Tenjin’s 2017 Ad Spending Report - Facebook and Google dominate; Japanese and US markets highly sought after
by Davis Rhodes
Tenjin just released its 2017 Ad Spending Report and mobile marketers should take notice. The company has condensed its findings into six succinct briefs.
Facebook and Google still on top
The two giants continued to dominate as sources of ad spend. Collectively, Facebook and Google accounted for almost half of total spending.
United States had the most sought-after users
The United States led the way in ad spend for 2017. The UK comes in second with 7.46% of ad spend.
CPI costs are higher on iOS than Android
CPI refers to the cost per install. For example, if your CPI is $3, you are paying $3 for every person that clicks your app advertisement and subsequently downloads said app. Studies have shown that while Android users on average download more apps than their iOS counterparts, iOS users on average spend more money in the App Store. By investing in CPI rather than CPM (cost per thousand impressions) or CPC (cost per click), app developers guarantee that their money is going towards app installs and consequently their app moving up the charts.
CPI = ad spend / # of new app installs
Ad networks with lower average CPI are better at targeting
Networks with lower average CPI are able to be less expensive by finely tuning targets.For example, if you are running an advertising campaign by placing ads in mobile games and measuring based on CPI, ad networks that are able to drive installs from the smallest number of ad placements are going to be the most cost effective. This is achieved through a better understanding of target demographics. Less effective ad networks will require more impressions to drive installs and thus be more expensive.
Travel applications demand the highest average CPI
Placing ads in travel applications this past year proved to be expensive. It makes sense — travel apps have users who are spending large sums of money booking holidays and are therefore an enticing ad platform for app developers. Role playing games are second, which also makes sense considering the amount of time and often money invested by players. Puzzle games have the lowest average CPI at $0.67, presumably because they are harder to monetize.
Japanese users are the most expensive to target based on CPI
In 2017, Japanese users were the most expensive to target based on average CPI. Understanding the costs associated with launching campaigns internationally is tremendously important in crafting an effective, targeted campaign.
Impact on mobile marketing
Tenjin’s report highlights the importance of understanding who you’re trying to target. If you choose CPI as your measurement tool, be sure to understand what markets you are targeting and what mediums they best respond to. In mobile marketing, staying on top of trends is paramount. Tenjin’s roundup of 2017’s ad spending trends is a great way for marketers to pivot their strategy for 2018.
by Davis Rhodes
Technology is advanced by the “Next Big Thing.” HDTV, iPods, iPhones etc. Next Big Things disrupt the market and force competitors to adapt and emulate. But what happens to the Next Big Things that never actually make it big? Sony MiniDiscs, 3D TVs, Google Glass — each entered popular culture with massive expectations and fell short. They never made it past the early adopters stage of the technology adoption lifecycle. Market viability is time-sensitive. Consumers will only wait so long for your product to advance from concept to commercial. For virtual reality, it’s now or never.
Virtual reality and its mainstream adoption has been stuck in purgatory for half a decade. Adoption has hit a snag somewhere in-between innovators and early adopters. “The Year of VR” has been declared over, and over, and over again. 2016 was the year tech giants like Sony and Samsung launched VR headsets. For the first time, VR headsets were being embraced by well-known brands. We saw augmented reality, or AR, introduce itself to the mainstream through Pokemon Go. In 2017, Facebook launched its augmented reality platform.
Yet 2018 has arrived, and still no “must-have” game or feature for VR exists to entice consumers. Software and game development on the platforms has been painfully slow. After Facebook’s $2 billion acquisition of Oculus, analysts expected it to become the industry leader and bring AAA game developers to embrace VR. In reality, Oculus sold less than half as many headsets as Sony in 2017. International Data Forecasts put headset sales at over 13 million units for 2017, however less than a fifth of sales can be attributed to the “high-end” headsets made by Oculus, Sony and HTC.
The segmentation of platforms and lack of cross-compatibility has made it difficult for game developers to confidently invest capital in VR. Developers like Ubisoft and Electronic Arts are hesitant to embrace VR until a clear headset leader has been established. Why invest millions into game development for the Oculus Rift when in two years the HTC Vive could have the market cornered? That’s where the catch 22 occurs; big game developers are waiting for an established platform, and platform developers need a AAA game to establish themselves. Who will blink first?
