Next Generation Ideas: The May Rewind

Welcome to the summer! Here are our best idea picks from scanning the world of brands, design, web3, and our societies in May. Enjoy and stay on the beat with us ✨

1. Mature Cheddar from the Sounds of the Past

Don’t you just love the taste of a creamy, aged cheddar, with hints of smoke, oak, and a hard hip-hop beat in the back of the throat? It may sound like a crazy question, but hold tight, the new line of Cheez-It crackers is asking just this.

This new line is based on a 2019 preliminary study that found cheese aged differently when exposed to various types of hip-hop music. Partnering with music streaming service Pandora, Cheez-it has exposed its 100% cheese to a curated playlist for six months, twenty-four hours a day. The Pandora playlist is available for everyone who will order the crackers. This innovative maturing process is pushing the boundaries of food technology, delving into new melt-in-your-mouth possibilities. Just a cheesy marketing ploy? I guess we’ll have to try them to find out.

2. Jade Jetpacks: Flying into the Mirrorverse

Before we’ve even had the chance to get used to AR avatars peeking out from behind bushes and walking next to their buddies down the street, virtual reality and technology firm Jadu are giving them the chance to fly.

“But what about us humans, isn’t it our turn first?”, I hear you ask? Well, no. But grab yourself a pair of AR-adapted lenses, create an avatar and get accustomed to NFT trading platforms, and your digital twin can fly to heights you’ve only dreamed of. In what Jadu terms the Mirrorverse, a term mainly popularised through Disney’s upcoming movie, our virtual second halves can now be equipped with various jetpacks, differing in design and rarity.

Their flagship NFT product, the hoverboards, had the ability to be minted in pairs to create unique versions, and hopefully, these Jetpacks will have the same possibility. While released at a minting price of 0.111ETH per jetpack, their back-strapping, jet-fuelled rucksacks are being resold anywhere from 4.19-144ETH (1ETH=$1,500-3,000 depending on the day), a soaring price. The mirrorverse is gaining a crowd right now, and we expect this alternative to the metaverse to become a big talking point in the coming months.

3. What Type of Fashion is Next?

Fashionisto and Skater, Alfaz Syam is bringing his computer-crazy ideas into the fashion world. He’s been creating an unconventional line of clothes for keyboard warriors, which are all embossed with computer keys.

Syam’s range goes from full-face Motorbike helmets to open-toe sliders, held together through their raised, clickable, keyboard parts. It’s a step apart from the high-sole, ultra-fluff trends that have taken over our marketplaces.

Syam has taken this often overlooked home essential and put the spotlight on it. They’re always at the end of our fingertips, but rarely at the front of our minds. A means to an end no more. Now the keyboard is king.

4. Bored Ape Club on LSD

Trippin Ape Tribe, which by the way is definitely not a cult, is a new collection of mintable NFTs based on the Solana blockchain. The psychedelic group of raving-mad monkeys is the Woodstock version of the Bored Ape Club; Rainbow Paper then Mary-Jane, not the other way round.

We are told that this group of monkeys suffered a Fyre Festival-style drought of basic necessities and devolved into a crazed, uncontrollable mob. Thankfully one of the Alpha monkeys found a briefcase full of unknown substances and proceeded to sedate the entirety of the island into swirly-eyed followers. “We will do anything you ask, Master”. But it’s not a cult. Building a story for your drop has proven so important, creating a personality behind each piece of digital art. Ready to be minted at 0.1ETH per ape, the Tripping Tribe is an exciting new project to keep an eye on.

After this first year of NFTs becoming a talking point for gamers, designers, brands, and artists alike, the token tribe has now grounded itself in the art scene. Now’s the time when the true foundations of what NFTs provide for us are being concretized, and innovators are thinking further into where this technology can take us. While many, if not most NFT projects have been minted on the Ethereum blockchain over this last year, there are a growing number of communities looking for other ledgers to mint with. For Trippin Ape Tribe, it is Solana. Let’s see what other coins will underwrite future NFT collections.

5. News & Coffee: Growing your Brand your Way

Taking a sip from News & Coffee’s playbook is a radiating way to warm up your morning. The Barcelona-based start-up has revitalized the Catalan capital’s kiosk offerings, deciding that a top shelf of soft porn magazines from the early 2000s isn’t actually that appealing.

Taking inspiration from the vinyl revival and spotting the need for authentic, humanized business, News & Coffee jumped on a gap in the high street, that is rare to come by these days. With over 6,000 kiosks in Spain shutting in the last 10 years, it might sound like a crazy proposition. But the destruction has often paved the way for innovation and the rebirth of a classic idea.

Their proposition is simple; fill the newsstand with a modern, curated range of magazines that will appeal to all segments of Spanish society. They really don’t take no for an answer, “If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right magazine”, challenging the passerby to scan every row of reads before walking on by. The pair of founders don’t want to let the soul of their idea be sold to the highest bidder. In the case study, they explain that they say ‘no’ to more franchise requests than ‘yes’, because working with the right people is everything.

6. Bridging Two Worlds: Movement and Art in F1

At the speed of light the low-lying, four-wheeled, auto rocket zooms past the sensors at each corner and curve. G-force flung corners and velocity changes create pixelated eruptions, trailing behind the race car like a plane trail from the year 3000. The mold-breaking technology employed by Kinetica is a cutting-edge rethink of how NFT technology can interact with the physical world. It bridges the digital space to real-world events, that still plan to draw an audience year in, year out, with no end in sight. Metaverse-based events are being visited by swathes of avatars, but at least for the foreseeable future, global events like Formula 1 are going to keep their presence on the tarmac tracks.

That’s why it’s exciting to see F1 collaborate with as they imagine a future where the two worlds can work together. Providing entertainment, giving opportunities for dedicated fans to buy into their favorite moments and racers, and testing new forms of art, the Kinetica collection is an exciting peek into the future of NFTs.

