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The world of competitive gaming is one of the fastest-growing industries globally. The Electronic Sports League (eSports), is quickly becoming recognised as a profession; the industry has turned casual gamers into worldwide stars. With the potential to win seven-figure cheques and huge brand endorsement deals, the eSports industry has predicted revenues that will exceed $1 billion by 2020.

Games such as Fortnite, League of Legends and Call of Duty are watched by millions of spectators. In fact, the number of global eSports fans are expected to grow to 495 million in 2020. Spectators can watch these games by attending arenas to watch the event live, much like more traditional sports. Or, tune into them through services like Twitch or Smashcast, whereby fans are able to watch the best gamers play in real-time.

Despite its growth in popularity, eSports has several tricky issues in the virtual playing field.

 Diversity in eSports 

eSports has been heavily criticised in recent years for its lack of diversity, both for the lack of female gamers and those from minority backgrounds. Whilst gaming is gender inclusive (unlike traditional sports where women only compete against women) there is still a lack of female players at the top and female gamers are heavily outnumbered by their male counterparts.

In addition to this, racism is one of the many issues plaguing competitive gaming, which is contributing to the racial gap in this sector. One reason for the lack of diversity may lie in the routes of esports – the video games themselves. Online gaming is a hostile, competitive environment where emotions run high and insults are unfortunately part of the landscape.

The prolific racism experienced from online gaming causes social isolation and discourages gameplay. In addition to this, there are very few high profile BAME players. Therefore, people of colour do not see themselves represented in the gaming world. The lack of both gender and ethnic diversity creates a barrier to entry for professional players that their white, straight, male counterparts do not have to deal with.

Because of the lack of diversity in eSports, there are several organisations like AnyKey and SKYLLA, who are working towards making eSports a more diverse and inclusive playing field.

 Cheating  

In any competitive environment with high stakes there will always be people who want to bend the rules. In the case of eSports, the ‘referees’ are likely to come in the form of anti-cheat technologies from the likes of Kaspersky, who have developed algorithms, machine learning and pre-match computer scans. Cheating is a real threat to the industry, so if a gamer is caught this often results in lifetime bans from specific games.

Are you interested in discovering how public relations can raise your business profile in eSports? Get in touch today, our team of award-winning experts are ready to assist you in your journey.

The problems within the eSports industry?

The largest business and consumer show, the Wearable Tech Show, is returning to London this week, bringing together the latest in cutting edge technology under one roof. The event will see new and existing tech which is disrupting the wearable space, and we’re excited to be joining them to hear about the latest releases and what the experts predict for the future of wearables.

Paving the way for hybrids

Since wearable tech first became a phenomenon, smartwatches have arguably dominated the conversation. But as our lives get busier and we become more time-poor, there’s a demand for more hybrid products to be discreet and unobtrusive that are convenient and fit around our everyday lives. One of the ones we’re looking forward to seeing at the Wearable Tech Show is Fauna, which has created a revolutionary audio eyewear product which doubles as high-end glasses and a comprehensive audio system. The eyewear features MEMS loud-speaker technology which allows users to not only listen to music through their glasses, but also make phone calls whilst still being able to perceive sounds coming from the environment.

Another business we’re excited to see is Avantari and its innovative meditation device – the Dhyana. Whilst a lot of wearable tech is geared towards monitoring a user’s health and fitness, this piece of incredible tech is built to track your meditation. The modern innovation uses Heart Rate Variability to capture every heartbeat with 95% accuracy against a medical-grade ECG. So, it can detect fluctuations in your heart rhythm, and therefore when you might be feeling stressed or under pressure. It can prompt the user to meditate to help reduce stress levels and improve mental and cognitive performance.

Paying it forward

As we’re constantly rushing around and seeking convenience, consumers are increasingly looking to wearables to provide solutions that save time and mean we don’t need to rummage in our pockets or bags for payment. Tech firms like K Wearables are harnessing their expertise to cater for our busy generation. This forward-thinking business recognises the need of the masses for convenient solutions and can white label their own integrated payments ecosystem products or integrate payment functionality into consumers’ existing products. It’s innovative K Ring allows users to make contactless payments and doesn’t require charging or pairing with another device, so you’ll always be able to pay.

