Zone’s Ross Basham handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…
1. Met Office to build climate supercomputer
The Met Office is working with Microsoft to build a weather forecasting supercomputer that will provide a better understanding of climate change. It is expected to be one of the top 25 supercomputers in the world when it is up and running in the summer of 2022, and Microsoft will update it as computing improves.
The Met Office said the technology would increase their understanding of the weather — and allow people to better plan activities, prepare for bad weather and get a better understanding of climate change. The new supercomputer will be six times more capable than the current one (pictured), and run on 100% renewable energy.
2. TikTok hit with child privacy legal action
TikTok is facing a legal claim worth billions saying that it illegally collected and used children’s data. The claim is from Anne Longfield, former children’s commissioner for England, and alleges TikTok collects “an enormous amount of private and personal information,” including users’ date of birth, email address and phone number.
TikTok has said the claim “lacks merit” and it will “vigorously defend the action” but it’s not the first time the company has been the subject of legal action surrounding data privacy. Earlier this year, TikTok agreed to pay $92m to settle a lawsuit alleging TikTok captured biometric and private data from US users.
3. Amazon opens hair salon to test AR features
Are there any sectors Amazon doesn’t want to get its incredibly rich mitts on? It would appear not, with the imminent launch of Amazon Salon, the retailer’s first hair salon. The venue, in Spitalfields, east London, will have an AR mirror showing clients different colours and styles before treatments, and magazines loaded on to tablets.
Customers can also scan QR codes for hair products and buy them through Amazon. However, it doesn’t seem that Amazon is planning to properly enter the salon business — it has described it as an “experiential venue where we showcase new products and technology,” and says it has no plans to open more salons.
4. Instagram lets users filter abusive messages
Instagram has announced the launch of a tool to enable users to automatically filter out abusive direct messages from those they do not follow on the platform. The move comes after a number of footballers spoke out about receiving racist and sexist abuse. DMs containing offensive words or emojis will be removed from view.
This feature already exists to filter out abuse in comments on Instagram posts. It consulted with anti-discrimination and anti-bullying groups to curate a list of terms, phrases and emojis deemed offensive. But users can also add their own definitions to this list, through the Hidden Words section of the app’s privacy settings.
5. Festival of Marketing hosts: DX Summit
Delivering exceptional customer experience requires a deep understanding of the most valuable experiences along the customer journey and collaboration across the organisation. But why are some businesses still failing to implement CX strategies that make a difference — both to their employees and their customers?
Those questions will be explored in the DX Summit, hosted by Cognizant Digital Experience and Zone as part of the Festival of Marketing on 7–10 June. Featuring innovative marketers driving the CX agenda, we’ll deliver insight into how creativity, tech and data will transform experiences. Find out more and get your tickets here.