1. Emotive game explores the challenges of automation
Neocab by Chance Agency
San Francisco – Californian game studio Chance Agency has developed Neo Cab, an emotional survival game that highlights the challenges faced by humans in an increasingly automated world.
Gamers play the role of Lina Romero, the last human taxi driver in an AI-controlled city, navigating the streets to find her missing friend. Players are tasked with balancing Lina’s money, reputation and emotional health as they face unexpected obstacles such as passengers who are keen to confide in Lina about their problems.
The game also addresses the experiences of today’s ride-sharing taxi drivers, where a few bad ratings can mean instant termination. In response to this, Uber recently created its own game to inspire a more emotional understanding among consumers of what it’s like to rely on the gig economy to make a living.
2. New Cytora design translates the fluidity of data input
Cytora branding by Pentagram, UK
Cytora branding by Pentagram, UK
UK – AI-powered insurance company Cytora has enlisted independent design agency Pentagram to develop a new brand identity that helps communicate its range of services.
Cytora uses artificial intelligence to learn the patterns of good and bad risks, enabling insurers to better target their services, and more accurately price their underwriting. Despite the widespread presence of AI in businesses, many companies – and consumers – still find it difficult to comprehend. In response, Pentagram has created a visual system of blocks that continually move to represent the continuous flow of data that fuels Cytora’s deep technological processes.
Designers are increasingly turning to biomorphic and fluid design motifs to enable people to better interpret hard or detailed information, with shape, colour and movement helping to clarify brand messaging. For more, read our Info-Morphing design trend.
3. Intersport heightens physical store with digital tools
Beijing – Sports goods retailer Intersport has joined forces with Tmall to transform its Beijing flagship location into a retail megastore that merges physical and digital experiences.
Supported by AI-powered features, the new space provides customers with a seamless retail experience. The store’s interactive window displays use motion-sensor cameras to identify a customer’s age and gender and intuitively recommend products. Customers can also seek personalised fashion advice and product-specific information from smart footwear mirrors, or learn more about a product’s colours, sizing and functionality through smart shelf technology. Elsewhere, Intersport’s virtual shopping bag enables native online shoppers to add items to their basket in-store to later finalise on the Tmall website.
By drawing on commerce tools such as customer insights, supply chain management, retail technologies and smart logistics, Tmall plans to continually improve its strategy to compete with retail giants such as Amazon. For more on using such data, see our Software Support segment in Storefront Salvation.
Tmall and Intersport Megastore, Beijing
4. My Line brings Google Assistant phone line to Colombians
My Line powered by Google, by Cainkade Studio, Colombia
Colombia – While more than 500m devices featuring Google Assistant exist globally, a large number of the world’s population are still unable to access these smart gadgets, particularly in countries such as Colombia. In an effort to provide greater ease of access to the information provided by such voice assistants, US company Cainkade Studio has launched My Line, an independent phone line for Colombians that incorporates Google Assistant.
When dialling into My Line, callers are greeted with an invitation to ask any question. After asking a question, the line connects to Google’s Cloud-based system to retrieve the answer. An automated voice projects the response back to the caller and further prompts them with ‘Do you have more questions?’ or ‘Feel free to hang up whenever you’re done’.
As part of the technology giant’s global initiative to better serve deprived markets, Google recently adapted its search app Google Go to work on 2G networks in Africa.
5. Today’s fathers are more involved with childcare
With the traditional frameworks of family fading, fathers are increasingly taking a more active role in their children’s lives. New research conducted by consumer products company Braun also reveals that a sizeable majority of fathers – eight in 10 – agree that modern dads have to know significantly more skills than their own father, such as the ability to use social media and set up games consoles. Elsewhere, three in five said fathers are now much more involved with the upbringing of their children, with six in 10 helping out with housework.
Brands are realigning their marketing campaigns to better reflect how modern fathers see themselves. To understand how dadvertising is changing, read our dedicated listicle here.
6. Thought-starter: Why brands must help to reposition masculinity
Fernando Desouches, managing director of New Macho at BBD Perfect Storm, outlines the opportunities that exist for brands to change the narrative of what defines being a man.
‘I joined BBD Perfect Storm to help create a division that specialised in masculinity, focusing on how brands can talk to men and where men are headed. To us, this is a place of liberation and freedom from the traditional expectations of manhood. If brands don’t tackle this issue, they are at risk of disappearing because they will become redundant,’ says Desouches.
After years of addressing women’s position in society, brands are recognising that masculinity also needs to be repositioned to achieve true gender equality. Desouches discusses what is driving this increased attention from brands. ‘Men are slowly recovering their power. In the past, men gave that power to external sources like brands, which meant they felt they had to fulfil certain ideals to feel successful. There were a set of rules for demonstrating to others who you were as a man,’ he says.
‘We are slowly getting that power back. The movement for recovering that power needs to go from fear to freedom. So the message is positive, which the world needs right now.’