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Berlin calling


— Between Online Shopping and Physical Stores

Even in Germany, physical stores will inevitably reopen after the pandemic, but concerns about human-to-human interaction could permanently change the anatomy of shopping.

The Berlin-based start-up Nomitri has designed a cashless checkout service that uses the customer’s smartphone and an app to simplify shopping. Users place the phone on the shopping cart and use the app to scan the products with the smartphone camera.

Meanwhile, the app’s AI technology constantly monitors the cart and ensures that products are scanned correctly and that nothing is missing. For the payment, you can choose whether to use the self-checkout or make an instant electronic payment, using Google Pay or other payment apps.

Nomitri demonstrated how retail is merging with digital technology, ensuring greater security for customers without eliminating the pleasure of experience. From food shopping to clothing, it seems that online cannot (and perhaps does not even want to) replace physical stores, supermarkets, shopping malls, which will always remain the primary purchasing model.


— The No-Gender-Beauty

“Gender has never been the subject of discussion for us. Perfume needs to be gender-free, free just like perfume molecules that freely move in space”, says Stefanie Hanssen, founder of Frau Tonis Parfum, one of the most elegant and at the same time most innovative perfumeries in Berlin. Frau Tonis image is gender-fluid, revealed by the design, the store, the packaging, and above all by the choice of testimonials to whom it is difficult to attribute a gender.

In Berlin, champion in the LGBTQ+ culture for ages, many beauty and cosmetic brands are moving towards an aesthetic style free from gender limits. The German market is the mouthpiece of a beauty that embodies new social values, where “for her” and “for him” seem to be dusty and obsolete definitions.


— The New Virtual Space for Confrontation

The new app Clubhouse proved to be an overwhelming success in Germany, becoming the most downloaded app for the iOS system in January 2021. What is the reason for such popularity? Clubhouse immediately became a place of openness, where people can discuss cultural topics and social issues ranging from racism to politics with no filters.

Freedom of expression and the ability to moderate are fundamental traits of the app. “Clubhouse is one of the few virtual realities that still relies on people for self-regulation”, says Pratima Aiyagari, business partner of Nauta Capital.

However, security and moderation issues worry the users who fear that the non-recordable chat rooms could open up to dangerous extremist drifts. We hope this is not the case, because what is special about this app is the possibility of combining the serious and the fun side, and doing it with healthy lightness. For example, in one of the busiest rooms, the “Mittag im Regierungssviertel”- that translates into “Lunchtime in the government district” – journalists and politicians discuss political issues while sharing what they eat for lunch.