Technology

Technology

GIFLand: Globe unveils virtual amusement park for 917

As part of its annual 917 Day celebration, Philippine telco Globe Telecom has launched a virtual amusement park called GIFLand. Image credit: Globe Telecom
Bianca Wong, Head of the Feel Valued Tribe at Globe, encouraged customers to donate their unused Globe Rewards points. Image credit: Globe Telecom

As part of its annual 917 Day celebration, Philippine telco Globe Telecom has launched a virtual amusement park called GIFLand. GIFLand features new offerings, treats, and activities that are in store for Globe customers, which they can access right at their fingertips. Bianca Wong, Head of the Feel Valued Tribe at Globe, said people could enjoy GDay Everyday at GIFLand and share their rewards with communities needing help.

“Our bayanihan (community spirit) is playing a crucial role in helping our fellow Filipinos face our current challenges. And, we want to give our customers the opportunity to further ignite this bayanihan spirit. Which is why with GDay Everyday, we reward our customers and at the same time, empower them to support the wider community through Globe’s 15 partner beneficiaries,” Wong said in a press statement.

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Technology

Coins.ph announces return of 7-Eleven instant cash-ins

Image credit: Coins.ph
Image credit: Coins.ph

Addressing the needs of customers who prefer an over-the-counter option, Philippine blockchain-backed digital wallet Coins.ph is re-enabling cash-in transactions through any of 7-Eleven’s more than 3,000 branches in the Philippines.

“In the same way that 7-Eleven fulfills people’s everyday needs through goods sold and services rendered in our branches, Coins.ph also offers financial services for everyday transactions such as buying load, paying bills, and more. Bringing back this cash-in partnership is a joint effort at continuously finding ways to provide the best service to our customers,” said Philippine Seven Corporation President and CEO Jose Victor Paterno in a press statement.

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Technology

ASMR NFTs: xtingles to launch 1st global marketplace

Are you a fan or creator of ASMR? xtingles is launching the world's first dedicated ASMR non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace on Sept. 16. Image credit: xtingles
Image credit: xtingles

Are you a fan or creator of ASMR? xtingles is launching the world’s first dedicated ASMR non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace on Sept. 16. ASMR, which stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, refers to the pleasant mental and bodily sensations caused by external stimuli, including sounds and visuals. They are known to reduce stress and anxiety, relieve the symptoms of insomnia, and trigger pleasant feelings. It has even given birth to a popular genre on YouTube, where over 13 million ASMR videos have been published, according to a 2018 University of Sheffield study on the physiological benefits of ASMR.

The mobile-first xtingles platform makes use of NFT technology to store audio-visual ASMR art on the blockchain. xtingles is built on Flow, the same blockchain platform created by the team behind CryptoKitties and NBA Top Shot. The first xtingles NFT drop, Marcus Chong’s Free Like A Butterfly, will be released on Sept. 16 together with the marketplace launch. This will be followed by additional drops by popular artists, including Lev Cameron, Miss Manganese, and George.

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Technology

BIPBIP online grocery app deployed in Ho Chi Minh City

With Ho Chi Minh City residents requested to remain home for over two weeks, Central Retail Vietnam has partnered with city authorities to deploy BIPBIP. Image credit: Central Retail Vietnam
Image credit: Central Retail Vietnam

With Ho Chi Minh City residents requested to remain home for over two weeks, Central Retail Vietnam has partnered with city authorities to deploy BIPBIP. The BIPBIP app is an online grocery shopping platform that makes it convenient to order, pay for, and track shipments.

“Through the combination of applying technology solutions and strong quality grocery sourcing capability with affordable pricing, we are trying every day and are committed to supporting our community to easily access a supply of quality necessity-products during this social isolation period,” said Central Retail Viet Nam Group CEO Olivier Langlet in a press statement.

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Entertainment, Technology

ABBA announces new album, avatar-powered concert

Image credit: ABBA
Image credit: ABBA

“I’m not the one you knew, I’m now and then combined,” Agnetha Fältskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad sing in the new ABBA song “Don’t Shut Me Down”. This is one of 10 brand new songs in “Voyage”, the first new ABBA album in 40 years since the release of “The Visitors” in 1981 and the disbandment of the legendary Swedish group in 1982.

With estimated sales of 150 million records worldwide during a remarkable run where they consistently topped the charts around the globe from 1974 to 1983, ABBA is one of the most popular and commercially successful music artists of all time. To the delight of millions of their fans, ABBA announced on a YouTube live stream on Sept. 3 that they are making an unlikely comeback in 2021 with their ninth studio album that will be released on Nov. 5. This will be followed by a revolutionary concert that kicks off on May 27, 2022 in a custom-built arena at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The ABBA Voyage concert will feature ABBA digital avatars — dubbed the ABBAtars — created using state-of-the-art motion capture technology, who will perform alongside a 10-piece band. You may pre-order the album and register for pre-sale tickets at the ABBA Voyage site.

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A Life Less Analog, Entertainment, Technology

New Nissan Terra launch features 2 OPM legends

Technology column header

Not only did Nissan Philippines launch the new Nissan Terra in the country, but also the Japanese carmaker brought together Original Pilipino Music legends Barbie Almalbis and Noel Cabangon. The new Nissan Terra was revealed to the public in a Facebook and YouTube live stream that also unveiled the music video of “Ingat Kayo” performed by Almalbis and Cabangon. Composed by Nissan Philippines General Manager for Sales Rollie Navarro, “Ingat Kayo” was produced to support the Philippine Department of Tourism’s (DoT) call for safe and responsible travel.

