Tag: Fashion

2020 Predictions from Prevayl

With 2019 coming to an end, the beginning of a new decade promises real change in the tech industry. New technologies are set to enter the market, transforming the daily lives of consumers, while ideas that have been surfacing for a while are finally set to become the norm.

Since April 2019, Prevayl® has enjoyed huge growth as a business, adding leading experts from the fields of engineering, fashion, health-tech and intellectual property to our team. We caught up with them to understand their predictions for the year ahead.

Adam Crofts, CEO

One of the biggest trends for 2020 is set to be increased consumer desire to take ownership of their own health. No longer will people be happy to rely on an external assessment or interpretation.

Personal health data is fundamental to this change. When users can interact, curate and evaluate their own health data they can make the right decisions that will benefit them in the long run. We will then get to the stage when each person will have their own pre-emptive health insights to signpost them away from illness.

Noel Hamill, Chief Commercial Officer

Robotics. We’re already seeing day to day usage in Amazon warehouses for example. I can imagine more robotics coming into the home and performing menial tasks.

I also see the likes of artificial intelligence and machine working impacting the healthcare industry. Robotics will be involved in medical operations, with the ability to scan medical records and predict whether people would have any kind of future diseases. That’s very exciting.

Bella Hepworth, Apparel Design Director

In 2020, we’ll see more and more brands looking at sustainability and increased initiatives around this, following on from the likes of Adidas’ recycled plastic shoes earlier this year. I expect to see more innovation around sustainable materials with existing materials re-engineered to be more high-tech substitutes. R&D will be heavily focused on materials in 2020.

We also need to be wary of ‘greenwashing’, with so many brands jumping on the bandwagon of sustainability and creating content that makes it look like they are going the extra mile, but rarely doing so in reality. This leads onto the potential need for more self-regulation of the industry.

Education for consumers around sustainability continues to be extremely important as recent studies suggest it still isn’t a priority for many customers when they choose where to spend their money.

Tahir Mahmood, Director of Engineering

Robotics is set to change completely. Where once robots were primarily used to perform work that was too hard, dangerous or repetitive for humans, we’re now set to see human-robot interaction and cooperation, as the demand for robots to work with humans or to be controlled intuitively grows.

This covers a range of scenarios from robotics working interactively with humans in industrial manufacturing, robotic appliances designed to care for and help the elderly, and even autonomous robots in space or underwater.

Georgia Castleman, Marketing Communications Director

Biometric research is set to become integral for brands.

The right use of biometric data provides detailed audience insights, as well as patterns of user behaviour in relation to buying decisions, content, and online and offline experiences.

Biometrics can be used to track and measure a wide variety of different physical responses from users that are closely aligned with your target audience. When brands have that data it can be used to guide their future marketing, brand, and business strategies.  

Martin Ashby, Operations Director

2020 will see a growing interest from individuals in taking control of their wellbeing, resulting in demand for insight that reports on mental and physical health and offers advice on how to manage or improve it.

Additionally this will fuel a distrust of global food manufacturers, with more people taking control of what they eat. This could take the form of consumers insisting on knowing where their food comes from and how it was grown, clearer guidelines on the impact food will have on their body, or more actionable health data on labelling such as calories also shown as the equivalent duration of cardio exercise that would be required to burn them off.

In the medical world, there is likely to be a continuing shift from treatment to prevention. This will include GPs providing prescriptions for exercise or meditation as opposed to treatment using medication.

Sam Bird, Director of Intellectual Property

There are likely to be tussles over whether an AI can be a legal inventor of a patent. The Artificial Inventor Project is fighting for the rights of AI inventors. 2020 could potentially see a legal conclusion to this issue.

We’ll also see the implementation of the unitary patent system in Europe, but questions remain as to whether the UK will be able to take part in this project due to Brexit.

There may also be an increase in claims for employee compensation for the benefits of patents following the Shanks v Unilever ruling at the UK Supreme Court in 2019.

Michael John Lynch, Director of Electronics

Smart technology is becoming the norm for consumers.

We’ve recently seen the news that Ikea has invested in a dedicated business unit for smart home tech. While the Ikea target audience was never a tech-first audience, this recognition illustrates the importance of smart tech for the everyday consumer and their continuing expectations around it.

While these expectations in the home increase, we’re also set to see consumer frustration and apathy towards the need to have multiple contracts with various content providers, such as Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify for example. Could this open the door for aggregators to enter the market?

We’ll be catching up with the team again in early 2020, to showcase what the year ahead holds for Prevayl.

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FT NextGen: Consumer desire fuelling disruption

All disruptors put consumers at the core of their product. Those businesses that succeed in changing markets, altering customer perceptions, and re-imagining business models don’t set out to be disruptors.

They begin with the notion of catering to consumer desire and improving the lives of the end users.

For us at Prevayl®, everything we do is focused on helping people to live healthy lives; a core human desire and an intrinsic part of human nature. By enabling individuals to interact with their own health data they will have the insights to help them make healthier choices every single day.