Another payment wearable we’re looking forward to seeing is Tovi Sorga, self-confessed secure contactless payments designed to suit you. They’re bringing quintessentially British solutions to the table for fashion conscious consumers with luxury products including contactless payment bracelets and keyrings. They’re taking the next step in making wearables more inclusive and accessible, and we’re excited to see what they do next.

Tracking devices and healthcare

With increasing uncertainty around our healthcare system, it has been predicted that we’ll see a spike in wearable health tech to take tracking our mental and physical health into our own hands.

One of the companies doing this for the older generation is Techsixtyfour with its My Gator Watch, a wearable Phone with GPS tracker for seniors. The simplicity and modern design of the product makes it the perfect solution for anyone over 65 who doesn’t want to use a smartphone but wants to stay connected. The watch can track users with both GPS outdoors and WiFi indoors, connect to multiple networks and weighs only 40g. With the growing pressure placed on healthcare systems and families, it’s no surprise this product is rated top of its kind on Amazon and we’re excited to see what they have coming up.

Abbott is another company allowing consumers to take their health into their own hands. It’s FreeStyle Libre system allows diabetes patients to monitor their glucose with a quick and easy scan. The company’s Diabetes Care division designs, develops and manufactures several leading glucose monitoring systems and test strips for use in either the home or in a hospital setting, giving users autonomy and freedom of discretion.

These are just a few of the amazing businesses, both large and small, that we’re looking forward to seeing at the Wearable Tech Show this week. If you’re attending the show and would like to meet and discuss how PR could improve your mobility company’s awareness, get in touch with our team today.

Spotlight on…Wearable Tech Show

MoneyLive Spring 2020 has arrived! Whether you are a retail banker or an emerging fintech in Europe’s financial services ecosystem, the stage will be showcasing what the future of the payments and banking world looks like in the decade ahead. With many companies coming together to become more agile, and forecast their industry predictions, we’ve taken a look at a few game-changers.

Raisin

Raisin is the platform that has transformed the savings marketplace in the UK and has quickly become the in-demand company for savings products with hugely attractive interest rates. With dedicated platforms based in European countries from Germany to Spain, to the Netherlands and Austria, Raisin ensures all interest rate differences are considered by placing a range of deposits from various banks all in one place. Now managing an investment volume of over €500 million, Raisin is headed for a 2020 US launch. The company is well on its way to making itself a staple in delivering the benefits of cross-border banking in line with regulation to millions of consumers across Europe and the US.

Loqr 

Digital identity continues to be a talking point for financial services and ensuring all security standards and compliance needs are met as a pressing issue. Since 2015, Loqr has come onto the scene and delivered a one-stop-shop solution to market designed to manage the complete lifecycle of digital identity. Using Loqr a customer’s virtual presence and onboarding process is made fully compliant with KYC guidelines and contract signing. Now involved in highly regulated verticals across Fintech, InsurTech and RegTech sectors, Loqr provides all the best-in-class tools to fill all the technological gaps in customer due diligence.

Penta 

Penta set out to tackle the multitude of issues faced in SME banking with a mission to provide a real-time overview of their finances, accounting integration and company cards. Building up a presence across the German and French SME landscape, Penta have established themselves as a more cost-efficient platform with a smarter overview of financials 24×7. Having built up more than 5,500 customers, Penta’s digital banking solutions will undoubtedly continue to accelerate the capabilities of SMEs.

Dozens 

A new challenger bank on the scene, Dozens only launched in 2019 has already amassed over 12,000 downloads and is already experiencing rapid growth. Dozens is a platform built to support customers to manage their finances more effectively on an all-in-one app that lets them have oversight of all their investing, spending, budgeting and saving. As a wealth-management alternative, Dozens is offering an opportunity to give the everyday consumer a chance to assess their own behaviour in relation to their spending habits in order to grow their money.

Funding Circle

Funding Circle has become a leading peer-to-peer loans platform for global SMEs. Working out of the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands, Funding Circle allows small businesses to source loans provided from investors to grow at a faster rate. Now SMEs can get confirmed funding offers with speed and greater transparency allowing for the lending market to experience more confidence in the decade ahead.

