⏩ The Future Normal: Fast Forward

The Apple Watch can detect COVID-19; plastic-free, water-soluble cleaning tabs; create-your-own virtual humans; senior digital workouts; and AI-grown strawberries.

This week, I’m launching a new experiment: a second, much shorter edition, featuring a handful of stories that reveal The Future Normal.

Do let me know if you find it useful! Every story not only shows us what’s around the corner, but also a truth about trends and innovation.

Even better: can you share these insights with someone who can use them? The future is ours to build, together.

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Apple Watch can spot COVID-19 up to a week before conventional tests
🔮 #FutureNormal // Consumer-focused gadgets are the new professional-grade medical devices. Continuous monitoring will transform healthcare: from rushing to fix problems when they become critical, to ideally preventing them from happening at all.

💡#TrendTruth // The biggest changes are happening outside your industry. Who has the solution to your (customers’) biggest problem?


Bold raises $7m for senior-focused fitness programs
🔮 #FutureNormal // Older audiences will expect the same quality of digital services as younger generations. What's your Boomer UX strategy?

💡#TrendTruth // The Peleton For Z is the new Uber for X. How can you adapt a winning formula for a new demographic?


Proctor & Gamble launches low-carbon EC30 cleaning swatches

🔮 #FutureNormal // After removing the water, these plastic-free, soluble cleaning swatches are cheaper & lighter to ship, and require less space to store. Get ready for everything in your to be similarly radically and sustainably reinvented.

💡#TrendTruth // Just being sustainable isn’t be enough. Triple win solutions — smaller, cheaper and greener –– are where it’s at.


👋 Join us on Clubhouse!

This newsletter is where we’re writing the book in public.

Your tips and comments are already helping shape the content, but now we’d love to take this to the next level and hear your thoughts directly.

Join us for our first live Clubhouse discussion, today at 1530 EST, 2030 UK & 2130 CET.

👉 Add it to your calendar here

Note: I know Clubhouse is still iPhone & invite only 😞 If you’d like an invite, I’ve got a few spare. Just reply to this email. First come first served.


Unreal launches MetaHuman creator
🔮 #FutureNormal // Kim Kardashian's hologram of her late father was just the start. As avatar technology becomes widely accessible, we'll all be able to create our own virtual companions that matter to us.


💡#TrendTruth // “The next big thing will start out looking like a toy”.


AI will transform the future of work. For good and bad.
Two stories from China that show our conflicted feelings about where this trend is headed: AI is better at growing strawberries than humans vs When Your Manager is Inhuman

🔮 #FutureNormal // The benefits of AI-driven production are too great to reject. But how companies manage these technologies will be one of the great issues of our time. Strong institutions will help us avoid a dystopian two-tier society, where a few direct the machines and enjoy focusing on higher-order, human-to-human tasks, while the many are directed by emotionless and inflexible algorithms.

💡#TrendTruth // Millions worldwide share these fear of displacement and a loss of autonomy. We’re all human, and we have similar hopes and fears.


LVMH pulls the plug on Fenty

🔮 #FutureNormal // This is a little painful, given I'd just featured Fenty in this week's longer newsletter. But while Rihanna's high fashion venture might have stumbled, the underlying juggernaut still appears to be on track: Savage X Fenty just raised $115 million from LVMH's private equity fund.

💡#TrendTruth // Innovation involves winners and losers. Placing bets keeps you at the table. Kill the ones that aren't working, and double down on those that are.


That’s all this week. Thanks so much for reading.

Henry