News 16.12.2022

Need to Know

Gorillaz brings next-level AR concerts to New York and London, Dyson unveils pollution-filtering headphones and e-commerce grows rapidly in MENA.

Gorillaz brings next-level AR concerts to New York and London

Gorillaz Skinny Ape Immersive Live Performance, US and UK

New York/London – Pop group Gorillaz will be unveiling its new album with two location-specific immersive AR experiences in the US and UK. The first will be at Times Square (17 December), followed by Piccadilly Circus (18 December).

Gorillaz has a long history of working with tech innovations – being one of the first virtual bands, formed in 1998 by Blur front man Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett, and consisting of four fictional members: 2-D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle and Russel Hobbs. They have teamed up with Nexus Studios and Google’s new Geospatial API, which uses its Visual Positioning Service (VPS), to create the concerts – which will happen through a new Gorillaz Presents app.

‘We’re always excited when music and entertainment can bust out of the usual to meet fans and tell stories in new places,’ says Chris O’Reilly, Nexus Studios co-founder and executive creative director. ‘Working with our friends Gorillaz and Google, this was a perfect opportunity to bring our dual passions of real-time animation and immersive tech together. Experiences told on top of cities at this level of visual fidelity are full of exciting promise.’

In Programmable Realities, we saw AR technologies being used to elevate food and hospitality experiences, and now music experiences are tapping into the digitally driven Awe Economy.

Strategic opportunity

Consider how new and immersive tech can serve up awe – in a different way to the natural world – and are expanding beyond entertainment and urban environments

Dyson launches headphones with in-built pollution-filtering technology

Singapore ­– After six years in development, Dyson has announced the commercialisation of Dyson Zone, the first headphones that double as wearable air pollution filters.

The futuristic device, which is Dyson’s first move into audio, combines a set of noise-cancelling headphones featuring an air-purifying system with a detachable visor that enables users to breathe in the filtered air. The headphones remove air and noise pollution for the wearer, cancelling background noise and streaming pure, high-fidelity audio while delivering fresh air free from city pollution, such as gas, allergens or harmful particles. Unlike face masks, Dyson Zone is touch-free, to avoid any irritation, and could be worn as an alternative to headphones (with added benefits), without compromising on comfort.

Air pollution affects us everywhere we go. In our homes, at school, at work and as we travel, whether on foot, on a bike or by public transport. The Dyson Zone purifies the air you breathe on the move,’ explains chief engineer Jack Dyson.

A first-of-its-kind personal electronic device, the Dyson Zone is another tool arming health-conscious urbanites against the adverse effects of Smog Life.

Dyson Zone, UK

Strategic opportunity

Dyson’s disruptive thinking shows how to add further functionality to a widely used appliance, boosting the product’s utility and adapting it to our future needs

Stat: E-commerce grows rapidly in the Middle East and North Africa

Zalando #Sneakernet by Superimpose
Zalando #Sneakernet by Superimpose

MENA ­– E-commerce and fintech adoption are accelerating in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with 91% of local consumers buying products online in the past year.

Global payments solution provider Checkout.com has released the third issue of its Digital Transformation in MENA 2022 report, which highlights the unprecedented pace of digital adoption in the region, based on insights from about 15,000 consumers and a number of business leaders.

The research shows the prevalence of e-commerce, as one in five consumers across MENA have purchased products online more frequently in 2022 than in the previous year. Similarly, the report suggests that fintech solutions are gaining ground and fuelling the digital economy, as 82% of local consumers claim to use fintech apps, up from 76% in 2021. In addition, buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) solutions were used by half of consumers in 2021 and 67% say they will consider using them next year.

At LS:N Global, we have been tracking the rise of convenience commerce in the Middle East as it drives new business opportunities in the region.

Strategic opportunity

Businesses shouldn’t disregard high-growth regions like MENA for digital solutions as they offer large market opportunities and quick adoption rates

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