Sensational Technology

Trendincite icon NoseTidbits Issue 39 April/May 2014
This originally published on May 19, 2014

One of my favorite subjects is multi-sensory products and services. Trendincite examined this exciting topic in various Tidbits issues: High-Tech Sensory Sensations (March/April ’13), Sensory Sensations (November/December ’11), Multi-Sensory Experiences (October/November ’10), You Fill Up My Senses (May/June ’09), and Sensory Overload (February ’08). A year later, there are a variety of new, unique and interactive experiences driven by  technology.

Bookworm: Seems like literature goes hand in hand with food. In Amsterdam, there’s The Bookish Banquet, a culinary event for bookworms that serves five course meals inspired by themes in literature with narration between courses. Dinah Fried, a graphic artist, published the Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals, in which Fried cooked all the meals, staged all the shots and took “literary food” photographs.

Touch to Smell: In Australia, celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal launched a new range of food products named Heston for Coles, which highlights indigenous ingredients. For the launch, the company introduced a national, scented print advertising campaign for the Lemon Myrtle Hot Cross Buns. AROMAFORK™ is a new patented cutlery designed to create a novel and intense olfactive experience. In fashion, Naked & Famous Denim’s newest release is its mint scratch-n-sniff jeans, which is said to last for up to five washes. In beauty, Revlon introduced Parfumerie™ Scented Nail Enamel in 24 scented colors, while Bitty Bettys is a collectible fragrance line with ‘Touch to Sniff’ cartons. CVS even offers a scratch n sniff chocolate scented gift card.

Tech Smells: There has been a lot of activity in scents and cell phones as well as other technological categories. Dr. David Edwards engineered the oPhone, a new device that will send scents like text messages. Oscar Mayer created a Wake Up and Smell the Bacon app and device, which was an alarm clock with a sizzling bacon sound and scent. Scentee from Japan is a round device, which plugs into an earphone jack and releases different fragrances with each incoming notification. Crowdfunded on Indiegogo, the Atomyzer iPhone case holds “60 sprays” of fragrance or hand sanitizer in a refillable cartridge. Sensabubble is a new programmed system, which will enable users to feel colors, icons, texts, and mentions from twitter in a bubble filled with a “scented fog.” Scent Rhythm is a chemical-based watch that emits fragrance in minute doses that are in tune with your circadian cycle. Mercedes-Benz 2014 S-Class sedans offer a built-in fragrance atomizer in four custom colognes – Freeside Mood (light citrus),Nightlife Mood (spice, oud), Downtown Mood (floral, musk), and Sports Mood (green, citrus). Although not scented, an interesting limited edition product is Nescafé’s Alarm Cap, which features a built-in  alarm clock that wakes consumers with seven different sounds synchronized to lights. To turn the alarm off, one must open the lid.

Vending is Trending: Vending machines are not new. In fact, the first US vending machine was built in 1888. However, technology has advanced and now there are a slew of new vending machines with a focus on food. The much anticipated Sprinkles Cupcake ATM, which launched in Chicago in 2012, is now in NYC on the Upper East Side. Located in CA, Burritobox is a new vending machine that delivers five different types of burritos on demand while Let’s Pizza kneads dough, mixes fresh ingredients and adds select toppings in three minutes. For a piece of luxury, Los Angeles Beverly Hills Caviar has three vending machines that offer high-end food such as caviar, escargots and truffles. For the health conscious, Chicago-based Farmer’s Fridge is self described as a “veggie machine” that prepares daily salads made from local farm produce. Any leftovers from the previous day are donated to a foodbank.

Food is Fashionable: Fashion and food are being paired and the newest trend is the opening of restaurants inside department stores as a part of the shopping experience. Guerlain Le 68 restaurant inside the Champs-Elysées flagship store highlights Michelin-star French chef Guy Martin who uses Guerlain perfumes as an inspiration for the menu. For example he offers dishes like foie gras with Madagascar vanilla in puff pastry, or pearly cod in “little black dress” licorice, and macarons from the garden of Shalimar. Both Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue have recently launched restaurants inside their stores – Stella 34 Trattoria in Macy’s NYC and Sophie’s in Chicago’s Michigan Avenue Saks. This summer, Brooks Brothers will launch Makers and Merchants, a steakhouse. A new one to watch is Bouley Botanical from Chef David Bouley. It’s an “indoor farm” and restaurant that has 24 growing boxes, which use organic soil and feature 70 plants and herbs. The space hosts yoga classes and wellness events.

