Twosday Celebration - Metaverse Grownups and Bionic Eyes
What a year, eh? 👋💓 And it’s only February. Not sure about you but it’s been crazy so far, even this week! And it’s also Twosday! (22/2/22). Not only is it a palindrome because it reads the same forward and backward, but what makes it special is the date has all twos. It is also a Tuesday. Fun fact: This won’t happen again until 400 years later, in 2422.
This week we have grownups entering the Metaverse; a potential treatment for blindness; and TikTok pulling off a 180.
Analytics, Digital, Design In Action
Grownups in the Metaverse
While the dream of the Metaverse - the indistinguishable blend between digital and physical through technology - seems to be the province of big-tech and start-ups, stalwarts like J.P Morgan (JPM) and Disney are taking notice.
JPM unveiled the first-ever bank in the Metaverse. It’s in Decentraland which runs on Onyx - JPM’s blockchain unit. Indeed, JPM is putting its money where its mouth is following its supportive stance of the Metaverse. From JPM:
"Supply and demand dynamics are driving people into the meta-economy. Over time, the market for metaverse real estate could evolve in a similar way as the real estate market in the analog world. In time, the virtual real estate market could start seeing services much like in the physical world, including credit, mortgages, and rental agreements."
Frankly, we’re psyched about the Tiger roaming the bank - makes it feel much safer.
Erstwhile, Disney named an executive to oversee its Metaverse efforts. A step-up from its early VR/AR forays in its Parks and with the like of Snap, Mike White, has been named to the new role of senior vice president of Next Generation Storytelling and Consumer Experiences, where he will help define how consumers experience Disney's coming metaverse. Disney’s CEO announced Disney is poised to embark on a journey to the metaverse as the "next great storytelling frontier" and part of the company's strategic priorities.
Bionic Eyes for Blindness
The WHO has remarked that at least 2.2B people in the world suffer from impaired vision. Throughout history, we’ve made big progress on alleviating vision impairment, ranging from glasses to surgery, but blindness has always been an elusive problem. But, there’s been major progress and it’s with the help of sheep.
Phoenix 99, a device spearheaded by a team of researchers from the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales, leveraged sheep with exceptionally sharp eyesight to improve the device. Meanwhile, a similar startup Second Sight is working on brain implants to help treat blindness.
TikTok Pulls a 180
Every social media has copied TikTok’s short-form videos - it’s what made TikTok unique. TikTok’s executives openly talked about their users having poor attention spans. Apparently, it is also difficult to ask users to concentrate on the 60 seconds snappy videos.
Short-form videos, if properly backed by the right algorithm, become a reinforcing product as each short video feeds on the attention algorithm. This is a contrast to long-form videos that could bore users or might end up not being that interesting.
However, that’s not stopping TikTok from expanding in the lucrative long-form segment. Since last year, TikTok has been experimenting with various video lengths among beta testers. TikTok’s logic of pushing long-form videos is to bet on “users don’t know the best”, and even one second of increase in watch time can yield a higher return for advertisers.
Video is still a massive market in the trillions and TikTok feels confident it could compete with YouTube. After all, it blazed into success and a billion users much faster than any company. While TikTok becomes an industry phenomenon and forces others to change - Instagram launched Reels, Snap launched Spotlight, and YouTube launched Short, TikTok also has to change to propel growth.
Here is a quote from Marion Thain, a TikTok researcher at King’s College London, “Successful tech will find a productive place within our attention eco-systems that does not threaten the quality of life of its users”. We are curious about what it might look like in the future.
Do you see yourself moving from YouTube to TikTok even for long-form? Connect with us on Twitter and let us know.
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