Messaging is another big problem for VR. Consumer perception of the technology is all over the place. Virtual reality offerings range from £2 Google Cardboard viewers to £600 HTC Vive headsets. High price points prevent many from ever experiencing “true” VR. Gamers, the target market for high-end headsets, often cannot justify spending £600 for a product without major gaming titles. Cheap, low-tech “viewers,” as they’re known, like Cardboard offer a rudimentary glimpse into the capabilities of VR. They’re good for experiencing panoramic video, but there is no way to interact with the virtual world you’re seeing. One way companies are introducing consumers to high-end VR experiences is through public exhibitions of the technology. It’s a way for people to get a taste of the experience without having to part with much money.
It’s extremely challenging to effectively advertise an experiential product — exacerbated by the fact that few beyond tech insiders have had access to the product, limiting the potential for word of mouth and viral sharing.
The challenge, and solution for the industry: get people in headsets, and the product will sell itself.
By TJ Begg
Snapchat launched in 2011 as an app that lets users send disappearing pictures to each other to communicate. Users would take a photo in the app and then choose an amount of time between one and ten seconds for the recipient to view the image. In a market flooded with different messaging apps and direct messages, Snapchat changed the game twofold by putting the image at the center of discussion and by going against the permanence of the internet. For the first time, users were able to ensure that their messages would go away, without trace, automatically.
In 2013, Facebook unsuccessfully attempted to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion. Since then, there have been numerous occasions in which Facebook has blatantly stolen Snapchat’s features and applied them to Instagram, Whatsapp, or Facebook itself. Most recently, Facebook announced plans to add a streak feature to its messenger app - something that is eerily similar to Snapchat’s analogous feature.
Snapchat blew up over the next few years, eventually finding success in adding unique features to remain innovative. Snapchat grew to allow its users to write and draw on their pictures, send videos or text only messages, and post pictures or videos to their “story,” a visual status update that would be available to each user’s friendlist for 24 hours before being deleted.
Snapchat ranks 15th in the most active users on social network sites worldwide as of September 2017 (via Statista)
Snapchat’s more innovative changes came in the implementation of the Discover tab, Snap Map, and later Context Cards. These features added new channels of communications and highlighted the app’s ability to keep up with teens and young adults.
In September 2016, Snapchat rebranded itself as Snap Inc., a camera company that was trying to get into the wearable tech market. The move was successful in helping the company establish itself as something more than just than an app. However, its accompanied release of Spectacles - glasses that enabled wearers to record what they were seeing to share with others - was a huge failure.
Snap Inc.’s Spectacles via spectacles.com
Snap has had another setback in a poor performance in Q3, but it is poised to turn the tides back in their favour.
In a recent blog post, Snap announced an update and a reaffirmation of its status as a communication app - rather than a social media channel. Snapchat’s plans to rearrange its interface by separating branded content from content made by friends is an attempt to clarify this.
“While blurring the lines between professional content creators and your friends has been an interesting Internet experiment, it has also produced some strange side-effects (such as fake news) and made us feel like we have to perform for our friends rather than just express ourselves.”
This update was posted alongside an op-ed featured on Axios in which Evan Spiegal, co-founder of Snap Inc., emphasises the fact there are no likes, comments, or shares in the app. The idea of Snapchat is not to compete against others, but rather to share life with close friends “free from judgement”.
As Snapchat continues to evolve and define itself as a communication app and not social media, it will be interesting to see how Facebook responds in its clones. Instagram is centered around engagement, so it is unlikely that it will follow the path of genuinity and rawness that Snapchat seems to be pushing. Given previous evidence, I think that it is more likely that Whatsapp steps up to mirror this approach.
With more and more social media - or communication - apps gaining marketshare, it is going to be interesting to see how consumers change their video statuses and interactions on the apps. Will Snap stories become more personal while Instagram stories turn more public? Is the demand for sharing personal videos high enough to sustain multiple pathways for so long, or is Snapchat doomed to fail with this much continual pressure from Facebook?
This is certainly one topic that won’t “disappear” anytime soon.
By Jonathan Lopera
As a father of two, I have constant thoughts when my kids aren’t around “Are they ok?” “I wonder what they’re up to”. “I miss them”. I recall a hot summer’s day in London as a young teenage boy. I offered to watch a friend’s toddler for 5 minutes at a busy outdoor food market and in a split second I lost sight of the little man as he vanished into a crowd of people. My heart sank in disbelief. As I looked everywhere I’ll never forget his father’s words to me before he broke down in tears; “What have you DONE?? I’ll NEVER forgive you!” he yelled.