Consumer desire fuels change for the better. This was central to the discussion at FT NextGen, where we were lucky to attend. These are some of the biggest consumer trends fuelling disruption now and into 2020.

Disrupting banks of the future

Digital banks are completely re-imagining the market in the UK. Where once the old establishment dominated the sector, now the number of people using digital banks is expected to exceed 35 million in 2020.

Nearly 30% of consumers in the UK are willing to use a digital-only bank. Digital banks promise real-time spending updates, instant payments to friends, tools to monitor personal finance, no charges for using cards abroad, and enhanced security through facial and voice recognition for account access and transfers.

Put simply, they focus on exactly what consumers desire and provide market-leading tech features to cater for their needs. These are the seeds of disruption coming to fruition.

The future of content

Define ‘content’. Gone are the days of content being purely limited to the websites we visit, the newspapers and magazines we read and the TV channels we tune into.

Today, we’re all content creators.

Our online lives are our personally curated content feeds. Social media platforms began this trend and their algorithms have fostered and fuelled this desire. Your feed is created in line with the content you like and engage with, while your own page is the outward extension of your personality you want the world to see.

This phenomenon of the last decade or so has been driven by the desire for an individual experience, based around a personal customer journey. It has completely re-imagined how we consume content and detrimentally impacted traditional media outlets that simply can’t cater to the desire for personalisation on such a granular level.

This desire for personal curation of our own lives is beginning to be taken a step further by brands with innovative concepts to enhance engagement and create a personal customer journey. This is the central concept behind Burberry’s commitment to bring social selling to their stores, beginning in China. It feels like just the start.

Fashion’s sustainability problem

Consumer desire isn’t just fuelling the revolution of the shopping experience. Consumers are ever-more clued up on sustainability and how various industries continue to impact the world we live in.

Growing numbers of people globally are beginning to turn away from fast-fashion due to the environmental impact it continues to have.

This has led to a step-change from the world’s leading luxury brands. In August this year prior to the G7 Summit, fashion companies reached a landmark Sustainability Accord with the aim to enlist at least 20% of the global fashion industry in an effort to reduce their environmental impact. Brands involved from the outset include Gucci, Kering and H&M.

Consumer desire might once have fed the fast-fashion industry, now the world’s consumers are beginning to turn their backs.

The pursuit of passion

It isn’t just sustainability that is changing in the fashion industry.

The entire retail model is beginning to shift, especially when it comes to those smaller businesses requiring a route to market away from the costly traditional brick-and-mortar model.

This notion of the retail model being broken as opposed to the fashion model led entrepreneur Ross Bailey to launch Appear Here; an online marketplace for short-term retail space. Since it began in 2013, Ross has now worked with over 200,000 brands and operates in a number of cities worldwide including London and New York.

It means more brands on the market and better options for consumers.

Our work at Prevayl

Consumer desire continues to frame our approach to everything we do at Prevayl, ensuring we help people to live healthier lives through market-leading solutions to wearable technology.

The combination of our connected-clothing and health-management platform enables consumers to curate their individual health dashboard, offering everyone that wears Prevayl-enabled garments a personal customer journey.

Our technology is responsible and our fashion solutions sustainable, while our ability to offer fashion brands Prevayl-enabled solutions ensures a diverse marketplace in the wearables sector.

We have innovation at our core. We know that everything in our lives can be improved.

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Consumer participation, innovation & technological change

Consumers demand personalisation. They desire a unique experience that is bespoke to them. This in turn forces brands and industries to evolve, innovate and invest in tech.

Desire and demand as the driver for change is what brings new ideas and trends to fruition. What we’re seeing now is the desire of individuals to participate in their own experience whether healthcare, shopping, or entertainment.

This notion of participation is central to our work at Prevayl®, and it’s something that we’re seeing become increasingly important across a range of sectors. This trend is only set to become more prominent in 2020.

Adidas LDN

Adidas’ new flagship store opened on London’s Oxford Street this week, promising to be its most technologically advanced retail experience anywhere in the world. Central to each of the innovations in the 27,000 sq. ft store is consumer participation.

These include interactive mirrors in shopping rooms enabling shoppers to order different sizes direct from the stockroom, as well as the ability to use geolocation technology to scan products, check stock, request their size and purchase on the spot.

There’s also a giant LED screen showing the Emirates Stadium where Arsenal fans can take selfies in full kit, and bespoke rooms including the MakerLab, Running Lab and The Base.

Key to the concept is the participatory element of the consumer experience. Individuals take part in their own unique shopping experience. They own it and in the words of Adidas, “can come together to create”.

Fashion & Consumer Participation

Participation takes the notion of personalisation one step further. It’s much more than personalised ads and brand communication; it’s all about the experience.

Burberry has just announced a partnership with Tencent to develop the concept of social retail in China, blending social media and retail by creating digital and physical experiences for luxury consumers. These will be both in-store and online.

An initial concept store will open in Shenzhen to test and learn social innovations to engage customers.

