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We come across dozens of design breakthroughs and technological innovations daily--so many that it's easy to miss important trends emerging in the chaos all around us and not connect the dots to see …

We come across dozens of design breakthroughs and technological innovations daily--so many that it's easy to miss important trends emerging in the chaos all around us and not connect the dots to see the BIG picture.

Here at The Institute for Customer Experience (ICE), we understand the business and design value of capturing the right trend insights at the right moment. We observe and analyse trends in design, technology, and business, and keep our fingers on the pulse of the global zeitgeist. In this series of trendbriefs, we bring you alerts on what's trending in our world and their possible impact on our future.

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  • 1. ICE Breakers by 3THE ‘WISE’ GENERATION Everyone is an environmental hero! Energy is important for life; we can’t survive without energy. Alternate sources of energy have been known for long, but their application has been limited due to technological challenges. Therefore, being energy frugal, and thus energy ‘wise’, is a dominant emerging trend. Rising power bills and awareness about energy shortage is accelerating the growth of a conscious gener- ation. Devices capable of harnessing energy from unconventional sources are emerging and gaining popularity. At the same time popular devices are becoming energy frugal. “Energy Efficient appliances are expected to grow nearly 574% between 2012 and 20” Orange: Sound Charge T-Shirt Mobile phone company Orange released a prototype t-shirt during a music festival, that powers mobiles while festivalgoers watch music bands in action. When a phone is plugged into the t-shirt, a noise-re- sponsive technology charges it up. Zeebo: Energy Frugal Entertainment System Zeebo is a 3G-enabled entertainment and education system from Zeebo Inc. It enables users to play video games, connect to the Internet, communicate online and run educational applications. The console uses only one watt of power! IMPACT ON UX Designs need to incorporate energy efficientcy as a basic hygiene factor. Persuasive design can be used to nudge consumer behaviour by influencing them to con- serve energy and migrate to renewable energy sources. Consumers should not have to miss out on ‘experience’ at the cost of saving power. Energy frugal designs should also offer full features. Energy data aggregators and displays should be part of any ecosystem, to provide con- sumers more control over their energy consumption and saving. Future designs have to address the dissonance between the need to save energy and consumers’ need for devices to be perpetually on. Put citizens at the centre of planning and design for energy efficient cities, and include strategies for community-wide energy optimising measures. “Market for energy efficient products calculated at $2.14 trillion in 2023.” (Reportlinker.com, December 2012) “We can dream together a dream of a better world, an ever-renewing, organic-based earth-community. I believe we can achieve a large part of it in our lifetime.” (Randy Hayes)