Today I empathise fully with that father, who was understandably acting out of nothing other than paternal instinct. To my relief, the boy was eventually found safe and well, but it’s an ordeal I wouldn’t wish on any parent.
Nowadays we have access to a number of advanced GPS solutions that can help track the whereabouts of our keys, pets or a lost child in a crowded area to the nearest square foot. So when you combine the clever use of smartphone technology with innovative apps and products, you can begin to appreciate how companies like Tile, Trax Play and hereO2 have all helped to pave the way for a more reassuring world for us parents.
I embrace technology all day long. Not just because I’ve built a career around it but because it’s part of an evolving world that supports our, and our children’s, everyday lives. There will be plenty of people who voice their opinion on the destruction that technology brings to our world and how there were much “simpler times”. I prefer to focus on the good that it can provide for up and coming generations looking to build a better future.
Take the Duolingo app for instance. It’s renowned for incorporating gamification with learning languages that include Spanish, French, Russian and Vietnamese among others. Earning points for correct answers and racing against a clock might not be a kid’s idea of gripping entertainment, but it certainly puts the fun back into learning and, more to the point, is reflective of the world they live in. So why shouldn’t I want to be a part of that as a father? And don’t we want language skills to play a vital role in our ever more globalised society?
My parents paid for Spanish tuition when I was a boy. I reap the rewards today but GOD was it boring at the time! Nowadays we have an array of fun ways to learn languages alongside younger generations who are willing and able to understand technology that can help them excel further and quicker. For what? 99p on the app store + in app purchases? Take my money.
Hands up any 80s babies who at one time or another heard the phrase “you won’t have a calculator everywhere you go” at school?
Sorry Mr. Shields, things change.
That’s not to say that mental arithmetic isn’t an asset anymore, but there’s no harm in exploring new methods of learning through the clever use of technology.
If a scheduling app like iHomework for iOS helps my son to organise himself better at school, then I’ll encourage him to download it. If PhotoMath for Google and iOS teaches him how to formulate an equation so he can do it better next time, then get Mr. Shields on the phone and assure him that things will be just fine in years to come.
Apps and technology that support children with disabilities and/or learning difficulties are similarly cutting edge and worthwhile. Special Effect, the gamers’ charity that helps people with disabilities to play videogames, does a wonderful job of putting the fun and inclusion back into the lives of people who experience barriers elsewhere. They’ve helped countless people to maximise their abilities; yes to play videogames, but also by levelling the playing field to bring families and friends together, which has a profoundly positive impact on social skills, confidence and rehabilitation.
To me my kids are everything, and if their safety, education and wellbeing is guaranteed for the price of an app, IAP or smart-tech product, then it’s money well spent in my opinion. Tell Mr. Shields I’ll take my chances.
By Thomas Huxter
The news that Facebook has signed 14,000 companies including Wal-Mart to its official business chat app, Workplace, got me thinking about how tech – and in particular instant messaging – has once again fundamentally altered the way we work.
Apps such as the ubiquitous Slack have revolutionised intra and inter-office interaction with colleagues many miles and (more commonly) a few inches away.
Slack has raised $841m of investment and is now valued at around $5bn. Which is kind of weird to anyone who went on MSN Messenger every night as a teenager and thought the world had changed a bit more in the ensuing 15 years.
The pervasiveness of office IM has been a learning curve for me. Having come from a more traditional office environment the option of a communicative medium somewhere in between an email and a chat has been refreshing (and as we all know, Millennials really don’t like using the phone).
From the ‘Dumb PRs’ channels used by journalists to mock rubbish pitches to our own ‘Coffee Club’ group, IM is just as valid a channel for watercooler moments as it is to share a vital presentation.
And that’s its problem. It blurs the distinction between formal and informal, important and trivial. In many ways it formalises triviality, yet makes important messages feel somehow trivial.
I’ve regularly started typing an IM to a colleague before realising I should just have a chat with them. Likewise, I’ve sent emails to multiple colleagues that I immediately wished I’d created an IM group for instead. IM complicates simple discussions and simplifies complex ones.