Want more tidbits? Read Eurocosmetics spa and hair care articles or Visit 4 Latin Countries Without Leaving NYC . See what’s trending from Sniffapalooza’s Spring Fling or get inspired by watching MarketingProfs Take 10: Three Ways to Find Creative Inspiration Outside the Office video. Attend an upcoming NYC Trendincite presentation at HBA on June 12, 2014 or SFC Symposium on October 9, 2014.

Let Trendincite custom-design or curate a sensational trend excursion to engage your five senses and stimulate new product ideas. So what are you waiting for?
Contact us at inquiries@trendincite.com or at 888-561-1229. Feel free to forward this e-mail to friends and colleagues who need to be in the know or have them subscribe to Tidbits.

Lo-Tech Reflections

It’s a year to date since I created my TrendIncite Xchange blog and I thought I should reflect. In my very 1st post Moving into the 21st Century I mentioned how lo-tech I am. I still consider myself lo-tech, but I’ve taken a plunge and made a few technological upgrades…

I’ve traded my trendincite@aol.com e-mail for amy@trendincite.com. I’m now on twitter @trendincite and I actually use it and like it. I find it helpful to research trends quickly and express random observations while they occur instead of waiting to formally write about them.

I upgraded my ancient Blackberry Bold 9930 to a Samsung Galaxy SIII (not 4, because I still don’t need the latest nor did I want to shell out an additional $200). Even my husband who was holding on to his slide phone, which he referred to as his “dumb” phone joined me and took the leap. I’m still adjusting to the touchscreen keyboard and the verdict is not out yet. Check back with me in a few months.

I just created accounts for Instagram and Vine, which I haven’t gotten into yet and really don’t need. By the time I do figure these apps out, I’m sure there will be several new and improved ones and I’ll continue to be behind the times.

As a holiday present, my sister just purchased a Smart TV for my family. I don’t think the kids will be too sad to give up our one and only tube TV. Even though I rarely watch TV, I have to admit I’m a bit excited about the change. The kids have been begging for a tablet, but we haven’t given in yet.  We’re considering buying them each one for the holiday, but I’m hoping to hold off for just a little while longer.

Who knows what the upcoming new year will bring. Maybe a year from now, I’ll have embraced technology and be addicted to my Android, the myriad of apps available and my new Smart TV. And maybe my kids will each have their own tablet.

Am I the only one struggling to keep up with technology? By the time I’m comfortable with a current technology, it’s become obsolete.

Technology Cleanse

Two weeks ago my Blackberry Bold 9930 was in my back pocket and to my surprise when I went to the bathroom, I noticed it had fallen into the toilet. I had heard that if this happens, (a far too common occurrence), you should submerge the phone in a bag of rice. Hoping any electrical parts would dry up and my phone would work again, I did so. Unfortunately, 24 hours later I checked and my phone did not work. Luckily it was the weekend and I had no appointments. I really did not need my phone. However, I felt disconnected.

Debating if I should give in and purchase a touch-screen smart phone like the IPhone or Samsung Galaxy SIII (which I wrote about in my 1st post), I decided to use my insurance and just replace it with the same Blackberry.  As mentioned in earlier posts, I don’t like change for the sake of change. An aside, I am slowly moving into the 21st century and switched from my trendincite@aol.com e-mail to amy@trendincite.com e-mail.

Anyhow, I was without a smart phone for four days.  At first I was a bit disoriented and felt a little lost considering I’ve had a cell phone for 13 years.  It’s quite sad how we have become so dependent on technology. There was something nice about not being connected. I wasn’t constantly checking my e-mails, texting or calling. I was in the present, spending quality time with my family.

We expect everything so fast. We are reachable and “on” 24/7. Technology provides us with instant gratification. However, I think at times this hinders us. We need down time and I think technology cuts into this time. Of course this only occurred to me because of the toilet incident. But now that I’m aware, I intend to make more time to be disconnected.

Get Gellin

Gel manicure after 9 days
Gel manicure after 9 days

To prepare for my family vacation to Mexico, I decided to treat myself to a pedicure. I wasn’t going to bother with a manicure because I rarely leave a nail salon without a smudge or a chip and I’m lucky if it even lasts for a week.

