the department launched the ‘Timber Returns Home’ project: converting the seized timber into habitats for bees, whose declining numbers have been linked to a nasty pesticide called fipronil. While the government plans to implement a nationwide ban on fipronil, industrialization still jeopardizes Colombia’s forests. In 2022, it lost 123,517 ha due to various industries including meat, soy and gold, among others. 


Despite successfully transforming 200 m3 of timber into 1,000 bee hives, with 10,000 more in the pipeline, this approach may not solve the underlying issues at hand. It does, however, draw much-needed attention to broader socio-political and environmental issues, highlighting the urgency and significance of these challenges. How might you take a similar approach to get people talking?
INSIGHT
Blue lights signal autonomous vehicles are on the road
Let us introduce you to Vay: reportedly the world’s first car rental service with driverless delivery. Based in Nevada (one of two US states where autonomous vehicles are legal), Vay operates on a ‘teledriving’ model whereby vehicles are remotely driven by human operators. Users simply order a car on the Vay app and it’s teledriven directly to the user’s location.


The autonomous vehicle market is projected to grow by almost 40% between 2022 and 2027, but fears about self-driving vehicles are on the rise – no doubt spurred by a pile-up of media stories about wayward cars. Thankfully, brands are being responsive. In December, Mercedes-Benz received approval to use blue tail lights to signal to law enforcers and other road users when a car is in autonomous mode. As self-driving vehicles integrate into supply chains and delivery services, how will you balance convenience and cost-saving benefits with consumer trust and safety?
THOUGHT STARTER
The great shrinkflation deflation
From February 2024, large food retailers in Hungary must declare ‘shrinkflation’. Deniers should beware of savvy consumers who expect to be alerted to weight and quality reductions. Maintain the trust of loyal shoppers with clear labeling and updates.
TREND
🎙 Will podcasts supercharge the knowledge economy?
Podcasters are the new rock stars, captivating a dedicated fan base with their audio sagas, merch and live events. They’re not just creators, they’re community builders. One category that’s risen more than most is education. Clocking an impressive 81% rise in educational podcasts last year among Gen Z listenership, Spotify knows that learning on-the-go is popular: cars and buses have become mobile classrooms, with educational and wellness podcasts peaking during morning commutes. 


Diverse viewpoints and candid (occasionally controversial) debates have helped position podcasters as influential and authentic voices of culture. They've transformed education into an accessible, relatable, trustworthy and – crucially – entertaining format. In 2024, Gen Z favors self-directed, on-demand learning for life skills, financial literacy and mental health, all often overlooked in formal education. 


How will you help this demographic gain resilient know-how in turbulent times? Get inspired by Puma, Unicef, UNDP Nigeria and Instagram, all closing the education gap.
TREND
Health services reliant on AUTONOMOUS SENIORS
The challenges faced by governments in managing aging societies are becoming more pronounced. Japan’s Noto earthquake highlighted that the elderly are more vulnerable to natural disasters and China’s middle-income status means its aging population is at greater risk of inequality.


Health and social services are turning to tech to meet demand, and the senior demographic is proving it’s just as happy in the hands of AI as their younger counterparts. When over 800 older adults received an ElliQ robotic companion – used for exercise, cognitive games and stress relief – an astonishing 95% of users reported a sustained reduction in loneliness and improved wellbeing. That’s a lot for a demographic usually labeled technophobes!


How will you tailor your services to help seniors live happier, healthier, more autonomous lives? Check out My Moves Matter, an app designed for people with Parkinson’s, for inspiration on tailoring services to the unique needs of older citizens.
INNOVATION
Think of an orchard. What comes to mind might be tall trees laden with fruit, perhaps with sheep grazing in the shade below. That doesn't reflect the modern commercial production of apples and… read more
INNOVATION
According to a survey commissioned by sports apparel brand Saucony, the distance the average person in the US moves their thumb over their screen is 78 miles — that's three marathons worth of scrolling. Inviting… read more
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MakeShift is TrendWatching's free bi-weekly trend publication, bringing you the insights and innovations that will inspire you to create with meaning ❤️

Want MakeShift in your inbox? Subscribe now and join 100,000+ other trend enthusiasts!

Keen to access all our trends, insights and innovations? Check out Amplify, our Trend Intelligence Platform 💥

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Talk to us
Be sure to ping our editor, Galina Yordanov, if you're working on something we should feature on MakeShift.