On the flipside, IM allows us to work from wherever we need to more effectively, keeping us in constant and instantaneous touch with colleagues and clients we would otherwise be comparatively isolated from. 90% of the time it makes flexible and mobile working a non-issue (although the lines between work and home have never been blurrier).
But occasionally there are mistakes. The IMistakes:
Proponents of office IM services point to functions that go well beyond simple messaging. Sharing links and documents, setting reminders, integrating with Google Docs, automating tasks… They’re brilliant and I suspect that many of us barely scratch the surface of their potential.
Britain is a country with notoriously poor workplace productivity, particularly in recent years. It’s certainly not because we don’t have workplace tools at our disposal. Economists might argue that it’s chronic underinvestment in the economy as a whole, longer hours for less pay and working in jobs below our levels of education and training. In the service sector, however, I reckon the Millennial employee just sets a lot of store in the art of choosing a well-timed GIF or emoji.
In a few years’ time we might decide that it’s cutting edge to, you know, talk to each other again. At which point services like Discord may have their time in the sun. Until then, /giphy.
By Thomas Huxter
In-game microtransactions have been around for long enough to be a gaming staple. Any mobile gamer has considered spending a small amount of real money to ‘earn’ more lives or better items; or just to avoid watching an ad or waiting half an hour to play again.
More recently, microtransactions have inevitably made their way into PC and console gaming, even to AAA games which tend to cost £45-60 outright.
Now I don’t necessarily have a problem with microtransactions on console and PC, even where they create an element of ‘pay to win’ in a game. In my experience, the most skilled players tend to triumph regardless.
For me, a potential issue arises when people, often children and teenagers, are exchanging real currency for a chance at better in-game items.
Amongst others, this is the case for:
What unites them is that you don’t know exactly what you’re getting from the transaction, or even what the chance of getting something good actually is. You’re purchasing something on the basis that it could be a pandora’s box, but is more likely to resemble a set of items you recently gave to a charity shop.
There’s a chance that it contains an awesome Knife Skin or a Cristiano Ronaldo player card. In that case, you’ll probably run around your house yelling until your mother or significant other tells you to shut up.
That’s why chance-related microtransactions can be so tantalising – they give players with limited resource the chance to get lucky and access content that is normally the preserve of the top players.
But this is a lucrative commercial enterprise and, for it to continue to be so, more often than not you’ll have to come away disappointed.
FIFA Ultimate Team – a case study
Let’s look at packs in FIFA; the ‘jumbo rare player pack’ to be precise. It’s one of the most popular and expensive and contains, according to EA Sports “the most unique top-rated players, all in a single pack. Includes 24 items, all players, all gold, all rare”.
Awesome! Right? I mean you might not get Messi in every pack, but surely you can expect to see Boateng or Fabregas pop out pretty regularly.
Well, not necessarily. Because, “rare” is a word assigned to players which can be as low rated as 75 out of 99. And the odds of finding one of these 75s are exponentially higher than one in the high 80s.
This is partly because low-rated players are far more numerous (according to the official database there are currently over 200 rare gold cards rated 75-76 and 12 rated 89-90) and partly because EA assigns a “pack weight” – effectively the odds of finding each player in any given pack. Pack contents are generated automatically at the time the pack is opened and the associated weights may not be consistent throughout the game’s lifecycle.
A trend that’s here to stay?
This type of microtransaction makes money for the biggest and best publishers. They’re not mandatory – players have a choice whether to engage with them or not. And clearly many, many of us are choosing to do so.
But there was an interesting development in 2016 when China legislated that, from 2017, all publishers would have to reveal the odds associated with in-game microtransactions.
Does this represent an unnecessary, draconian move or is it the start of something that could see Western nations introduce greater regulation of microtransactions? As ever, there are legitimate arguments on both sides.
Making the case for greater regulation, one could argue that whilst gaming has mutated from a children’s pastime to offer something for everyone, games like FIFA are designated for ages 3+ and the associated marketing is probably most impactful amongst teens. Combine this with pack reaction videos and gleeful Tweeting from YouTubers who spend many thousands of dollars each year and the temptation is all too much.
But, again, these transactions are not mandatory. Publishers would argue that their consumers do know exactly what they’re buying. “24 items, all players, all gold, all rare”, remember? They could also legitimately state that in-game items do not have monetary value (this is true in that its terms of service forbid selling of players or account, but there is a thriving black market).
