Top 10 Most Influential Projects by Industry

Consumer Products & Services

MIP_Flag Most Influential Projects 2022
Current Tuna
Consumer Products & Services | North America
Sushi’s global popularity is booming—but with rising demand comes greater risk of overfishing and reduced marine biodiversity. And while plant-based alternatives to chicken and beef have moved mainstream in recent years, faux fish delectable enough to eat “raw” has remained elusive. Until now. After two years of tweaking and iterating, vegan seafood startup Current Foods developed a plant-based, sushi-grade, ready-to-eat tuna for restaurants and consumers. Reception has been so fervent from eco-minded sushi fans that the company is already hard at work on its next product-development project.
30th Most Influential Project of 2022
An asian women wearing a Vive Focus 3 VR headset and holding two Controllers
Vive Focus 3
Consumer Products & Services
The evolution of the consumer VR headset has been long and varied, ranging from the super-bulky, super-spendy early models to ultra-accessible cardboard fixtures that simply attach to your phone. But the VR world surged closer to mimicking reality when Taiwanese tech giant HTC released its Vive Focus 3 headset last year. With 5K graphics and an immersive 120-degree field of view, the headset’s applications range from gameplay and simulated travel to more work-centric uses like training sessions and virtual meetings. And in January, HTC unveiled a VR wrist tracker designed specifically to be used with its headset, too.
Consumer Products & Services
Where truth-telling, flute-playing, Grammy-winning hip-hop impresario Lizzo goes, a trail of fans is likely to follow. So it’s no real surprise they’ve been quick to snap up products—and post gushing reviews—for her Yitty shapewear collection launched in April. Though the foundational garments industry has skyrocketed in recent years, Lizzo is out to disrupt—creating an unprecedented lineup of 100 items in sizes XS to 6X and shattering the popular notion of what these garments can be. Yes, Lizzo would like you to know, shapewear can be comfortable, breathable and sustainable. The line’s packaging, as well as 65 percent of its garments, are made entirely of recyclable materials. Produced in partnership with athleisure giant Fabletics, the line also seeks to upend the “secret” (read: shameful) nature of shapewear, with many pieces designed to be a visible part of the wearer’s outfit. The takeaway? Shapewear should be exciting, not excruciating. As Lizzo told Vogue: “People are still buying girdles, and they don’t need to be going through the torture that they’re putting themselves through.” For many consumers, it’s about damn time, as Lizzo’s latest hit song proclaims.
A S7 MaxV Ultra round robot vacuum on a wood floor in a hallway near its empty, wash, and fill dock
S7 MaxV Ultra
Consumer Products & Services
The US$2.5 billion robot vacuum market is expected to grow 17 percent annually through 2027. But while the tech has certainly made it easier to tidy up, most models carry downsides: Some get trapped in tight spaces or fail to avoid obstacles, and if they’re among the models that also mop, they carry the risk of mistakenly getting area rugs or carpet wet. China’s Roborock took on all those common complaints and iterated its way to introducing the S7 MaxV Ultra. The AI-powered vacuum comes with a high price tag, but it can sense the difference between carpet and flooring via sound waves, spot and avoid even small items in its path, and self-empty its interior chambers after vacuuming or mopping.
Product shot of Golden Morn Sorghum-Based Porridge, aqua colored packaging and a picture of a bowl porridge
Golden Morn Sorghum-Based Porridge
Consumer Products & Services
Porridge doesn’t exactly scream innovation. Yet in cultivating the malt powder that gives Nestlé Milo chocolatey beverage its signature flavor, the Swiss food giant was discarding large quantities of the starchy grain sorghum. At the Nestlé R&D Centre in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, researchers looked into blending this previously unused side product with maize and wheat. The result? A low-cost, highly nutritious porridge that could help alleviate widespread food insecurity in West African communities. The porridge rolled out regionally this year. In addition to addressing hunger, it’s also a linchpin of Nestlé’s waste-reduction and upcycling strategy as it pushes to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Consumer Products & Services
How’s this for a modern take on alchemy? Colombian renewable energy startup E-Dina is turning saltwater into electricity through ionization. While the process isn’t new, the company developed a way to sustain the chemical reaction over a prolonged period of time. Then it partnered with the Colombian division of creative agency Wunderman Thompson to create a handheld, cylindrical lamp powered by just 500 milliliters (17 ounces) of high-salinity water (or, in a pinch, urine). With that small amount of saltwater, this portable lamp produces up to 45 days of light—as well as energy, acting like a tiny portable generator that can be used to charge a mobile phone or another small device. Launched last year, the light was designed to fit the coastal lifestyle of the indigenous Wayúu people. Located in northern Colombia, surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, the community has ready access to saltwater—and now, hours of light, too.