One thing is for sure, the companies exhibiting and speaking at MoneyLive Spring 2020 will set the scene for the year ahead. If you’re attending and would like to meet and discuss PR, get in touch.

MoneyLive 2020: Five companies to keep an eye out for

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

I grew up in Norfolk and studied PR at Bournemouth university, before moving to London to start my PR career. I have experience working across every sector from automotive to haircare, and insurance to beer brands. Working with a tech startup to launch wearable air pollution sensors was what ignited my passion for wearable health tech, and from then I’ve wanted to work with and help grow brands that are contributing to the evolution of healthcare through innovation.

What trends are you expecting to dominate the tech world in 2020?

With the pressures that our healthcare system is facing, I think tech will drive personalised healthcare forward in 2020 it will become more commonplace to be able to monitor our health ourselves, like the quality of our sleep, our blood pressure, air quality exposure etc. at the touch of a button. The use of AI and VR in the health and fitness sector has been bubbling away but now brands are competing hard in the fight for the spotlight at a time when we really need it.

 What is the most rewarding aspect of your role at PHA?

I’m enjoying working with start-ups and educating them about PR and how it can help grow their businesses. I’m also really enjoying working with the great tech team at PHA. As someone who’s still relatively new it’s so interesting to hear other people’s backgrounds and what they’ve learned, as well as add value from my previous experience.

 You’ve joined The PHA Group as a Senior Account Executive, what was it that made PHA stand out to you?

The thing that really stood out to me when I joined The PHA Group was its entrepreneurial spirit, and how everyone is encouraged – no matter what level you are – to be tenacious and curious. Its reflected in the whole team and is an exciting way to work.

 Finally, what has been your best piece of advice you’ve received?

In PR, people often quote the phrase “PR is a marathon, not a sprint”, and I’ve seen it to be true. Just as you do when training for a marathon, in PR you need to create a plan, define what success looks like and build up to that. All parts of PR take time – building media contacts, understanding different businesses and advising which PR tactics to use, establishing brand positioning and seeing big results. It can be frustrating at times, but when you put the time in, be consistent, know your limits and prepare for the sprint finish, the longer race is the best way to win.

If you would like to find out more about The PHA Group and our current vacancies, then please get in touch today.

Meet our people; Evie Fane de Salis

Europe and iconic buildings are something that go together like well, brick and mortar. From the Effel Tower to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Europe is full of buildings bursting with character.

But away from landmark tourist attractions, who are the architecture firms who are constructing modern properties that will survive the test of time?

With the news breaking on Saturday that MIPIM, the world’s leading property market event, has been postponed until June due to the growing concerns related to the coronavirus.

We wanted to take a moment to recognise five of our favourite architecture firms that would have been attending the exhibition later this month.

Corstorphine + Wright

An award-winning practice which has design studios plotted across the breadth of the UK. Corstorphine + Wright combine the very best quality architectural solutions that blend a strategic, design-led approach whilst including integral commercial awareness.

What makes Corstorphine + Wright different from other architectural firms is the acknowledgement that architecture is more than just an individual building, it encompasses the spaces around the building, and the wider structures within its vacinity.

As their portfolio suggests their expertise are broad, projects include The Barcode in Plymouth, Royal Exchange in Manchester and the Bargate in Southampton.

 

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#TBT Leake Street Arches. A project we completed in 2017, but we have brand new (hot off the press) photographs to share with you. Leak Street Arches sits under Waterloo International Station and was a thoroughly enjoyable commission for us. The project received a commendation at the New London Awards in 2018. More info on our website, link in bio

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Pozzoni Architecture

Soon to be celebrating their 40th birthday, Pozzoni Architecture is a forward-thinking practice that has achieved success through passion, personality and an in-built drive from directors and partners.

Aside from their offices in the capital and Manchester, Pozzoni also have emerging partnerships in both the USA and Australia.

Whilst it might seem that Pozzoni are going global, they are always quick to remember their local roots that make them special.

