From Empathy Tech to Retail, Technology Is Creating a New, Super-Abled Human According to a New Report by sparks & honey

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 05/17/17 --

Technology is rapidly enhancing and morphing the spectrum of human physical and cognitive abilities according to "The Economics of Ability," a new culture forecast report released today by sparks & honey, the New York-based agency that synchronizes brands with culture.

The Economics of Ability report reveals that humans are embracing technology and environments that are specifically designed to augment their natural, cognitive and physical facilities. As a result, the line between humans and enhanced technology is becoming increasingly blurred.

"Ability is about human potential. And understanding that potential is pivotal to culture and business," said Terry Young, CEO, sparks & honey. "From the mundane to the futuristic, our abilities as humans evolve throughout our days and lifetimes as technology becomes more sophisticated and ingrained in daily life. The way we view technology is rapidly evolving from simply referring to the gadgets we own, to becoming intrinsic parts of who we are and what we're capable of -- which has wide-ranging implications for society."

Other key trends explored in the 2017 report include:

  • Super-Abled - The line between robot and human is blurring by the day. Adding to our bodies can give us unimaginable capabilities, like the biometric artificial skin layer designed to sense change in temperature with more sensitivity than actual human skin.
  • Designed for Good - Designing for people of all abilities opens up wellness design to everyone. This impacts city infrastructure and future policy. For example, the Direct Lane in the London Underground is designed for fast walkers, and in Germany cities have installed traffic lights on the sidewalk for varied sight levels.
  • Fashion-able - From shirts with fabric sensors that monitor your heart rate to performance-enhancing wearables, fashion intertwines with our well-being. For instance, a European designer created a clothing collection, using 3D printing technology, that incorporates braille notes as a layer of extrasensory texture.
  • Empathy Tech - The presence of technology can escalate our expectations of what it can do for abilities, and what it does to change perception in others. For example, an MIT empathy-building app is designed to help people detect emotion in conversation by analyzing a person's speech and vital signs.

For this report, sparks & honey conducted primary research and interviewed experts in the field of ability. The agency surveyed 1,009 people in the U.S., aged 18 to 65, to engage their perceptions on evolving technologies. Leveraging social listening, patent analysis and its proprietary Cultural Intelligence system, sparks & honey combed through thousands of signals to build a vision of the future cultural landscape of ability. Members of the agency's Influencer Advisory Board (IAB), including Dr. Andy Walshe, Dr. Vivienne Ming, Geraldine Moriba and Jennifer Brown were also tapped as contributing thought leaders.

Purchase and download a copy of the full report here:

About sparks & honey

sparks & honey ( is a New York-based agency with a mission to open minds and create possibilities in the now, next and future for brands. Employing a disruptive cultural intelligence system and cultural newsroom model, sparks & honey leverages proprietary tools, algorithms and human insights to identify emerging cultural trends and engage organizations in relevant and meaningful conversations. sparks & honey leverages the proprietary sparks & honey cultural intelligence system to deliver services in three areas for brands - innovation, cultural intelligence and strategy, and content. Named to Ad Age's 2014 A-List as an "Agency to Watch," sparks & honey is a part of the DAS Group of Companies.

About the DAS Group of Companies

The DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) (, is a global group of marketing services companies. DAS includes over 200 companies in the following marketing disciplines: specialty, PR, healthcare, CRM, events, promotional marketing, branding and research. Operating through a combination of networks and regional organizations, DAS serves international, regional, national and local clients through more than 700 offices in 71 countries.

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Press Contact:
Christine Perez O'Rourke
DiGennaro Communications
[email protected]

Source: sparks & honey