It’s been hot at Gloo HQ over the past week. The sun was out, the A/C was on, and we’ve been busy finding great content to share. The latest update to FaceTime sparked a few discussions, with many of us not quite sure how we feel about it. And new rules at China’s border had us questioning our future holiday plans. But thankfully IKEA had some fun marketing to cheer us all up again.

Are you paying attention?

How many times have you been on a FaceTime call? If you’re an Apple user, we’ll bet it’s been a fair few. And how many of those times do you look at your screen rather than the camera? Just like us, you’re probably looking at yourself more than the other person. But Apple’s figured out a way to solve that. The latest iOS contains a new “FaceTime Attention Correction” feature. And it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Apple hasn’t released too many details about how it works, but the feature autocorrects your eyes to make it look like you’re looking directly at the camera. You’ll never have to worry about not looking interested in those future interviews and conference calls. We’ve been impressed with the results we’ve seen so far, but we’re still not sure how we feel about this. Useful feature, check. Great use of new tech, check. Little bit creepy, check.

Price of entry = one phone

How much do you want to visit China? Enough to install an app on your phone that accesses all of your text messages and other personal data? Because that’s soon to be a reality. In a new surveillance campaign, the Chinese border control could be about to force tourists to hand over access to their phones.

This isn’t the first surveillance story to catch our attention from China, we’ve been reading a lot about their social credit system. It will be interesting to see how this affects tourism, and whether any other countries follow suit. We’re all for securityit’s one of our favourite topics to write aboutbut is this the best way to enforce it?

Personal data? No thank you

Unlike China, the BBC has decided that actually it doesn’t want your personal data. In an update last week, the BBC has announced it will no longer be storing your personal data. Instead, it will be drawing your preferences from multiple sources, including your social media profiles.

So instead of showing you programmes based on that rom-com you watched that one time, the BBC’s new system will take into account everything you’ve said you like, everything you talk about on social media, and give you more tailored suggestions. This has the potential to provide really fantastic content curationbut that does rely on people being honest on their social media accounts. You may have said you love watching documentaries, but we all know you’ve secretly been binge watching Love Island. We’re keen to see how this works if it gets rolled out across all userswill this be what the BBC needs to finally compete with Netflix?

This font is no Comic Sans

We can’t think of a scenario when you will ever need this, but IKEA has released a free font created entirely out of sofas. The marketing team at IKEA come up with some fantastic ideas, and we’re always keen to see what they produceand this is certainly a new one.

In IKEA stores, a piece of software exists to help you map out and build your perfect sofa. You can play around with sizes, add different modules and rearrange it to your heart’s content. Of course, that’s not all users are doing with itmany have used the software to write funny messagesmuch to the next user’s amusement. And so IKEA has decided to give the people what they want and allow them to correspond through sofas, even outside its stores. Not sure we’ll be able to convince any of our clients to use it in any of their future reports though.

Posted by John on 8 July 2019