Future+ Fridays | Issue13

Deep dive into HUGO BOSS's new Web3 loyalty program, the spotlight on AI at VivaTech, the integration of VR into flights, and much more.

Happy Friday! Welcome back to our 13th edition.

This week has been eventful. We traveled to Paris to attend the latest edition of VivaTech and host a side event, INNOVATION X LUXURY: Rendez-vous in collaboration with Limitless Luxury and The Sandbox. We will share a deep dive on Vivatech next week, with key trends, insights and startups that should be on your radar.

We also hosted our LIVEStream Mondays, with an incredible group of speakers - including Nell Lloyd-Malcolm from xydrobe , Blake Lezenski from Outlier Ventures and co-hosted with Carlota Rodben from BEYOND LUXURY. You can (re)watch the full discussion here. Lastly, we have been finalising plans for NFC Lisbon next week – with a surprise announcement and incredible guest who will do a fireside chat with me on the main stage.
👀 Stay tuned on our socials for more…

In this week's newsletter, we delve into HUGO BOSS's new Web3 loyalty program, the spotlight on AI at VivaTech, the integration of VR into flights, and much more.

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📖 In this week’s issue

  1. Hugo Boss revolutionises loyalty with innovative Hugo Boss XP program

  2. VivaTech: is AI a temporary trend or a lasting innovation in luxury and beauty

  3. BFRND Is taking Balenciaga Music to another dimension

  4. AI voice cloning risks highlighted by Scarlett Johansson Controversy

  5. Meta and Lufthansa bring VR to the skies with New Travel mode on Meta Quest

👩‍💻 Also on our radar, in case you missed it

📅 Upcoming events on our calendar

Reminder: we are curating the fashion track at NFC Lisbon on the 28th May with speakers from Lanvin Group, MF Brands, Outlier Ventures, DressX and more. Reply to this email for access.

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🔎 Deeper Insights

1- Hugo Boss revolutionises loyalty with innovative Hugo Boss XP program


  • Hugo Boss expands its Web3 presence by upgrading its loyalty program with the Hugo Boss XP membership program. 

  • The new program integrates blockchain technology for enhanced customer engagement. 

  • Features include exclusive token collection, co-creation opportunities, visiting headquarters, custom made outfits and exclusive experiences.

Over the past few years, Hugo Boss has been actively building its presence in the Web3 and innovation space. From collaborating with Imaginary Ones NFT to releasing its first NFT drops and gifting NFTs to winners of a TikTok challenge, Hugo Boss has consistently embraced digital transformation. The brand also made headlines by auctioning NFTs for International Women's Day and participating in Metaverse Fashion Week. Additionally, they had launched their first loyalty program with HUGO BOSS experience in 2023 offering several perks.

Hugo Boss presence in Spatial for Metaverse Fashion Week 2023

Hugo Boss is now taking its loyalty program to the next level with the launch of HUGO BOSS XP. The program blends traditional loyalty features like levels and points with innovative blockchain-supported elements. Members can collect and redeem tokens through purchases and interactions across various channels and brands, unlocking exclusive products, unique brand experiences, and special offers from Hugo Boss and its partners. These tokens could even be traded among customers in the future. 

Launching first in the UK this June, HUGO BOSS XP will slowly replace the existing HUGO BOSS Experience program. It aims at providing a hyper-personalised, omnichannel experience by expanding digital and physical touch-points and leveraging customer data. Some benefits will include special events, exclusive digital wearables, unique experiences and co-creation opportunities, all designed to strengthen Hugo Boss's position as an industry leader in customer engagement and build a stronger relationship with customers. In other development Hugo Boss’ younger line just unveiled a new drop with Imaginary Ones, a customisable jacket adapted for Web3 with NFC tag.

Why It Matters: HUGO BOSS XP not only enhances customer engagement through personalised experiences and exclusive rewards but also positions HUGO BOSS at the forefront of digital innovation. By leveraging blockchain and Web3 elements, HUGO BOSS sets a new industry standard, ensuring long-term customer loyalty and increasing customer lifetime value. This strategic move underscores the brand's commitment to evolving with technology, providing a unique and enriching experience for its customers.