A white woman with hearing aids, a pink sweater, and a light brown high ponytail holding a barbie who also has hearing aids and a navy dress with purple, white and pink flowers and a red high ponytail
Barbie with Hearing Aids
Consumer Products & Services
Kids comes in all colors, shapes and sizes—and with different health conditions and abilities. Looking to reflect that diversity, U.S. toy giant Mattel unveiled its first Barbie doll that wears hearing aids in June. The team collaborated with an educational audiologist to design the tiny, plastic devices that sit behind the doll’s ears (though remain clearly visible below her super-cute ponytail). It’s just the latest project that reflects the company’s push to expand Barbie’s default silhouette—a notable move given its status as world’s largest dollmaker. “It’s important for kids to see themselves reflected in product and to encourage play with dolls that don’t resemble them to help them understand and celebrate the importance of inclusion,” said Lisa McKnight, Mattel’s global head of Barbie and dolls portfolio.
Small yellow drone camera hovering above a hand with a blue sky and cloud background
Consumer Products & Services
What makes a selfie great? A sense of movement, of dynamism, of candid joy—which is exactly what the tiny drone camera Pixy aims to provide. And it only seems appropriate that the buzzy new device comes from Snap Inc., which may now describe itself as a camera company but is mostly known as the creator of social media app Snapchat. Roughly the shape and size of a slice of bread, the gadget alights with the tap of a button, hovers in midair to capture pics or video, pans and tracks users as they move and gently returns to the user’s palm. Think of it as a drone for the layperson, someone who likely doesn’t want to pay big money for a professional-grade aerial camera. It’s designed to be as easy to use as a smartphone—and at 3.6 ounces (102 grams), it’s roughly half the weight.
A modern living room with a natural color palette with a Gradient Air conditioning window unit in the window that is also being use as a surface for a coffee mug and over ear head phones
Consumer Products & Services
Call it the worst kind of feedback loop: As climate change warms the planet, more people rely on air conditioning units to beat the heat—but those machines crank out emissions that contribute to climate change. Silicon Valley startup Gradient went to work on a radical rethink and unveiled its new vision in July 2021: a window unit that reduces heating and cooling emissions by up to 75 percent compared with conventional models. Plus, it relies on a climate-friendly refrigerant and sits below the windowsill—so users can keep their view and natural light. “Home air conditioning is an underrated aspect of the overall conversation around climate change,” says Milo Werner, partner at Ajax Strategies, which contributed part of the US$13 million the startup has raised to date. Less guilt-inducing air conditioning may not be the sexiest topic, but it’s a quietly important one: More than 30,000 people joined the company’s waitlist before the unit even went on sale.
Man holds a sheet of Great wrap, a plant base wrap, over a papaya
Great Wrap
Consumer Products & Services
Self-proclaimed “makers by trade,” Jordy and Julia Kay saw a materials revolution happening around them—yet plastic stayed the same. So the couple took matters into their own hands and came up with Great Wrap: a biodegradable, fully compostable cling wrap that promises to break down completely within 180 days. The wrap, which stretches and self-seals just as the traditional version does, is made of potato starch—which itself is gathered from potato waste—and is packaged in a refillable (rather than disposable) roll. In February, the Melbourne startup shared plans to build its first commercial factory in Tullamarine, using a AU$500,000 grant from the Australian government.