With services including master planning, environmental sustainability, graphics and visualisation resources at their disposal, Pozzoni Architecture is a fully integrated firm for all your one-stop needs.

Projects include Godalming Leisure Centre and Cheadle Hulme School Sixth Form Centre.

 

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#tbt to our major extra care development, Village 135 🏘 ⠀⠀ Awarded 🏆 ⠀⠀ Best Large Development at the National Housing Awards 2017 ⠀⠀ Best Independent Living at the Pinders National Healthcare Design Awards 2018 ⠀⠀ Best Supported Housing at the Northern Housing Awards 2017 ⠀⠀ ▪️Click the link in our bio to find out more!

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Purcell

With 13 regional studios in the UK, Purcell’s ethos is that their fascination by extending the life of the old, whilst also providing excellent new designs that are futureproofed. The firm originally founded by Donovan Purcell in 1947 are leaders in architecture, heritage and master planning.

One of their big focuses for new business is in the cultural sector, which ties in suitably with their ethos of extending the life of the old.

Some examples of projects include rejuvenating Canterbury Cathedral, Mandarin Oriental Hotel and impressively the Palace of Westminster.

 

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We’re thrilled that we have achieved Listed Building Consent to re-present and enhance the landmark Grade 1 listed Manchester Town Hall for Manchester City Council. The Our Town Hall project will make the site more accessible to the public and adapt the building for the 21st Century while taking great care of the site’s wealth of heritage features. 📸: Manchester City Council . . . . #Manchester #manchesterarchitecture #Manchestertownhall #architecture #architecturephotography #architecturelovers #facade #architectural #heritage #buildings #beautifulbuildings

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UberRaum Architects 

Founded by German architects Markus and Daniela Seifermann, UberRaum Architecture combines Germany technology with British design for commercial, public and private clients at a national and international level.

Continually striving to create spaces where people feel comfortable, inspired and most importantly at home.

Their projects are inspired from believing that people achieve more when they can be themselves and the better, they feel.

UberRaum specialises in designing happy people, pretty cool huh?

 

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Cherry Blossom House has been featured in CUBE Magazin! 🍒🌸🍒🌸🍒🌸

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Uniform

Providing Architectural Visualisation to the world is Liverpool based business, Uniform. For over twenty years, they have been putting design at the forefront to solve problems, change mindsets and imperatively help their clients succeed.

Uniform’s award-winning architecture visualisation studio helps to bring the creative ambitions of the world’s leading developers and architects to life.

So, if you’re having difficulty picturing what a building or structure will look like, Uniform is the business to check out.

Responsible for projects such as 10 George Street in Canary Wharf, O’Hare International Airport and the extraordinary Dubai Towers.

 

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10 George Street | London ・ Thrilled to see our suite of images in the launch of 10 George Street for @canarywharflondon ・ 10 George Street rises 37 storeys above Canary Wharf’s new district Wood Wharf – with views overlooking waterside gardens, boardwalks below, a gym, bar, private dining room & lounge and a large terrace. ・ #canarywharf #architecture #london #landmark #city #culture #3dsmax #vray #3d #instarender #renderbox #render_contest #archviz #architecturalvisualization #art #cgarchitect #cgi #archdaily #photoshop #rendering #renderviz #design #architecturelovers #architecturephotography #architectural #architect #render_files #woodwharf @thisisvertus

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Could a bespoke PR strategy set your architecture firm apart from the rest? We have unrivalled success working with entrepreneurial business to help them achieve national coverage and expert lead pieces. Speak to a member of our award-winning team today to find out more.

The architecture firms to look out for at MIPIM 2020

Travel Technology Europe, Europe’s dedicated event for travel technology, is coming up in London on February 26 and 27, with many companies coming together to show off the latest innovations in the travel space. Here’s a few that we’re looking forward to seeing at the event.

Holibob

Holibob is the platform that’s changing the face of tours and experiences for travellers. The company provides an innovative and independent marketplace for tours and experiences by enabling a simple, easy connection to a multitude of new retail partners ranging from independent travel agents and travel agent marketplaces to travel clubs, hotels, airlines, package holiday providers and cruise resellers. It helps travel companies increase their exposure and fill more bookings, while also helping expand travel choices for consumers.

