This week's pattern recognition analysis from PSFK 

On Purpose

In the office, we have been trying to agree on a tag line for our conference next month, and while you'd think we would have squared away before we even started inviting folks to present, it's only after talking to the speakers and reviewing their ideas that we have seen a theme emerging around purpose.

Maybe this is connected to a few months of political upheaval, but since the beginning of the year, people seem to value community and sustainability more. Social Impact - which has been bouncing around for a few years - definitely appears to be in vogue. Where did this idea of purpose go - did we just assume Obama had our back? Now that everything feels at risk, we seem to be mobilizing.

When we spoke to the speakers for PSFK 2017, they helped us sense that people want their work to have purpose: sometimes, purpose with a small c, and other times Purpose with a Cap C. We want impact in what we do, we want to connect with others and create value for the community and world around us.

And where did we end up for PSFK 2017? Innovation on Purpose. I think it fits this line up of speakers well. Check 'em out.


Meanwhile... there has been vast wealth of good ideas running through the pages and newsletters of PSFK. Here are some of the patterns I've seen emerging since I last wrote. In this email, I look at ideas resonating around the themes of Reactionary Immersion, Personal Soundtrack, AR Support, Digital Empathy, Motion Response and Perfect fit.


Reactionary Immersion

We've been sharing these immersive ambient experiences that react to audiences. Whenever you enter this artist's house, you can sit and enjoy the sound of rain on the tin roof. Check this cloud that rains tequila that promotes Mexico tourism and 3000 flowers bloom in a window display as people pass them by.


This promotional experience for your phone adds music by human touch.


Personal Soundtrack

Talking about music, there's a strong theme emerging here too: ideas around providing people with a personal soundtrack that reflects the detail of their lives. FedEx has developed a fun system that creates tracks based a person's package size and its journey across the country. Spotify and Waze have partnered together to allow drivers to listen to music in-between 'police reported ahead' notifications. These headphones tailor sound specifically to your physical abilities. And related: this music video pulls footage from the Internet, selecting it based on an evolving set of hundreds of search terms, creating a unique experience each time. And a social platform lets people send music-based GIFs to their friends.


I like the idea behind the Casper phone line (although I doubt many people called it). Why didn't they promote this to previous buyers? I had to see it on the side of phone-box. Brands struggle to come up with relevant connections post-purchase/between-purchase. This would have been a perfect 'gift' to send Casper owners - I would have called it!


Digital Empathy

There have been some progressive ideas that connect different people in different parts of the world. This tug of war game helps Mexican and American children play with each other. This platform allows people to connect with refugees and even have dinner with them. And with a little electrode trickery, why not send someone a glass of lemonade to someone you miss?


Are you a craft brewer worried that AB-InBev is going to crush the craft movement? Find alternative revenue opps from your products! Such as granola bars from brewing byproducts, or even electricity!


Step Up

Maybe it's ok we spend so much time looking at our feet - especially when it comes to product innovation: there's certainly a lot of experimentation in this area, whether it's some pretty fancy shoes made out of water bottles (again), Nike shoeboxes made out of coffee cup tops, a grown pair of Reeboks or check this designer who creates shoes that remind him of classic Italian brands from his childhood.


Check out B&O's modular speaker system that you can spread across your wall. If you think that's a little OTT, this more subtle table is also a speaker system.


Motion Response

There were a bunch of ideas around the control of technology through our gestures: e-tattoos, Levi's jackets etc. I think the most progressive ideas on this topic are where tech monitors our motion rather than deliberate hand movement and touch: check the wearable that tracks what you're eating by the way you move your arms.


This is good: A new Alexa skill helps figure out what kinds of pollen might be the cause of a person's allergies. And this chatbot helps you fight your addictions.


Perfect Fit

And to end - there's movement in the fashion space around creating the ideal product. We have a jacket that works across seasons, fashion that changes with kids who growth spurt, clothing for bike commuters (again), custom watch faces from Michael Kors and AI designed clothing. Related: erm, Durex jeans. I guess, I'll end with that!


That's it for this week. Have you bought your ticks for May yet? Do soon.





Piers Fawkes

Founder, Editor-In-Chief

PSFK 2017 CONFERENCE - May 19 - NYC - Tickets!


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