News 26.05.2020

Need to Know

Apex makes at-home spinning affordable, Singapore’s urban farming future and consumers turn to physical books to disconnect from Covid-19.

Moxie teaches emotional intelligence to Gen Alpha

Moxie designed by Fuseproject for Embodied, California

California – The robot is designed to promote social, emotional and cognitive development among children.

Designed by Fuseproject for the start-up Embodied, Moxie was originally imagined for children on the autism spectrum, but now is targeted at all young children. Through a subscription model, Moxie teaches its Generation Alpha users new educational content each week, learning more about the child over time in order to personalise its content.

Learning themes range from empathy and respect to eye contact and problem-solving, and the child’s development progress is available for parents to monitor via an app and dashboard. ‘Moxie is a game-changing technology that has the potential to transform the way that children build social, emotional and cognitive skills,’ says Wendell Brooks, president of Intel Capital, one of Embodied’s investors.

As well as tapping into the rise of Edu-play-tion, Moxie hints at how, in a post-Covid world, new forms of Neo-kinship may be established to fill the social gaps created by a lack of human interaction.

Apex wants to democratise at-home spin bikes

Apex in partnership with Boom Cycle, UK Apex in partnership with Boom Cycle, UK
Apex in partnership with Boom Cycle, UK Apex in partnership with Boom Cycle, UK

UK – As at-home fitness accelerates amid Covid-19, new-to-market Apex wants to make indoor bikes more inclusive.

With the strapline ‘Join a community, not a class’, it’s positioning the £1,200 ($1,511, €1,332) bike as a premium product to compete with the likes of Peloton and SoulCycle, albeit at a more accessible price.

The £30 ($38, €33) monthly subscriptions are delivered in partnership with Boom Cycle, one of London’s most popular spin studios, featuring dedicated classes from its expert instructors. Using Bluetooth technology, Apex users fit their own tablet or mobile device to the front of the bike or they can cast classes directly to their TV, which means they are not paying for additional technology.

‘With classes created by world-class trainers, Apex is here for everybody that can get on a bike – whether it’s 15 minutes of pushing those pedals when you can squeeze it in, or a sweaty session before work,’ reads a statement from the brand.

Apex is just one of a new wave of devices making At-home Fitness more immersive, efficient and affordable.

Singapore transforms car parks into urban farms

Singapore – Nine multi-storey car park rooftops across the city state have been converted into urban farms.

Each site, which is up for tender for a term of three years, will be used to farm vegetables and other food crops, as well as packing and storing produce. The initiative is one of the key strategies undertaken by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) with a view to achieving Singapore’s goal of producing 30% of residents’ nutritional needs locally by 2030.

‘We are heartened by the growing interest from both the industry and the public towards urban farming in community spaces,’ says Mr Melvin Chow, senior director of SFA’s Food Supply Resilience division. ‘Residents in the area have been able to enjoy fresh produce from the farm at nearby supermarkets, and can witness at first hand the hard work involved in bringing our food from farm to fork.’

As cities around the world contend with feeding their ever-growing populations, the rise of New Urban Farms is paving the way for more sustainable agricultural practices.

Urban Living by Chris Barbalis

Stat: UK adults read books to escape the pandemic

Love Reading Love Life by Shanghai Book Fair, Asia Love Reading Love Life by Shanghai Book Fair, Asia

Consumers are changing their reading habits during lockdown, according to new research by Nielsen. The study found that two in five UK adults say they are consuming more books since lockdown, with readers almost doubling their total reading hours per week, from three to six hours.

This rise could be down to the notion of escapism among readers. Nielsen found that 35% of adults say that books provide an escape from the crisis of Covid-19. Furthermore, consumers’ preferred reading format is physical printed books, with one-third reading more physical books, compared to just 18% reading more e-books, hinting at a desire to disconnect from their devices.

With brands such as Wild Detectives recognising the escapism that reading can offer, the lockdown is an ideal time for our pursuit of Enlightened States to accelerate.

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