One of the main issues facing humanity is the global expansion of life, whereby 2050 the population is expected to reach 9.6bn. In order to remain in the race for survival, businesses have to improve their supply chain and re-engineer how they process their business from basic resources to finished products, with packaging and distribution.
According to Radical Matter: Rethinking Materials for a Sustainable Future co-Author Caroline Till, “The smart companies, manufacturers and brands are the ones who are starting to invest in sustainable material innovation. There’s a thirst from consumers for this.” Tomorrow’s successful companies will those that have invested today in transformative materials and sustainable supply chains.
The Future Laboratory group has prepared a highly informative report, called the Material Far Futures report. In this report, they present 10 paradigms from the most transformative case studies in material innovation that they believe will disrupt industry in the coming decades.
To give you an idea of what is in store in this “mind-blowing” report let’s take a look at two exceptional products that are already market viable.
Egg expiry date
One of the biggest issues in the food industry is the expiry date, well Paul Yong and JJ Ismail, the co-founders of Malaysian creative studio Aesthetid developed a bio-ink that is linked to the food and will provide you with an exact expiry date warning. As they explained to Future Laboratory “There is no natural signifier to say they are not suitable to eat, which is why we developed the Honest Egg concept.
We have designed a reactive bio-ink made of natural microbes and a stabiliser, which is a chemical you can program to communicate when the egg is about to expire. The ink is printed as a simple character face, which is very expressive and emotional, contributing to the user experience. Most importantly, it’s not a piece of software or hardware embedded into the eggshell, but a surface ink that is natural, biodegradable and programmable.”
Genetically engineered tyres
Tires are pneumatic bags that hold compressed air, and yet, consider the idea that a tire will use water and photosynthesis to convert CO2 emissions from the environment into Oxygen while inflating the tire as it is being used.
Goodyear’s senior industrial designer Sébastien Fontaine and principal engineer Claude Boes, of Goodyear’s Innovation Centre in Luxembourg, have worked on and created The Oxygene, a 3D-printed concept tire.
These two engineers stated to FL that “We envisaged cities of the future with tens of millions of inhabitants, where you will have more vehicles and industry, and consequently more problems with pollution. In a city of potentially 2.5m vehicles, these tires will produce 3,000 tonnes of oxygen and absorb 4,000 tonnes of CO2 from the air every year.”
There are many more examples, so getting the FL report is a must for anyone with the curiosity and desire to see how imagination is truly infinite.