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21 : 07 : 20

A self-sufficient food supply for Copenhagen, Universal Everything’s new app transforms bodies with AR and why India presents untapped retail opportunities.

An architect imagines Copenhagen's self-sufficient future

The Green Structure of Copenhagen by Agnes Josefin Hekla, Copenhagen
The Green Structure of Copenhagen by Agnes Josefin Hekla, Copenhagen
The Green Structure of Copenhagen by Agnes Josefin Hekla envisages a self-sufficient city through locally produced foods

Copenhagen – The Green Structure of Copenhagen envisages a sustainable, self-sufficient future for the city.

Created by Agnes Josefin Hekla, a master’s graduate from the School of Architecture at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, the project has been designed as a response to changing global conditions. Through data simulations and performance investigations, it imagines what Copenhagen would look like if the city's food supply became self-sufficient.

In an effort to cultivate vegetables without soil, the proposal features a hydroponic cultural landscape across the city’s rooftops, car parks and railway beds. ‘Besides supplying the city with vegetables and collecting large volumes of precipitation, the urban landscape is ideal for movement, recreation and working together to grow vegetables,’ explains Hekla.

As global communities face ever-growing urban populations and a need for shortened food miles, our diets are undergoing seismic shifts.

Super You experiments with the human form

Super You by Universal Everything, UK Super You by Universal Everything, UK
Super You by Universal Everything, UK Super You by Universal Everything, UK

UK – Universal Everything has launched an app that allows users to transform others into augmented reality (AR) characters.

Super You uses ARKit 3’s body-tracking technology to transform bodies in real time. Described as a ‘costume arts experiment’, the app features 11 costumes for users to try on virtually. Sampling a colour from the clothes an individual is wearing, it then tracks the person the camera is being pointed at to ‘place’ a costume on them.

‘This project combines our fascination for mixing timeless figurative representation with emerging technologies to create new forms of soulful digital expressions,’ Matt Pyke, founder of Universal Everything, explains. ‘By democratising the artwork through releasing this app to the public, we look forward to seeing the crazy, funny, inventive, unexpected results.’

As we explore in Programmable Realities, consumer touchpoints are becoming more as virtual and physical worlds collide.

Tuna Scope uses AI to assess seafood quality

Tokyo – Tuna Scope has launched an artificial intelligence (AI) app to help tuna merchants assess the quality of tuna cuts.

Using a deep learning algorithm, the app creates a unified grading standard for an industry that usually relies on local knowledge of fish quality. Tuna Scope is able to determine the fish standard by judging it on qualities like firmness, freshness and fat – all areas usually identified by human assessment.

The technology has been especially useful since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with international fish merchants having to forego their usual quality checks due to travel bans. Shingo Ishii, a merchant tuna buyer, said: ‘I think this will become a common tool over the next 10 to 20 years.’

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to know more about their food and where it comes from. In Educated Eating, we explore the ways in which brands can use technology to provide greater transparency.

Tuna Scope, Tokyo

Stat: Smaller cities are driving India’s retail revolution

Pooja Mor, Instagram Pooja Mor, Instagram

Covid-19 has accelerated the need for convenience and safety across the globe, driving a surge in e-commerce in emerging markets such as India.

A recent report by Bain & Co – in collaboration with Flipkart – outlines the rising e-commerce trends of India. At present, the country's £662.8bn ($850bn, €731.3bn) retail market is the fourth largest in the world. As connectivity continues to expand to smaller cities and villages, the report finds that consumers in tier 2 cities and smaller municipalities now make up nearly half of India's online shoppers, contributing to as many as three out of five orders for leading shopping platforms.

With one billion users forecast to be connected to the internet by 2030, the Indian e-commerce market has significant potential for further growth. For more on India's untapped potential, read our recent interview with digital anthropologist Payal Arora.

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