NAVA

NAVA is the app that helps people discover places and people that are unique to their city. Users can explore recommendations about their city, build and share collections of their favourite places, discover city guides and upcoming events, and ultimately plan their perfect day. All of the content on the app is hand-picked by the NAVA team, industry insiders, and local influencers. In a city like London with so much going on, we look forward to finding our new favourite hotspots!

TrustedTrip

TrustedTrip is changing the world of travel with a new generation of travel reviews. It helps businesses stay protected from fake reviews and to create better travel experiences through the content-rich review data that shows where improvements can be made. The company directly contacts consumers that have had their travel experience to ensure they collect a verified review, then each review is moderated and turned into insights for the business. It works with all types of travel, including hotels, flights, transfers, car hire, cruises and attractions, ultimately ensuring companies in the travel industry are giving consumers the best experience possible.

Upgrade Pack

Every time I go to the airport, I secretly hope the airline will surprise me with an upgrade to business, but let’s face it – it’s probably not going to happen. As an alternative though, Upgrade Pack is making it simple for anyone to upgrade their flight or hotel room so that they can have a premium travel experience for less. Its app provides exclusive real-time deals on airline and hotel upgrades that aren’t available anywhere else. Right now, it’s only available to the company’s corporate clients, who then give access to their most valuable customers or provide it as an employee perk, but my fingers are crossed that it’s open to all soon!

Gamitree

Anyone who’s been in a WhatsApp group chat knows that making plans with multiple people is chaos. Gamitree works with travel websites to remove this hassle by enabling on-the-spot decision making for users. When a user goes onto a travel website, Gamitree’s technology will make it easy for them to make a wish list, invite their friends, vote and discuss on options, and ultimately purchase a trip. The company hopes to expand its tech beyond travel sites as it grows, simplifying decision making in retail, education, sporting sites and more.

As keen travellers ourselves, we look forward to seeing all the companies exhibiting at Travel Technology Europe. If you’re attending and would like to meet and discuss PR, get in touch.

Travel Tech Europe: Five companies to watch

Last week saw London’s excel centre play host to the Learning Technologies Expo, Europe’s leading workplace learning event.

Since its inception, the event has always been well attended, and this year was no different, over 8,500 visitors from across 50 different countries including 200 exhibitors attended.

Several of our senior PR experts from the Technology & Innovation team were at the expo last week, we’ve taken a more in-depth look at five businesses who caught their eye at the event.

Learn Upon

It’s clear that the digital revolution is changing the way people work and learn, so companies must adapt to this or face being left behind.

LearnUpon is a learning management system that delivers corporate training. It’s ideal for high-quality learning experiences for companies that are looking to scale so it comes as no surprise that its customers include the likes of Logitech, Intuit and Zendesk.

We like the way the platform is goal orientated as it ensures every learning opportunity is an experience that advances employee, partner, and customer success.

Last year at the Brandon Hall Tech Awards  they took home four awards, including a gold for Best Advance in Learning Management Technology for Compliance Training,

We think 2020 will be a big year for them!

Global Lingo

Providing professional audio services ranging from transcription to translation and minute-taking is London based business Global Lingo.

Their unique selling point has to be that they are one of the only agencies to specialise in minute-taking and transcription services.

First and foremost, Global Lingo ensures that all your content is accurate, consistent and culturally relevant in multiple languages at all times.

No wonder they are one of the fastest-growing language agencies in the UK and with offices in Chicago, Singapore and Romania, it’s safe to say, check out Global Lingo for all your audio needs!

Upskill Digital

A digital skills training agency bringing a fresh and dynamic approach to digital marketing training across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Upskill Digital’s core aim is to empower businesses and individuals to succeed in the digital age.

Acknowledging that technology will continue to play a pivotal role in business, Upskill Digital believe it to be a necessity for businesses and divisions to be proficient in digital marketing best practices to survive in the business world.

Training packages can be completely customisable, and modules range from Google Analytics, social strategy to a more generic digital marketing course.