7. Drinking from the Ocean

A team of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has made a groundbreaking initial product design. The suitcase-like box uses magnetism and electrodialysis to remove the saline from brackish water, rendering it drinkable. Why does this idea stand out when reverse-osmosis technology already exists? Because it’s the first of its kind to give the opportunity to deploy the technology in remote locations. There is no need for a high-pressure pump or external power. In fact, it needs less power than a cell phone charger to operate! The possibilities of how this could provide relief to corners of the world most in need are limitless.

While still at a relatively high cost per unit, the team has predicted the cost to drastically reduce over the coming years with more research. It’s the result of 10 years of research and work from the MIT team, who are overjoyed to finally have a usable product.

8. Noma Releases Home-Use Line with Minimalist Design

Anyone would be lying if they said that their dream isn’t to taste Noma’s 20-course menu. On May 8th, the world-leading restaurant in Copenhagen, run by Rene Redzepi, released a new kitchen sauce into the world. What caught our eye was the refined, bare design. It doesn’t amplify or exaggerate, it leaves space for what’s inside. The clinical style refers to the scientific process that the kitchen team goes through. They discover the perfect combinations of flavors, the timing of cooking to the second, and the fine equilibrium of palettes.

This Smoked Mushroom Garum is decorated with colorless mushrooms floating next to one another. It focuses on the user understanding more by enlarging the QR code and placing it directly under the title of the product. The reductionist design lets the history of the sauce speak for itself. You don’t need to know more than that it’s from Noma, to want that in your next one pot.

9. A New Norwegian Benchmark for Green Industrialism

the plus norway

The Plus is the world’s most environmentally friendly factory. Dreamed to life by architecture firm BIG, and made for furniture firm Vestre, the factory will be the only industrial building to have ever received the highest BREEAM accreditation. Achieving 90% lower emissions in production through state-of-the-art, Passivhaus technology, the project is thinking big. Their ultra-sustainable mindset is manifested in over 900 solar panels and 17 geothermal walls. Just see how good Green Industrialism can look!

In timbral propulsion, the cross-shaped design reminds you to keep looking forward by reimagining what is possible. As they say on their website, someone has to lead the way. The Plus wants citizens to be a part of their production journey. With huge glass walls, a roof garden, a playground, and open public access, the factory will be part of public life. The welcoming openness combined with the cozy placement in the middle of the Norwegian forest is a huge step forward for the next generation of industrial architecture.

10. How Symmetry can help us find Simplicity in our Lives

Since the beginning of written history, all the way through to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, people have asked. “What is the answer to the universe?”. Frank Wilczek believes that the answer can’t be found because the question is incorrectly worded. What we should be asking is, ‘Does the world embody beautiful ideas?’. And his answer is yes. In the Templeton Prize Winner’s fascinating insight into the mathematical, beauty-defining phenomenon of symmetry, we are welcomed into a wonderful behind-the-scenes view of the world.

As popularized by Einstein, symmetry is fundamental in everything beautiful in the world, from harmonics in music to our ability to generate electricity or understand quantum mechanics. It doesn’t mean static reflections, it’s about the dynamic, shifting mathematics’ that are the building blocks for the complex world we live in.

It’s about the softshell on the back of a snail or the pungent, pollinated petals on a plant. The human ability to perceive and understand symmetry is powered by our visual interpretation. It consumes 20-50% of our brainpower depending on the activity we are doing.

Fascinatingly, projective geometry is one of the parts of our neurology that AI hasn’t matched us at yet. To predict how form and shape will change in space based on velocity, direction, or obstacles in the way. Symmetry is present everywhere we look, but it’s easy to ignore. It’s a mesmerizing phenomenon that manifests in our natural world and has power in the digital world too. It’s about the world embodying harmonies, and resonating frequencies. It’s about beautiful ideas.

11. Tell me what you want: Voice Assistants in Personal Shopping

The next generation of AI assistants is calling out to us. Or rather it’s us who will be calling out to them. Picture this, you’ve got the third season of The Good Place on-screen and there’s an outfit you love. So you ask, “What outfit is Eleanor wearing and where can I buy it?”. But who are you asking? Your Disruptel, AI voice assistant, that’s who.

It will help you in real-time, without disruption to the gripping Netflix series in front of you. It will display the outfit and the various shops where you can buy it on the side of the screen. You can ask to order one and who knows, if you’re eligible for next-day delivery you just might wake up to your get-up waiting at the door.

This Deep Frame software makes the AI visually aware and able to understand the picture on the screen in incredible detail. You could ask who the actor in the background is, where the scene was filmed if there is a sequel. Basically, anything you desire to ask, that is related to the picture you can see, is at your fingertips. And all that without whipping your phone out and unsuccessfully trying to pay attention to both screens.

12. Transforming the Creative World through Blockchain

The invention of the internet was a major disruptor of the power that intermediary establishments held. Think TV networks, Record Labels, and Publishers. Before the internet, you had to get through them to get your name into the world. Now, much of this power lies with our social media platforms. Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok. Creatives worldwide rely on these companies to hold an audience, spread news about upcoming releases, and build their brand. They’re the new establishment.

Adam Mosseri of Instagram believes that this trend won’t be long-lasting. He sees the future of the internet as being owned by individuals. By creators. He sees it being built on the blockchain. He sees the relationships between creatives and their audiences becoming ever more personal and direct. It is a strange reality that star athletes are more popular on Instagram than the teams they played for. News reporters have more social media followers, than the channel, they used to broadcast for, had viewers.

If the internet will empower creators more and more, then we should think about how we can be the first movers in this space. How do you connect to your audience? How can you own future relationships?