Discovering innovations that matter since 2002

To succeed in the health industry personalisation is key. We have seen this in medical apps designed to be used directly by patients, and fitness wearables that help users to set individual health goals. Now Vita Mojo, a London based health restaurant, and DNAFit, a health and fitness genetics brand, have taken the idea of personalization to the next level, with a partnership that provides meals tailored to meet each individuals’ specific nutritional needs. Vita Mojo gives customers an almost unlimited choice of meal combinations, allowing them to personalise meals by flavor, ingredient, quantity, macronutrient, diet and goals. To achieve this, they use a proprietary algorithm that adapts to each customer’s needs, and adjusts the quantities of preferred ingredients accordingly. Customers can design their meals using an in-store iPad or an app.

DNAFit, takes a sample of the customers’ DNA using a saliva swab and uses genetic profiling to provide a detailed breakdown of the users’ macro and micro nutritional needs, as well as the type of exercise best suited to their genetic makeup. DNAFit pioneered a home-test kit that scans for 45 gene variants with proven links to how the body responds to different types of food and exercise. The report includes information on whether your body will respond better to endurance or power sports, aerobic potential, sensitivity to carbohydrates, salt and saturated fat; lactose and gluten intolerance risk; and individual anti-oxidant and vitamin needs.

Customers wanting to take advantage of the partnership first use the DNAFit service, and when the results come back, Vita Mojo’s algorithm can recommend meals that take into account their individual DNA, health and fitness goals, and taste preferences. However, scientists are unsure if analyzing 45 gene variants is enough to give a complete picture of a person’s health and fitness potential. This partnership draws on the increasing demand for greater personalization of health and fitness, in what other ways might companies delivers personalized solutions?

Austrian startup hiMoment, recently unveiled its new app featuring a digital happiness guru called hiMo. Users record the best moments and things in their everyday routines and share them with hiMo. The app creates collections of happy moments, and as the algorithm learns about each user, it is able to recommend motivating memories for specific situations. The app also provides mental workouts to help stimulate the users happiness by asking them to regularly choose between two of their happy items. This helps to strengthen the users’ awareness of the good things in life.

A digital version of a gratitude journal, hiMoment is distinct from social media accounts in that each user’s happiness feeds are completely private. The app does not gather content from other accounts and any material in a user’s stream must be directly uploaded to the app. “hiMoment works on the idea that if we change our perception, we change our lives. Happiness is very much an inside job,” says Christoph Schnedlitz, founder of hiMoment. The app is available for free for both iOS and Android, and the company is currently focusing on expanding after closing a round of pre-seed funding with four investors including Pioneers Ventures.

From health subscription packs to a smartphone game that guides young people through bereavement, wellbeing is an area of significant growth in innovation for both individuals and communities. What important digital connections could smart cities make to help improve their citizens’ overall mental wellbeing?

One downside of ordering clothing online is that you can’t see what you look until the clothing has arrived. If it doesn’t fit or looks awful on, then it needs to be returned or re-ordered in a different size. A new application by fashion tech startup Zeekit may now solve this problem by letting users see what they look like in any piece of clothing without needing to try it on. This could potentially revolutionize the garment industry by allowing customers to order the right size and look the first time around.

The difference between the Zeekit technology and other virtual try-on apps and experiences is that it uses the customer’s real photo and body dimensions. Zeekit (which means ‘chameleon’ in Hebrew) was co-founded by former Israeli Air Force captain Yael Vizel, who was inspired by the technology used for turning 2D landscape images of the ground into 3D images for aircraft. The app uses similar image processing technology to put layered images of almost any clothing item over the user’s body, taking into account factors such as body dimensions, figure, and the kind of fabric used. Users first upload a picture of themselves in a plain top and shorts or a little dress, and the app makes a note of their measurements. Clothing sellers, magazines and blogs then place the Zeekit button next to items in their online, mobile and physical stores. Shoppers tap on the Zeekit button next to an item and instantly see a virtual image of themselves wearing the item.

The app also allows shoppers to mix and match items from different retailers in their virtual closet, share items with friends, and purchase clothing through a link in the app. Retailers and brands can easily incorporate the Zeekit button into online or physical stores and magazine ads to give shoppers the ability to virtually try on their entire catalog of products. Zeekit announced its launch at this year’s New York Fashion Week, and has raised USD 9 million from angel investors in a Series A funding round. Zeekit joins recent shopping innovations such as an online atelier that lets customers design their own clothing and the AI-powered tool that complements the work of stylists. Will Zeekit prove to be the ultimate disrupter to the way we shop for clothing?

