New trends to keep an eye out for in 2017

PUBLISHED: 11:46 10 January 2017


This time next year you could be a vegan who drinks only English wine, works out on a trapeze and gets a daily dose of virtual reality. Natalie French pinpoints some of the hot new trends for 2017…

Remote control home comforts

Remote working is also on the up. According to a study from iTouchVision, up to 2.9million (42 per cent) of the UK workforce worked from home in 2015. These figures are up from 2.1 million (32 per cent) in 2001. The study showed that around 65 per cent of employees are in favour of working beyond the office boundaries and feel that it positively impacts their work.

Virtual & Augmented Reality

The hysteria for Pokemon Go sent an important message – virtual and augmented technology is here to stay and is set to be a fast growing market in 2017. Microsoft are leading the way with their HoloLens – the first self-contained, holographic computer, which overlays holograms – 3D digital content – into our physical world. Once you don the HoloLens device, you enter a magical mixed reality, that lets you enjoy digital life while staying more connected to the world around you.

A Microsoft spokesman said: “Interacting with 3D environments and objects is something fundamental to humans. While we’ve made incredible advances as an industry in the way in which we interact with computers, we are still constrained by the need to conform to the ways computers recognize our commands through mouse clicks or by touching a screen. Using holograms, you can pin your digital content, such as apps, information, and even multi-dimensional videos, in the physical space around you, so you can interact with them in the same ways that you interact with other physical objects.”

Forward-thinking businesses are already putting the revolutionary tool to good use. Cape Western Reserve University in Ohio are bringing learning alive, by using three-dimensional images of the human body to enable students to examine human anatomy from every angle. While NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have used the Microsoft HoloLens to create ‘Destination Mars’ at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex – allowing ordinary people the opportunity to walk on the Red Planet.

On a local level, Oakdene Forest Resort in Ringwood have launched the first ‘Vroom’ on the South Coast. In direct partnership with HTC Vive and SteamVR, the state of the art hardware allows anyone over the age of seven an immersive experience, whilst family and friends can watch the action close-up on the 4K display screen. Titles including The Lab, Audioshield, Space Pirate Trainer and The Brookhaven Experiment.

Andrew Bowden, Director at Shorefield Holidays – owners of Oakdene Forest Resort - says: “It is often difficult to please our teenage customers, but while we wanted to provide something for them, it was important the experience had a wider family appeal. It could not be a sit-down experience for only a single person to participate in. With HTC Vive, our guests can move freely around the VRoom to be part of the experience in ways only previously thought possible. VR technology has finally caught up with and in some cases exceeded consumer expectations in 2016 with much more coming over the months and years ahead.”

Home-grown fizz

According to a new poll by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) we are truly a nation of wine drinkers, with over 30 million regular consumers nationwide. Sixty per cent of UK adults are opting for wine over other alcoholic drinks and we’re also starting to realise that we don’t always need to look beyond our shores for the good stuff.

The UK wine industry is worth £17.3bn to the British economy, with 448 producing vineyards across the UK – including some gems here in Hampshire. But what lies ahead for 2017, during the post Brexit fall-out? Wine Buying Director for Berry Bros. & Rudd, Mark Pardoe MW, pictured right, says: “Unless the Pound recovers quickly against pretty much every other currency (and there are no signs yet that it will), price rises for imported wines are inevitable, and the more expensive the wine, the greater the increase, because of the flat rate of excise duty applied to all wines. Wines from anywhere prepared to take payment in Sterling will offer the best value, and that includes English wines.”

“This could be the perfect scenario for English sparkling wine,” continues Mark, “I know one producer who voted for Brexit; the result has certainly put English Sparkling Wine in an advantageous position. Not only should a price advantage over Champagne become more apparent, but quality has been improving dramatically year-on-year. Hambledon report a successful 2016 vintage, although volumes could have been larger but, all in all, it’s a good time to be an English sparkling wine producer.”

Mark continues: “There is a trend towards less alcoholic, heavy wines. Nowadays an ‘oaky’ description could even be seen as a perjorative. But global warming means that alcohol levels are 10 per cent higher than a generation ago. The challenge is to make wines that combine finesse and balance with the ripeness that nature is providing more regularly. We’ll see an increasing appetite for unusual, esoteric wines, more choice by the glass in restaurants, better quality, little and often!”

The rise of Veganism

Veganism is one of the fastest growing lifestyles in Britain, with at least 542,000 people now following a vegan diet, compared with 150,000 a decade ago. Jimmy Pierson, spokesperson for The Vegan Society, explains: “Much of the growth, we think, has actually taken place over the past couple of years. More and more people are now acting upon the health and environmental benefits of veganism, as well as becoming far more savvy about the realities of animal agriculture and deciding they do not want to contribute to the pain and suffering of animals.”

“Wider access to vegan-related information has played a key role in the growth. The mainstream media has reported frequently and favourably on veganism, while the internet and social media have had an enormous impact. From documentaries on YouTube to amazing vegan food on Instagram to articles being shared on Facebook, veganism has been given a platform it’s never had before,” says Jimmy.

“The public perception of veganism as an extreme, fringe lifestyle is disappearing. It is instead being seen as increasingly easy and accessible. The image of veganism is undergoing the most radical change in its history, while shedding some tired old stereotypes. People now closely associate veganism with health, fitness and wellbeing when the opposite was perhaps true a few years ago.”

Circus skills

Water-inspired sports had their moment in 2016 – think Stand-up Paddle boarding (SUP) and outdoor swimming; but it seems 2017 will be giving a firm, and somewhat flexible, nod to the circus. Along with acro-yoga and aerial silks, trapeze is moving into the spotlight. Basingstoke Trapeze artist Jodie Hoffmann has noticed a growing fascination: “I’ve always had people interested and curious about trapeze, but it’s definitely become more trendy.”

Having started teaching in early 2015, Jodie has opened more classes due to demand. “It’s a creative way to keep fit,” explains Jodie, “you don’t concentrate on the boringness of trying to keep fit - you’re having fun, whilst getting fit.”

“Plus, all the beautiful moves and shapes that you can do - it makes you feel good. It also naturally increases your flexibility, over time, and you condition your body and build amazing muscle memory.”

It’s not just about fitness, says Jodie: “It’s brilliant for people who struggle with mental health barriers, because just getting up on the trapeze, sitting and then standing - those simple things can make people feel as though they have achieved something. When people find they can do things on trapeze, they often think: ‘if I can do that, I can easily do the small thing in life I’ve been avoiding. It definitely builds confidence.”

From January, Jodie will run classes at Proteus Creation Space, Basingstoke. Beginners welcome.

Monday, 7:15pm - 8:45pm, Saturday, 10am - 11:00am; 12pm - 1:30pm.

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