Insight: Issue 62 (16th September)
In today’s news, the vaccine passport debate rages on. . .still!
We’ve also got: a list of the Scottish tech start-ups making waves in 2021; the holographic tech that’s revolutionising museum exhibits; a round-up of the environmental benefits of virtual events; reasons why the traditional workspace needs a modern makeover; and a way to make meetings more fun. Yes, it really is possible.
No vaccine passports for England, what will Scotland do?
First up for today, Scotland could become the only part of the UK to use vaccine passports, after similar plans were scrapped in England in a dramatic policy u-turn. The announcement by UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid earlier this week has prompted immediate calls for the Scottish Government to follow suit, with mere weeks until the plans are due to come into force.
If the plans do go ahead, from 1 October all adults in Scotland must be able to prove they have been fully vaccinated against COVID to be permitted entry to nightclubs and large-scale events. People can download their vaccination status from the NHS Inform website, with the document including a QR code that can be verified by venues at the door. So, watch this space to see what Nicola does next…
Scottish tech start-ups making waves in 2021
Speaking of Scotland… When it comes to the UK’s tech sector, Scotland’s cities stand out as leading destinations for technological innovation. Well-known success stories include Aberdeen-based BrewDog – our nation’s only active unicorn – and Skyscanner, which has contributed enormously to the booming tech scene.
But that’s not all. As of right now, Scotland has over 2,000 ambitious start-ups, of which 30% are tech companies. UKTN have rounded up some of the most notable names that are operating across space-tech, cybersecurity, digital health, and lots more. If, like us, you love to geek out over all things tech, you should check out the list here.
Holographic tech set to revive arts and history
In other tech news – have you heard of Desktop AR? It’s an augmented reality system that turns an ordinary 2D monitor into a volumetric display. Basically, it brings virtual objects into the real-world using a webcam and anaglyph glasses, tracking a user’s head position and rendering images according to the user’s viewing angle in stereoscopic images.
It’s said to be the future of art and history exhibitions, making museums more accessible. So say goodbye to finger-smudged glass cabinets and faded information boards – these virtual exhibits would allow you to get up close and personal with any art piece or historical artefact from the comfort of your own home. Pretty cool, no?
The environmental benefits of virtual events
Next up – with so much talk about *finally* transitioning back from virtual to in-person events, the one issue that seems to be absent from discussions is the environmental one. Businesses shouldn’t forget that by continuing to take advantage of virtual and hybrid events, they will benefit by widening their reach while also reducing their carbon footprints.
In this article from Forbes, Lauren Weatherly also argues that astute organisations can use the sustainability of virtual events as a competitive advantage. She makes the very good point that one of the biggest advantages of rethinking how events are hosted is that it empowers companies to re-evaluate why they are staging an event in the first place. Rather than hosting an event for the sake of it, companies are putting more thought into the planning, the message, and what attendees should take away from it – and this makes events that much more powerful.
Traditional workspaces need a modern makeover
It’s not just hybrid events that are here to stay; hybrid working is, too. For this approach to be successful, businesses will need to provide the right tools to enable their employees to work effectively – no matter where they are.
AV Magazine poses that technology will play a fundamental role. Pro-grade webcams, video bars, speakerphones, and all-in-one video conferencing monitors will make sure workers look and sound their best when working from home. In the office, low-touch and voice-based tech will be key for limiting contact while allowing people to connect wirelessly when required.
But most importantly, employers need to recognise that a one-size-fits-all approach to working is no longer realistic. Post-pandemic, professional styles and behaviours won’t all be the same, so working set-ups – and the tech required to enable them – must be tailored individually.
Meetings suck. Can we make them more fun?
While we’re revolutionising the workplace, we might as well transform meetings, too! Jaime Teevan – Chief Scientist at Microsoft – suggests that injecting some fun into the meetings experience is the key to combating Zoom fatigue. Teevan says that virtual working has challenged how we use space to communicate, restricting our worlds to ‘claustrophobic digital squares’. She thinks better communication requires opening up space through play – with some companies even conducting meetings through video games like Red Dead Redemption, Grand Theft Auto, and Animal Crossing.