With the amount of sunscreen we use as a family, the chlorine from the pool, sand from the beach and the general use of my hands, there was no way a manicure would last and be worth the investment. The manicurist talked me into a gel manicure for $30. With little convincing I agreed. I’ve known about the gel technology for the last few years, but had no good reason to try it.

The mass market and professional nail care market has been growing at an exponential rate driven by the technological advances, including gel. According to Packaged Facts “The Nail Care Market in the U.S.” report, dollar sales of nail care products in the mass market will reach $2 billion in 2016. Kline’s “Professional Nail Care: Global Market Brief,” reported that the professional nail care category grew by over 25% globally in 2012. According to Kline, the introduction of over 30 important new gel products in the past two years helped spur the market’s strong performance. Gel products grew nearly 30% in 2012. Nail care is so popular, there’s even a new magazine Nail It! dedicated to the category.

With all of these nail stats and my need for an enduring manicure, now was a good reason to try it. I chose an iridescent, sparkly light pink color, similar to what I would have chosen for a regular manicure. However, there were less color choices. The process was similar to a regular manicure, except they make you wash your hands before they apply the specific gel polish, they don’t apply cream or massage your hands, and they wipe your nails clean with nail polish remover. In addition, the drying time is quicker because they use the uv light. Overall the experience was pleasant.  My nails had a nice, smooth finish and seemed stronger than after a regular manicure.  I left wondering if the manicure would survive the trip to Mexico and live up to my expectations.

Coincidentally when I arrived in Mexico, I noticed that the woman at the concierge desk had the same color nail polish as mine.  I asked her if it was the gel manicure and how she liked the product.  It was the same product and she was very happy with it.  She explained how she cleans with Clorox and how the manicure holds up for at least two weeks, sometimes three.

To my surprise, the gel manicure held up and exceeded my expectations. It’s been over a week and I sufficiently challenged the technology…I dragged luggage through airports and in and out of airplanes and cars; I repeatedly applied sunscreen and zinc oxide to myself, two kids and husband; I waded in chlorinated pools and salty, ocean water; I frequently washed my hands and my kids’ hands; I hand-washed my fair share of dishes; and I bathed my kids nightly.

I’m very happy with the outcome. I’m definitely a convert and I’m not sure why I would opt for a regular manicure again.  Now the burning questions are “how will I remove it?” and “what condition will my nails be in after?” Until next time…

 

Moving into the 21st Century

I’ve had Trendincite LLC for 7 years and I’ve just now decided to move into the 21st century by having a blog.  Who knows what’s next? I could have a twitter account, an IPhone, IPad, or an e-mail address that isn’t aol. My underlying belief is “if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it.”

As some of you know I pay attention to details and I’m a perfectionist or at least I try to be, particularly when I write. There were a few reasons I didn’t want a blog… 1) it adds more things to do to my never ending list, 2)  it requires me to write in 1st person with no editors to review my work, 3) it’s not scripted or researched compared to my business writing and last but not least, 4) it might be boring.  Anyhow, here it is.

For a person who professionally follows trends and enjoys new products and experiences, I’m afraid of technology.  No matter what industry you’re in, technology is what propels products and services to move forward.  I do appreciate this. However, I have no interest in having the latest or the greatest new gadget. I still have my Blackberry Bold 9930 and I’m not embarrassed to use it.

Two years ago my husband gave me an IPhone for my birthday.  Knowing me so well, he paid in full so that he didn’t have to change my plan just in case I didn’t want to make the change.  I’m in trends, so naturally I should have excitedly opened the phone right away and never looked back. What did I do?  I stared at the apple logo on the wrapped package for quite some time and then apologetically said thank you, but no thank you.  You know why? I was afraid to make the change when I didn’t need to. I have too many distractions in life already and I can’t keep up with what I do have. I didn’t want all of the great bells and whistles. I want simplicity and efficiency.  I like typing on my Blackberry instead of a touch screen and it meets all of my basic professional and personal needs for now – calendar, address book, e-mail, text, camera etc. Technology requires embracing change.  It’s constantly being updated and unless my needs aren’t being met, I don’t see a reason to embrace change.

My final thought…although brand loyalty is hard to come by these days (because there are way too many choices), I can understand why consumers stay with a product or service because it meets their needs at the time.