Atmosphere Inspires Edition 002

Sam Colyer
Atmosphere Inspires is our regular curation of news and views from the digital sphere; the lead stories that are affecting you and your business.

Stories catching our attention

Facebook is “On Air”

Last week Facebook introduced live broadcasting via its VR platform “Spaces”. Yet only a few months back, 200 of its 500 Oculus virtual reality demo stations across the US were closed due to a lack of uptake. Head of Product, Mike Booth maintains a positive outlook that "VR is for everyone", but a lack of confidence in the VR market is evident, and we think it will need to be addressed with tangible success stories. But if ever there was a good contender to turn something into a success it’s Facebook, so we're watching closely to see where VR will go from here.

The Gig Economy: what about the Team?

The gig economy is currently a hot topic. Last week Matthew Taylor published his review into Modern Working Practices, useful summary here from Kemp Little. The Gig Economy challenges what it typically means to be both an employer and an employee. Trends are seeing permanent employees replaced by “dependent contractors”, but can the notion of a team both exist and thrive in this environment? As workers become more transient in nature and no longer centrally located, businesses will need to entirely rethink their ways of working, seeking out new and innovative ways of maximising communication as well as utilising effective collaborative software.

What else is happening?

Is this small Swiss town one to watch?

Zug, a tiny town in Switzerland yet a financial centre for digital currency, has installed a bitcoin ATM. As you'd expect, the regulators are having a field day over bitcoin and this week the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is considering whether new guidelines are needed. So it's unlikely that we’ll be switching over wholesale to Bitcoin anytime soon, and as with any new initiative there will be hurdles to jump and government standards to meet - but who knows, one day we might look back and say the digital currency revolution gathered speed in Zug.

Alternative Bank Account App moves quickly to catch the opportunities

Startup company Revolut has raised funds to create a banking app allowing money to be sent and received in multiple currencies. It’s certainly worth keeping an eye on them as they navigate the obstacles of a startup in the digital arena, particularly as it launches a global banking alternative through a range of products and currencies. The opportunities have clearly presented themselves here, and Revolut is looking to take advantage: it will be interesting to see how this dynamic approach develops and whether or not they can keep up the pace.

What’s more human than human?

Chatbots come in all shapes and sizes, indeed their level of intelligence can also vary greatly. We don't know about you, but nothing brings on rage faster than hearing Siri pipe up (uninvited) with “sorry I didn’t quite catch that”. Devine, CMO of WorkFusion believes that AI and chatbots are transforming the customer experience as they become more human than human. AI may well be moving towards personalising the customer experience, but there should also be focus on how to shift customer confidence and improve existing sceptical perceptions. If you’re interested in how the chatbot has evolved, check out this handy little infographic starting in 1966.

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