These trends have been boosted by corona

Crisis stimulates the courage to innovate. And that can be seen in these new trends

Creativity often thrives in times of crisis. Over the past year, the corona crisis has turned our lives upside down. And gave an enormous boost to the creativity and innovative power of individuals and companies. This is highly visible in the number of new trends that emerged in the past year. Here is an overview of some notable developments.

Designing for Social Distancing

One of the major challenges in today's one and a half meter society is to maintain that safe distance to which the term refers. This is especially difficult in public spaces where many people move through. Think of the narrow aisles in the supermarket or a busy shopping street. It didn't take long for clever designer minds to come up with useful solutions. In the first lockdown in the spring of 2020 we already saw the introduction of the CovidAlarm and the WHATpod.

The most recent invention comes from artist Jólan van der Wiel, who developed the Smart Distancing System (SDS) together with partner Nick Verstand. SDS uses a combination of motion tracking technology and computerized lasers. The moment two people get close to each other, a blue laser line appears on the ground indicating the distance between the two. If the line is straight, the two are at a safe distance. If the line squiggles, that's a sign that you need to take a little more distance. It is also possible to use the laser to create distance circles around people. The system is now in the testing phase.
Besides that we think this is an ingenious invention, we also want to point out that this innovation was conceived by an artist. In that sense, it is an excellent example of how artists can drive innovation in collaboration with the business community. A movement that we like to encourage at Versdenkers.

safe fashion

Covid has not only led to an increasing range of designer face masks, the fashion industry is also experimenting with bacteria-resistant fabrics and innovative clothing designs that increase our safety. So is from a cooperation between the Brazilian textile company Dalila Têxtil and the Italian Albini Group have created a fabric that stops Covid and other viruses. Silver microbe particles are interwoven in the fabric, which bind virus substances and neutralize them as a result. Another example is the G95 brand that designed a hoodie with a built-in filter† The most notable fashion item, however, comes from the Berlin design duo Plastique Fantastique and bears the name iSphere† This is a plastic sphere that we place over our heads à la The Jetsons for protection. The iSpeheres can be supplemented with various gadgets, such as mouth and nose filters, fans and even snorkels. The best part is that the iSphere is an open source project. This means that everyone is free to further develop and adapt the iSphere. It is intended as an art object inspired by the comics from the 50s and does not in itself offer protection against Covid.

In-house delivery services and external payment services

The already popular online shopping has gained even more ground during the corona crisis. This has led to the rapid further development of related services, such as payment and delivery options. Postpay for online shopping has been gaining ground since 2018, This service gained momentum during the corona crisis. Striking was, for example, a significant expansion of the payment services Klarna and Tinka. Both services facilitate web shops for credit purchases.

All those online purchases must of course be delivered. The regular parcel delivery services can no longer handle the amount of parcels and the delivery times of 1-2 days are often unfeasible. This has led some companies to start their own delivery service. This is how we saw the birth of Last Smile (Leen Bakker), Blocker Express (Blokker and Intertoys) and the Dille & Kamille bicycle express (Dill & Chamomile).


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Virtual experience economy

Now that physical events such as concerts, festivals and fairs can no longer take place, the experience economy has to rely mainly on events in the virtual world. The development of the virtual experience economy has received an enormous impulse and with it the emergence of new technological applications that help to create virtual experiences. We cite a few examples.

Virtual travel

Most people especially miss traveling to other countries. Thanks to VR technology, you can now imagine yourself in a distant country within a few clicks via an app. The number of apps that offer this virtual travel experience has increased significantly in the past year† Below are a few examples:

  • Of VISO places you travel – alone or with friends – around the world based on the data and photos that Google collects via Google Maps and Google Earth.
  • Of Gala360 you can also travel the world. To real and fictional destinations! Because you can also visit fictional film sets via this Vr app.
  • The Chernobyl VR Project has an educational slant. It is an informative virtual journey through Chernobyl and the nuclear disaster that occurred there. By purchasing the app, you also support the victims of this tragedy.
  • Do you dream of a walk on the London Bridge or a visit to the Egyptian pyramids? The travel app wanderer transports you to the streets of a distant city in the blink of an eye. To a moment in the now or in the past.

The Amsterdam concept Home Suite Home takes it a different tack. They offer virtual hotel experiences, so that you feel like you are at home on the couch in a hotel. The experience is a combination of offline and online services, including an online check-in with a real concierge and a real breakfast in bed.

Festivals in your living room

It is also not an easy time for party and festival lovers. Not for the revelers, but also not for DJs. The latter had more time to make good music. Lacking a real stage, they simply brought the music into the living room of their fans. The popular King's Day parties could not physically take place on location in 2020. But we did get one virtual King's Day 2020 with livestream performances by artists on Dam Square including a virtual King Alexander and getting drunk in virtual reality!
Also festivals like lowlands and DGTL visited their audience digitally at home. Performances and side programming were broadcast via live streams. Vice also wrote about the return of another trend last year: lounging or sitting down. In corona times we don't lounge in the club, but at home on the couch. With the live set of your favorite DJ popping out of your speakers and a home-made cocktail.


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A post shared by Lowlands (@lowlands_fest)

Virtual status symbols

Stripping status through clothes, gadgets and other materialistic things. Now that our social lives mainly take place in the online world, virtual status symbols are gaining in importance. AR technology and blockchain play an important role in this. With the help of AR, real life environment (rooms, own appearance) can be easily adapted so that the image shown to the outside world is an expression of a specific status or subculture. Think of Snapchat and Instagram filters.

Discover even more trends?

The above is just a small selection of trends that we can keep an eye on in the coming year. More trends and innovation opportunities for 2021 can be found in the articles and trend reports below:

You learn to spot and predict trends at Versdenkers

As a brand, you want to remain relevant and respond to the changing behavior of your target group. In the 3-day training Trendwatching and Forecasting you learn to connect your brand with the changing world. By diving deep into trends with brand archetypes, trend forecasting and futuring. You discover what influence trends can have on your strategy, your services or products and your way of communicating. And you translate trends into a fictitious but credible future perspective. Grab your place now in our virtual classroom, live in our studio or call us for in-company possibilities.

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