Friday Five: Savvy Gen Z and Ronald McRobot
Zone’s Ross Basham handpicks and shares the five best stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…
1. Gen Z the savviest when it comes to data
According to an Adobe poll of 1,200 UK consumers, 93% are concerned about how brands use their data. No surprise there. What’s probably more interesting is how different generations behave online: for example Gen Z (1996-present day) had the strongest understanding of the value exchange in providing data to brands, whereas baby boomers (1946–1964) were far more likely to swap their data for a discount.
Respondents said Gen Z would be the most likely to be influenced by what they see on the web, with baby boomers considered the least gullible. However, this studyfound that baby boomers were the most likely to share fake news on Facebook. Most shockingly, in this poll people born in 1977 are considered millennials!
2. Apple ramp up iPhone (and price) to the Max
Thirteen years on from the first iPhone, Apple has unveiled its latest round of gadgets, including the iPhone 11 range of handsets, the Series 5 Watch and two new subscription services: Apple Arcade (a video games deal) and Apple TV+ (a TV and movie streaming platform featuring just exclusive content, as it stands).
The headline news about the iPhone 11 is an increased battery life — traditionally an area where Apple has always fallen down — and more cameras, particularly on the two Pro models. But there’s no 5G model yet — and the iPhone 11 Pro Max is set to cost UK consumers a rather eye-watering £1,149.
3. Ronald McRobot will serve you now…
In this week’s “hmm, not sure about that” news, McDonald’s is looking at ways to automate the task of taking drive-thru orders using AI. The world’s biggest restaurant company is buying Silicon Valley startup Apprente, a developer of voice recognition technology, with the aim of moving cars through the drive-thru lane more quickly.
McDonald’s says the tech, being tested in Chicago, will pave the way for “faster, simpler and more accurate order taking”, a statement the Friday Five is taking with a healthy dose of scepticism. The tech could be expanded into areas such as mobile and kiosk ordering — all of which comes at the cost of human jobs, of course.
4. Shoppers not ready for till-free experience
A three-month experiment in which Sainsbury’s removed the tills from its Holborn store has resulted in… Sainsbury’s reinstalling the tills. Customers had to scan their groceries using a Pay & Go app, but the store found large queues building up at the help desk as shoppers tried to pay in the traditional way.
Paying by app is a great way to beat the queues — Zone has helped M&S create a similar instore experience. But as Sainsbury’s has found (and probably expected to find), not everyone is ready for a totally till-free store. Of course, the two payment methods can co-exist quite happily, making for the best of both worlds.
5. Ink-redible way to transform your wardrobe
If, like me, you have a dull wardrobe but also loathe shopping (and spending money) too much to do anything about it, help could be at hand from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT’s scientists have developed a futuristic ink that can change the colour of your shoes and clothes.
And the best thing about it is that the colour can be easily reversed and changed to a different one. Perfect for the fashionable chameleons, the indecisive and the environmentally conscious. Maybe I can make that winter coat last a couple more years after all…