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Next Southeast Asian hubs
The rise of Southeast Asia started in Singapore in the 1960s under its visionary leader Lee Kuan Yew. In its trail Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines followed and were dubbed ‘The Asian Tigers’. Since the East Asia crisis of 1997-1998 however, these economies have lost much of their dynamics. They suffer in particular from the so-called ‘middle-income trap’: they are too rich to compete on cheap labor, but not innovative enough to compete with advanced economies. Of these three, Malaysia is investing most in moving up the value chain. It is for instance developing ‘Iskander Malaysia’, a region adjacent to Singapore intended to become an innovative production hub, modelled on Shenzhen’s development next to Hong Kong. Increasingly however, a next wave of poorer countries in the region is emerging. Indonesia and Vietnam have abundant cheap labor, favorable demographics, and their economies are opening up. They could become the next outsourcing hubs of the region. Simultaneously, international interest in the region is growing: China, India and Japan are all increasing their investments. It seems the next wave of Southeast Asian development is under way driven by a next generation of Asian Tigers.
Linear content might not be the weakest link after all
Recently, trivia apps such as HQ and The Q received a lot of attention with their modern-day spins on the traditional televised game. HQ for instance airs a twice-daily quiz show, attracting 400,000 to 600,000 viewers on average. Similar to pub quizzes, where people gather in social areas to play, these apps let people play together, but from their own screen, both solo and in groups: co-workers for instance are taking a break at 3 pm to play the game together. In an online world where most content is available on-demand, these game show apps are part of a small set of producers that found ways to make scheduled content work again. Vloggers for instance are uploading videos more often on set times, and many e-sports leagues play according to a schedule. These services bring back linear consumption patterns that go hand in hand with a more communal behavior pattern. In an attention economy, these ‘new’ linear models reinvent the feeling of a community, creating new opportunities for brands to connect with consumers.
Just-walk-out tech just walked into our daily lives
Amazon launched their first Amazon Go retail store which uses their just-walk-out technology with which customers don’t have to deal with cashiers or self-checkouts anymore. By using a combination of sensor technology and deep learning it can be checked real-time what shoppers take from the shelves and consumers can be automatically charged. Compared to e-commerce, physical stores have an advantage because of the data that they can generate from their physical assets. In the future, just-walk-out tech could be used to model human behavior to improve products, store designs, customer service, etc. Furthermore, retail employees could be repurposed to improve customer experience. As the visual below shows, consumers are ready to embrace the technology that increases their shopping experience. However, consumers will be confronted with just-walk-out tech in other contexts as well, as it has broader potential than changing supermarkets. In the future, it can transform other businesses and domains, such as F&B, logistics, research, entertainment, and surveillance.