The picture isn’t clear, the lines not clearly defined. Policymaking rarely keeps up with technology. But with products like League of Legends ($1.7bn) and FIFA Ultimate Team ($800m) grossing vast amounts each year from microtransactions and platforms like fixed odds betting terminals attracting public and political interest, I suspect in-game microtransactions will face greater scrutiny as our awareness and understanding of them increases.
By Jennifer Gabriele
The past decade has seen an obvious change in how accessible hobbies, such as photography, have become to the general public. When talking to older family members I’m told about the days of film cameras and the struggles of developing a photo, with all the dated regimes that came along with taking one photo and achieving a disappointing, grainy copy.
Funnily enough, taking photos from a film camera is now the new trend in photography, even with all the new digital cameras that are so accessible to us!
However, if you prefer a more contemporary and immediate approach, you don’t need to go out and spend a lot of money on an old film camera, rather, you can do it from the comfort of your own smartphone. With the right apps and a good quality smartphone camera, you can use filters to add to the vintage style that many professional photographers are trying to create just with the swipe of your finger.
Here are some of the best apps that will help you capture, edit and share your photographs:
Last month (June 2017) saw the tenth anniversary of the first ever iPhone going on sale to the general public. In a report on Recode, Rani Molla is quoted as saying that; “the iPhone transformed photography from a hobby to a part of everyday life” and I think we can all agree. Major advancements in mobile tech has made photography more attainable to everyone, not just for the professional. Has mobile tech actually changed the way we approach photography? The fact that we now have the opportunity to take and edit photographs all from one pocket device says it all. Not only that, but being able to share photographs and gather an audience on different sharing platforms is tantamount to the creativity and accessibility that mobile tech has allowed us to discover whilst developing photography skills.
By Jennifer Gabriele
How often do you think you check your phone a day? For many of us, your guess will probably be far lower than the actual figure, mainly because we probably don’t even realise we’re doing it. Whether ‘innocently’ looking at the time or checking to see how many likes our latest Instagram pic hast, these little glances at your device all add up.
The word addiction though seems pretty strong. To some addiction implies something negative – a weakness, a dependency, something that is completely out of our control. Can we really label what is essentially a bad habit, an addiction? Like a caffeine or a nicotine addiction… It’s not quite the same is it? Recent research does in fact suggest that our love affair with smartphones is having a deeply negative effect on everyday life.
Back in 2015, The Huffington Post reported on research by Baylor University which linked phone addiction to depression. The study concluded that “people who check their phones constantly could be trying to improve a negative mood”. Does that mean these people are relying on their phones to provide them with an injection of happiness that cannot be achieved through real-life interactions, such as a conversation with a friend? The research continues by saying that phone dependency has been linked to loneliness, shyness and lack of sleep. All of which makes perfect sense but is nonetheless worrying.
I’d be the first to admit that I’m guilty of being a little too attached to my smartphone. My latest vice being Instagram. I say latest loosely, it’s been my thing for well over a year now and whilst I do post photos on a weekly basis, my weakness lies with the scrolling. Like popping bubble wrap, the comfort of the scroll is incredibly moreish and I’m just not sure why.
If I’m totally honest with myself, it’s probably that ‘in-the-moment’ need to make sure I don’t miss out London’s latest reasonably priced restaurant opening or Pink’s most recent political rant. With social media now pretty much running in real-time how can we not get ‘hooked’?!
In September 2016 BBC News reported on a survey carried out by Deloitte that concluded that “people in the UK have never been more addicted to their smartphones” a statement backed up by the following stats:
If this does bother you what is there that can be done?
Exercise some willpower? Set yourself little targets like reading on the train to work for at least 15 minutes a day (that’s 15 minutes you won’t be on your phone) or banning devices from meal times.
As with most things though, there’s always the option of a compromise. You may or may not be surprised to learn that there are plenty of apps available that encourage you to put down your phone – oh the irony! In a recent listicle on The 10 Thing there are ten different apps showcased that help you either stay away from your device or at least reduce the time spent on it. The following statement confirms why these platforms are indeed popular and often necessary; “A study conducted by dscout in 2016 found that the average smartphone user taps, swipes, touches or clicks their device 2,617 times a day.” The apps listed on the article range from friendship-making (Chatzoome) and meditative (Headspace) platforms through to stricter and more blatant options such as Flipd.