Jigsaw Interactive

An E-Learning business from the USA caught our attention at the expo. But Jigsaw Interactive isn’t just any E-Learning platform, Jigsaw has hopes to change the way the world learns and collaborates.

Their training course is virtual and focuses on the actual learning process and covers all three components of learning which are, knowledge, application and experience.

Their patented immersive virtual engagement platform offers a unique suite of capabilities for both training and education.

Currently, the technology is being implemented across 12 different industries including the Communications and Network industry.

Questionmark

For more than 30 years, the online-assessment platform, Questionmark has been enabling organisations to improve by creating an environment for employees to unlock their true potential.

In today’s world, workforces must be performing at their best, which includes building new key skills to meet new customer demands.

Some key areas that questionmark offer training assessments in include Digitalisation, Al and machine learning.

Typically, their offering includes multiple professional services, one being a secure enterprise-grade assessment platform.

Since 1988, questionmark have delivered more than 95million unique assessments and has been trusted by more than 2,500 customers worldwide.

 

We work with some brilliantly innovative technology and are always happy to hear about more. Speak to a member of our team today to find out how we can work with you on a bespoke PR and social media plan.

Five to watch after attending Learning Technologies 2020

When we take part in sport it is often the intrinsic drive to get better that motivates us. Be it to swim faster or further, try a new sporting activity or track progress with our body form it all helps to keep us going.

Another important aspect for athletes is the support and coaching they receive. The ability to analyse performance and correct errors or perfect your technique is crucial to any team or individuals progress.

We’ve looked at five tools that help coaches share their visions with athletes, teams and decision-makers.

Coach Cam

Coaches across a variety of sports will often have a perceived idea or belief of how a specific technique should be executed. But when an athlete isn’t quite implementing it how a coach would like, how can a coach effectively relay this information?

Coach Cam allows you to record footage, create your own analysis videos from different angles and use a slow-motion function. This enables the coach to describe what is happening with a visual aid to the individual or team.

VEO

Since being crowned as the most innovative football start-up at the HYPE Summit last year, VEO has had more high-profile clubs sign up to use their platform, including Premier League’s Burnley FC.

No matter if it’s training or a match, Veo allows clubs to record football without the use of a cameraman. The solution involves a 180-degree camera which is powered by highly intelligent software to create automatic broadcasts of your football. (Pretty cool, huh?)

The AI-powered solution can recognise exactly where the action is happening on the pitch and knows when to zoom in or out. So, when it comes to the analysis of the game, coaches can easily highlight what needs to be worked on in training the following week!

SciSports

Over the course of a few years, SciSports have become one of the fastest-growing analytics companies in the world and have established themselves as a global leader in providing football data intelligence for both professional football organisations as well as media and entertainment businesses.

Essentially SciSports platform provides an efficient access to a broad array of actionable insights, which helps to support football professionals to stay ahead on the pitch.

Some core features of the platform include being able to suggest viable transfer targets and identifies talent at a young age by calculating their potential using advanced machine learning algorithms.

Currently, 90,000 players are accounted for on the platform across 244 competitions around the globe.

Dartfish

For 20 years the Swiss-based performance analysis company Dartfish have been at the forefront of human performance, providing analysis solutions for team sports and individual athletes at every level.

Making the power of video accessible to millions, Dartfish has become a globally trusted source for thousands of elite sport organisations, federations and teams.

One of their most popular products is the mobile invention that provides instant video feedback as well as tracking live tagging for the benefit of both coaches and athletes.

Some high-profile examples Dartfish has worked with include British Swimming, UEFA and 20 times Swiss national champions FC Basel.

Orreco

Welcome to the home of unparalleled science-driven solutions for athlete performance. Based in Ireland, Orreco are changing the way professional and Olympic athletes optimise their performance.

Applying principles from a sports science background alongside data analytics Orreco can successfully predict optimal training loads and the best recovery strategies.

Powered by IB’s Watson software, Orreco work with coaches, performers and medical staff to make sense of the data and analytics to then devise personalised strategies to keep athletes on top form from informed insights.

The Irish based businesses have an impressive client portfolio having worked with athletes on the PGA Tour, F1, NBA and the Premier League.

If you’re looking to expand your reach in the sport innovation industry speak to a member of our expert-led team.