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2- VivaTech: is AI a temporary trend or a lasting innovation in luxury and beauty 


  • AI is at the centre of the stage for this year’s edition of VivaTech and of the LVMH Innovation prize.

  • Spotlight on the French AI luxury company exhibitor imki which emphasise AI's role in sustainable supply chains.

  • Highlight on l’Oréal who has integrated AI in beauty for over a decade, enhancing product development and customer experience and just released the ‘Beauty Genius’ at VivaTech.

The annual VivaTech conference in Paris is taking place this week, and artificial intelligence is at the centre of the stage. The LVMH Innovation Awards was a significant highlight, with seven trophies awarded to startups, with most of them involving AI. FancyTech, which developed a GenAI-based video production software won the 'Immersive Digital Experiences' award for its innovative use of 3D modelling and prompts to create animated images and videos without a technical team.

Bernard Arnault / VivaTech 2024 - Credits: F. Julienne

Moving on, we are looking at an exhibitor, the French AI company imki. They offer clients specialised 'business' AIs, trained by designers and creatives from top French design schools, to adapt to each client's style for faster and more sustainable collection development. The goal is to optimise the fashion supply chain by integrating Imki, gaining lead time from initial creative exploration through technical product finalisation, enabling products to reach the market faster. Raul Cruz Bonilla, Imki's VP, explained that the AI-generated images enable sample validation without physical production, saving materials and reducing the risk of unsold inventory. Imki previously partnered with Kooples on an exclusive 100% AI-generated capsule collection developed three times faster than usual.

In the beauty sector, AI is not a novelty. Guive Balooch, Global Managing Director: Augmented Beauty and Open Innovation at L'Oréal, mentioned that the company has leveraged AI for a decade, significantly driving their research and development and that AI currently powers half of their recent innovations, including virtual makeup simulators and skin diagnostic technology. During VivaVatch, l’Oréal unveiled its new AI-based tools the ‘Beauty Genius’ a seamless beauty experience and first-of-its-kind service for the Group leveraging a combination of the latest tech: Gen AI, augmented reality, computer vision and colour science – available 24/7 in consumers’ pockets.

Why it matters: The integration of AI in luxury and beauty, as showcased at VivaTech, represents a transformative shift in product creation and consumer experience. AI facilitates unparalleled personalisation through virtual try-ons and tailored recommendations, while driving innovation by speeding up development cycles and optimising supply chains for greater efficiency and sustainability. As consumer expectations evolve, leveraging AI for personalisation, efficiency, and eco-friendly formulations will be essential for brands to remain competitive, build loyalty, and lead in an increasingly technology-driven market.

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3- BFRND Is taking Balenciaga Music to another dimension


  • Balenciaga latest collaboration with BFRND includes a playlist, video game, and NFC-embedded merch.

  • "BFRND: the Game" offers a gamified experience tied to the brand’s runway shows.

Balenciaga, under the creative direction of Demna, has been pushing boundaries by seamlessly integrating music and technology into its fashion offerings. The brand's latest collaboration with the artist BFRND takes this fusion to a new level. Balenciaga has been partnering with him since 2017 for its show soundtracks, and last year, the brand launched Balenciaga Music to further solidify its sonic collaborations.

Launching this week, the latest collaboration between the artist and Balenciaga Music elevates their partnership to new heights, seamlessly blending reality with the digital realm. The collaboration includes a four-hour playlist, an original 8-bit video game called "BFRND: the Game," and a range of merchandise featuring t-shirts and hoodies. Each garment is embedded with an NFC chip, providing wearers access to the playlist and, for the first time, a video game.

Courtesy of Balenciaga

"BFRND: the Game" is a pixelated adventure that takes users through the show sets of the last few years, accompanied by the original soundtracks created by BFRND for each runway display. Balenciaga will reward the top 30 players in a worldwide competition, adding an element of gamification to the experience. The game's first three levels are accessible to anyone via a dedicated mini-site, WeChat, or a touchscreen at the Balenciaga flagship in Paris. Customers who own the BFRND merch will have exclusive access to a fourth bonus level, incentivising the purchase of the collection.

