Horizons newsletter – week 45 // 2017
Horizons is a bi-monthly Dasym Research initiative to show you how the Dasym themes have been in the news. We publish the Horizons on our website and as an email newsletter. If you wish to receive the email, please contact Investor Relations.
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Playing with the boundaries of toys
The biggest driver of the toy market is digital games, allowing for play that is not possible in the real world, like flying or visiting extraterrestrial worlds. Physical toys, on the other hand, address senses, like touch and smell, and faculties, like and the imagination that children have, which are typically not (as yet) addressed by digital toys. Increasingly, new kinds of play are created that combine the unique characteristics of traditional physical, digital and virtual toys. For example, Nintendo’s Amiibo turn digital characters into real action figures that can be used again in Nintendo’s videogames, and Lego uses its IP in movies and videogames, which both boost each other’s sales. The next step is the creation of the ‘internet of toys’ through software-enabled and connected toys that increasingly blur the physical and digital sphere of toys. Combining these toys with new technologies, like 3D-printing or VR, can further create fully immersive and continuous ‘toy universes’ with multimodal toys. Considering that toys have always been about imagination, they are naturally suited for virtualization that create new and engaging ways to play.
Consumer trust determines success of PSD2
The European financial landscape will change significantly, when on 13 January 2018 the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) comes into effect. This regulatory framework allows consumers to share financial data with third party financial services from fintechs, ecommerce companies or other authorized organizations. Banks have to provide these third-party services with access to the required customer data, but only if clients have given explicit consent. Consumers, however, are hesitant: a Dutch consumer organization found that people are still ignorant of PSD2 and – when informed – reject the idea of sharing financial data with non-banks for privacy and security reasons. An Accenture study of U.K. consumers came to similar conclusions. Although this could limit the short-term success of PSD2, the tide may turn in the future: according to different studies, between 30 to 50% of people are banking or willing to bank with non-traditional providers. Moreover, younger and tech-savvy consumers are more open to using these services. These signs indicate that over time, the pool of customers turning to non-traditional firms is likely to grow.
The return of tradition
Over recent years many societies that were expected to take a more progressive, modern path, instead took a traditional turn. Although new middle classes emerged in Turkey, China and India, their course of westernization has reversed. Turkey’s emerging middle classes for instance are often conservative and President Erdogan emulates the glory of the Ottoman past. In China a growing pride in the country’s own culture and traditions is visible. India currently has a president that simultaneously seeks to modernize the economy and revitalize its religion Hinduism. Votes in the U.S., the U.K. and Catalonia also fit into this pattern. The reason for this paradoxical situation is a one-sided view of modernization: it brings wealth and freedom, but people tend to forget how disruptive it also is. New technologies, job destruction, urbanization and industrialization alter the daily lives of people, which can be extremely disorienting. As a result, people often turn to ancient traditions to help them navigate the modern world. In his new book Embedding Technopolis, our lead researcher Haroon Sheikh explains this dynamic.