With all this is mind I think we can agree that whilst your smartphones are pretty incredible for many things in modern day life (seriously, where would we be without Google Maps?!) when used as a comfort blanket it can in fact prove to be a hindrance. As a report from SimpleMost on The 6 Health Benefits of Being Social states; “when it comes to socializing, face-to-face interactions have more of an impact than emails or phone calls when it comes to mental wellbeing.” The article continues to say that face-to-face interactions can stave off feelings of depression and ultimately improve your mood.
So, yes, we could be addicted to a lot worse, but the benefits of human interaction and emotional connection will always outweigh those generated through a smartphone.
By Doug Hunter
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are here to stay and will become ever more prominent in as time ticks on.
Pokemon Go!’s recent boom in popularity and almost as quick decline may be a hazy memory in people’s minds, but it has left the world a different place. Even our previously non tech savvy friends and family know about AR now. Virtual reality was previously a thing discussed in sci-fi films but is now a topic of casual conversation. Someone who didn’t know that AR and VR existed at the turn of 2016 could now give an elevator pitch on how each is different.
VR allows us to enter a completely different world and leave the current one behind. This is ideal for some when there is so much inequality, suffering, confusion and hate in the ‘real world’ right now.
With VR, people can escape to anywhere. We’re already seeing some amazing possibilities with increasingly powerful headsets coming to market. Developers are fighting for the limelight with more and more beautiful games and experiences that take people far beyond the confines of our universe. These are places where science doesn’t follow the same rules: Whatever the mind imagines people can make it in a VR experience.
From Eagle Flight
…the possibilities are endless.
The other day, while sitting at my desk in the heart of Shoreditch, I took a private tour of Pyongyang through Google Cardboard. I felt like I was visiting North Korea. Despite being a five minute walk from Old Street station I was spinning around on my swivel chair taking in sights from a very different nation on the other side of the world!
Micro holidays on my lunch break, how cool is that?
I have recently been thinking a lot about what VR can offer industries further than gaming, and am only scratching the surface with this… The more I think about any industry, the more VR has the potential to be a game changer.
This type of experience needn’t be limited to entertainment, the business implications are impressive too. Remember when you first went on Skype and people could talk from across the globe with video connections? Meetings had so much potential, soon we will be able to connect and share projects in 3D without leaving the office. We will be able to virtually transport ourselves to points in space around the world and interact with people on a far more intimate level.
I have been speaking a lot to the team from Rentr – a property management platform for the private residential letting market. The team is constantly developing its platform, yes they work in property but at heart, they are pure technologists – constantly looking to make lives easier and cheaper for both private landlords and their tenants.
Adam Blaxter discussed his views on VR saying that, “Here at Rentr we are deeply invested in property technology, and VR is a buzzword in the PropTech industry today. Between all enterprise domains, the property vertical is the most natural home for VR – there is a natural use-case for virtual experiences of living spaces and future developments – so the speed of development of VR has us all very excited. Our primary developers at Technology Blueprint have already put together PoCs (Proofs of Concept) for us on VR viewings of properties, but the dedicated efforts of teams like at Google Tango are changing the game with hardware that is opening up the space for 3D environmental modelling in real time for VR applications for example. You only need to search for companies like Matterport and PropertyScape to see that work is underway across the board. Through the course of 2017 I expect to see more consumer-grade experiences emerging for mobile-enabled devices, but more importantly still more premium experiences for the top end of the market.”
Car designers will soon be walking around a car designed in London, modeled in Thailand and projected through VR in front of the eyes of people in Germany, The US, Japan and anywhere else simultaneously. All so that executives can ponder on whether they should make it in Sunderland. This is all before the artists with the clay models build a millimeter perfect model, saving a lot of time and money.
I have worked in automotive clay modeling in the past and don’t believe the process will be lost any time soon, but more and more design agencies are going to be able to get their ideas to the people that matter quickly, before final clay builds are ordered.
Surgeons in India might be able to call on the advice and expertise of a specialist in Cuba when performing a procedure that they haven’t been through before – demonstrated in high definition in a country many miles away. In fact YouTube tutorials are about to change forever!
