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Culture Vulture

Ikon NZ's pulse on the Then, Now, and how it will affect our Future.

We highlight three fields that we've observed change or disruption in. We pick two stand-out stories from each field and share our thoughts on them, ranging from the professional to the outright fan-boyish (or fan-girly). We invite you to learn, discuss, and share your thoughts too. Remember to download pictures for the best experience.
Click on pictures for links to the source

Curated by Chantelle, Planning Team

With animal alternate products on the rise, its mainstream adoption is a threat to not only our biggest industries, but to some of our Kiwi brands fighting the super food trends.

Chantelle: The negative environmental impacts of animal farming has been in the spotlight for a while now, a mindset that brands like Fonterra are battling to revamp. People are either turning off animal products all together, or turning to other solutions that replicate animal products (such as plant or synthetic based alternatives). The Forks Over Knives documentary goes further to suggest eliminating animal products from our diets entirely can reverse or even marginalise the effects of diseases affecting the human race today. Building on 'Cowspiracy', the view that agriculture is the most destructive industry to our world today and responsible for global warming. With dairy and meat being NZ's top two exports as well as industries that are ingrained in our kiwi culture; will the demand for meat be sustained, or does the future lie in making alternatives and producing more of the green stuff?

Citi, Live Nation and NextVR have announced plans to produce a series of live virtual reality concerts as part of the "Backyard with Citi" initiative.

Chantelle: Great to see brands and entertainment media investing in bringing interesting and worthwhile VR experiences to the mainstream. Rather than a sell-out concert that gives a limited number of fans a physical real world experience, the key is accessibility and enabling an egalitarian option for all! Love that the VR theme for this financial institution is also stretching to the trading floor, showing how data visualisation can help traders make more efficient trading decisions. The golden rule with all media success relies on content, and then in this case, the experience being queen.

Curated by Matt, Trading Team

Both Amazon and Google have plans to add speakerphone functions to their 'Smart Assistant' devices as we move towards centralised systems that improve our homes and lives.

Matt: Smart Assistant technology has been gaining momentum with the roll out of Echo and Google Home, both brands fighting for supremacy among early adopters. While listening smart assistants are by no means new, speakerphone technology options have evolved their functionality. The ability to make calls will boost penetration/appeal, and make these products mass market. Possibly we'll see the resurgence of landline desires (though the calls will likely be internet based). Holding a smartphone to your ear will be so 2016.

Artificial intelligence has now reached a point where programs can create musical pieces. We are potentially progressing to the stage where AI music is indistinguishable to its human counterpart.

Matt: Creative artificial intelligence has now reached the forefront of the music industry. The team behind Jukedeck has successfully launched an AI tech that can produce a classical piece of music, nearly indistinguishable from its "human" counterpart. While this technology is still in its infancy, let's think back to hit music predication algorithms, which hasn't progressed from 2015. There's always been the belief that the best musicians feel music, rather than be technically perfect. If the essence of music can be simplified to an algorithm, can we even consider it art? Take a listen!

Curated by Bhavneet, Performance Team

Most of the social media platforms we use have age restrictions due to the nature of the content shared, in an effort to keep minors safe. Lego has introduced a social media platform for children (7yrs-12yrs) called Lego Life

Bhavneet: This app is going to make parent's lives easier as they won't need to monitor children's profiles and actions on social media. Some of the features require kids to actually put down their devices and use their creative skills - which I believe is addressing a major issue. Growing up in a social media age, it is easy to see how children are becoming reliant on technology to fill their downtime. This app looks to give kids the freedom of self-expression, to create something from their imagination and share it with their peers.

Project Bloks is a new initiative by Google that is making the experience of learning programming tangible. It enables youth to learn coding in a physical way.

Bhavneet: Digital technology has changed the way we interact and now learn. The education experts have grouped the learning method for children into three basic styles - auditory, visual and kinesthetic and Project Bloks bases its model around the fact kids naturally plan and learn by using their hands. Kids know no boundaries and it's very likely there would be some breakthroughs and innovation that would be on a whole other level. It would be a fun a and challenging way of learning, different from conventional teaching methods. I look forward to seeing the outcome of this project in generations to come!