Horizons newsletter – Week 37 // 2017
Horizons is a bi-monthly Dasym Research initiative to show you how the Dasym themes have been in the news. We publish the Horizons on our website and as an email newsletter. If you wish to receive the email, please contact Investor Relations.
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Still feeling tired when you wake up? Take a lesson from millennials. According to the American Bureau of Labor Statistics, millennials, compared to older generations, sleep on average for 25 minutes longer each night. One of the possible reasons stems from their embracement of wearable devices and sleep-related apps. Wearable rental firm Lumoid found for instance, that over 72% of surveyed millennial women are looking for a tracker solely to monitor their sleep. In line with this demand, corporate interest in sleep monitoring has intensified. For example, Apple recently acquired sleep-monitoring startup Beddit, and Fitbit is focusing on a sleep apnea project. The sleep-tracking trend not only influences the mood of millennials, but also offers other benefits. People who have longer nightly sleep are in better physical health, more productive and less likely to take sick days. All reasons for online mattress company Casper to give its employees a cash reward of $2 per night to encourage tracking nightly sleep. It thus seems like millennials have mastered the skills to grow rich while they sleep.
Brics to build roads or walls?
The heads of states of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa recently met at the BRICS summit 2017 in Xiamen. It seems momentum is increasing for this bloc. Economic growth is strong or stabilizing in these countries and even picking up in the laggard Brazil. Recently, construction of the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) began. Lack of consensus between the U.S. and Europe also creates space for these emerging markets. But their unity is questionable. This bloc is overshadowed by its two giants, China and India: By 2020 they will make up 83% of the BRICS’ GDP and these two do not see eye to eye on many issues. India almost cancelled its attendance at this summit due to a two-month border dispute with China over the Doklam Plateau near Bhutan. In fact, almost all of the over three thousand kilometer Chinese-Indian border is in dispute. These two compete over infrastructure projects in Central Asia and maritime ambitions in the Indian Ocean. The BRICS are thus growing, but its two giants inspire two very different global orders.
Traditional watchmakers survive the digital age
A few years ago, time seemed to be up for traditional watchmakers. With the introduction of smartphones, and later smartwatches, analysts expected their disappearance. Although the rise of smart devices has definitely punched the sales of traditional wristwatches, watchmakers have shown a stronger recovery potential than expected. The industry survived by making a move towards combining the best of both worlds in so-called ‘hybrid watches’. Watchmakers such as Tag Heuer and Fossil kept the classic look and feel of traditional analogue watches and added the benefits of meaningful connected features such as step tracking or notifications. Louis Vuitton recently presented a watch in collaboration with Google and Qualcomm, linked to LV city guides, and mass-market watchmaker Swatch revealed that it is developing an operating system to rival Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Market researchers Juniper and IDC forecast that these ‘smart analogue watches’ will be the most valuable products in the future wearable market. Watchmakers are great examples of ‘returned incumbents’ that know how to keep up with the times.