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How home lighting will evolve

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In addition to the digital transformation changing the way we do business, we are starting to see the way it is changing our homes – especially in the way of lighting as it becomes more energy efficient, smarter and adapts to our lives.

In the era of digital transformation, technological trends such as mobility, cloud computing, IoT, and big data analytics is reshaping the operating environment for businesses as well as enabling people to be more productive in their professional and personal lives.

However, these same trends are also influencing the lighting industry. The development of home lighting for instance is being guided by technological evolution along with new research on how light affects us as human beings.

Here are five important trends we see in home lighting:

1.     Taking the best from the past

Warm, glowing, cozy light with the best of modern, efficient lighting technology.

The trend of heritage lighting design is enduring. People value the familiar shapes, the qualities of the warm decorative light from the past and the attention to authentic materials and details, it reflects a sense of belonging, comfort and the care for traditions.

LED vintage bulbs have the classic charm of filament bulbs with the benefits of modern LED lighting. Made of glass and with high-quality finishing they blend into home interiors, looking beautiful on and off. Warm glow dimmable LED lamps, behave in a familiar way as well. They dim down in the same way as the old incandescent bulbs did.

2. Flexible Light

Adaptive lighting that gives maximum flexibility for our multi-faceted lifestyles.

While the outer walls of our homes remain fixed for the most part, inside the home has become a constant evolving and vibrating hub. New family compositions, smaller housing and the many different activities taking place in the same spot, demand flexibility. Spaces need to easily adapt to changing activities, mind-states, and personal preferences.

One way of doing this is by making lighting portable, so you can simply bring the best light to the place you want. Portable lights, like the Philips candles have a rechargeable internal battery.

Another way of addressing versatility is by adjustable and modular lighting. An example of this is The Compendium light range designed by Daniel Rybakken for Luceplan. This elegant beam-like luminaire modestly disappears by day, and comes to life when lit – creating a quantity of light on surfaces, transforming spaces and making them look bigger. There is a floor standing version and a suspended version.

You can create the light you need by rotating parts to make direct light or bounce light of the wall or ceiling to get indirect light. The slim form factor supports compact and decluttered living by taking up a very small footprint.

3. Well-being Light

Light that behaves like Mother Nature to support our health and well-being in a busy and stressful world.

As well as light to create mood and atmosphere, we are learning more and more about the effect of light on our bodies and how it can influence our health.

Broadly speaking, bright light with blue in it, activates us and gives us energy and warm coloured light is relaxing and calms us down. It’s important for people to get enough light at certain times of the day, because this affects our biological rhythms.

Light recipes that support these biological rhythms, or mimic natural light effects can support our emotional and physical well-being. For example, lighting can help you to wake up and go to sleep naturally. It will help get you out of bed the way you like it, helping you start your day feeling refreshed.

In the morning, a light wake-up scene that mimics the effect of sunrise can help you wake up naturally, instead of being woken up by the loud sound of an alarm clock. In the evening, relaxing warm white light helps you to unwind, relax and prepare your body for a good night’s sleep.

4. Experience Light

Light that gives you a new experience of your home, without having to physically change it.

There is a growing need of people to own less and experience as well as share more. Light is intangible, yet can create a rich experience. Light can be a tool of expression in your home – you can use light as a way to express your personality; who you are, what you feel and the stories you want to tell.

Light scenes with warm, cool and soft colour lighting can instantly change the look and atmosphere of your room. Every new season could bring a different feel in the interior with new color palettes and scenes, without bringing new home décor items in your house.

This trend really puts the focus on the light experience itself. The light fixture is neutral and the light brings an adaptable decorative layer of light to your home. This can be achieved by placing or integrating lighting strips and LEDs into objects, furniture and or the architecture.

5. ‘Talk to me’ light

Lighting you can interact with in simple and pleasant ways – to make the most of sophisticated new lighting.

Today, we can already control lights with smart devices by performing functions such as turning the lights on and off or dimming to the desired brightness for a perfect ambiance. For the longer term, companies like Philips Lighting is looking at the future ways we will use and interact with lighting as part of the smart home.

We have been trying out different ways of controlling light and music. One installation we built is called Aura. Many people tried it at light festivals in New Zealand, London and Eindhoven. They could control the light and music by hand gestures – a bit like a conductor of an orchestra. One small movement creates a large reaction.

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Arts and Entertainment

VoD cuts the cord in SA

Some 20% of South Africans who sign up for a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service such as Netflix or Showmax do so with the intention of cancelling their pay television subscription.

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That’s according to GfK’s international ViewScape survey*, which this year covers Africa (South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria) for the first time.

The study—which surveyed 1,250 people representative of urban South African adults with Internet access—shows that 90% of the country’s online adults today use at least one online video service and that just over half are paying to view digital online content. The average user spends around 7 hours and two minutes a day consuming video content, with broadcast television accounting for just 42% of the time South Africans spend in front of a screen.

Consumers in South Africa spend nearly as much of their daily viewing time – 39% of the total – watching free digital video sources such as YouTube and Facebook as they do on linear television. People aged 18 to 24 years spend more than eight hours a day watching video content as they tend to spend more time with free digital video than people above their age.

