The Relevancy Read

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A Sampling
A Sampling

Tech Talk

February 06, 2024

Home gamification gets active.

Apple’s new VR goggles got us thinking about the future gamification of homes. We’ve been pacing our clients on VR and the metaverse, knowing we are still a ways from mass adoption. However, two recent innovations gave us a change of heart, demonstrating two truly practical applications that get users up and active. One—a "spatial vacuming" app made for Oculus Quest hardware gamifies cleaning. Created by Shopify engineer Daniel Beauchamp, the software makes an everyday house chore fun and kid friendly. Two—Disney's new Holotile floor functions as an omni-directional, expandable, multi-person treadmill, turning a traditionally sedentary form of entertainment into exercise. Gaming is here to stay and brands need to integrate it into offerings. While the emphasis has been on brand marketing and content consumption, consider using it to make homes, hotels, and hang-out spots more fun, active spaces.


Meanwhile, a Luddite movement rises.

Months ago, a friend of The Co. asked our Editor how “Amish” she plans to raise her kids, considering the adverse effects of iPad parenting and kids’ social media usage. Fast forward to today, the term “Luddite” is being reclaimed by a new wave of activists determined to stop generative AI from replacing human art, writing, and creativity. Embracing what was once considered an insult to critics of the tech industry, they're calling for a reevaluation of how tech serves people and society. This movement is already percolating at the consumer level amongst teens switching to flip-phones, dubbed the Smartphone Revolution. Brand marketers will have to devise strategies for reaching an increasingly offline customer, while retailers should act on this as an opportunity to push in-person shopping.

The introverted and lonely as core customers.

As tech advancements cause people to spend more time at home and behind screens, consumer preferences shift, and the market favors introverted economic activity. Smart brands and businesses will cultivate healthy homebody experiences and/or encourage IRL human connection. In New York, Reading Rhythms bridges the gap by facilitating “parties” where attendees read silently for an hour and then chat about their books with strangers. In Amsterdam, Dutch soup brand Oma’s Soep launched a campaign placing green baskets in grocery stores that indicate customers want to chat with strangers. Others take a more serious stance. Lyft CEO David Rishner recently announced they won’t enter the food delivery category like Uber because it keeps people homebound. How brands position products and services should address shifting relationships to social life.

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