I then asked my friends at at Promogogo, whose service streamlines ticket sales, what they thought of VR too, their reply was: “Imagine if VR recording tech existed back in the day and we could relive iconic moments like Queen’s 1985 Wembley performance – or the Nirvana’s 1992 Reading one? We think it’s very cool and will help drive interest for live events where people from around the world will be able to watch not only what is on stage but get a feeling for being in the audience.”
In November 2015 I went to a Virtual Reality exploration into the future of nightlife which, in reality, was a marketing ploy brought to us by Absolut Vodka. Stunt or not though, the event was great and the VR room was something to behold. After playing VR games in early development and seeing some seriously interesting uses for VR in engineering, this was the first time that I really lost myself in a new world.
This got me to thinking. Everyone talks about the obvious uses of VR, the ones most likely to mean headset sales go mass market but it is possible that the very things we might set out to avoid through VR, by disappearing into these alternate universes, will benefit the most from it?
Can we make the world a better place for those that need it most through VR experiences?
This might sound dark, but if 5 years from now we aren’t getting live reporting from war zones, natural disaster sites, refugee camps, and so on, in VR, then I will be hugely disappointed.
Hear me out… I don’t want to see the terror as if I am playing Call of Duty, far from it.
Think about what might happen if people could immerse themselves into the war zones of today, they will hopefully come out thinking “there has to be a better way!” On the ground experience of terror could finally bring about a new shift in mentality, towards greater humanity, people may push for better policies and less fighting if they have ‘been there’.
Humanitarian work can benefit on many levels. Imagine people from a wealthy, western nation being able to walk around a refugee camp in VR, tell me the average donation from someone that sees the problems first hand, as if they were there, won’t be larger than those that saw a TV ad or a statistic in the paper?
First we had the internet, then we had internet 2.0. The next major step was the mobile revolution with more people reading the news nowadays on a mobile device than on a computer. This goes to show that constant connectivity is changing everything about the world we live in. Imagine if VR becomes the next wave of change finally bringing a level of global, personal connectivity that was thought impossible a matter of years ago. We already have too much news input, with less objective analysis or perspective.
Overload and compassion fatigue are already with us due, in part, to over reporting. Will the first news and charity outreach campaigns using VR be the ones that are remembered for years to come for changing this?
I believe that this VRevolution is coming. I just hope that we will use it overwhelmingly for good, not just for piloting drones and entertaining the wealthy.
By Lizzie Hubbard
Legacy and sustainability are words we often hear from countries due to hold the Olympic Games but 2020 host, Japan, has taken this to a new level and has announced that the medals for Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be made from recycled mobile phones.
Japan has a reputation for being at the forefront of modern recycling but soon there will be collection points popping up across the country to encourage people to hand in their old handsets for the Olympic effort and do their bit to reduce the amount of waste in ever-growing landfills.
According to TechRadar, 9.6kg of gold, 1210kg of silver and 700kg of copper was used to make the medals for the London 2012 Games. Considering that in 2014 Japan threw away 143kg of gold, 15666kg of silver and 1112 of copper in electronics it makes so much sense to recycle all these useful resources.
Personally, I am guilty of always buying the latest gadgets without thinking too hard about what happens the old ones and I know I’m not the only one. I actually have two old phones and an iPod that I no longer use that I intend to recycle using mobile recycling company. If I was in Japan I would definitely consider handing them over so they can be transformed into one of the 5,000 medals required.
The International Olympic Committee, mindful of the amount of resources it requires to host the Olympic Games, has a strict set of rules to promote environmental sustainability. But maybe we should be thinking about the amount of disregarded resources we have in our own homes every day, rather than just for major global events.
If you can make an Olympic medal, something that is meant to last a lifetime, in such a responsible way, what else can be made from recycled tech? There are endless possibilities from durable kitchenware to sports equipment. The silver from the inside of your iPhone could be repurposed for X-rays – there are so many uses.
Maybe we should be more like Japan when it comes to recycling. This Japanese bar, is completely decorated with old cables and it looks incredible – even if it does make you feel like you’re inside a lung. Do our general, cultural attitudes towards recycling need to be upgraded?
There are some tech recycling solutions out there – we just have to stop being lazy and use them! PC World does have a service where you can donate all your electrical items for free or you can sell your old devices to Mazuma Mobile which is what I intend to do. There are only finite resources on this planet and if we want to keep producing innovative new products at the rate we currently are we all going to have to pitch in and recycle all our old tech.