Ingat, halong, ayo-ayo, mimingat po kayo,” Almalbis and Cabangon sing, as they say “ingat kayo” (which means be safe, or take care) in different Philippine languages. And safe trips for the family is precisely what Nissan Philippines is promising to Filipinos, thanks to more Nissan Intelligent Mobility (NIM) features than the previous model, enhancing overall driving safety and confidence for drivers and their loved  ones.

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Technology

GoLearn: Globe to make digital learning more accessible

With remote learning here to stay as part of the new normal, Globe Telecom has launched a company-wide platform to support digital learning called GoLearn. Image credit: xFrame
Image credit: xFrame

With remote learning here to stay as part of the new normal, Globe Telecom has launched a company-wide platform to support digital learning called GoLearn. This initiative provides a unified platform for different business groups within Globe to address the needs of educators, parents, and students. One of the challenges GoLearn will help address are the greater demands placed upon teachers by online learning. For instance, some teachers might still be uncomfortable with using technology, while others are finding it difficult to adjust their teaching style to adapt to the new learning environment.

“In Globe, we have several programs to help upscale our teachers. So we have our E-Skwela online training webinars that happen every month. We train our teachers. We also have our Global Filipino Teachers in partnership with the Department of Education, so makikita ninyo po (you will see) from time to time, we have live webinars dito po sa (here on the) DepEd Facebook page sponsored by Globe so that we can upscale our teachers on their psychosocial development as well as for their life skills,” said Mark Abalos, Segment Head for One Globe Education, in response to a question from Digital Life Asia.

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Technology

MetaMask hits 10M monthly active users, led by Filipinos

Thanks to the growing popularity of play to earn, the Philippines has emerged as the home of the world’s most active MetaMask users. Image credit: ConsenSys
Image credit: ConsenSys

Thanks to the growing popularity of play to earn, the Philippines has emerged as the home of the world’s most active MetaMask users. ConsenSys, the company created by the co-founder of Ethereum, Joseph Lubin, has announced on Sept. 1 that its MetaMask cryptocurrency wallet now has more than 10 million monthly active users, with nearly 20% coming from the Philippines. To celebrate this milestone, the company will host a party in the Decentraland virtual world on Sept. 2.

“MetaMask owes its growth to our community. They are constantly coming up with new ways to build and organize, and are always pushing us to improve in countless ways. As long as we can continue to help unleash their creativity, while keeping users safe, I think we’ll have an exciting future,” said MetaMask Co-Founder Dan Finlay.

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Science, Technology

P&G, EcoMatcher to tap blockchain for Forests for Good

P&G has partnered with social enterprise EcoMatcher to leverage blockchain technology for its Forests for Good campaign. Image credit: Procter & Gamble
Image credit: Procter & Gamble

Procter & Gamble Philippines (P&G) has partnered with social enterprise EcoMatcher to leverage blockchain technology for its Forests for Good campaign. Forests for Good is P&G’s campaign to actively protect nature by planting trees that help improve local ecosystems.

P&G will launch 12 pilot programs in 12 months across the Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa region. The programs will make use of blockchain technology to ensure accountability, traceability, and scalability in sustainability. In the Philippines, P&G is piloting the tree-planting activities in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.

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Technology

Video calls: Getting ‘camera-ready’ and other challenges

With the increased adoption of video calls for office meetings, being "camera-ready" has been identified as a key issue by Filipinos. Image credit: Beci Harmony on Unsplash
Image credit: Beci Harmony on Unsplash

With the increased adoption of video calls for office meetings, being “camera-ready” has been identified as a key issue by Filipinos. A consumer survey conducted by conversational service automation solutions provider Uniphore shows that 28% of Filipino respondents don’t like seeing themselves on camera and 22% dislike having to “get ready” for video calls.

Apart from the problem of getting “camera-ready”, Filipinos also said distractions were a challenge: 40% claimed they can’t tell if others are engaged, 38% feel they are not heard, and 35% said people misinterpret their facial expressions. The respondents also said boredom was a challenge, which is why they end up multitasking. They admitted to doing a wide range of non-professional multitasking, personal tasks, and other projects during video calls. These include watching YouTube and streaming (63%), going to the bathroom (47%), cleaning the house (44%), and online shopping (30%).

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A Life Less Analog, Technology

DeFi: Defying poverty, accelerating financial inclusion

Technology column header

As decentralized finance (DeFi) becomes more mainstream, it will continue to transform financial services in the Philippines and drive financial inclusion. This was emphasized by the head of Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX), which recently raised US$12.5 million (Php630 million) in funding, led by a UK-based venture capital firm, and joined by Hong Kong-listed fintech company BC Group.

“Most of the financial inclusion problems in the Philippines have underlying infrastructural root causes. And what is very challenging for the traditional financial services space is precisely what blockchain technology and decentralized financial applications do very well. The innovations in blockchain technology are actually innovations in infrastructure,” PDAX Founder and CEO Nichel Gaba said in response to my question during the press briefing.

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Technology

Before Anything Else: PMC targets millennials, Gen Z

Dedicated to helping millennials and Gen Z pursue their passions, gadget accessory brand Before Anything Else is Power Mac Center’s Brand of the Month for August. Image credit: Power Mac Center
Image credit: Power Mac Center

Dedicated to helping millennials and Gen Z pursue their passions, gadget accessory brand Before Anything Else is Power Mac Center’s (PMC) Brand of the Month for August.

“Digital natives who are always on the lookout to enhance their Apple experience may find what they’re looking for in the brands we will be featuring as Brand of the Month. Our goal is to not just help them find the products they need but to really connect different personalities with the tech accessory brands that match their lifestyle and passions. This month’s featured brand, for instance, delivers premium accessories that embody quality, reliability, and value for money, perfect for the young generation,” PMC Director of Product Management, Marketing and Space Planning Joey Alvarez said in a press statement.

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