Says Benjamin Ballensiefen, managing director for Sub Sahara Africa at GfK: “The media industry is experiencing a revolution as digital platforms transform viewers’ video consumption behaviour. The GfK ViewScape study is one of the first to not only examine broadcast television consumption in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa, but also to quantify how linear and online forms of content distribution fit together in the dynamic world of video consumption.”

The study finds that just over a third of South African adults are using streaming video on demand (SVOD) services, with only 16% of SVOD users subscribing to multiple services. Around 23% use per-pay-view platforms such as DSTV Box Office, while about 10% download pirated content from the Internet. Around 82% still sometimes watch content on disc-based media.

“Linear and non-linear television both play significant roles in South Africa’s video landscape, though disruption from digital players poses a growing threat to the incumbents,” says Molemo Moahloli, general manager for media research & regional business development at GfK Sub Sahara Africa. “Among most demographics, usage of paid online content is incremental to consumption of linear television, but there are signs that younger consumers are beginning to substitute SVOD for pay-television subscriptions.”

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New data rules raise business trust challenges

When the General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect on May 25th, financial services firms will face a new potential threat to their on-going challenges with building strong customer relationships, writes DARREL ORSMOND, Financial Services Industry Head at SAP Africa.

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The regulation – dubbed GDPR for short – is aimed at giving European citizens control back over their personal data. Any firm that creates, stores, manages or transfers personal information of an EU citizen can be held liable under the new regulation. Non-compliance is not an option: the fines are steep, with a maximum penalty of €20-million – or nearly R300-million – for transgressors.

GDPR marks a step toward improved individual rights over large corporates and states that prevents the latter from using and abusing personal information at their discretion. Considering the prevailing trust deficit – one global EY survey found that 60% of global consumers worry about hacking of bank accounts or bank cards, and 58% worry about the amount of personal and private data organisations have about them – the new regulation comes at an opportune time. But it is almost certain to cause disruption to normal business practices when implemented, and therein lies both a threat and an opportunity.

The fundamentals of trust

GDPR is set to tamper with two fundamental factors that can have a detrimental effect on the implicit trust between financial services providers and their customers: firstly, customers will suddenly be challenged to validate that what they thought companies were already doing – storing and managing their personal data in a manner that is respectful of their privacy – is actually happening. Secondly, the outbreak of stories relating to companies mistreating customer data or exposing customers due to security breaches will increase the chances that customers now seek tangible reassurance from their providers that their data is stored correctly.

The recent news of Facebook’s indiscriminate sharing of 50 million of its members’ personal data to an outside firm has not only led to public outcry but could cost the company $2-trillion in fines should the Federal Trade Commission choose to pursue the matter to its fullest extent. The matter of trust also extends beyond personal data: in EY’s 2016 Global Consumer Banking Survey, less than a third of respondents had complete trust that their banks were being transparent about fees and charges.

This is forcing companies to reconsider their role in building and maintaining trust with its customers. In any customer relationship, much is done based on implicit trust. A personal banking customer will enjoy a measure of familiarity that often provides them with some latitude – for example when applying for access to a new service or an overdraft facility – that can save them a lot of time and energy. Under GDPR and South Africa’s POPI act, this process is drastically complicated: banks may now be obliged to obtain permission to share customer data between different business units (for example because they are part of different legal entities and have not expressly received permission). A customer may now allow banks to use their personal data in risk scoring models, but prevent them from determining whether they qualify for private banking services.

What used to happen naturally within standard banking processes may be suddenly constrained by regulation, directly affecting the bank’s relationship with its customers, as well as its ability to upsell to existing customers.

The risk of compliance

Are we moving to an overly bureaucratic world where even the simplest action is subject to a string of onerous processes? Compliance officers are already embedded within every function in a typical financial services institution, as well as at management level. Often the reporting of risk processes sits outside formal line functions and end up going straight to the board. This can have a stifling effect on innovation, with potentially negative consequences for customer service.

A typical banking environment is already creaking under the weight of close to 100 acts, which makes it difficult to take the calculated risks needed to develop and launch innovative new banking products. Entire new industries could now emerge, focusing purely on the matter of compliance and associated litigation. GDPR already requires the services of Data Protection Officers, but the growing complexity of regulatory compliance could add a swathe of new job functions and disciplines. None of this points to the type of innovation that the modern titans of business are renowned for.

A three-step plan of action

So how must banks and other financial services firms respond? I would argue there are three main elements to successfully navigating the immediate impact of the new regulations:

Firstly, ensuring that the technologies you use to secure, manage and store personal data is sufficiently robust. Modern financial services providers have a wealth of customer data at their disposal, including unstructured data from non-traditional sources such as social media. The tools they use to process and safeguard this data needs to be able to withstand the threats posed by potential data breaches and malicious attacks.

Secondly, rethinking the core organisational processes governing their interactions with customers. This includes the internal measures for setting terms and conditions, how customers are informed of their intention to use their data, and how risk is assessed. A customer applying for medical insurance will disclose deeply personal information about themselves to the insurance provider: it is imperative the insurer provides reassurance that the customer’s data will be treated respectfully and with discretion and with their express permission.

Thirdly, financial services firms need to define a core set of principles for how they treat customers and what constitutes fair treatment. This should be an extension of a broader organisational focus on treating customers fairly, and can go some way to repairing the trust deficit between the financial services industry and the customers they serve.

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