Zone’s Mark Sylvester handpicks and shares the five best news stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…
1. The new masters of the Metaverse
While many of us are still deciding the most rewarding way to dive into the Metaverse, consumer goods companies are forging a path through its next-gen tech. According to GlobalData, Unilever and PepsiCo are among the brands indulging in digital marketing campaigns and consumer engagement on platforms like Roblox.
And it’s not stopping there. Other possibilities are being explored, with Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Technology (VR) being woven into supply chains, manufacturing, and distribution. With GlobalData forecasting that the market could be worth $627bn by 2030, it’s no wonder the planet’s biggest hitters want a piece of the Metaverse.
2. A truly all-inclusive holiday package
The world is, on the whole, a much more open and understanding place than for much of its past. But for many in the LGBTQ+ community, planning a safe and enjoyable holiday still has the possibility of pitfalls.
Travel search engine Kayak has created a special hub, showcasing helpful travel stories, hints and advice on destinations that will cater to the community and help keep trouble at bay — while ensuring all the must-see and must-do boxes are ticked too. It’s an inspiring demonstration of how digital hubs can be used for the common good.
3. Is it time to put bots in their (work)place?
As AI’s fingers find their way into more pies, there are concerns that their role in the workplace could be undermining employees’ rights. While the Government remains focused on the evolution of AI capabilities and says it is committed to protecting workers, the TUC, which represents unions across the UK, is keen on tighter controls.
The organisation believes that with bots doing more and more of the heavy lifting in hiring, line management and tracking worker performances, the lack of human touch is too open to error. So, do we need new legislation to keep the bots in their place?
4. Why brands must put humanity first
While human-centric thinking has been at the heart of most progressive business plans for some time, in our complex, disrupted, and hugely interconnected world, does it go far enough? According to Zone’s Design Director, Raymond Manookian, the answer is no.
Manookian believes with brands increasingly under internal and external pressure to drive positive transformation, they must consider all the outcomes and impacts of their work. Essentially, the scope must be wider, taking account the countless unheard voices across humanity. With tech driving change, purpose and motives must evolve as well.
5. Will abuse law erode privacy?
While the UK Government and a raft of charities and campaigners have drawn the battlelines for the safety of children in messaging apps, the services claim stricter legislation will compromise essential privacy. The debate was ramped up this week when WhatsApp led a coalition of platforms opposing the Online Safety Bill.
The wrangle hinges on the government’s bid to access end-to-end encryption to protect children. However, not only do the platforms believe it is an attack on privacy, but some fear it opens the door for rogue elements to hack into the UK’s security networks. So, what is the price of privacy?