Launched to celebrate the company’s 60th anniversary of trucks production in Brazil, the Ford Motor Company’s SafeCap prototype is a smart hat that alerts drivers to their drowsiness. With sleepiness a leading cause of crashes involving truck drivers, the SafeCap is designed as a preventive. After mapping the typical head, neck and shoulder movements of drivers, the cap was equipped with a gyroscope and accelerometer in order to detect atypical motions that indicate when sleep is imminent.

The first step in alerting a driver is sound, followed by light and vibration. The cap’s sensors are sensitive enough to detect a pre-sleep physiological change that involves relaxation in the neck muscles. By waking the driver before sleep occurs, Ford hopes to help reduce the numbers of on-the-job accidents and injuries. The company plans to make the hat available for sale sometime in 2018.

While a lot of the technology and experimentation in vehicular innovation has focused on cars, a number of projects have indicated the potential for significant developing in the trucking industry. In Germany, e-ink signs on the back of truck trailers display real-time traffic and weather information, as well as location-specific advertising, and a company in Sweden is currently developing a driverless, emission-free electric trucking system. How could long-haul transport companies help connect these ideas to create a more sustainable (and safe) industry?

In the past 40 years, the world has lost 50 percent of its wildlife thanks to poaching and environmental upset. Despite most people’s love for animals, many still know little about their favourite wild creatures. Nairobi-based Internet of Elephants – a play on the commonly used phrase Internet of Things – has launched its gaming app Safari Central, which aims to educate users and make conservation fun for all.

A similar concept to the hugely popular Pokemon Go app, the makers behind The Safari Central use augmented reality and real-life tracking data on wild elephants, grizzly bears, pangolins, lemurs and other animals from organizations like WWF Brazil, Conservation International in the US, the Chicago Zoological Society, and conservation groups and parks based in Kenya and South Africa. Gamers can see the path of where the animal is moving, which is virtually implemented on to a map of their surroundings. Users can take a selfie with the animals to share on social media and make in-app purchases to contribute to the protection of wildlife.

Augmented reality is an innovative way to merge real life with technology, and is proving popular in different industries. An app has recently launched that helps users find the perfect plant for their space using AR, and a teddy bear has been manipulated as an educational tool using the same technology. How could you apply AR to your business strategy?

Patient wellness company Live With Better has joined forces with hair loss specialists Browns More Hair Now to open a store specifically targeted at cancer sufferers within Guy’s Hospital, London. The retail outlet will sell items related to relieving cancer side effects, making patients feel more comfortable mentally and physically, and other trinkets to put a smile of their faces. Popular products include headwear, a PICC line cover for those undergoing chemotherapy, and a kit that includes a variety of items such as sweets and non-chemo drugs to aid the feeling of sickness.

The store will be located on the ground floor of the hospitals Cancer Centre, and is complemented by an online shop. Users can already buy items from this website, which also operates in over 50 other countries around the world including the US, Hong Kong and South Africa. The website also features a blog filled with tips on subjects spanning from what to eat when cancer kills your appetite to finding free accommodation for friends and family during treatment. There is also an affiliated podcast that discusses such topics.

Technology companies are catering to the need for innovations that make cancer patients more comfortable, such as the VR physical therapy that helps users rehabilitate at home, and another VR offering that provides light relief for patients during treatment. How could your company contribute towards the fight against cancer?

We are used to stopping by ATMs to get some cash, but what about visiting them for a medical test? Max Bupa Health Insurance has launched just that in banks across India, and the machines will conduct non-intrusive tests and issue health policies. The machines will be installed in banks that are partners to the company, with Max Bupa working with a health startup to make the vision a reality.

To buy a health policy, the ATM user needs to provide a mobile number, enter the validation code sent to it and share their biometrics to the machine. The machine will then measure various body elements including height, weight, blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and temperature. The data will be used to calculate body mass index, bone density, muscle mass, and more. The data will be then be analysed to create a health score.

Making an age-old device multi functional has been an angle many health companies have taken when launching new innovations. The earphones that act as a tinnitus early warning system and a temporary tattoo that doubles up as a health biometrics scanner are just two examples. How could you take this approach to optimise your company operations?