Why It Matters: The collaboration showcases Balenciaga's innovative approach to fashion, merging digital experiences with physical products. By integrating music, gaming, and technology through the NFC chip, the brand creates a unique, immersive experience for its audience.

4- AI voice cloning risks highlighted by Scarlett Johansson controversy


  • A similar voice to Scarlett Johansson's voice was used without consent in OpenAI's ChatGPT 4.0 which sparked controversy.

  • AI voice cloning technologies pose significant privacy and security risks.

  • Current regulations are insufficient to address these emerging threats.

The rise of AI technologies like voice cloning and deepfakes poses significant risks that need to be addressed through regulation, technological solutions, and public awareness. A high-profile incident highlighting these dangers is the recent controversy around OpenAI's new ChatGPT 4.0 model, which featured a voice assistant named "Sky" that sounded very similar to Scarlett Johansson's voice from the 2013 film "Her." Despite Johansson declining OpenAI's offer in September 2022 to license her voice, the company proceeded to use a strangely resemblant "Sky" voice. Johansson called in her lawyers, leading to the voice being paused.

This incident underscores how AI voice cloning enables the non-consensual replication of people's voices, violating privacy and enabling impersonation. Even celebrities are not immune from having their vocal identities essentially stolen and commercialised without approval.

Why It Matters: This new incident raise the issue again of the threat AI voice cloning enabling the replication of someone's voice for all kind of purposes. This technology may pose significant threats with the current lack of comprehensive regulation specifically addressing the technology. In the USA, the FTC's Voice Cloning Challenge highlights the need for a multidisciplinary response to mitigate these risks effectively. The threat of AI voice cloning requires a coordinated effort between technology developers, regulatory bodies, and the public to ensure that this powerful technology is used responsibly and ethically.

5- Meta and Lufthansa bring VR to the skies with New Travel mode on Meta Quest


  • Meta introduces a new travel mode on Meta Quest 2 and 3 to enhance in-flight entertainment.

  • Meta is partnering with Lufthansa to introduce VR headsets on flights starting this summer for a pilot test in Business classes.

  • The partnership will provide VR movies, games, meditation as well as a new opportunity for brands and shopping experiences.

Meta has launched an experimental feature called 'Travel mode' for its Meta Quest 2 and 3 headsets, designed to revolutionise in-flight entertainment. Using finely tuned algorithms to account for airplane motion, it ensures a stable and consistent experience. Passengers can toggle 'Travel mode' on and off via quick settings, with the headsets potentially detecting when they are on an airplane. Meta plans, in the future, to expand this feature to other modes of transportation, such as trains.

With this exciting development, Meta has partnered with Lufthansa to bring this experience to the skies. Starting from this summer and as part of a pilot program, Lufthansa will be the first airline ever to provide Quest 3 headsets in their new business class suite on select journeys. The immersive content will include 360-degree spatial videos, travel podcasts, meditation apps, games, and virtual sightseeing — all working seamlessly during the flight.

As stated by Olga Dogadkina, this development has great potential for brand-consumer interaction. While the travel retail market is reaching $65 billion in 2024, the in-flight shopping experience remains largely untouched, relying on outdated catalogs available to passengers. Brands can now target an audience with significant spending power, who are captive for multiple hours with limited entertainment options, making them an ideal market for brands.

AI Generated

For travellers not flying business class, the Travel Mode feature will still be available on personal Meta Quest 2 and 3 headsets, expanding access to a smooth in-flight experience.

Why it matters: This partnership marks a significant advancement for in-flight entertainment, providing passengers with a more immersive and engaging travel experience. By incorporating VR technology, Meta and Lufthansa are setting a new standard for airline entertainment, potentially reshaping how passengers spend their time in the air. The partnership holds great potential for brands and retail, as it could be used as an opportunity and revolutionise the shopping experience, transforming both the retail and travel industries. Additionally, Meta's new Travel mode enhances accessibility and offers more versatile uses for their VR headsets, broadening the appeal and functionality of their devices.

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Last reminder that our Insights report is live, in partnership with Luxurynsight from our inaugural Codes of Culture summit, read here.

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