Read more about our services here.

Five coaching tools giving coaches the upper hand

Traditionally, London Fashion Week is one of the most exclusive and high-profile events in the city’s social calendar. Kicking off this week with thousands flocking to central London to watch the world’s best designers showcase their latest creations. Indeed, it is estimated that there are over £100 million worth of orders placed during LFW alone.

We’ve looked at several ways how technology is revolutionising the world of fashion and helping to transform the industry.

 AR

Technological advancements like augmented reality have been increasingly applied in the fashion industry. More recently, ASOS the online fashion phenomenon has launched its new experimental AR feature called ‘See my fit’. Offering customers, a new way to view their products on different sizes, heights and body types. Allowing shoppers to see how the products fit on models that are a better reflection of individual customers. In turn, helping customers to make more informed purchasing decisions and shop with ease.

New apps such as Wanna Kicks eliminate the trouble of buying shoes online. Shoppers can use the app to digitally try on shoes by pointing their camera at their feet, the app then works to create a digital version of the desired shoe over the customer’s foot. Wanna Kicks lets you ‘try on’ shoes from major retailers such as New Balance, Nike and Adidas.

Influencer Marketing

Britons now spend an average of 24 hours a week online, this staggering statistic is one reason why people are moving away from the high street and towards social media as a space for retail. With more than 80 per cent of consumers saying they make their purchasing decisions based on social media recommendations. Influencer marketing won’t be slowing down any time soon, General Data Protection Regulation laws now limit the use and reliance of third-party data that vendors use to target customers. For brands to stand out in 2020 they will have to incorporate the use of influencer marketing to form new authentic connections and brand loyalty.

Rental services 

Reduce, reuse, recycle’ is something we hear daily, and concerns about the environmental impact of the fashion industry has caused a rise in popularity for the fashion rental sector. With platforms such as Front Row and Hire Street allowing customers to rent premium items for a fraction of the cost, whilst still allowing them the thrill of a new purchase. Rental platforms extend the lifecycle of luxury items and prevent clothes being worn once to never see the light of day again. Not only does renting allow you to look chic, but also helps reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion.

Blockchain

With growing concerns about the rise of counterfeit luxury goods, more and more fashion houses are becoming aware of the benefits of blockchain. In 2020, blockchain strategies are expected to accelerate, as they can provide a unique digital identity to exclusive items, authenticate luxury goods, limit the room for products to be sabotaged and anonymously transfer ownership of pre-loved items. In addition to this, the future of blockchain has the potential for the development of payment for luxury goods using cryptocurrency. Farfetch the online luxury fashion retail platform announced it will be launching its own cryptocurrency in 2020 with the help of the Libra Association. The blockchain organisation that governs companies such as Facebook and Ebay.

How technology is helping to transform the world of fashion

During our PHA Tech 2020 list so far, we have reviewed start-ups that we believe will disrupt both the fintech and business sectors. This week our attention turns to our third and final instalment, which focuses on lifestyle start-ups that are harnessing the power of technology.

As we move into the next decade, we’re consistently seeing consumers becoming more independent in their beliefs, choices and purchases. Whether it’s a belief in following a plant-based diet or choosing to embrace technology that makes life easier.

The final ten businesses to feature on our PHA Tech 2020 list all have one thing in common. They all have incorporated technology into their offering that is making it easier for consumers to use, stay healthy or make informed choices about their lifestyle.

Duffel

Do you work for a growing business in the travel industry? Well, London based start-up Duffel could be the answer to your prayers. Duffel offers innovative tools for travel-focused businesses that makes booking a flight an effortless experience for their customers.

Duffel allows businesses to connect to more than 18 airlines in an instant through one universal programming interface.

Their track record impressively already includes working with the likes of British Airways, Qatar Airways and American Airlines all before their 3rd birthday.

Elvie

Proudly flying the flag for women in technology. Elvie is a health and lifestyle brand committed to developing smarter technology that will improve the lives of women everywhere and at all stages of life.

The revolutionary Elvie pump means no tubes, no wires and more importantly women can pump on their own terms, whether that’s at home, work or on the go.

