North Face teamed up with BMW at CES this week to unveil a line of outwear. Why BMW, and why at CES?
The innovation is nanospinning technology to create a fabric, dubbed FutureLight, which is both breathable and waterproof. We’re talking “nano-level holes” that let air through and keep water out.
“Right now, the expectation from a waterproof product is something loud, crunchy, muggy and unpackable,” said North Face’s Scott Mellin, global general manager of mountain sports, in a release. “Imagine a waterproof T-shirt, sweater or even denim that you actually want to wear. Today we start with jackets, tents and gloves, but the possibilities could be endless.”
To demonstrate the fabric’s potential, BMW’s design agency Designworks used it to create a camper that was showcased at CES, along with a virtual reality experience to capture attendee attention.
“We combined both physical and digital worlds to showcase this material, ensuring the holistic vision of the brand was clearly communicated, while giving people a real ‘hands-on’ experience,” said Laura Robin, Designworks LA studio director.
A quality meatless burger? It’s Impossible
Silicon Valley food start-up Impossible Foods introduced the Impossible Burger 2.0 at CES this week. According to Mashable, the plant-based burger still has less fat than beef burgers and zero cholesterol, but is now gluten-free. It can also be used in a variety of ways beyond a simple burger patty, such as meatballs and sloppy joes.
The burger uses soy protein instead of wheat protein, with Impossible Foods saying that it contains 30% less sodium and 40% less saturated fat than its predecessor, and as much protein as 80/20 ground beef (the ratio of lean meat to fat) from cows.
“The original recipe was great. The new one will blow people’s minds,” said Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown. The burger is already available at several U.S. QSR chains including Fat Burger, Hot Doddy and White Castle, which plans to start selling the $1.99 “Impossible Slider” nationally.
Easy come, not so easy go
The sex toy company Lora DiCarlo was supposed to introduce its first product, the Osé personal massager—which promises hands-free blended orgasms for women—at CES this week, along with a plaque identifying it as one of the show’s Innovation Awards Honorees in the Robotics and Drones category.
That didn’t happen, as CES organizer the Consumer Technology Association rescinded both the award and the invitation to be an exhibitor, citing a clause stating that entries deemed “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with CTA’s image” will be disqualified.
In an open letter posted on the company’s website, Lora DiCarlo founder and CEO Lora Haddock accused the CTA of gender-bias, noting that a sex doll was launched at the show in 2018 and that a VR porn company is a yearly exhibitor.
“Clearly CTA has no issue allowing explicit male sexuality and pleasure to be ostentatiously on display,” Haddock wrote.
It’s not the first time CES has come under fire for its alleged bias again women, with its critics decrying everything from the proliferation of so-called “booth babes,” to a lack of female keynote speakers.
The good news for Lora DiCarlo is that the CES ban created a boat-load of media attention for the company. It’s very likely that the Osé will be a screaming success.