In an explicit nod to global warming, BrewDog’s Make Earth Great Again beer is a saison, a brew that is fermented at a higher than usual temperature. Made from ingredients grown in regions most endangered by global warming, the Scottish craft beer company is serving the limited edition beer from a life-size polar bear figure (as well as its bars around the world). All proceeds from sales will go to environmental campaigning charity 10:10 to help support its community climate change projects.

Inspired by the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris climate change agreement, the brewers also sent a case of the beer to the White House. The beer’s label lists its unique ingredients and highlights the ways certain regions of the world are already irreparably affected by climate change. And as a reminder to everyone that climate change affects – and is affected by – us all, an infographic accompanying the campaign provides tips for making small changes in everyday living.

Craft brewers are running a number of projects highlighting environmental concerns, including recycling beer bottles to create usable sand for the many industries that use it in their products, and using rainwater to brew beer in an effort to reduce runoff and flooding. How could the nimble thinking and production of these projects be shared and made relevant to other, larger companies or industries?

Industrial farming can be hard on the environment, with the global food system responsible for up to one-third of all greenhouse gases emitted. On top of this, there is a growing realization that producing food locally helps cut down food miles, which in turn reduces carbon dioxide emissions. A number of recent innovations, such as a farm in a box to modular greenhouses designed for urban rooftops have been aimed at reducing food miles. With this in mind, Swedish startup Plantagon Agritechture and Sweco Architects have developed a 16-story tall ‘plantscraper’ – a massive vertical greenhouse intended to allow large-scale organic farming in urban areas, using less energy and with a smaller carbon footprint than conventional farming.

The prototype plantscraper, to be located in Linköping, Sweden, will be a 60-meter high glass building containing an indoor farm and office space for the farm workers. Dubbed the International Centre of Excellence for Urban Agriculture, it will allow for the testing of new agriculture technologies aimed at improving urban farming. Inside the building, plants will be grown in pots and trays positioned around a central helix. As the plants grow, the trays will migrate down the central core until they are ready for harvest at the bottom. Plant waste and used manure will be collected and converted to biogas used to run the heating and cooling systems of the building. Carbon dioxide emissions from the offices will be captured and used for aiding plant growth, while oxygen given off by the plants will be piped in to the office areas.

Plantagon expects the plantscraper to produce 500 metric tons of food every year, and to save up to 1,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and 50 million liters of water compared to traditional farming methods. The company is currently crowdsourcing funding to build the prototype, with construction estimated to take between 12 and 16 months once funding is in place. In 2016, the World Food Building has already won architecture awards by the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Center for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. In what other ways might buildings by used for agriculture?

Earlier this summer motorsport enthusiasts and gamers rejoiced at the news that Formula 1 was going to launch its Esports Series to coincide with the release of its video game, F1 2017. The competition saw fans and gamers from all over the world battle it out to uncover the best virtual F1 driver and be crowned the Formula 1 Esports Series World Champion. The 2017 F1 Esport Series is the first annual competition that highlights the long-term investment of motor racing in eSports and gaming, as well as its continued ambition to build a greater connection with wider audiences, especially younger fans.

Competitors raced through three different stages. Qualification events took place throughout September to determine the quickest 40 drivers: this progressed to the live semifinal events, hosted at the Gfinity Arena in London on October 10th and 11th. The top 20 progresses to the Finals, which took place at the Yas Marina as part of the 2017 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on November 24th and 25th. At the end of a three-race event, the first Formula 1 Esports World Champion was crowned on the same weekend as the final 2017 Formula 1 Grand Prix. The title went to British teenager Brendon Leigh from Reading who will be the Formula 1 Esports Champion Expert for 2018 and has automatically qualified for the semi-finals of next year’s Formula 1 Esports Series. The Esports champion will also be offered the opportunity to live the full experience of a Formula 1 race by attending one of the 2018 Grand Prix, as well as becoming a character in the F1 2018 game. Motorsport has been closely aligned to gaming for a number of years, but the jump into the eSports segment represents an opportunity to take fan engagement to a new level.

Gaming has taken many shapes and forms over recent years, from online offerings providing a new way to exercise, to an app that streams PC VR games to mobile headsets. How could this approach of creating new ways to do old tricks, such as using virtual reality, be applied to your company?