There’s even a free app that monitors milk volume in real-time and tracks pumping history for each breast.

Elvie is certainly a business to watch out for in 2020.

Trouva

Delivering the world’s best independent retailer online. Launched in 2015, Trouva are here to make sure you don’t miss out on discovering beautiful objects for your home. Whether it’s a circular wooden wall shelf perfect for your books, or an item to help you dine in style, Trouva has it all.

So if you can’t get to the boutique of your dreams, Trouva brings you products from hundreds of the most stylish and unique boutiques all in one easily accessible place.

Be ready to kit out your home with lots of beautiful things for your home.

Orchard Therapeutics

The first of two health-focused start-ups included in this round-up, Orchard Therapeutics focuses on transforming the lives of patients with inherited diseases through innovative gene therapy.

Orchard uses decades of research and advancements in the field of gene therapy to develop potential cures for rare and often-fatal diseases.

Their bespoke approach is designed to use a person’s own blood stem cells and insert into those cells a working copy of the missing or faulty gene.

Orchard Therapeutics are aiming to permanently correct genetic disorders with a single treatment.

Healx

Welcome to the future of medicine and diagnosis. Healx is an Al-powered tech company that puts the patient first. Its core aim is to accelerate the discovery and development of rare disease treatments.

Principally Healx allows for drug discovery to happen faster, smarter and safer using public and proprietary biomedical data.

By 2025, Healx are hopeful that they can advance 100 rare disease treatments through the clinic.

Mind Candy

Founded in 2008, Mindy Candy has led the way of digital entertainment for over 10 years, their range of products aim to bring families (pets included) happier, healthier and bring more joy to homes all around the world.

For example, one of their most popular products is the Moshi Twilight Sleep Stories app is a that helps kids fall asleep quickly and easily. Clearly, it’s a very popular choice as a staggering 40 million bedtime stories have been told since it’s inception.

For over the last decade their vision has always been to create worlds that fire the imagination.

FaceIT

Welcome to the home of online gaming. Since 2011, FACEIT has been the leading independent competitive gaming platform for online multiplayer games.

The above might sound a rather bold statement, but FACEIT has the statistics to back it up. More than 13 million users consistently login into the platform on a monthly basis.

FACEIT’s unique offering allows players to easily play in tournaments and leagues for both virtual and real-world prizes through automated tournament management and matchmaking technology.

Farmdrop

Imagine an online supermarket where every item they sell has been carefully curated and ethically sourced and that’s Farmdrop.

With a local supply chain in place, Farmdrop’s mission is to give more people access to fresh, sustainable, locally sourced produce, giving consumers an opportunity to choose a more sustainable lifestyle if they wish to.

With all meals prepared in 100% plastic-free packaging too, this really is the way forward for people who enjoy great quality and care about the planet.

After raising £10m in 2018 to expand their home delivery service to the North of England and being described by The Independent as “The beginning of the end for supermarkets”, watch out for Farmdrop making waves this year.

No wonder it was described by The Independent as “The beginning of the end for supermarkets”.

allplants

Another food-focused start-up to watch out for this year is award-winning plant positive food brand on a mission to build Earth’s most forward-thinking food company.

The allplants team led by food-lovers and serial entrepreneurs JP and Alex are determined to inspire the next billion plant-powered people, through the power of flavour and convenience.

Simply build your box of six meals online and allplants take care of the rest, most importantly you’re in control. Change, pause or cancel your subscription anytime.

Make sure to follow them closely as they’ve already noted that their plans for 2020 are beyond bold, delicious and daring.

Moonbug

Similar to Mind Candy, Moonbug’s mission is to create shows that both kids and parents love equally.

Moonbug creates, produces and publishes thousands of minutes of video and audio content every month with each video designed to support a child’s development.

According to a LA Times report, one of the Moonbug’s videos has cracked YouTube’s Top 20 list of most popular videos in history, boasting an astonishing 2.1 billion views.

Examples of areas that the videos look to improve include vocabulary progress, counting skills and core skills like compassion, empathy and resilience to kids on a global scale.

 

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Lifestyle start-ups harnessing the power of technology