The world of fashion and gaming are set to converge with the next stage in participatory experiences with the concept provided by streetwear label Alive & More.

The concept is a simple but effective one. Users download the app for the game Team Relms. Once in the game they travel to the virtual fashion world and unlock their very real garments. It’s win-win for both the label and the game. Users on the other hand get the chance to take part in a unique experience and gain access to some exclusive new clothes.

Wearables, Healthcare and Individual Participation

The desire for personal participation isn’t just behind recent innovations in retail, fashion and gaming. It is also fuelling one of the biggest healthcare trends of 2020; the capability of individuals to take ownership of their own health data and truly participate in their personal health.

Wearable technology has always tapped into the notion of individual participation. It adds an extra element to the personal experience whether focusing on sporting performance or general health.

Previous technology has limited the extent of this, however. Without the full picture of how the body reacts when it experiences different things, there isn’t the real opportunity to participate in your own healthcare.

At Prevayl, we’re changing that.

Our wearable technology is seamlessly integrated into clothing. It has the ability to receive more bio-data from the human body than any current leading wearable device. Crucially, it will power the largest ever known platform of human insights.

Wearing Prevayl-enabled connected-clothing daily ensures users will have their own personal curated health management system. They can interact and participate with their own health data, gaining healthy insights to enhance their sporting performance and improve their health.

This is where the desire for participation is driving the next innovation in healthcare.

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Nike, tech and the future of sportswear

Nike. Sportswear brand or tech company?

A few years ago the answer would have been straightforward. Nike is known the world over for their sportswear and specifically their shoes.

The brand pioneered the waffle-patterned sole to help runners improve their speed in the 1970s, and with it cleared the way to becoming one of the most iconic, if not the most iconic, sportswear brand on the planet.

Looking at their company hierarchy up until a week ago would also have suggested sportswear brand. Now things aren’t so clear.

Last week the news broke that outgoing CEO, Mark Parker, would be replaced in January as president and chief executive by John Donahoe, a long-time tech executive with a history in cloud computing, as well as at the helm of eBay. He has been on Nike’s board since 2014, which would suggest their evolution towards tech has been a little more gradual that may appear. At Prevayl™ we’ve been following developments with a view on what it means for the future of the industry.

Direct to consumer

The way consumers shop is continually changing. Retailers that haven’t evolved in line with this have struggled in the wake of falling footfall and changing online shopping habits.

Nike is fully aware of the need to engage with an ever-demanding consumer. Their business model has switched to focus more on connecting directly with their customers and fans and increasing their own direct to consumer sales, through their ecommerce site, the Nike app and innovative new SNKRS app.

They’ve also successfully bridged the gap between their app and their flagship stores, ensuring the two work in tandem to provide the required customer experience demanded by the modern consumer.

The importance of personalisation

Understanding the need to engage with the consumer through technology is one thing, to get it right on a global scale involves detailed analysis of customer data as well as predictive analysis to ensure essential personalisation.  

This is something that Nike has been investing in heavily and where Donahoe will be key to the future of the business. Last year, Nike acquired Zodiac, a data-analytics firm which was followed up this year by the purchase of Celect, a specialist company in the area of predictive analysis.

Both of these acquisitions are fundamental for Nike’s strategy of using customer data to be “more personal at scale” to use the words of the outgoing CEO.

Solutions like this aren’t just personal to Nike. It suggests that in fact, any company that wants to evolve and grow needs to plant its roots firmly in tech.

Consumer desire and the internet of things

A personalised shopping experience and the ability to sell direct to consumer isn’t the only investment in tech that Nike has been making.

Earlier this year we saw the capability of the internet of things put into play with the release of self-lacing trainers that loosen or tighten with the help of an app. While this experiment may have got off to a shaky start initially, it does illustrate Nike’s commitment to pushing the boundaries with tech.

Nike’s great rival Adidas has also been looking at how to enhance their operation and provide essential customer personalisation through technology and by harnessing Industry 4.0. Specifically with their investment in speed factories offering a fast turnaround to meet local demand for a defined product.

This saw the creation of the Adidas Made for New York City shoe (AM4NYC) for the very specific market of runners based in New York City.

The next evolutionary step

The evolution of sportswear brands as technology companies has been born out of the necessity to offer a personalised shopping experience.

So, what’s the next evolutionary step? The recent changes and developments in tech have all come down to consumer desire and innovation to meet this desire on behalf of the brands themselves.

By 2020, connected clothing is set to become a $1billion industry[1]. For us, this is where the logical evolutionary step will take place. Consumers that are buying sportswear want to be better and they want to understand how to improve their performance. The brands need to give them this knowledge.

Through Prevayl enabled clothing this will be the case. Consumers will have access to products that are not only designed for their specific sporting needs, but that will also track their personal performance and crucially enable the provision of real-time insights to enhance that performance.

The development of the Prevayl™ platform creates a health-tech ecosystem that provides real-time health and performance insights. Our wearable technology and Prevayl™-enabled clothing ensures brands have the ability to meet this next consumer demand.

For us, this is the next step.

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