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Trend Q&A: Tech innovations to tackle rising cost of living

Cost-of-living tech special. Image of solar panels
WGSN Original Image, Nuno Marques/Unsplash
Feb 15, 2023 By WGSN Insider

Solar-powered tech, strategic CMF and the growth of wellness tech in the home. That and more on today’s episode.

Want to know what’s next? Listen to the show where our experts from around the globe unpack your biggest challenges. This week, WGSN’s Executive Editorial Director Bethan Ryder takes us to London and Denver, where our experts answer your questions on the role of technology during the cost-of-living crisis.

Watch the full episode below or read on for highlights of this episode:

Q: How can solar-powered tech help us tackle the cost-of-living crisis?
“While solar tech requires short-term investment, we don’t see the cost-of-living crisis going away anytime soon, so spending now can be beneficial in the longer term. We just covered CES, where there are a spate of home energy systems for storing solar power and opportunities for consumers to sell surplus energy back to the grid. Rather than encouraging people to rush out and upgrade straight away, it’s about making the switch to solar when the opportunity arises.”
– Matt Zara, Editor and Trend Forecaster, WGSN
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Q: How can companies address the cost-of-living crisis through strategic use of CMF  (colour, material and finish)?
“While many companies are bringing production lines nearer to consumers to cut down on transportation costs… global material suppliers are setting up satellite hubs near these localised factories and looking to local material resources for cost-efficiency reasons.

“Also, the additive manufacturing industry is maturing, so large and small production runs are possible. This flexibility benefits companies that can produce exactly what is needed with minimal set-up costs, which adds up to cost savings that can be passed on to consumers.”
– Reiko Morrison, Consumer Tech Head of CMF, WGSN
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Q: As consumers seek new ways of coping with uncertain times, how has wellness tech evolved to meet the growing demand for relaxation at home?
“On the wellness spectrum, tech gadgets are providing a combination of sensory stimulation via colour therapy and the use of scents, sounds and vibrations to enhance baths, showers, meditative states or sleep. These solutions are great options to enhance people’s wellbeing and bring forth better harmony in consumers’ homes.”
– Carol Aquino, Head of Consumer Tech, WGSN
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